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Review of HP Folio 9470m

With the launch of Windows 8, there have been a slew of new ultrabook and lightweight laptops that appeared. However for a Developer or IT Professional, these laptops are typically useless.


An ultrabook will typically have

  • a very small form factor – thin (<2cm height) and light (< 2kg)
  • Unconfigurable, and parts such as hard disks and ram are not easily replaceable
  • Quite low specifications – 4GB ram, 128GB SSD
  • Non standard ports, typically require external adapters to plug into LAN or VGA projection
  • Long battery life

On the other hand, a laptop can be the complete opposite of an ultrabook i.e

  • decent form factor, weight varies anywhere from 1.2 to 3kg or more
  • Highly configurable
  • Specifications can be customized, though typically the higher the specification the higher the cost as well as the weight
  • Standard ports for VGA and LAN is usually present, typically a lot more ports compared to an ultrabook
  • Decent battery life

I’ve been searching for quite a while for a high specifications laptop which has a small form factor and is light as well as having a backlit keyboard. Yes it sounds very much like a macbook pro and that is actually the kind of hardware that I was trying to replicate with hardware from windows OEM partners.


Finally in late 2012, I finally found it, the HP Folio 9470m!


The specifications found at HP site is inline with what I was looking for, and the best part is that it comes with an external battery to bring it up to 21 hours of usage, a built in 3G/4G modem and a fantastic warranty plan!




Category Specifications Comments
CPU Intel I5 to I7 Standard low voltage Ivy Bridge Intel CPU
Ram Up to 16GB 16GB of ram, definitely able to run almost all my development and VM workloads, user replaceable too!
Hard Disk 7200RPM 320GB to 500GBSSD 128GB to 240GB


Self encrypting drive options available

Decent hard disk options. However what I like is that its user replaceable, as long as it fits the SATA port and has 7mm heightThere are 2 ports actually, a SATA and a mSATA port, so you can in essence have a 256GB mSATA SSD and a 1TB SATA 7200 RPM HDD. No need to worry about replacing a DVD drive just to get another slot for storage
Screen Size 14” LCD (1366×768)14” HD (1600×900) option available This seems to be a sweet spot, any smaller it becomes harder to do any form of decent development, any bigger makes it hard to carry around
Graphics Built-in Intel Graphics This is a laptop, games have long ago been delegated to my tablet
Ports/ Expansions 2xUSB 3.0
1xUSB 3.0 charging
1x Display Port 1.1a
1xcombo headphone/mic jackWebcam
I like the fact that USB 2 has been totally phased out and its using all USB 3 ports.
Update: The charging port is able to charge an IPAD too!Also the presence of full VGA and RJ45 ports are definitely a plus. No need to carry extra wires for those and increase my risk of losing them
Keyboard Spill resistant backlit keyboard with 2 settings Definitely a plus, especially when working in dim areas. 2 settings works well too, sometimes I just need a bit of light
Pointing device Glass touchpad
Point stick
Dual pointing options for those that can’t figure what they want to use
Communications 10/100/1000 NICMultiple WIFI options from Intel, Atheros, Broadcom

3G/4G mobile broadband

The built in 3G/4G mobile broadband option is definitely a very big plus, no need to carry a dongle anymore!Update: for Singapore, only the 3G mode is available and its in a full sized sim form factor
Battery Replaceable battery (10 hours)External battery (21 hours) Internal battery sounds great, but having the option of external battery and a 21 hours runtime, definitely allows me to get thru any single day without chargingDo note that as you increase the specs of the machine, battery life will drop accordingly
Security Drive Encryption
Pre Boot Security
Face Recognition
Smart Card Reader
Fingerprint sensor
Whole bunch of security features for the security conscious
Warranty 1-> 3 years standard warrantyOptions
– Travel
– Accident
The options are really great, take a look at the Accidental Damage Protection plan
Dimensions 13.3 x 9.09 x 0.75 in (33.8 x 23.1 x 1.89 cm) Decent dimensions, although not as thin as ultrabook, for the available ports, it’s a good compromise
Weight Starting at 1.61kg Again not ultrabook spec, but light enough


From the specifications,  i would highly recommend this machine for anyone looking for a workhorse and yet is really mobile enough with decent battery life (kind of what everyone is aiming for)

Rating: 4.5/5


I bought one of these from HP in December 2012, stay tuned for my hands on review of the unit!

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