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!
|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
|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|
Pre Boot Security
Smart Card Reader
|Whole bunch of security features for the security conscious|
|Warranty||1-> 3 years standard warrantyOptions
|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)
I bought one of these from HP in December 2012, stay tuned for my hands on review of the unit!