HP Elite Folio: A Complete Review
It’s rare that a laptop offers true innovation, but the HP Elite Folio does exactly that with showstopping results. This laptop combines what you love about your phone, tablet, and PC into one powerful package. It also transitions seamlessly from one mode to the next with its first-of-a-kind “pull forward” design.
The HP Elite Folio is HP’s first device with the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ compute platform. That’s an all-new standard for processing and connectivity that creates an exciting new family of machines called ACPC, short for “always connected PC.” The new platform zaps the need to look for hotspots, so your laptop is ready whenever you are.
Let’s take a look under the hood of this game-changing convertible laptop, from its astonishing 26 hours of video playback to its fun and flexible design in soft, durable vegan leather.
Always connected PC (ACPC)
An always-connected PC is a new class of laptop made possible by the Qualcomm Snapdragon compute platform. It gives your device up to 5G connectivity all the time, enabling quick bursts of work whenever the mood hits you and wherever you are, tied to zippy clock speeds of 3.1 GHz.
ACPC devices can take advantage of some mouthwatering accessories, too. See our guide to the best accessories for always-connected PCs.
What is the Qualcomm Snapdragon compute platform?
With up to 5G connectivity, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx gen 2 compute platform puts a super-fast smartphone-type modem in a productive laptop body. While we’re at it, we’ll toss in the functionality of your tablet, because the HP Elite Folio converts quickly and actually feels like a tablet when you convert it. This machine lets you ace a Zoom meeting, edit video, draw up a design (with the included pen), and binge-watch your favorite shows without breaking a sweat.
The term “revolutionary” gets tossed around too freely in tech circles, but this time the digital shoe fits. Bid a fond farewell to setting up your phone’s personal hotspot or asking the waiter for WiFi passwords for 5 minutes of portable grindstone. The HP Elite Folio is all about micromobility and quick bursts of work.
An integrated X55 modem serves up WiFi 6, 4G LTE, and 5G, along with Bluetooth to keep you and your data in touch no matter whether you’re in the upstairs bedroom or the Rocky Mountains.
Class of its own
Not content to stop with an already impressive ACPC platform, HP’s engineers gave the HP Elite Folio a totally new form factor. You’ve seen convertible laptops with detachable screens, or 2-in-1s that flip from laptop to tablet mode like the HP ENVY x360 or the HP EliteBook x360, but this is something totally new. The HP Elite Folio is a pull-forward 2-in-1, which is unprecedented.
World’s first pull-forward 2-in-1
A pull-forward 2-in-1 is a PC that switches from laptop to tablet to media mode in a quick, seamless transition. The device converts by pulling the bottom of the screen toward the user. A short pull puts it in tent mode for viewing and video calls. A slightly longer pull converts it to a tablet that covers the keyboard, with powerful magnets to snap it securely in place.
It’s also got a breathtaking, workflow-boosting design, with an integrated keyboard/trackpad and soft, durable vegan leather. The 90% recycled magnesium enclosure (by weight) looks good and feels good in the hand. This machine adapts to any work environment, too, with a quiet keyboard and fanless design.
The HP Elite Folio’s Instant-On HP Elite Slim Active Pen is always ready and always charged for natural sketching, markups, and editing. It comes packaged with the laptop, so there’s no guessing or searching for the best pen when you buy. There’s also a convenient magnetic charging cradle molded right into the laptop’s body to keep the pen ready for action. When you’re done, it snaps satisfyingly into the magnetized cradle.
Plus, picking up the pen automatically opens the app of your choice. (By default, it’s set to Microsoft Whiteboard.) So when inspiration comes knocking, you’re always prepared.
Media to the max
Today, our lives are all about the media, whether it’s remote conferencing at work or gaming and streaming at play. The HP Elite Folio answers the call, with astounding leaps forward in streaming and collaboration.
Up to 26 hours of video playback
For cozying up to the latest episode of Bridgerton or The Expanse, the HP Elite Folio’s battery handles up to an eye-popping 26 hours of video playback.
A teamwork powerhouse, the HP Elite Folio boasts a 76-degree field-of-view webcam to let you range around with freedom while you Zoom. Its dual mic array is perfect for one-on-one video chats, but it also grabs the room sound for when your conference-room meeting merges with another half a world away.
This device delivers room-filling, 4-speaker sound with premium Audio by Bang & Olufsen. It offers HP AI noise reduction so you don’t have to scramble for the mute button when the UPS driver puts the pups into defense mode. As a cherry on top, there’s an integrated privacy screen and HP privacy camera to keep your data under lock and key.
Packed with power
The jaw-dropping hits keep coming with the HP Elite Folio’s enhancements in memory, display, fast charging, super-fast processing speeds, and cornea-cuddling graphics. Take a stroll through the sizzling specs below to see what’s new.
Double-fast, power-saving memory
Work and play with up to 16GB of RAM (LPDDR4x soldered). That’s not just plain old vanilla RAM, but a new redesign that saves power while increasing your data throughput rate. LPDDR stands for “low power double data rate.” The extra battery life you’ll gain is where part of that whopping 26-hour max video playback comes from. Yet the 2x data speed will leave you feeling anything but low-powered.
HP’s designers knew the HP Elite Folio’s portability would pump up your micromobility. That means you’ll love slinging it around in backpacks, on vacations, or just hopping from the couch to the bedroom. So, we protect its WUXGA+ IPS LCD panel with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which is the toughest display glass out there. It survives 1.2-meter drops onto hard surfaces, with double the scratch performance of the already-tough aluminosilicate glass.
The HP Elite Folio’s display is also drop-dead gorgeous, with an expanded 88.3% screen-to-body ratio. It delivers a near edge-to-edge 3:2 touch screen, too, so when you get the itch to sketch, your pen and creative flair will know no limits. It's optimized for split-screen mode, too, because more of us today work in a two-window setup.
In case you’re muddy on what WUXGA+ means, it stands for widescreen ultra-extended graphics array, with more pixels and sharper image quality. The IPS part means it uses in-plane switching for the best color and viewing angle on the market.
Fast charge to 90% battery life
HP Fast Charge tech gives the HP Elite Folio up to a 90% charge in 90 minutes. If you don’t have that long, your battery can reach a 50% charge in just 30 minutes.
Powerful Kryo processor
The HP Elite Folio’s Qualcomm Kryo™ 495 CPU is the fastest ever for a Snapdragon. It’s an 8-core, 64-bit powerhouse that improves efficiency 60% over the previous generation chip. That massive power efficiency jump lets the HP Elite Folio last up to 2x as long as a traditional laptop, with up to a 50% boost in system performance vs the competition.
Even staunch graphics geeks will be pleased by the powerful, immersive graphics performance in the HP Elite Folio. The Qualcomm Adeno™ 690 GPU ramps up power efficiency by 60% too, with double the performance. You’ll stream, edit, create, and game faster, on less power, and in stunning 4K fidelity.
Two USB-C ports
With a pair of USB-C ports in the HP Elite Folio, you’ll send data at blazingly-fast speeds up to 10 Gbps. But you’ll also send power to light up your external display as well as any external hard drives and other peripherals.
Max security and manageability
The Qualcomm 8cx compute platform comes stocked with enterprise-grade security, with built-in password and logon protections. Even better, without the need for WiFi in the 4G and 5G models, you won’t worry about snoopers on open networks in hotels, airports, and coffee shops. The HP Elite Folio takes security a step further with its Windows Secured-Core PC status, focused on keeping you safe and swift throughout your day.
The HP Elite Folio is the first pull-forward, 2-in-1 laptop in the world, making it arguably the most functional laptop-tablet combo on the market. With a seamless transition between modes and the new Qualcomm Snapdragon compute platform, this device also packs in WiFi 6 and up to 5G connectivity. It merges the best of your phone, laptop, and tablet into one device, and its 90% recycled magnesium chassis and vegan leather hide add the finishing touch to create a stunning product.
About the Author: Tom Gerencer is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Tom is an ASJA journalist, career expert at Zety.com, and a regular contributor to Boys' Life and Scouting magazines. His work is featured in Costco Connection, FastCompany, and many more.