Introducing the HP EliteBook Folio 9470m

Something funny happened when a lot of us weren't really paying attention last year: Intel's nascent "ultrabook" specification and definition quietly expanded and, in the process, sort of redefined what a notebook was. In their own circular way, Intel created a brand and changed the way notebooks were built (with ULV Ivy Bridge leading the way); I'm sure it's no coincidence that this trademarked product name has only squeezed AMD further. Ultrabooks that were 14" and larger weren't as rigidly confined by the definition as ones below that threshold, but they're still smaller creatures than the notebooks of old.

If you haven't been paying attention, thin is in. That's great for the consumer space, where certain enterprise level accoutrements aren't as important, but in enterprise, there are features that are more heavily demanded. It goes beyond the basic mil-spec testing: users want true docking stations and longer battery life. And IT departments demand user serviceability. When you're trying to develop a thin chassis, finding some way to include these features can complicate things. HP seems to think they've gotten the balance right with their EliteBook Folio 9470m.

HP EliteBook Folio 9470m Specifications
Processor Intel Core i5-3427U
(2x1.8GHz + HTT, Turbo to 2.8GHz, 22nm, 3MB L3, 17W)
Chipset Intel QM77
Memory 1x4GB Hynix DDR3-1600
Graphics Intel HD 4000 Graphics
(16 EUs, up to 1.15GHz)
Display 14" LED Matte 16:9 1366x768
AU Optronics AUO253C
Hard Drive(s) 180GB Intel 520 SATA 6Gbps SSD
Optical Drive -
Networking Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
Intel 82579LM Gigabit Ethernet
Audio IDT 92HD91BXX HD Audio
Stereo speakers
Single combination mic/headphone jack
Battery Long Life 4-Cell, 14.8V, 52Wh (integrated)
Front Side -
Right Side 2x USB 3.0
DisplayPort
SD/MMC Reader
VGA
Docking port
Ethernet
Left Side AC adaptor
Vent
USB 3.0 charging port
Mic/headphone combo jack
SmartCard reader
Back Side -
Operating System Windows 8 Pro 64-bit
Dimensions 13.3" x 9.09" x 0.75"
338mm x 231mm x 18.9mm
Weight 3.6 lbs
1.63kg
Extras Webcam
SSD
mSATA slot
Bluetooth
Backlit keyboard
SmartCard reader
Fingerprint reader
Optional 60Wh slice battery
Optional docking station
Optional WWAN
Warranty 3-year limited
Pricing Starts at $1,349
As configured: $1,349

Despite the overall larger chassis, HP has opted to stick with ULV Ivy Bridge with the Intel Core i5-3427U. The 3427U is similar to the newer 3337U, but has an extra 100MHz on the turbo clocks and another 50MHz on the GPU. This enterprise class notebook makes a very interesting counterpoint to Dell's own XPS 13, reviewed here recently; Dell's XPS notebooks are essentially designed to bridge the gap between consumer and enterprise laptops.

The Folio 9470m sports two user-accessible DIMM ports, but HP only populates one with a paltry 4GB of DDR3-1600, typical of the traditional enterprise tax. Thankfully there's a 180GB Intel SSD standard, as well as room to add an mSATA SSD later. There's also a WWAN slot included, the battery is removable, and HP continues to include a SmartCard reader.

Of course, things being what they are, HP only includes a 1366x768 TN panel display in the basic model of the 9470m and I don't have to tell you that it's spectacularly crappy, even by bad notebook display standards. It's hard to believe in 2013 that I can have 1280x720 on my 4" smartphone, but HP can't somehow do better than that in a stock notebook configuration. Thankfully the 9470m can be ordered with a 1600x900 panel, but that's still a far cry from the 1080p IPS goodness being found on many consumer notebooks.

In and Around the HP EliteBook Folio 9470m
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  • JDG1980 - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    Windows 7 already does DPI scaling quite well. Some apps do manage to screw it up, but that's really unavoidable unless you are going to force a walled garden. All the normal stuff that people use on a regular basis works fine at high DPI settings. Reply
  • nerd1 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    $1349, 1.63kg and 1366*768 screen?
    I always thought rMBP 13" are overpriced, but it seems to have better value than this one...
    Reply
  • VivekGowri - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Actually, after the price drop to $1499 ($1399 with student discount) the rMBP13 is a pretty decent value - an equivalent MBA13 costs $1299, you pay $200 more for the rMBP13 and get a vastly better screen, more ports, and faster CPU/IGP. The only ultrabook I could even think about recommending over it is the Zenbook Prime and ZBP Touch, because they play in lower price ranges. Reply
  • nerd1 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Personally I think samsung series 9 is the best ultrabook out there, which is 1/2lbs lighter than other ultrabooks, looks gorgeous and packs a good matte PLS display. It's quite affordable too (I remember $800-900 deal for sandy bridge models... which are still pretty good)

    That said, I just found out that one reseller now sells 13" rMBP at $1299!! This makes the 13" rMBP ironically the best value ultraportable (including ultrabooks) out there. :[
    Reply
  • meacupla - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Or how about a surface pro 128GB ($1000) with wedge keyboard ($50) and razer orochi mouse ($60)? Reply
  • ananduser - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Vivek...the rmbp13" does not have vPro, nor any other mac. That's before we get into the fact that it also lags under normal usage. You also forgot to add the Windows8 Pro cost, which is almost 300$; Windows8 Pro and Intel vPro are pretty standard requirements in this sector. Reply
  • Penti - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    Nah, volume license upgrade covers the mac. vPro/AMT is obviously why we have machines like this HP. Reply
  • jonup - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I just grabbed 3 Vizio CT15s for $600. I think that is better value than anything you mentioned including the MBP. Even at regular price <$900 this thing is a still. 15.6" 1080p IPS is just gorgeous. It has its shortcomings and the connectivity sucks, but with all the money saved I can purchase Bluetooth peripherals and call it the day. Reply
  • Penti - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    So it supports 2 SODIMMs in dual-channel, HD+ screen as well as mSATA SSDs and docking station? It shouldn't be so lackluster but HP's always seem a bit tricky to get customized. Might not be an issue if your an large customer though, but for everyone else it might be difficult.

    One question though, does it support two screens / monitors using the two DP-outputs that the combination with the ultraslim dock gives you?
    Reply
  • biostud - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    HP has Probooks and Elitebooks for business. If their naming scheme should make any sense, probooks should be average consumer notebook with business build and support. The Elitebooks should be the best money can buy, no compromises. When HP dropped the IPS screen on the Elitebooks, they stopped being Elitebooks.

    -written on a hp probook 6360b
    Reply

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