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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  • Colin1497 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Does anyone actually pay list price for this stuff? When I was last involved in IT budgets, Dell used to give us pretty steep discounts on everything and we were a relatively small company. I'd guess that loyal HP customers pay $1000 or less for this $1300 laptop, or more likely, right around $1300 with all the upgrades you'd expect (screen, RAM, etc.) Reply
  • gostan - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    So, the razer edge with a 13x7 display @ 2k is an interesting beginning. the elitebook folio with a 13x7 display at 1.4k is not ok? Reply
  • marc1000 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    338mm x 231mm x 18.9 is not groundbreaking compared to 329mm x 226mm x 23.8-27.8mm, found on the LG P430 released 2 years ago with a Sandy Bridge CPU. sure it thinner, but it is not smaller in any other dimension. I guess the wheight would be more of an advance. It is a nice evolution though, it just has to happen to ALL notebooks, including the cheaper ones. Reply
  • darwinosx - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    It is ridiculous and ignorant to say Apple inflates their prices. Thats the sort of linkbait and immature comment I would expect to see on Engadget, not Anandtech. They have some custom components, much higher quality panels that they actually calibrate, and far superior service and support and quality control which costs money.
    You can buy a 13-inch retina display Macbook for as little as $1299. Show me a PC laptop that remotely approaches that. Plus you still have to use Microsoft's latest mediocrity of an OS.
    Reply
  • Asmodian - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Apple's margins are much higher than the industry norm. It costs them less to make their devices than they sell them for compared to other manufacturers. What else would you call it? Reply
  • scottish_usa - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    As a business consultant I've been a road warrior for the past 16 years or so and a good dependable laptop is key. I have had a couple of iterations of the HP EliteBook for the past two years and they are rock solid. Quiet, light, sturdy, reliable and with good battery life. I'd take a thinkpad over this if the option was there but compared to the lucklustre offerings of Dell this is a good work machine.

    As with most, I dock and use a large bright LCD panel at work. In meetings it's connected to a 1080p conference room projector. The built in panel only gets used if I am working remote or using it in transit.

    Specs don't tell you the full story and you don't really think a customer buying 1000 units pays full retail do you ?
    Reply
  • Little Elephant - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    My previous Fujitsu NOTEBOOK is lighter, cheaper, have a bigger volume of hard drive and not the less battery life than this "Ultrabook". What's wrong with hp's engineering? Reply
  • gamoniac - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I agree with the other readers. Why waste our time and bandwidth reviewing a laptop with 768P screen? Sorry, Dustin, but I skipped this article. Thanks for your time. Reply
  • bradcollins - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I have sold a handful of these to our business customers over the last 6 months and I completely agree with the review, the laptop is well put together and being an ultrabook with a dock is the main reason why we sell them. The feature I like the most is that they actually have buttons for the touchpads which actually work unlike the horrible clickpads most companies seem to use in Ultrabooks - maybe due to the overall depth of the notebook?

    We have just sold a 9470m with a 1600x900 screen, the 1366x768 screen is complete crap and when I saw the higher res panel get launched a few weeks ago I got quite excited. This one will be about the highest spec one can buy, an i7 3687u, 8gb ram, 256gb ssd (I assume it will be a micron) and of course the 1600x900 screen.

    The 1600x900 screen still has crappy viewing angles according to HP's specification sheet, so I don't expect I'll be amazed by it, but at least it will have a larger resolution
    Reply
  • The0ne - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Can't agree with you and others more on this subject. It's depressing and ludicrous to see laptops like these. This unit is 3.5+lbs, that's not an ultrabook. The screen is a real shame and anyone in their right mind shouldn't be buying this at all. This is one where I will agree to some boycotting via your wallet :) Reply

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