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Product: EliteBook Folio 1040 G1
Company: HP
Website: http://www.hp.com
MSRP:
$1727
Review By: Robert Stein

When I saw the HP Elitebook Folio G1 Ultrabook carried by Senior Vice President of Business Personal Systems, Enrique Lores,  on stage at HP Discover in Barcelona last December I was awed at how sleek and sexy the new machine appeared to be. Then my jaw dropped when he let the device on stage without any concern. After he picked it up and it worked fine, I decided that this may be the perfect Ultrabook for the busy, travelling executive. Something thin enough to carry around without issue, rough enough withstand anything thrown its way, and powerful enough to be a versatile option to handle a myriad of tasks – the Elitebook Folio G1 Ultrabook was a major step in the right direction to convert more business users over to HP. I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to be able to review one, so I was excited when HP sent a unit my way for testing. Did the device live up to my high expectations? Read on to find out.

Specifications

Display

14" diagonal LED-backlit FHD anti-glare UWVA slim (1920 x 1080)

Processor

Intel® Core™ i5-4300U with Intel HD Graphics 4400 (1.9 GHz, 3 MB cache, 2 cores)

RAM

4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 SDRAM (1 x 4 GB)

Storage

256 GB mSATA SSD

Ports

 2 USB 3.0 (one charging), 1 Display Port 1.2, 1 Smart Card, 1 MicroSD, 1 Audio Combo Jack,

Network & Wireless

802.11a/b/g/n (2x2) WiFi and Bluetooth® 4.0 combo

Battery

45W Smart AC adapter
Battery type: 6-cell (42 WHr) Polymer Long Life

Battery Life: Up to 7 hours and 30 minutes

Dimensions & Weight

 Starting at 3.3 lb (Starting at 1.49 kg)
Dimensions (w x d x h): 13.31 x 9.19 x 0.63 in (33.8 x 23.35 x 1.59 cm)

Operating system

Windows 7 Professional preloaded (option for Windows 8.1 Pro)

Starting price

US $1,729 (as configured), Starting $1299

Setup & Installation

I received the Elitebook Folio G1 Ultrabook nicely packaged in a thin HP box, opened it up, plugged it in,  and setup was a breeze. It came with Windows 7 Pro installed by default, however HP provided a Windows 8.1 Installation DVD and accompanying instructions for people who were interested to upgrade. For the time being, I left it with Windows 7.

The machine includes a 45W AC Power Adapter. It is very small and light, however, I will say the power adapter heats up extremely hot while plugged in, though the computer did not heat up.

There are a variety of security features that are pre-installed. Starting up the HP Security software, the fingerprint reader was set up easily, along with the option to set an Encryption Key and auto-save it to Skydrive or another removable device. When I activated the FingerPrint reader, there was some lagging upon sign into Windows but after the 2nd restart it seemed a little better. Note: after I disabled the finger print reader the security software was still causing a 30 second day logging in. I had to go and disable the software and revert because to the standard Windows authentication method. Also, the security software prompts you by default if you wish to save your password each time you log in anywhere, and that can be annoying.

Additionally, other software is pre-installed such as PDF Complete, HP Connection Manager, and some Help & Support Software (user guide, etc.). Additionally, the Support Assistant is the HP Hub for everything related to the device. Futher, Microsoft Security Essentials was installed by default and I thought that was a nice touch.

Design

The design is quite impressive. Very thin (13.31 x 9.19 x .63 in) and light (starting at 3.3 pounds), it is easy to pack in to a briefcase and has very durable look and feel. Its’ titanium case has a luxury feel to it and the executive will have no reason to be shy about bringing the device out in business meetings! I feel the 14” LED back lit screen (1920 x 1080) screen is neither too big nor too small and is just right. At the top of the screen are a webcam (720p), light, and microphone. Additionally, there are two wireless antennas built into the top.

The keyboard is backlit as you type and the lights go off after a short period of time of dormancy. There is a power button (LED) in the upper left, a speaker across the top of the base, and a wireless button and mute button at the upper right. They toggle to yellow when pressed.

There is a new pressure sensitive trackpad called the ForcePad. It takes some getting used it since there are no buttons but it is decent. I am still not completely used to it but it will take some time, mainly in highlight text and dragging the cursor, etc. HP Includes a ForcePad User Guide. Here is an excerpt:

Clicking
The ForcePad detects when you apply pressure to it, so pressing on the TouchPad is like clicking a mouse button. To make an on-screen selection you can use the “click” function by applying pressure to your TouchPad. Press down with one finger anywhere on the TouchPad to perform a primary click. To perform a secondary click, press down with one finger in the lower right corner or with two fingers anywhere on the TouchPad.

Use the Volume Mixer in your system tray (speaker icon) to control the volume of the click sound.

Force Click Threshold slider
The amount of force needed to register a click can by adjusted by using the Force click threshold slider. To require more force to click, move the slider towards Maximum, to require less force, move it towards Minimum.

There is also a setting tool where you can change the settings as needed.  I highly suggest you adjust the settings to your liking.

Also worth mentioning are the variety of ports. On the left side there is a USB Charging Port (read: always on), Docking lock, Micro SD, and a Smart Card reader. The smart card reader shows they really made this for the enterprise user in mind. I am not sure how many people will use it – that space could have been better used by more USB ports or something. To keep the thinness, there are no ports on the backside. On the right, there are a docking connector, a displayPort 1.2, USB 3.0 port, headphone/microphone combo, and a spot that looks like could be another Micro SD port, but is filled in. On the quick reference guide, it says the port on the right is a MicroSD and the one on the left is “TBD”. In any case, there is no VGA port or HDMI which I think would be much more useful than a smart card read – I think missing those two ports are a negative. Also missing is an Ethernet port, but I feel that is less of a priority these days. The HP DisplayPort to HDMI converter is $19.00. Some users report receiving a VGA/Ethernet dongle with the system but I did not receive one.

One interesting detail is the HP EliteBook Folio 1040 passes MIL-STD 810G testing for drop, functional shock, vibration, dust, humidity, altitude, high and low temperature, and temperature shock. While I did not spill any water or drop the computer - this is nice to know in the back of your mind!

A full detailed specification:

  • Magnesium display enclosure, magnesium-reinforced chassis, wear-resistant platinum-colored HP DuraFinish, HP

  • DisplaySafe frame, HP DuraKeys, precision metal-alloy hinges, aluminum keyboard deck, and a ForcePad that enables multiple gestures and eliminates the need for repetitive motion and makes navigation easier • Choice of 4th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 and i5 with Turbo Boost Technology, as well as 4th Generation Intel Core i3 DualCore

  • Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4000

  • 14.0-inch diagonal HD or HD+* widescreen LED-backlit display

  • Choice of 256 GB Solid State Drive, 180 GB Solid State Drive, or 128 GB Solid State DriveOptional 32 GB mSATA M.2 Flash Cache module support for Intel Smart Response Technology. (Available only with standard non-SED hard drive).

  • Built-in docking for a desktop-like experienceDisplayPort 1.2 for high resolution support

  •  HD Audio with DTS Studio Sound™ optimized for high fidelity audio during video conferencing and web-based training

  • 6-cell (42 WHr) HP Long Life battery for battery life up to TBD hours

  • ForcePad™ that enables multiple gestures and eliminates the need for repetitive motion and makes navigation easier

  •  Integrated Smart Card Reader and optional fingerprint reader for strong security authentication

  •  HP Premier Image with Microsoft Security Essentials and without trialware

  • HP BIOSphere with HP Sure Start

  •  Flexible wireless connectivity options:

  • o Optional integrated wireless mobile broadband 3G and 4G/LTE support (no Win 8 support) o Integrated Intel® 802.11 a/b/g/n (2x2), Intel® 802.11 a/b/g/n (2x2) with Bluetooth® v4.0 Combo, or Intel®802.11 a/b/g/n (2x2) AC with Bluetooth® v4.0 Combo • Low halogen, ENERGY STAR qualified (with Microsoft OS) and EPEAT TBD registered in the U.S. (with Microsoft OS).

Some of the power Windows 8 users have requested the option for a Touch Screen, but I found it unnecessary. The computer is thinner and lighter than the competition (half pound lighter than the Dell Latitude e7440 and .2 in thinner than the Lenovo T440). The machine also has WWAN support for mobile broadband but I did not set that up.

Performance

The test unit I had included 4 GB of RAM (3.9 GB Usable), and an Intel Core i5-4300U CPU @ 1.9 GHz. The Windows Experience Index was a reasonable 5.2, with the lowest score coming from the GPU. For the average executive, it handled things like Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Professional, etc. very well. The wireless was responsive, and although the machine comes with BlueTooth 4.0, you cannot take advantage of it without Windows 8 installed. I like the fact that the computer comes with a NFC reader, keeping in line with HP’s NFC strategy. The battery lasted over 7.5 hours which is great for travelling. I thought the sound was clear and crisp, too. The screen was very bright with LED backlighting, and I thought the 1920 x 1080 resolution was great.

The Elitebook 1040 Folio G1 replaced my Dell Vostro V140 Laptop. The new machine is lighter, faster, and more durable and offers some additional features. It is about the same footprint though the HP is slightly taller.

PCMark score

3180.0

  • Video playback and transcoding / Video playback

    23.94871 fps

  • Video playback and transcoding / Video transcoding - downscaling

    3380.6753 kB/s

  • System storage - gaming / System storage - gaming

    15.8286 MB/s

  • Graphics - DirectX 9 / Graphics - DirectX 9

    13.28647 fps

  • Image manipulation / Image manipulation

    15.15317 Mpx/s

  • System storage - importing pictures / System storage - importing pictures

    26.861 MB/s

  • Web browsing and decrypting / Web browsing

    3.97255 pages/s

  • Web browsing and decrypting / Data decrypting

    69.58201 MB/s

  • System storage - Windows Defender / System storage - Windows Defender

    5.43546 MB/s

 

 

Final Comments

How It Grades

Setup: 95%
Features: 92%
Design: 100%
Display: 95%
Price/Value: 90%
Serviceability: 90%
Software: 90%
Overall: 93.1%

I think this computer is excellent for the business executive, especially in the Fortune 1000 enterprise environment. With features such as the smart card reader, and all of the security features, this will make the corporate CIO happy! However, for the small and medium sized business executive, I think having a VGA/Ethernet/HDMI or even an additional USB port would have been more useful. The design is sexy and reminiscent of the Macbook. I think the case material is rugged enough and the battery life is long enough for the road warrior. I think the Elitebook 1040 Folio G1 is a great intersection between style, size, and performance – providing the versatility any established executive needs. This computer provides great value compared to other HP laptops and competitors of the same size, and recommend it as a strong contender for a business laptop purchase.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 93.1%
Version Reviewed HP EliteBoo 1040 Folio G1 Laptop
Release Date Out Now
The Good Points
  • Design

  • Weight

  • Screen (Anti Glare)

  • Performance

The Bad Points
  • ForcePad takes some getting used to

  • Webcam better
     

  • Digital Persona software can be buggy
     

  • Missing Ports
     

  • Lack of Touch Screen (for some users) though it is optional

In The Box HP EliteBook 1040 Folio G1 Laptop
Power Cord
Recovery DVDs
Windows 7 DVD
Driver DVD
8.1 Pro Installation dVD
Similar Product Other EliteBook Models
Specifications

 

 

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