HP Folio lap­top

Has HP minced its lat­est con­vert­ible, or is ev­ery­one go­ing to lap up this leather­bound lap­top?

APC Australia - - Contents - Joel Burgess

With­out leather it would be im­pos­si­ble to tell a re­ally im­por­tant book from the lat­est Mills and Boon, we wouldn’t have any­where to store our money, we couldn’t hold up our trousers, we wouldn’t have chapps and if HP had its way, we wouldn’t have lap­tops ei­ther. So in­te­gral is the leather folio to the pro­fes­sional con­vert­ible that HP have cho­sen to lit­er­ally glue beef-skin to its lat­est 2-in-1. And while this may mean HP’s lat­est de­vice has to en­dure be­ing called names like the MeatBook, glu­ing your folio case to the lap­top isn’t al­ways as bad as it seems.

The Spec­tre Folio’s 13.3-inch touch­screen dis­play has a mag­net­i­cally mounted pivot point in the mid­dle of its back that al­lows you to use it as a tra­di­tional lap­top with a hinge, or flip it into a tablet. For most use cases this is a great con­vert­ible solution and there’s a lock­able dis­play plus track­pad po­si­tion that we could see get­ting a lot of use.

The Spec­tre Folio is the first de­vice we’ve tested with an eighth gen Y-se­ries CPU, which were an­nounced back in Au­gust of 2018. The hy­per-ef­fi­cient dual-core Core i7-8500Y CPU in the Spec­tre Folio is the fastest Am­ber Lake CPU avail­able, but it’s also pas­sively cooled — a fea­ture we imag­ine to be es­sen­tial for a PC that is wrapped in tanned ther­mal blan­kets. The vast ma­jor­ity of to­day’s pre­mium 2-in-1s use U pro­ces­sors which have tran­si­tioned to 4 cores over the last year, so pretty much any other 2018 con­vert­ible will of­fer roughly dou­ble the raw com­pute power of the Spec­tre Folio. This de­vice does punch above its weight in gen­eral home and work tasks by boost­ing to a speedy 4.1GHz over short pe­ri­ods, but it scores 45% less than a Len­ovo Yoga 920 with a quad core i7-8550U CPU in Geek­bench multi-core CPU tests. So it’s a lit­tle un­der­pow­ered.

This chip also takes a hit in the graph­ics depart­ment with the In­tel UHD Graph­ics 615 scor­ing be­tween 45 and 60% lower on 3DMark’s Time Spy when com­pared against sim­i­lar 2-in-1s with In­tel HD 620 GPUs. Then again, any­one af­ter a leather­bound lap­top prob­a­bly won’t be too dis­ap­pointed that it’s not ca­pa­ble of even the light­est video gam­ing.

The HP Spec­tre Folio is def­i­nitely priced as a pre­mium de­vice, start­ing at $2,799 for a Core i5-8200Y CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB PCIe SSD. The model tested here has a Core i7-8500Y, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD, land­ing at a painful $3,399, but you can go all the way up to a 1TB SSD if you have $3,799 to splash about.

The screen is a dull when sit­ting next to an ul­tra­book com­peti­tor like the Huawei MateBook X Pro — we ex­pect this has some­thing to do with the screen’s ther­mal con­straints when wear­ing leather — but it’s also only Ful­lHD, which is un­usual for any con­vert­ible that costs this much. The ul­tra ef­fi­cient CPU and dull screen com­bine to give a par­tic­u­larly long bat­tery life when watch­ing movies (HP claims up to 19 hours with a con­ser­va­tive screen bright­ness), but put it un­der any load (say PCMark 8’s Home ac­cel­er­ated bat­tery bench­mark) and bat­tery life drops back to 5 hours and 12 min­utes.


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