HP EliteBook Folio 9470M review: An ultrasolid Ultrabook

HP's business-minded Windows 8 Ultrabook is sleek, sturdy, and smartly designed

Is it possible to ship a late-model laptop with Windows 8 as a preload (even if it's only an option along with Windows 7) and not include a touchscreen? Given that this HP Ultrabook is aimed mainly at business-class users, the answer appears to be yes.

PC manufacturers typically make up for the lack of a touchscreen these days with some other multitouch device. The EliteBook has a multitouch-enabled touchpad. It's equipped with two sets of buttons, above and below the pad. Swipe with two fingers to scroll; swipe from the sides to bring up the Charms bar and the Modern UI window switcher. The latter swipe gestures need to be done slowly to take effect, but that also makes them harder to trigger accidentally -- a complaint I've had with some other touchpad-driven Windows 8 machines. Tap in the top-left corner of the touchpad to disable it.

[ Check out these other Ultrabook reviews on InfoWorld: Dell Latitude 6430uAcer Aspire S7Acer Iconia W700Lenovo X1 CarbonDell XPS 12 | Stay ahead of advances in mobile technology with InfoWorld's Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]

We've seen many striking Ultrabook designs lately, many of them created to complement Windows 8's touch-centric nature. The EliteBook doesn't have anything like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga going on, but it's appealing and well put together. It's near the high end of its size and weight class (3.6 pounds), but sleek (0.75 inch thick) and smartly designed. There's certainly nothing rickety about the brushed-aluminum case or the cover hinge.

InfoWorld Scorecard
Build quality (20.0%)
Value (10.0%)
Performance (20.0%)
Security and management (20.0%)
Usability (30.0%)
Overall Score (100%)
HP EliteBook Folio 9470M 10.0 8.0 8.0 9.0 9.0 8.9
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