HP EliteBook Folio 9470M review: An ultrasolid Ultrabook

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

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Typing on the backlit and recessed keyboard is comfortable, even if its tactile feedback is a bit muted and I kept hitting the nub mouse by mistake. This being a business-class Ultrabook, a smart-card slot, TPM, and fingerprint reader are all standard. HP includes software to quickly enroll the user's fingerprints, which can be used not only to secure Windows but the notebook's boot process as well.

Preloaded software is the bane of most any name-brand PC these days, but HP has managed not to crowd the system too badly. The most obvious add-ons are Evernote (which is actually relevant to business users!), some Intel hardware management tools, and HP's own Support Assistant, which provides quick-reference guides and fast access to system tools like the backup manager. Another HP-provided app, the SoftPaq Download Manager, deploys HP-specific updates to the system. It's clearly meant to be used either by IT admins or by users who know what they're doing.

Another inclusion is the CyberLink suite of media tools (Media Suite, PhotoDirector, PowerDVD). Including PowerDVD doesn't make a great deal of sense, given that the unit has no optical drive, but it works as a general all-purpose media player apart from CDs and DVDs. The other media-authoring tools in the suite are useful, too, especially in conjunction with the unit's built-in video camera or video piped in from another source.

The HP EliteBook Folio 9470M is a sleek, solid business-class machine. You'll miss the immediate convenience of a touchscreen, but the rest of the package more than makes up for it.

HP EliteBook Folio 9470M at a glance

PriceStarts at $1,349 MSRP (as tested)
ProcessorIntel Core i5-3427U @ 1.8GHz
Memory4GB of 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM
Storage180GB SATA 6Gbps SSD (as tested); 320/500GB 7,200-rpm hard drive, 500GB 7,200-rpm self-encrypting hard drive, 256GB SATA 6Gbps self-encrypting SSD, 256GB mSATA SSD also available
WeightStarts at 3.6 pounds
DimensionsHeight: 13.3 inches. Width: 9.09 inches. Depth: 0.75 inch.
Display14.0 inches @ 1,366 by 768 pixels
Battery4-cell (52 WHr) lithium-ion
Ports2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 3.0 powered, 1 DisplayPort 1.1a, 1 VGA, 1 combo stereo headphone/mic jack, 1 Ethernet, 1 SD/MMC slot, 1 smart card slot
Radios802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, wireless mobile broadband solutions also available
Touch UIMultitouch-enabled touchpad only
Management featuresTPM, HP ProtectTools, smart card reader, fingerprint reader, Intel Anti-Theft Technology, (Computrace subscription required), optional on-disk encryption
Sandra 2013 score4.16kPt

This article, "HP EliteBook Folio 9470M review: An ultrasolid Ultrabook," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in computer hardware and mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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