HP FOLIO 9470M: USER REVIEW
by Nick Kiprotich
For the past one year, I have been using the HP Folio 9470m Elitebook. Before buying it, I was using a DELL LATITUDE D830. A friend of mine had the EliteBook Folio. I admired its classy look, slimness, the performance, and its light weight. I was always borrowing my friend’s laptop to play games on it, mostly FIFA 16 since the game couldn’t play on mine. When I finally decided that enough was enough, I acquired it from a local store for $850. My friend had bought his from the same store. The keyboard of this Ultrabook has a backlight that makes it desirable for people like myself who enjoy working even through the dark.
BATTERY LIFE AND CHARGING
The battery normally takes three hours to charge fully. When it is fully charged, the battery runs for about six hours without the need for a recharge. This is usually the case when I am doing lightweight tasks such as reading a PDF or typing a project. However, when I am playing computer games such as FIFA, the battery life lasts between three to four hours. Sometimes when the battery is not fully charged, and I need to play a computer game, I prefer to remove the battery and connect the computer directly to the power source. This way, I don’t get to strain the battery through long charging hours. The EliteBook Folio’s battery is not integrated and thus can be easily detached.
PERFORMANCE AND DESIGN
This device is so light that you can carry it inside a folder without someone noticing. It weighs 3.6 pounds, which is approximately the weight of two 500-pages textbooks. On top of that, the laptop is enviably slim with a thickness of less than half an inch. Unless running several programs simultaneously, the laptop rarely heats up meaning you will never be bothered by the noise made by the cooling fan. The keys of the keyboard are very sensitive yet precise with each stroke, unlike most keyboards that require more force to press the keys. Being a person who does a lot of typing, I value this characteristic so much. The touchpad as well is responsive and the buttons easy to click. The combination of aesthetic design and efficient performance on the HP Folio is fascinating, to say the least.
STRENGTH AND DURABILITY
Initially, I had my doubts on the strength of this device, based on the assumption that the sleek appearance meant fragility. I am glad I was wrong. The HP Folio 9470m is robust and enduring. Ever since I started using it, I have never taken it for repair, despite minor accidents. Not a single keyboard button has detached, neither has any feature stopped working correctly. Apart from a few scratches on the cover, the device looks new. Nonetheless, I ought to take some credit for taking good care of it. The computer has hardly undergone a major test on its physical strength. I will, therefore, have to wait before rating it as “very strong.”
The EliteBook Folio has a 1.5 GHz, Intel core-i7 CPU, and a 4GB RAM. This perfectly suits my needs. Taking into consideration the internet speed, I stream live soccer on the Internet without lag. Furthermore, I sometimes run multiple tasks such as playing an audio or downloading some files in the background without noticing any delay. The 500 GB hard disk space allows me to store files and install multiple applications without worry. I have used just past half of that space. The HP Folio has an SSD-based hard drive. This further boosts the performance because it is a fast storage media.
The HP EliteBook Folio 9470m Ultrabook has four USB ports, an Ethernet port, a headset jack, and a VGA port. One of these USB ports is a power-share port. I charge my phone by connecting it to the laptop via a USB cable. In case you are wondering why I had to mention that, it is because the phone charges even when the laptop is off. When charging the phone, I can still connect two gamepads and have a port to spare. At times, I get bored using the touchpad, so I just plug in a mouse via the USB port. For a bigger display, I often connect my DELL monitor through the VGA port. I do not have cable internet, so I hardly use the Ethernet port to connect to the web. Nevertheless, the Ethernet port comes in handy whenever I need to transfer a large file from a friend’s computer.
The EliteBook Folio has a resolution of 1366*678 pixels. This is a low resolution for the hefty price tag. Though on most applications the display will look good, the challenge comes when I visit unresponsive websites. Since its screen is of limited height, I often find myself scrolling up and down to view the full height of images. The challenge is not limited to images only. Interacting with large excel files gives me an annoying scrolling task as well.
In certain environments, the EliteBook Folio suffers from the issue of low brightness. On normal conditions, the intensity is just sufficient for me. However, when using the laptop under extreme conditions such as outdoors during sunny days, I have to strain my eyes.
Still on the issue of display, viewing images or videos from the sides is almost impossible. The small size of the screen adds on to this limitation. Nevertheless, The EliteBook Folio can still accommodate a small group of people gathered behind the main user.
Location of the Speakers
Stereo speakers are located on the bottom side of the laptop. The result of this is that some sound is blocked by the surface onto which the laptop rests thus producing a low volume.
The HP Folio uses the integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000. Although this card is sufficient for moderate gamers and PC user, a serious gamer will be disappointed by the lack of a replaceable graphics card. I have considered installing an external graphics card myself.
I do not consider The EliteBook Folio cheap by any means, but this laptop is worth every cent. Its superb performance outweighs the limitations. My computer usage revolves around FIFA 16, Adobe Photoshop, MatLab and a few office applications, the likes of MS Word, Access and Excel. These heavyweight applications could not run on my previous laptop. The fact that these applications run on the EliteBook Folio without a hitch gives me no reason to murmur over the price tag. Moving files around from one drive partition to another partition or another PC takes a few minutes if not seconds. This is facilitated by the combination of a fast processor and a modern SSD hard drive.
I cannot fail to emphasize the value of its slim nature, sleek look, and light weight. Mine is Silver in color and closely resembles the MacBook Pro. I can carry less but still, do much. It is the kind of design that makes me proud when I carry the laptop around. The battery performance is only comparable to smartphones, taking a few hours to charge and lasting for several hours after charging.
This laptop is reliable and serves all my needs to satisfaction. Unless it breaks down, I have no plans of replacing it any soon.
OVERALL RATING: 7/10