With its smart logo, aluminium finish and tapered front edge, it looks more like a consumer Ultrabook than an office workhorse. The HP EliteBook Folio 1020 is a business laptop, and It has a good set of business characteristics jammed inside.


The EliteBook looks fantastic, but it is so clear HP’s designers have taken inspiration from the Apple MacBook Air. The tapered front edge, aluminium design and dark keyboard of the EliteBook are strikingly familiar. The fantastic design is paired with very good build quality. The screen may be slim, but there is barely any flex, and the base has similar strength.

Battery Life & Characteristics

That is some way short of the 50-Wh power packs inside the HP ZBook and Lenovo ThinkPad, even though those machines do have far more power-hungry components. Intel Core M’s proficiency amendments boost battery life, but there is only so much room inside the Folio’s tiny body, so HP has contained only a 4-cell 36-Wh battery.

To get a full day from the Folio, nonetheless, it is best to turn down the screen brightness or keep an eye on your power management.

HP has managed to squeeze some business characteristics into the Folio’s slim frame. The EliteBook Folio 1020 G1 contains virus protection and data encryption, and it adheres to several MIL-STD-810G tests another tick for build quality.

It is impressive technology, but it has its work cut out. The Lenovo ThinkPad has a Core i7 processor and faster incorporated graphics, and the HP ZBook’s an AMD FirePro graphics chipset. The EliteBook’s three-year warranty matches that of its rivals. As usual, more protection can be added, with care packs and longer deals available.

Sound & Screen Quality

The speaker grille above the keyboard is underwhelming. The middle-range is fine, and there is no sign of tinniness at the top-end, but there is scarcely any bass, which means there is no depth to music and movies.

The average Delta E of 2.5 is better than the Lenovo ThinkPad, and its 92.6% sRGB coverage level is one of the best we have seen from a laptop. Little disappointing here is color temperature at 7,823K, it is far too cool. The Folio’s 12.5in panel has a 2560×1440 res. This matches the Lenovo’s res and is better than the 1080p screen used in the HP ZBook.


The Folio is spectacularly stylish, but it is a machine for people with more money than sense.