CES 2016: HP Inc unveils latest-generation slimline EliteBooks

HP's latest business-class notebooks, headed by the 12.5-inch EliteBook Folio, major on elegant but durable design and collaboration features.

The BYOD trend in recent years has been a wake-up call for manufacturers of business notebooks, who have realised that uninspired corporate-issue laptops will often be circumvented by employees in favour of more compelling devices. HP Inc's new EliteBook Folio G1 is a prime example. According to the company, this slim, elegant, aluminium-chassis 12.5-inch notebook brings "premium consumer design into a commercial-grade device". The aim is to combine consumer-level credibility and usability with IT-friendly security, reliability and manageability.

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HP's 12.5-inch EliteBook Folio is the company's thinnest business-class notebook so far, at 12.4mm thick.

Image: HP Inc

Built around an all-aluminium CNC-cut chassis, the EliteBook Folio measures just 12.4mm thick and weighs less than a kilogram, making it HP's sleekest business-class notebook to date. The metal chassis isn't just for show: all EliteBooks are designed to pass military-grade (MIL-STD 810G) ruggedness testing.

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The screen opens to 180 degrees on its 'piano hinge'. There are two USB-C ports on the right-hand edge.

Image: HP Inc

The 12.5in. screen's 180-degree 'piano hinge' allows the Folio to open flat on a desk, but there's no multi-mode capability as seen in 360-degree-hinged devices. The edge-to-edge glass display comes in full-HD non-touch, full-HD touch and 4k (UHD) variants, the latter offering an impressive 352ppi pixel density and supporting 95 percent of the Adobe RGB colour gamut.

CNET hands-on: HP's EliteBook Folio G1 may be the pro-level 12-inch laptop you've been looking for

The EliteBook Folio, which comes with Windows 10 Pro, uses Intel's 6th-generation Core-M vPro processors, whose low power consumption allows fanless operation and helps towards a claimed battery life of 10 hours.

Connections are minimal, but bang up to date, in the shape of two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support. An optional USB-C Travel Dock will be available closer to the Folio's launch in March, providing extra ports.

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The EliteBook Folio's Bang & Olufsen-tuned audio subsystem allows the notebook to be used as a group speakerphone.

Image: HP Inc

HP is keen to stress the EliteBook Folio's collaboration credentials, which include dual array microphones with noise-cancelling software and a Bang & Olufsen-tuned 4-speaker system that allows the notebook to be used as a group speakerphone. According to HP, the Folio's speakers deliver 40 percent more loudness than previous business-class devices. There are also dedicated collaboration keys -- including call mute/unmute and a calendar key -- on the HP Premium Keyboard.

Security features include HP's Client Security Software Suite, certified TPM, HP SureStart (BIOS-level protection) and an optional fingerprint reader. Manageability tools available from HP include TouchPoint Manager (featuring software inventory and deployment, plus patch management) and Image Assistant (custom image diagnostics, with a self-help dashboard).

The HP EliteBook Folio is expected to be available in the UK from March starting at €999 (about £733).

EliteBook 1040 G3 & 800 G3 series

The flagship EliteBook Folio is joined by two updated EliteBooks: the 14-inch 1040 G3 and the 800 G3 series, which comes in 12.5-inch, 14-inch and 15.6-inch sizes. While the EliteBook 1040 G3 uses the same all-aluminium chassis design as the Folio, the 800 G3 series uses a new silver magnesium and aluminium body.

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The 14-inch HP EliteBook 1040 G3.

Image: HP Inc
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The 14-inch HP EliteBook 800 G3. Screen sizes at 12.5in. and 15.6in. are also available in this series.

Image: HP Inc

The EliteBook 1040 and EliteBook 800 series come with Windows 10 Pro, run on 6th-generation Intel Core vPro processors, and are expected to be available in the UK in January starting at £1,000 and £800 respectively.

See also

HP redesigns its second-generation Elite x2 detachable