Introducing the HP EliteBook Folio 9470m

Something funny happened when a lot of us weren't really paying attention last year: Intel's nascent "ultrabook" specification and definition quietly expanded and, in the process, sort of redefined what a notebook was. In their own circular way, Intel created a brand and changed the way notebooks were built (with ULV Ivy Bridge leading the way); I'm sure it's no coincidence that this trademarked product name has only squeezed AMD further. Ultrabooks that were 14" and larger weren't as rigidly confined by the definition as ones below that threshold, but they're still smaller creatures than the notebooks of old.

If you haven't been paying attention, thin is in. That's great for the consumer space, where certain enterprise level accoutrements aren't as important, but in enterprise, there are features that are more heavily demanded. It goes beyond the basic mil-spec testing: users want true docking stations and longer battery life. And IT departments demand user serviceability. When you're trying to develop a thin chassis, finding some way to include these features can complicate things. HP seems to think they've gotten the balance right with their EliteBook Folio 9470m.

HP EliteBook Folio 9470m Specifications
Processor Intel Core i5-3427U
(2x1.8GHz + HTT, Turbo to 2.8GHz, 22nm, 3MB L3, 17W)
Chipset Intel QM77
Memory 1x4GB Hynix DDR3-1600
Graphics Intel HD 4000 Graphics
(16 EUs, up to 1.15GHz)
Display 14" LED Matte 16:9 1366x768
AU Optronics AUO253C
Hard Drive(s) 180GB Intel 520 SATA 6Gbps SSD
Optical Drive -
Networking Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
Intel 82579LM Gigabit Ethernet
Audio IDT 92HD91BXX HD Audio
Stereo speakers
Single combination mic/headphone jack
Battery Long Life 4-Cell, 14.8V, 52Wh (integrated)
Front Side -
Right Side 2x USB 3.0
DisplayPort
SD/MMC Reader
VGA
Docking port
Ethernet
Left Side AC adaptor
Vent
USB 3.0 charging port
Mic/headphone combo jack
SmartCard reader
Back Side -
Operating System Windows 8 Pro 64-bit
Dimensions 13.3" x 9.09" x 0.75"
338mm x 231mm x 18.9mm
Weight 3.6 lbs
1.63kg
Extras Webcam
SSD
mSATA slot
Bluetooth
Backlit keyboard
SmartCard reader
Fingerprint reader
Optional 60Wh slice battery
Optional docking station
Optional WWAN
Warranty 3-year limited
Pricing Starts at $1,349
As configured: $1,349

Despite the overall larger chassis, HP has opted to stick with ULV Ivy Bridge with the Intel Core i5-3427U. The 3427U is similar to the newer 3337U, but has an extra 100MHz on the turbo clocks and another 50MHz on the GPU. This enterprise class notebook makes a very interesting counterpoint to Dell's own XPS 13, reviewed here recently; Dell's XPS notebooks are essentially designed to bridge the gap between consumer and enterprise laptops.

The Folio 9470m sports two user-accessible DIMM ports, but HP only populates one with a paltry 4GB of DDR3-1600, typical of the traditional enterprise tax. Thankfully there's a 180GB Intel SSD standard, as well as room to add an mSATA SSD later. There's also a WWAN slot included, the battery is removable, and HP continues to include a SmartCard reader.

Of course, things being what they are, HP only includes a 1366x768 TN panel display in the basic model of the 9470m and I don't have to tell you that it's spectacularly crappy, even by bad notebook display standards. It's hard to believe in 2013 that I can have 1280x720 on my 4" smartphone, but HP can't somehow do better than that in a stock notebook configuration. Thankfully the 9470m can be ordered with a 1600x900 panel, but that's still a far cry from the 1080p IPS goodness being found on many consumer notebooks.

In and Around the HP EliteBook Folio 9470m
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  • juampavalverde - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    The thing is: a 1300 usd ultrabook with that screen? go home hp. People, please, refuse to buy this, refuse to review it, sent this company back to the design board, this cant posible, c'mon, a thinkpad t60 from something like 8 years ago had a 1400x1050 display on 14" and this "premium enterprise laptop" just hd and 1600x900 as an option... goddamit Reply
  • meacupla - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    It's also kinda big and heavy to be a proper "ultra"book.

    At first, I thought the photo was badly done, but I guess that's how crappy the screen really is on this thing.

    Did HP throw in the towel? They seem to not care that the competition, like asus, dell, MS offering some pretty damn good ultrabooks and convertibles for $900~1300?
    Reply
  • StrangerGuy - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    $1300 for a crappy 768p TN and a measly 1 year warranty.

    And Intel wonders why their darling isn't selling. Besides do people even want to pay premium prices for premium PCs to begin with? The ASP of ~$400 suggests not.
    Reply
  • Silma - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    PC manufacturers cry themselves to sleep over low demand and tight margins and market shares lost to tablet but after years of crisis they are still incapable of assembling a decent PC, still thinking that choosing super bad parts such as panels of outdated TN technology with ultra low resolution crappy colors and brightness is just the right thing to put in an overpriced "enterprise" super premium priced notebook.

    No Wonder customers are loosing faith.
    Reply
  • StrangerGuy - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't put all the blame on the OEMs, the whole industry is to blame for its own undoing. They thought they were innovating with oh-so-many Core whatever SKUs when in reality they are only selling Internet and Excel appliances that people only bought because there was no alternative.

    Then smartphones and tablets happened.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Your typical enterprise notebook is docked and using external displays 95% of the time; while still annoying when unlocked this is less of a problem than with a similar consumer model.

    On the price front, the docking port itself probably has at least $100 of soak the businessmen surcharge.
    Reply
  • cknobman - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    This laptop is a f_cking joke and disgrace. And Intel wonders why people are not jumping on the "ultrabook" bandwagon.

    Only thing ultra about this laptop is ultra"sh!tty".
    Reply
  • Stephen Owen - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    I disagree. Put a 1080p (or higher) IPS display on this thing and it would be a dream.

    Well, it IS exceptionally loud. I've got one next to my mammoth Latitude e6510. I literally can't hear my typing over the scream of its turbines. I think the laptop is about to begin hovering, in fact.
    Reply
  • bhima - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Agreed. I paid under $1000 for basically the same spec'd Samsung Series 9 (smaller hard drive, only 128gb) and it has a fantastic 1600x900 screen that is quite bright and the light is well distributed with good viewing angles plus its thinner than a razor's edge. Reply
  • tomrocksalot - Friday, February 21, 2014 - link

    Ah yes I was in the same situation... and I bought the 9470m... second hand admittedly and upgraded it.
    My HP has the following benefits over a series 9 (which I was otherwise going to buy)
    8GB ram, 256 SSD, 1600x900 display, 1TB hdd, loads of ports and other features the series 9 does not have. Screen is larger at 14",( is it a pro is it a con???)
    If I bought a series 9 I would be lugging around an external HDD and dongles which kills the whole size difference IMHO.
    Reply

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