Announced last year as an effort to bolster notebook sales amidst tablet fever, Intel's ultrabook initiative is well underway with no less than a dozen machines vying to be your new companion -- some more effectively than others.
There are only so many people willing to spend $1,300+ on a finger-thick machine, and many of them are already loyal Apple customers. The reality is, the average consumer wants to believe they're buying a premium product, but they don't necessarily want to pay premium prices. It's a tough nut to crack and most PC makers have failed when it comes to ultrathin notebooks, whether by charging too much or cutting too many corners.
Striking a balance between both extremes, HP's Folio 13 kicks off at an attractive $900 while packing the same core componentry you'll find in even the priciest of ultrabooks. The system has been available for a couple of months so our review isn't particularly timely, but after purchasing a unit a few weeks ago we thought it deserved attention considering how many system makers have gotten the formula wrong, despite Intel's guidance.
The 13-inch MacBook Air models get a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-2637M processor, 4GB of RAM, and either 128GB or 256GB of flash storage for $1,299 or $1,599, respectively. Configure to order options include a 1.8 GHz Core i7-2677M processor and additional flash storage, but unfortunately no discrete graphics, only the built-in HD 3000 from Intel.
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