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
SD/MMC Reader
Docking port
Left Side AC adaptor
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
Extras Webcam
mSATA slot
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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  • Voldenuit - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Of course, things being what they are, HP only includes a 1366x768 TN panel display in the basic model of the 9470m

    I stopped reading right there. Can we put sentences like these in the first line or title of all future mobile reviews?
  • speculatrix - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    Shame that anandtech spent so much time reviewing this. I never got beyond the screen spec.. in fact I skipped as much of the article as possible to get to screen spec first.
  • Mumrik - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    Yup. I noticed the trackpoint and got interested. The I saw the resolution and just jumped, and skimmed, the conclusion.
  • speculatrix - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    Now that you can fly replace a desktop computer with a laptop/notebook computer and not compromise on performance, storage, memory or GPU, the only real differentiator is screen quality and build quality.

    Whenever I see a laptop review here the first thing I look for its the screen resolution and type. This means that this HP will never be considered for my next laptop replacement due in 4 months.
  • Stephen Owen - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    This is a beautiful laptop with every other feature you would want. To scimp so badly on the literally feature which integrates the user with the computer (The flipping screen!!) is penny-pinching shortsightedness as bad as I've ever seen.

    This thing looks wonderful and exudes desirability. Until you turn it on. Ten seconds with the screen and you know it was hamstrung by someone's red ink.
  • frostyfiredude - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    1300$ for a 1366x768 TN with 159:1 contrast ratio. That's embarrassing. Does HP no long have standards? 199$ netbooks had better displays.
  • mayankleoboy1 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Didnt Intel specify that for a Notebook to be labelled as an Ultrabook, it had to have 1080P display ?
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I wish! Maybe in the Haswell (3rd Gen Ultrabook) we can get that? Doubtful, though -- and really, I'm not sure we'd even see it in the generation after that. Honestly, until Windows can handle DPI scaling perfectly, I don't see it happening. Windows 8 skirts the issue by doing well on the new Windows 8 UI and Apps, but not on desktop apps.
  • jabber - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Time to just send those poor screen machines straight back Jarred.
  • James5mith - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    No, Intel's new requirement is that Ultrabooks have touchscreens. Nothing about resolution sadly. Also, as a side rant: Why can we get 1080p panels on 13" laptops, and 15" laptops, but 14" laptops only come with 1600x900 as the max resolution?

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