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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  • B3an - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Don't bother reviewing this junk in the future. It don't deserve the publicity.
  • chanman - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    Speaking of chiclet keyboards, I just took a look at Lenovo's website and... when did they roll out chiclets across all their model lines? Time ones was, only the near-consumer Edges and sub 12" ultraportables had them, but it looks like its standard now, even on their W-class mobile workstations
  • meacupla - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    about a year ago when all their older models were retired.

    Chiclet keys or not are really minor points compared to layout. Left side getting full keys or right side having an easy to hit enter and shift is way more important than chiclet or not.
  • JDG1980 - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    Agree with everyone else - at this price point, 1366x768 TN is an absolute deal-breaker, completely inexcusable. The *minimum* acceptable standard should be 1080p IPS. You can get away with a cheap panel on a $299 bargain-basement special, but they have no place in Ultrabooks.
  • lo2dk - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    useless display resolution is useless display resolution
  • antiocles - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    I work inside a certain company that uses exclusively HP notebooks for the employees. It amazes me how many people will, as the first thing they do on a new computer, drop the resolution down to ridiculously low levels with badly distorted text. They don't seem to be able to read larger text, and have grown used to the distortion. I cringe every time I see someone with a nice high res IPS screen on their mobile workstation running down at these resolutions.

    We all here agree that this screen is crap and worthless, but I know there are a surprisingly large number of workers in the enterprise market that look at a higher res screen as a downside... :-(
  • StrangerGuy - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    That's why bargain basement laptops keep selling, most users simply don't care and won't pay for quality.

    The real joke however is Intel thinks they can take those, put in a smaller form factor then jack up the price so much and expect to sell crazy numbers like iPhone 4 did.
  • danbi - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    Let's leave the crappy display alone, no one caring about the productivity of their workers will buy such when better are available.

    But one other thing continues to amaze me -- the obsession of those PC makers with proprietary docking solutions. Not only are they vendor proprietary, but they also change from model to model, even in the same generation! What is wrong with those people? Why not just stick to something like Thunderbolt and be done???

    No Thunderbolt docks available? Then, why wait? Just build ONE Thunderbolt dock for all of your notebooks and have the market.
  • abrar - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    is it possible to use a pen on this device ? (the display is touchable, right ?)
  • SteveLord - Sunday, March 31, 2013 - link

    Here's how you can tell most of those commenting do not work in an enterprise environment, much less any sort of IT. Every time a business laptop is reviewed, they immediately focus on screen resolution and never let go of it.

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