Hewlett-Packard took the wraps off a new ultra-thin notebook Wednesday that is squarely aimed at the company's enterprise
clients. Called the HP Folio 13, the new machine is designed to deliver the gamut of advanced capabilities to business
professionals while delivering as long as nine hours of operation from a battery charge.
The so-called Ultrabook product category, pioneered by Intel thorough its development of low-profile processor chips that consume substantially less power than their predecessors, will be a likely choice for businesses to offer to employees looking for a more consumer-centric experience, said IDC Executive Vice President Crawford Del Prete.
"We expect Ultrabooks will reignite interest in the small form factor PC category, and by 2015 expect 95 million Ultrabooks will be shipping worldwide annually," Del Prete said Wednesday.
Weighing 3.3 pounds, the ultra-slim HP Folio has a 13.3-inch high-definition display, a back-lit keyboard, a high-definition webcam and an array of ports, including Ethernet and USB 3.0. The new machine integrates the latest ultra-low-voltage Intel Core processors and a solid-state drive (SSD) with a maximum capacity of 128 GB.
Folio delivers cinematic-quality sound based on Dolby's advanced audio v2 technology. Also offered is an optional embedded security chip for protecting the user's confidential data, together with an optional dock for connecting HP's new Ultrabook to networking, video and audio peripherals stationed on a user's work or home desktop.
Folio 13 Features
The Folio's advanced form factor integrates CoolSense -- HP's technology for dynamically managing the machine's heat signature to deliver the optimum level of user comfort. Strategically placed vents and materials keep the laptop cool and direct the heat away from the user. Whether being used in a local cafe, conference room or on the user's main desktop, CoolSense automatically adapts to the local environment to maximize user comfort.
What's more, Folio 13 is designed to take full advantage of the touch capabilities featured in Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. "The HP imagepad supports 1, 2, and 3 finger gestures, providing precise and improved gesture responsiveness," the company said Wednesday.
Though the full specs for the new machine have not yet been released, HP said Wednesday that the Folio 13 integrates Intel's Rapid Start Technology, which enables the machine's system to get up and running faster -- even from the deepest sleep stage. This is a time-saving boon for professional users that also helps them conserve battery life.
The PC "wakes up almost instantly" providing "quick access to your data and applications," said Intel blogger Becky Emmett.
A Reinvigorated Strategy
Set for introduction Dec. 7 at a starting price of $900, HP's Folio 13 is an important element of the PC maker's reinvigorated strategy for continuing to grow its PC sales in the professional market segment -- both around the world and in the United States.
Despite the company's announcement that it was evaluating spinning off or selling its personal computing business -- a decision that HP's new CEO Meg Whitman aborted -- HP remained the world's leading PC maker with respect to unit shipments in this year's third quarter.
"HP grew faster than the industry average, and its market share reached 17.7 percent," Gartner's analysts said.
"Their shipment growth in the U.S. professional market was good," said Mika Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner. The announcement concerning HP's possible exit from the personal computing market "came in the middle of quarter, and lots of channel partners and users did not take immediate action."