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HP EliteBook Folio 1020: a MacBook in Windows clothing?

Windows fans who love the MacBook look may be interested in HP's latest laptop offering

HP has unveiled a svelte new laptop – the HP Elitebook Folio 1020 – that bears more than a passing resemblance to Apple’s MacBook Air. The new laptop has a magnesium case and the familiar, black Scrabble-tile keyboard that’s found on Apple’s lightweight laptop. The only clear indication that this hasn’t fallen off the drawing board in Cupertino is the bold HP logo on the back of the Folio.  

The 12.5in laptop comes in two varieties, the lighter of which – the HP Elitebook Folio 1020 SE – actually weighs less than the 11.6in version of the MacBook Air, at only 1kg.  Both laptops measure just 15.7mm, according to HP, although it’s not clear whether that’s just at their thinnest point. The design appears to taper to a point at the front.

The Folio 1020 has a 12.5in Full HD display as standard, although that can be upgraded to Quad HD (2,560 x 1,440) or a touchscreen at either resolution. The SE edition doesn’t have a touchscreen option, but it comes with a Quad HD resolution as standard.

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HP has designed the laptop for business users, claiming it offers up to nine hours of battery life, a “near-silent” fanless design, and that it passes military-grade testing for drops, shocks and extreme temperatures. The laptops also sport a fingerprint reader and a Trusted Platform Module. 

The inclusion of Intel’s recently announced Core M processors has helped HP to shave a few millimetres off the Folio 1020’s case, but it will be sometime yet before we see these laptops on the shelves. The Folio 1020 is expected to be released in February, with the lighter SE edition arriving later in the spring. HP is keeping prices to itself for now, but you can comfortably expect these to be priced at the premium end of the market. 

HP will likely be showing off the Folio 1020 at January’s CES in Las Vegas, where it has a history of unveiling bold new laptop designs. The glass-covered HP Envy 14 Spectre wowed attendees at CES in 2012, but the stiffly priced Ultrabook didn’t prove a huge commerical success for the company. 

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