Ars Technica Reviews HP’s EliteBook Folio G1

The review is titled “HP’s EliteBook Folio G1 is the MacBook as it could’ve been“.

That’s not true of the 4K version of the laptop, which loses more than three hours of battery life in our test exclusively because of the screen (almost all the other components, including the CPU, were identical across models). It’s a very pretty display, but it might also be the difference between having a laptop that lasts all day on a cross-country flight and one that dies before you can get to the hotel.

Thin and light, fewer compromises

In some ways, the EliteBook Folio G1 feels like the MacBook that could’ve been, had Apple’s priorities been shuffled around just a little bit. It’s almost as small, almost as thin, and almost as light, but it’s got a keyboard that most of you will already be used to and a second USB Type-C port for added versatility. Those USB Type-C ports also provide Thunderbolt 3 support, so you have more bandwidth for external accessories if you want it. Apple’s laptop is better designed (and if you prefer OS X to Windows, it’s all moot anyway), but HP’s is perhaps more attuned to what current buyers (especially power users) want and need.

Neglecting to include battery life and screen quality alongside the other compromises is disingenuous.

Both HP and Apple are making sacrifices in order to be as thin and light as possible, and while their differing priorities are interesting, the results aren’t surprising. The HP has more/better ports while sacrificing either screen quality or battery life. The MacBook infamously only has one port, but offers a great screen and long battery life.

Hardware-wise, HP is selling you a thinner and lighter PC with the compromises and benefits of a PC, and Apple is selling you a Mac with the compromises and benefits of an iPad.

I have never been so onboard with the MacBook as I am after reading this review.