Display Quality

There are crappy, low resolution TN panel displays, and then there are panels that suck out loud. Jarred and I have been over this a million times, but sometimes you get a display that's bad even by bad standards. That's the stock display in the HP EliteBook Folio 9470m, and if you're interested in this notebook I sincerely urge you to consider buying a unit with the 1600x900 panel, which cannot possibly be as bad as the stock panel.

Don't believe me? See for yourself:

LCD Analysis - Contrast

LCD Analysis - White

LCD Analysis - Black

LCD Analysis - Delta E

LCD Analysis - Color Gamut

This is without a doubt one of the worst panels I've ever tested, and it's a testament to how obnoxiously cheap vendors behind the Windows PC market really are. It's difficult for me to be professional when I'm looking at a notebook that has a panel I would've judged poor even when I started writing reviews at AnandTech, before tablets with crisp IPS panels started proliferating in the marketplace. There's no excuse at all for this panel to even see the light of day except in a $300 budget junker, let alone in a notebook you're paying north of $1,300 for.

We bumped up our battery testing to start panel brightness at 200 nits instead of 100 nits; that means this notebook's battery life was tested with the backlight at its highest level. This is an ugly, ugly panel, and in 2013 there's simply no excuse for it. I've personally told reps at HP and other vendors that this isn't going to fly anymore, I know Jarred has as well, and Anand's even told manufacturers that this kind of penny-pinching will allow the burgeoning convertible tablet market to subsume the notebook market at large.

Battery Life

Speaking of battery testing, I was able to test the Folio 9470m with both its substantial 52Wh stock battery and its 60Wh extended slice battery. If ultrabooks can be relied upon for anything, it's producing excellent battery life, and that turned out to be true here despite the screen running effectively at maximum brightness.

Battery Life 2013 - Light

Battery Life 2013 - Medium

Battery Life 2013 - Heavy

Battery Life 2013 - Light Normalized

Battery Life 2013 - Medium Normalized

Battery Life 2013 - Heavy Normalized

As it turns out, the slice battery not only more than doubles the 9470m's already healthy battery running time, it actually improves the system's efficiency somewhat. For basic use, the 9470m can give you a healthy five hours at least. Add the slice battery, and suddenly you're good for roughly the whole day.

Heat and Noise

Battery life is good, but heat and noise are a bit less desirable.

The Folio 9470m's thermals are actually very good, but HP has clearly tuned the system to favor temperatures over acoustics. The result is that while it's impressively cool under load (sub-80C in an ultrabook is excellent), the fan spins up and produces a high-pitched whine. Under the circumstances I honestly favor tuning for silence over thermals; the XPS 13 proves that you can let the processor run a little toasty without that heat transferring too directly to the end user, and I'd prefer the 9470m took that tack.

That in mind, though, the cooling system is handled almost entirely through the side of the notebook as opposed to the bottom, which is greatly appreciated as it allows the 9470m to actually be used as a laptop.

System Performance Conclusion: This Just Isn't Okay Anymore
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • JDG1980 - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    Windows 7 already does DPI scaling quite well. Some apps do manage to screw it up, but that's really unavoidable unless you are going to force a walled garden. All the normal stuff that people use on a regular basis works fine at high DPI settings.
  • nerd1 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    $1349, 1.63kg and 1366*768 screen?
    I always thought rMBP 13" are overpriced, but it seems to have better value than this one...
  • VivekGowri - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Actually, after the price drop to $1499 ($1399 with student discount) the rMBP13 is a pretty decent value - an equivalent MBA13 costs $1299, you pay $200 more for the rMBP13 and get a vastly better screen, more ports, and faster CPU/IGP. The only ultrabook I could even think about recommending over it is the Zenbook Prime and ZBP Touch, because they play in lower price ranges.
  • nerd1 - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Personally I think samsung series 9 is the best ultrabook out there, which is 1/2lbs lighter than other ultrabooks, looks gorgeous and packs a good matte PLS display. It's quite affordable too (I remember $800-900 deal for sandy bridge models... which are still pretty good)

    That said, I just found out that one reseller now sells 13" rMBP at $1299!! This makes the 13" rMBP ironically the best value ultraportable (including ultrabooks) out there. :[
  • meacupla - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Or how about a surface pro 128GB ($1000) with wedge keyboard ($50) and razer orochi mouse ($60)?
  • ananduser - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Vivek...the rmbp13" does not have vPro, nor any other mac. That's before we get into the fact that it also lags under normal usage. You also forgot to add the Windows8 Pro cost, which is almost 300$; Windows8 Pro and Intel vPro are pretty standard requirements in this sector.
  • Penti - Saturday, March 30, 2013 - link

    Nah, volume license upgrade covers the mac. vPro/AMT is obviously why we have machines like this HP.
  • jonup - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I just grabbed 3 Vizio CT15s for $600. I think that is better value than anything you mentioned including the MBP. Even at regular price <$900 this thing is a still. 15.6" 1080p IPS is just gorgeous. It has its shortcomings and the connectivity sucks, but with all the money saved I can purchase Bluetooth peripherals and call it the day.
  • Penti - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    So it supports 2 SODIMMs in dual-channel, HD+ screen as well as mSATA SSDs and docking station? It shouldn't be so lackluster but HP's always seem a bit tricky to get customized. Might not be an issue if your an large customer though, but for everyone else it might be difficult.

    One question though, does it support two screens / monitors using the two DP-outputs that the combination with the ultraslim dock gives you?
  • biostud - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    HP has Probooks and Elitebooks for business. If their naming scheme should make any sense, probooks should be average consumer notebook with business build and support. The Elitebooks should be the best money can buy, no compromises. When HP dropped the IPS screen on the Elitebooks, they stopped being Elitebooks.

    -written on a hp probook 6360b

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now