Conclusion: This Just Isn't Okay Anymore

Whenever I ask a vendor what the resolution of the notebook they're releasing is, the reply of "1366x768" is always tinged with either sheepishness or defiance. I'm reasonably certain that somewhere in the bowels of the HPs and Dells of the world there's a product designer who just knows that some bean counter is going to hamstring his or her beautiful design with a dismally low quality display just to save a few bucks per unit. The race to the bottom was good for democratizing technology, but that time has passed, and Apple's success should be ringing a clear indicator to these vendors: people want quality, and they're willing to pay for it. You won't ever be able to compete with Apple at their price points (as the first generation of Android tablets proved), but if you can deliver something comparable with a good display at a lower price (not hard given how much Apple inflates their prices), people will go for it.

How is this relevant to enterprise? Because despite the fact that the MacBook Pro offers virtually no allowances for business class use, it's still gaining a foothold. People are taking hits to serviceability and ease of administration solely to get a better product, and when you look at a unit like the HP EliteBook Folio 9470m, it's not too difficult to see how such a thing might happen.

The price tag for the 9470m isn't that bad for an enterprise notebook. $1,349 should get you more than 4GB of RAM, but HP did at least spring for a high quality SSD in the Intel 520. You get vPro, you get near-total user serviceability, you get a Smart Card reader, you get USB 3.0, you get docking capability, you get a fingerprint reader...really you get a heck of a lot from HP's EliteBook. As far as value goes, in the enterprise the 9470m really isn't that bad, and the potential for twelve hours of battery life is nothing to sneeze at.

It's probably not fair then that the EliteBook Folio 9470m is essentially becoming a whipping boy for problems pervasive within the industry, but despite some fantastic advances forward when it comes to the internal design and bringing useful enterprise features to the market, it's also indicative of a lackadaisical attitude possessed by both HP and by the industry at large. This chassis design is attractive, but I'm less and less enamored with it in this form factor. Like the dire panel it comes with standard, I feel like the chiclet keyboard's time has really passed.

If you can get the Folio 9470m with the 900p panel, the unit will undoubtedly be vastly improved from a productivity standpoint. Unfortunately HP's enterprise site leaves an awful lot to be desired as far as even finding that model, and it skirts the real point here: aren't we done compromising?


Display, Battery, Noise, and Heat
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  • juampavalverde - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    The thing is: a 1300 usd ultrabook with that screen? go home hp. People, please, refuse to buy this, refuse to review it, sent this company back to the design board, this cant posible, c'mon, a thinkpad t60 from something like 8 years ago had a 1400x1050 display on 14" and this "premium enterprise laptop" just hd and 1600x900 as an option... goddamit
  • meacupla - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    It's also kinda big and heavy to be a proper "ultra"book.

    At first, I thought the photo was badly done, but I guess that's how crappy the screen really is on this thing.

    Did HP throw in the towel? They seem to not care that the competition, like asus, dell, MS offering some pretty damn good ultrabooks and convertibles for $900~1300?
  • StrangerGuy - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    $1300 for a crappy 768p TN and a measly 1 year warranty.

    And Intel wonders why their darling isn't selling. Besides do people even want to pay premium prices for premium PCs to begin with? The ASP of ~$400 suggests not.
  • Silma - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    PC manufacturers cry themselves to sleep over low demand and tight margins and market shares lost to tablet but after years of crisis they are still incapable of assembling a decent PC, still thinking that choosing super bad parts such as panels of outdated TN technology with ultra low resolution crappy colors and brightness is just the right thing to put in an overpriced "enterprise" super premium priced notebook.

    No Wonder customers are loosing faith.
  • StrangerGuy - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    I wouldn't put all the blame on the OEMs, the whole industry is to blame for its own undoing. They thought they were innovating with oh-so-many Core whatever SKUs when in reality they are only selling Internet and Excel appliances that people only bought because there was no alternative.

    Then smartphones and tablets happened.
  • DanNeely - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Your typical enterprise notebook is docked and using external displays 95% of the time; while still annoying when unlocked this is less of a problem than with a similar consumer model.

    On the price front, the docking port itself probably has at least $100 of soak the businessmen surcharge.
  • cknobman - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    This laptop is a f_cking joke and disgrace. And Intel wonders why people are not jumping on the "ultrabook" bandwagon.

    Only thing ultra about this laptop is ultra"sh!tty".
  • Stephen Owen - Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - link

    I disagree. Put a 1080p (or higher) IPS display on this thing and it would be a dream.

    Well, it IS exceptionally loud. I've got one next to my mammoth Latitude e6510. I literally can't hear my typing over the scream of its turbines. I think the laptop is about to begin hovering, in fact.
  • bhima - Friday, March 29, 2013 - link

    Agreed. I paid under $1000 for basically the same spec'd Samsung Series 9 (smaller hard drive, only 128gb) and it has a fantastic 1600x900 screen that is quite bright and the light is well distributed with good viewing angles plus its thinner than a razor's edge.
  • tomrocksalot - Friday, February 21, 2014 - link

    Ah yes I was in the same situation... and I bought the 9470m... second hand admittedly and upgraded it.
    My HP has the following benefits over a series 9 (which I was otherwise going to buy)
    8GB ram, 256 SSD, 1600x900 display, 1TB hdd, loads of ports and other features the series 9 does not have. Screen is larger at 14",( is it a pro is it a con???)
    If I bought a series 9 I would be lugging around an external HDD and dongles which kills the whole size difference IMHO.

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