Straight out of the box, few laptops are as secure and enterprise-ready as the HP EliteBook Folio 1020 G1. It's also sleek and dependably, if not outstandingly, powerful, although the brief battery life and sheer expense make it tough to recommend without conditions.
Very portable, high-res display, brimming with security hardware and software, top-notch keyboard
Expensive, touchscreen is a bit useless, won't last long without a charger
Display: 12.5in non-detachable touchscreen, 2560x1440 at 235ppi
Processor: 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core M-5Y51
Operating system: Windows 7 Pro/Windows 10 Pro
Storage: 256GB SSD
Battery: Integrated, 36 WHr li-ion polymer
Camera: 720p front-facing webcam
Ports: Two USB 3.0, one microSD card reader, one HDMI and one HP docking connector
Take the EliteBook Folio 1020 G1. Its keyboard and screen are very much stuck together, but it's still a thoroughly modern piece of kit that promises power and security for business users. We've spent a few days with the laptop to see how it fares.
There's something MacBook Air-like about the sloping lines and ultra-thin screen section of the EliteBook Folio 1020 G1. The HP laptop isn't quite as thin the 13.3in Apple equivalent at 310x210x15.7mm, but is a touch lighter at 1.21kg. This makes it incredibly portable for a full laptop, and we could easily carry it to and from work without straining our shoulders.
In place of a standard trackpad, HP has included its ForcePad design. It's pressure sensitive and uses this capability for various touch gestures such as tapping two fingers to right-click, holding down to select and drag, pinching to zoom or sliding two fingers up and down to scroll. The latter two are nice additions - we could even adjust scrolling speed by applying more or less pressure - but generally we were inclined to ignore these unfamiliar and, in some cases, slightly awkward gestures in favour of standard left- and right-clicking.
On the subject of awkwardness, we're not sure why the display is also a touchscreen. It doesn't detach or rotate 360 degrees like a convertible, so using it required us to ignore the perfectly usable trackpad and mouse buttons, and to reach over the keyboard, arms suspended in mid-air to avoid accidentally mashing the keys with our wrists. The touchscreen doesn't add much besides a higher price, so we'd rather have gone without it.
We're much fonder of the keyboard, which is outright excellent. The keys offer a satisfying amount of tactile feedback and are spaced apart near perfectly, while a tasteful backlight offers a premium visual touch and an accuracy aid in low light. We could type as quickly and precisely on the EliteBook Folio 1020 G1 as we could on a full desktop keyboard.
There's a fine range of ports, too. A full-size HDMI socket allows for easy connections to a larger display, such as for presentations, while two USB 3.0 ports and a microSD slot adequately cover peripherals and removable storage.
A further two touches help make up for the EliteBook Folio 1020 G1's few design foibles. It's whisper quiet on account of the Intel Core M chip's power efficiency, negating the need for a fan, and a small fingerprint scanner of the same, likeably minimal design as that of the HP Elite x2 1011 G1, has been fitted just below the keyboard.
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