$900 HP ultrabook coming next month

Its commitment to the PC freshly reaffirmed, HP has joined in the industry's latest craze, introducing its very first ultrabook. Actually, the HP Folio 13 isn't due out until December 7, and HP is keeping some details under wraps for now. The announcement still covers the basics and reveals the machine's good looks:

HP's Folio 13 is a business ultrabook, and as its name suggests, it features a 13-inch display. HP also outfits it with a Sandy Bridge processor, a 128GB solid-state drive, and a battery rated for an impressive nine hours of run time—the longest of any ultrabook out today, the firm claims. Connectivity includes USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, an HDMI output, and an RJ-45 Ethernet port for old-school road warriors (or unfortunate souls confined to hotel rooms with poor Wi-Fi reception). Folks in need of extra connectivity can spring for an optional HP dock with "additional audio, video, network and USB connectivity." HP offers an optional TPM security chip, too.

This isn't quite the thinnest or lightest ultrabook around, but at 18 mm (0.7") and 3.3 lbs, it's by no means in need of a diet. In fact, it's pretty close to the 13" MacBook Air's 0.68" thickness and 2.96 lbs weight. Unlike the MacBook, the Folio 13 doesn't appear to have a tapered front edge or a shiny, all-aluminum construction. That should help it look more inconspicuous at business meetings. I think it looks pretty tasteful, though; see the image gallery below for more pictures.

Also un-MacBook-like is the Folio 13's asking price, which is just $899.99—quite a bit less than the $1,299 Apple charges for the cheapest 13" MacBook Air. Considering how good a job HP did with its Pavilion dm1z ultraportable not long ago, I've gotta say, I'm looking forward to this one.

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