The ultrabook price war continues. The latest offensive comes from the HP camp, which is now offering its Folio 13 ultrabook for a scant $798 at Walmart. Keep in mind the Folio 13 is a business ultrabook with solid-state storage and a battery rated for nine hours of run time.
Now, interestingly, the model on sale at Walmart isn't quite the same as the base configuration on HP's website. The former packs a 1.4GHz Core i3-2367M processor, while the latter is outfitted with a 1.6GHz Core i5-2467M—and there are no cheaper alternatives to choose from on the "Customize" page. Both chips have two cores and Hyper-Threading capabilities, but according to the listing on Intel's website, the Core i3-2367M lacks AES encryption acceleration and Turbo Boost.
That said, the two Folio 13 configs seem identical in other respects. They both have 4GB of DDR3 memory, 128GB of solid-state storage, Bluetooth, USB 3.0, and that nine-hour battery we mentioned, which is a six-cell lithium-ion design. Both machines also ship with Windows 7 Home Premium x64, despite the Folio 13's purported buttoned-down credentials. And, of course, the two systems have the same 13" display with (unfortunately) a 1366x768 resolution.
So, I guess Walmart is offering a $100 discount to folks who don't mind losing a little bit of CPU performance—and not waiting a few weeks or months for the first Ivy Bridge ultrabooks. Frankly, I think that's not too bad a proposition. (Thanks to CNet News for the heads up.)