By Lisa Carlin

HP is back with a bang. The company launched the Folio 13 ultrabooks laptops. What are ultrabooks, did you ask? We’ll get to that in a bit. Now, apart from being model-ish thin, the Folio 13 boasts a battery life of nine hours, and comes with Intel Rapid Start technology.  Rapid Start makes the use of flash storage, which is embedded in the computer’s motherboard, and lets a notebook start up in around five seconds. The company has not released the usual product shots yet, so we have to make do with the itsy bitsy glimpse it does provide.

Intel coined the term ‘ultrabooks’; and it is a Intel trademark. Ultrabooks are thin and light weight laptops running on Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor. Apple MacBook Airs, Samsung Series 9, Lenovo ThinkPad X1, the Asus UX21 are ultrabooks.  As you may have guessed, these notebooks are not competing so much with other notebooks, as with tablet devices. Intel has pumped in $300 million to promote the ultrabooks category in the face of stiff and increasing competition from ARM processor-based tablets .

“We expect Ultrabooks will re-ignite interest in the small form factor PC category, and by 2015 expect 95 million Ultrabooks will be shipping worldwide annually,” says Crawford Del Prete, executive vice president, Worldwide Research Products, and chief research officer, IDC. Intel has pumped in $300 million to promote the ultrabooks category in the face of stiff and increasing competition from ARM processor-based tablets.

Now that we have gotten the ultrabooks definition out of the way, lets get back to the Folio 13 specifications. Here is a quick list.

  • Less than 18 millimeters thin
  • Uses a 13.3-inch diagonal high-definition display
  • Weighs 3.3 pounds.
  • Uses Intel Core processors
  • Comes with full array of ports, including Ethernet, RJ-45 and of course USB 3.0
  • Includes a backlit keyboard
  • Includes a solid-state drive (SSD) with 128 GB storage
  • Has a TPM Embedded Security Chip that protects data in email as well as information on the hard drive
  • Features HP CoolSense technology (which uses advanced hardware and intelligent software for cooler notebooks)
  • Can be configured with Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems, including Windows 7 Professional

The HP Folio13 is expected to be available starting the first week of December. The base model costs $899.99.

HP also introduced new HP Envy and HP Pavilion dm4 notebook PCs.