HP’s answer to the MacBook Air

November 16, 2011

HP’s answer to Apple’s MacBook Air is in, and it’s called the Folio13. 

 The company is one of the latest PC firms to launch an “Ultrabook” — a name chipmaker Intel gave to the new super-thin laptops that use its processors — but this time, it’s targeting the business user.

The launch must come as a relief to the Silicon Valley company’s PC unit employees, suspended as they were in limbo for over a month as HP considered whether to jettison the division or not. HP decided only late last month to keep the leading seller of PCs within its fold.

The Folio13 starts at 3.3 lbs, has a battery life up to 9 hours and includes a backlit keyboard, a popular feature on the MacBook Air.

Starting at $899, it’s $100 cheaper than Apple’s laptop. Rival  Acer also is selling its latest Ultrabook for $899.

The laptop is slightly heavier than Apple’s, however, and few think that the company would be able to dislodge the Cupertino company in that category.

“We applaud HP’s competitive pricing and view HP’s Folio13 as a solid entry in the Ultrabook category, but believe MacBook Air will still maintain its market share lead,” said Brian Marshall, analyst with ISI Group. 

Intel, which has been heavily promoting the category, expects Ultrabooks to account for 40 percent of the consumer PC market by the end of next year.

In the meantime, if so inclined, you can get your hands on HP’s version starting Dec 7.

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