It might bear a slight resemblance to Apple’s popular (and long in the tooth) MacBook Air range, but Hewlett-Packard’s new EliteBook Folio 1020 series brings a lightweight frame, business-class functionality, and Windows 8.1 to the table.
HP is actually announcing two models today: the standard EliteBook 1020 and the EliteBook 1020 Special Edition (SE). Both machines feature a 12.5” display and measure just 15.1mm at their thickest points, 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB SSDs. They also both offer up to 9 hours of runtime, MIL-STD 810G certification, a fingerprint reader, and employ fanless designs thanks to the use of Intel’s Core-M processors.
The EliteBook 1020 SE takes things a step further by using magnesium-lithium alloy (lid, keyboard deck) and carbon fiber (bottom casing) to trim the weight of the machine to just 2.2 pounds — the standard EliteBook 1020 weighs in at 2.6 pounds. In addition, while the EliteBook 1020 comes with a 1080p display and can be equipped with an optional touch screen, the EliteBook 1020 comes with an arguably more beneficial QHD (2560x1440) display without a touch screen option.
While all of this definitely sounds good to our ears, the base EliteBook Folio won’t be available until February of next year. The more impressive EliteBook 1020 SE won’t see an official release until April, which is quite disappointing.
Given that the release for both machines are so far away, HP isn’t yet willing to divulge pricing for either model, although we expect that the EliteBook 1020 SE will come with “elite” pricing to match its QHD display and [partial] carbon fiber construction.