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HP's newest laptop is sexy, but you can't buy it until next year

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Last week we ran our review of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, a 13-inch laptop that weighs a scant 2.6 pounds and measures just half an inch thick. It was impressive, to be sure, but it won't be the last: Thanks to Intel's new Core M chips, we're about to see a ton of impossibly thin notebooks. The latest comes from HP, whose just-announced EliteBook Folio 1020 weighs as little as 2.2 pounds and measures 15.7mm thick. We say "as little as" because when the thing goes on sale early next year, it'll be available in two flavors: a regular version that weighs 1.2 kg (2.6 pounds) and a special edition that comes in at 1kg (that's the 2.2-pound one). Both are light, as I found in my brief time with them, but the 1kg model is noticeably lighter, so you might want to wait for that to arrive, if either of these strikes your fancy.

Gallery: HP EliteBook 1020 hands-on | 11 Photos

Gallery: HP EliteBook Folio 1020 | 13 Photos

Either way, the design is the same. In particular, HP used a combination of magnesium-lithium for the lid and keyboard deck and carbon on the bottom side. The result is a machine durable enough to meet the military's MIL-STD-810G standards for ruggedness (drops, shocks, extreme temperatures, et cetera). It's also fanless, which should allow for some quiet performance. Additionally, HP retooled the keyboard so that it offers more travel, though it's missing the pointing stick that you'll find on many other EliteBooks.

As for the screen, the 12.5-inch display is available with QHD (2,560 x 1,440) resolution on both models, and that spec is in fact standard on the special edition (the regular version starts off with 1080p resolution). In both cases, too, there are touch and non-touch options. That explains in part why HP was able to get the weight down so low -- touchscreens are known to add bulk, after all. Also, this was designed primarily as a business laptop, and for whatever reason, companies seem to care less about touchscreens than the rest of us.

No word yet on price, but we do know that the regular version will arrive in February, and that the lighter special edition will follow sometime in April. That makes sense, because Intel hasn't yet released its business-grade "vPro" Core M chips, but presumably will sometime before these machines start shipping.

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