So sure, it looks good, but what's really impressive is that HP's leather gamble actually works out. As a laptop, the Folio feels just as luxurious as HP's previous Spectre machines. It's not as mind bogglingly slim as the Spectre 13, but at 15.2 millimeters thick it's still very portable.
At first, I was worried that using a leather-clad PC would feel like a weird organic machine from a Cronenberg movie, but I got used to the unique texture quickly. I even grew to appreciate the natural warmth of the leather case as the temperature started to drop -- there's no initial shock of cold on your legs or wrists like an aluminum case.
Of course, none of that would matter if the Folio collapsed under the weight of a few browser tabs. Thankfully it managed to keep up with my usual workflow, despite running a slow dual-core Y-series Intel processor. Obviously, this isn't really a machine meant for encoding gobs of video or playing games. But it handled running dozens of browser tabs, photo editing, Skype, Slack and Spotify without issue. Thanks to that low power CPU, HP was able to make the Folio completely fanless, so it's ideal for environments where you don't want any distracting noise.
That's particularly welcome when you're watching movies on the 13.3-inch screen, which is bright and vibrant. Sadly, though, most models are stuck with a 1080p resolution. (HP says a 4K version is coming soon.) It's a solid display for doing work and watching movies, and I was happy to find that it still looked great outside in direct sunlight. Still, it would have been nice to see official HDR support, like we're seeing in other modern notebooks.
The Folio is also one of the first notebooks with built-in gigabit LTE, and it almost spoiled me. It connects to AT&T's network within a few seconds when you open the lid, and it does a solid job of reconnecting in noisy environments, like hopping between stations on the subway. In my apartment, I saw download speeds around 18Mbps and upload speeds of 7Mbps. That's not great compared to most broadband connections, but I appreciated the ability to just open up the Folio anywhere and get online. Personally, I'd still rather just tether it to my phone and save the extra monthly fee, but I'd definitely consider paying for cellular PC access if I was always on the road.