Spotted: HP Ultrabook Pavilion ‘Folio’ dm3 in the wild

2012 HP Pavilion dm3 (Photo by Ritchie's Room)

Well, what do you know, the mythical unicorn is about to become real… originally rumored to be released before September, tech blog Ritchie’s Room has information about the upcoming HP ultra-thin ultrabook model shown by HP Australia! The new notebook, the 2012 Pavilion dm3, also codenamed the HP Folio, is said to be making its debut next month in December, at least in Australia… so book those flight tickets if you want to get your hands on one before Christmas!

The 2012 HP Pavilion ‘Folio’ dm3 is a 13.3 inch laptop (yup, 1366 x 768 resolution display, as expected) which is expected to give buyers a choice between two low-voltage Intel Sandy Bridge mobile processors (Core i3 1.4 GHz or Core i5 1.6 GHz flavors), one DDR3 RAM slot (which will give you configuration options of either 4 or 8 GB, this is supposedly user-accessible so you don’t need to pay obscene prices for a simple RAM upgrade when making the purchase) and 128 GB SSD (not sure of its size or whether it’s soldered into the laptop ala the Apple MacBook Air).

The HP Folio has a pretty full-sized keyboard, minus dedicated Home/End/Page Up-Down buttons, that’s backlit and a large buttonless trackpad. However, this ultra-thin notebook skimps on port selection quite a bit; the ports available are a single HDMI port, two USB ports (one 2.0 and one 3.0), SD slot (no word on whether it supports SDXC), Ethernet port and single combo microphone/headphone jack.

The HP Folio is said to measure 1.8 cm thin (about 0.71 inches) and weigh 1.49 kg (3.3 pounds). In comparison, the much hyped Apple MacBook Air (13 inch variant) is 1.7 cm (0.68 inches) at its thickest point and weighs a slightly lighter 1.35 kg (3 pounds). However, it seems HP is hoping to negate these tiny measurement differences by offering excellent build quality; the folks at Ritchie’s Room who handled the HP Folio commented how durable it is.

But based on my many years using a range of HP products, here’s my (speculative) take on build quality: this HP Folio is still a ‘Pavilion’ (consumer model) which means it might survive getting squeezed by books in your backpack and hold up just as well, if not better, than other branded ultrabooks and the unibody MacBook Air… but I doubt it will survive the sheer abuse and multiple beatings that a true business-class HP EliteBook can take. Treat your notebook well!

No word about pricing of the HP Folio or availability outside of Australia, but Ritchie’s Room still has plenty of huge 8 megapixel photos of the 2012 HP Pavilion dm3 ‘Folio’ ready for you to admire.

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