Thieves may regret stealing HP's Elitebook Folio 1020 laptops

Data from the 12.5-inch Elitebook Folio 1020 models can be wiped in case of theft

HP's Elitebook Folio 1020 Special Edition (1)

HP's Elitebook Folio 1020 Special Edition (1)

Thieves might regret stealing Hewlett-Packard's ultrathin Elitebook Folio 1020 laptops, which have a feature that turns them into nothing more than paperweights in case of theft.

A special feature in the Elitebook Folio 1020 is an "always on" capability so the laptop can be tracked even when it's shut off, as with smartphones and tablets. If a laptop is lost or stolen, it can be tracked down to a specific location and data can be remotely wiped by a system administrator.

HP is tailoring the always-on tracking feature for the company's Web-based Touchpoint Manager mobile-device management service. The laptops have an extremely low-power ARM-based chip that remains on to enable the tracking and GPS-like feature, and the Touchpoint Manager service can issue alerts and start wiping data if a laptop is stolen or lost.

The Folio 1020 is designed to fit into BYOD (bring your own device) programs with its security and remote manageability features, said John Groden, director of product development at Hewlett-Packard.

The new laptops are also among the company's thinnest ever, at 15.7 millimeters thick. They weigh up to 1.2 kilograms, offer nine hours of battery life and have 12.5-inch screens.

The Folio 1020, which comes in two models, have solid-state drives, 720p webcams and no fans. The premium Elitebook Folio 1020 Special Edition model weighs 1 kilogram and is composed of materials including carbon fiber and magnesium lithium. The Elitebook Folio 1020, which does not have the same composition of materials, weighs 1.2 kilograms.

The Special Edition screen has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, while the Elitebook 1020 model has a full high-definition screen.

Pricing for the laptops was not immediately available. One comparable laptop could be Lenovo's 14-inch ThinkPad Carbon X1, which is 17.3 millimeters thick and considered one of the thinnest PCs available today. The Elitebook Folio 1020 models have Intel's latest Core M processors, which are also used in tablets, while the Carbon X1 runs on Intel's older Core processors code-named Haswell, which are considered faster but more power hungry.

HP is also updating its Elitebook business laptops with new Intel Core chips code-named Broadwell, which are due for release early next year. The fifth-generation Core chips will go into the second-generation Elitebook 1040 G2, 820 G2, 840 G2, 850 G2, 720 G2, 740 G2 and 750 G2 laptops, all of which have different screen sizes. Prices for the laptops were not immediately available.

HP is also updating its 11.6.inch EliteBook Revolve 810 G3, which retains its old design with a revolving screen. The new laptop has up to 12GB of RAM, and information about the price or processor was not immediately available.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

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