That said, this really isn’t a good display, even if you evaluate it with artificially lower standards. For starters, it’s a dim one. The brightness is muted enough that if you’re watching a movie in a room with lots of natural light pouring in, the maximum setting likely won’t cut it. […]
Aside from that, the viewing angles are about as narrow as you’d expect from a low-quality, TN panel.
The HP Folio 13 sports a 13.3-inch LCD with a 1366×768 pixel format with a starting price of US$900. Recommended for those who aren’t picky about display quality.
When we watched a 1080p QuickTime trailer for The Avengers at full brightness, the video was crisp and free from noise, though colors like the red in Thor’s cape or the blue in Captain America’s shield were muted and a little whitewashed. Viewing angles from the side were fine, but we had to push the lid back a bit to get the best picture.
A light meter confirmed that the Folio has the dimmest screen of any Ultrabook we’ve tested, clocking in at just 139 lux, way short of the Toshiba Portege’s 260 lux, the ASUS ZenBook UX31’s 360, and even the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s’s 162 lux score. The MacBook Air brings the light with a bright 330 lux screen.
The good folks at HP decided $900 a fair price for a 13.3-inch notebook with a dim LCD, washed out colors, and narrow viewing angles. I disagree. The bezel is nothing but narrow; it’s actually a double bezel. Just terrible. Despite the effort the industrial design is sub par. Take for instance the angular external design. I like it, but once you open the lid you’re greeted with a rounded keyboard boundary. It is far more round than the chassis and that mismatch makes it look amateur. The reverse with a tighter less pronounced keyboard boundary is preferable and would have made it look more polished, more professional. Then there’s the tiny power button designed for, hmm, I have absolutely no idea. And it feels like it was squeezed in at the very last stages of design. The Folio 13 isn’t ugly, but it lacks a consistent style. At the end it’s the lackluster LCD and the design around it that makes the $900 Folio 13 a must-not-buy.
Update: Joanna Stern, The Verge, confirms the display sucks:
Like every other ultrabook I’ve tested, the Folio 13 has a 13.3-inch 1366 x 768-resolution display. The low resolution and lack of higher-density options are annoying â€” but not quite as annoying as the crappy display quality of the panel you’re stuck with.
The suspects are: a dim screen, narrow viewing angles, glossy and reflective cover glass, cheap-looking double bezel.