HP Elitebook Folio G1: Skype without a headset

who is much on the road, like no heavy luggage. Especially Manager travel only with hand luggage. The notebook should be accordingly compact and lightweight. Digital nomads no longer need an external keyboard or mouse, especially laptops these days come with good keyboards and precise touchpad. More practical would be if you could also forgo the headset for mobile managers so popular communication tools via Skype for business .

 HP EliteBook Folio G1 (image: HP Inc.) with dimensions of 29,2 x 20.9 cm notebook in any Briefcase fits the HP and it is less than 1.2 cm thick (image: HP).

also the seller HP must have thought that. With the HP Elitebook Folio G1 the traditional manufacturer from California Palo Alto presents a noble ultra portable computer which is designed to provide best intelligibility via Skype without an external microphone.

the machine is certified for Skype for business. For a number of requirements in terms of audio quality in General and which are to meet speech intelligibility in particular. What requirements must be met exactly, indicates this PDF document in detail. A list of hardware that is certified for Skype for business, can be found on this website. Including those of notebook competitors such as Acer and Dell.

 the audio technology used in the HP Calculator comes from the Bang & Olufsen. A total of four small speakers provide comparatively rich sound. (Foto: Mehmet Toprak). the audio technology used in the HP Calculator comes from the Bang & Olufsen. A total of four small speakers provide comparatively rich sound. (Photo: Mehmet Toprak).

signal processors optimize the audio quality

the possibility, also without Skype headset with the notebook, based not only on sophisticated microphone technology. The microphones must be not so special quality for good speech intelligibility. Powerful digital signal processors (DSP) are much more important. Keep the volume at a steady level, if the speaker moves back and forth, and they filter out unwanted reverb and background noise. In addition, they raise the frequency range in which the human voice moves. Which ranges roughly from 100 to 3,000 Hz. all these measures the speech intelligibility should significantly improve.

modern signal processors are characterized by low latency, which is almost in real time, they improve the audio quality. Audio technology works HP with the Danish Hi-Fi and audio specialists Bang & Olufsen together. He has bought the notebook a total four speakers. Extent to which also the digital signal processors and the microphone technology of Bang & Olufsen is native, was not to learn from HP despite demand. How successful the Skype at the HP notebook, and whether the technology really eliminates a headset, a practice test is to show.

 even the underside of the Elitebook Folio G1 is nice to look at. (Photo: Mehmet Toprak) even the underside of the Elitebook Folio G1 is nice to look at. (Photo: Mehmet Toprak)

HP Elitebook Folio G1: elegant business notebook

the Folio G1 is a high-quality and very compact mobile computer. Invisible two dual-microphone arrays are installed at the top of the display.

the speech intelligibility tests in several passages. In the first pass, all voice recordings with the recorder integrated in Windows are recorded and then intercepted. Purpose of the exercise: here, it should be tested the audio quality the built-in microphones in conjunction with the DSP have to offer in principle. Because the audio data transfer via Skype are compressed again, is to be expected that the audio quality and speech intelligibility in the video conference is not quite as good as with the pure voice recording.

followed by the actual video calls via Skype. First of all a participant have to say on each a short text from different distances and different angles. In the second round, it is checked how the system behaves, if the participant is not only in a position, but during the conversation in the room back and forth moves – both left to right and front to back. The angle and the distance of the speaker to the microphone be changed continuously. Heavy lifting for the signal processor.

very good sound in the vicinity of

sits the speaker directly in ideal position before the notebook, is the speech – not to expect – very good and virtually indistinguishable from a good headset. The spokesman of the notebook is moving away, the voice from a distance of about one meter is much quieter. It starts to sound then slightly reverberant.

the change in the angle of speech if the speaker moves left and right, makes hardly any difference. Here are the strengths of the dual-array microphones, they enlarge the shooting angle, in which the signals can be captured clean. It makes moving up or down during the Skype call also no big difference. You can so easily get up or after a dropped pen bend over without compromising speech intelligibility significantly.

the first impression is positive: within a radius of about two metres, the audio technology does a good job, the speech intelligibility is excellent, small differences in angle and distance are away ironed more or less by the digital signal processor. “

 the HP Elitebook Folio G1 offers two USB type, and a jack for headphones or microphone (photo: Mehmet Toprak). the HP Elitebook Folio G1 offers two USB type, and a jack for headphones or microphone (photo: Mehmet Toprak).

from two meters the sound quality

falls it becomes difficult even at distances of 2 meters and more. Since the room shares in sound, especially the Hall increase significantly. After all, the speaker also at larger distances is still well understandable audible. It makes no great difference whether the speaker is two or three meters away. The angle plays no important role, as long as you don’t overdo it. Who speaks at a 180 degree angle to the microphone axis, exactly from the side and then another from three meters away, is hardly understood. The same applies if it occurs behind the notebook and speaks as it were in the back of the microphone. However, this should be also not very practical.

you can move so in a radius of up to three metres before the notebook relatively freely and is nevertheless still well understandable. This means: the voice of the speaker is clearly to understand, if also somewhat wrapped in the strong Hall and room shares in the sound. Shorter Skype calls are so easily feasible, but unpleasant to the ear the poor acoustics in longer sessions.

you want to result in longer phone calls via Skype and places value on freedom of movement in space, a good headset is still better. Who but simply sits at the video call front of the notebook, required no headset. He can comfortably sit back, bend sometimes to the side or bend over, without that there are problems with intelligibility.

the test also shows that the audio technology at greater distances and at extreme angles is hitting its limits.

 the buyer can choose when the Elitebook Folio G1 between Intel's mobile processors core m5 and m7 core. (Photo: Mehmet Toprak) the buyer can choose the Elitebook Folio G1 between Intel’s mobile processors core m5 and m7 core. (Photo: Mehmet Toprak)

perfect workmanship and fast Intel processors

even without the Skype functionality makes the business calculator a good impression. This is a perfect processing, the electronics are housed in a block cut from a single piece of aluminum. Everything is accurate, nowhere any bumps or columns are visible. By the processing here is no worse than a MacBook.

with a screen diagonal of 31.75 cm (12.5 inches) is the HP Calculator on the one hand large enough to work comfortably for a long time, and passes on the other hand still for ultra mobile notebook. Depending on the configuration, the weight is approximately a kilo, with dimensions of 29.2 x 20.9 x 1.19 centimeters the HP notebook fits easily into the shoulder bag. The backlit keypad allows direct start Skype by pressing a key.

as is operating system Windows 10 Pro 64 installed. A mobile processor from Intel provide computing power, a core of m7 is installed in the top of the range. The calculator but considerably more than 2000 euros.
who needs less computing power can also a prmake ice cheaper variant of the Folio G1, which works with Intel’s core m5. Depending on the facilities is this notebook for almost 1400 euros. ZDNet review offers more facilities and performance.

conclusion: Skype without a headset

the HP notebook proves that are cleverly arrayed microphones and powerful signal processors able to replace an external headset. Good speech intelligibility is given at least at close range. From a distance of two meters, the speech intelligibility decreases, here the technique reached its limits. Apart from that, the Elitebook Folio G1 is an elegant, well thought-out and powerful mobile computers.

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