First impressions of HP Spectre 13 (2016) – definitely not your ordinary Spectre machine

HP recently announced its flashy new Spectre notebook claiming it’s world’s thinnest and lightest notebook surpassing some of its competitors from Apple and Lenovo and just recently we had the chance to meet the beauty in person along with the new logo design, which, by the way, is awesome.

The notebook isn’t out yet but you can regularly check here when it pops out: http://amzn.to/1T8IXGS

Design

The design is actually the key selling point of this device with sides measuring at just 10.4 mm and weighing only 1.11 kg. However, this skinny chassis comes at a price – no touch panel options. HP says that in order to be so thin and lightweight, the notebook lacks the touchscreen functionality and it’s going to be tough on the market since most high-end ultrabooks come with this feature. Still, the hinge doesn’t offer a full 360-degree rotation so touchscreen option might not be such a big drawback.


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Speaking of, the hinge is specially designed (Piston hinge design) so it can fit the incredibly thin profile. Despite the height, the laptop offers as much connectivity as it can, given the design limitations – three USB-C ports, two of which support Thunderbolt standard while all three can be used for charging external devices, charging the laptop itself and ultra-fast data transfer. They are positioned on the back side of the laptop giving enough room on the sides but this port selection might be a deal-breaker for some. You can still acquire an USB-C hub, though and expand your connectivity options.


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While most of the laptop looks really flashy with the highlighted gold-ish elements and HP’s new logo on the back, but the anodized aluminum finish makes it feel more in line with today’s design trends. More importantly, the keyboard feels a bit shallow, which was expected, but nowhere near the Lenovo Yoga 900S, which keyboard will not appeal to most. HP’s Spectre keys still provide comfortable feedback for everyday work, however, the same does not apply for the touchpad. It seems a bit stiff and shallow again, yet responsive enough.

We will address more of the issues and cool features in our upcoming full review of the model.

Hardware

The notebook will offer somewhat modest options with when it comes to hardware – either Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs, which is kind of impressive considering the size of the 13-inch machine, 8GB of LDDR3 RAM and up to 512 GB PCIe SSD.

Also, the notebook ships with only Full HD IPS option and at this price (starting $1 169), it will compete against other solutions with QHD. It’s still important to note that the panel is protected by Gorilla Glass 4 layer, which is just 0.4 mm thin providing better screen visibility and crystal clear images compensating the lack of pixels. On second thought, this might not be such a bad idea since the notebook doesn’t have a big battery – just look at the size of this thing – so the Full HD resolution will take it easier on the battery. The manufacturer claims at least 9 hours of usage but we will make sure to check that out as well.

Specs sheet

Some of the specs may differ depending on your region.

CPU Intel Core i5-6200U (2-core, 2.30 – 2.80 GHz, 3MB cache) / Intel Core i7-6500U (2-core, 2.50 – 3.10 GHz, 4MB cache)
RAM up to 8GB (1x 4096MB) – DDR3, 1600 MHz
GPU Intel HD Graphics 520
HDD/SSD up to 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Display 13.3-inch – 1920×1080 (Full HD) IPS, glossy
Optical drive
Connectivity 2×2 Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
Features
  • 3x USB-C 3.1 (2x support Thunderbolt standard)
  • combo audio jack (microphone/headset)
  • Bang and Olufsen loudspeakers
Battery Unknown (9 hours of battery life according to HP)
Thickness 10.4mm (0.41″)
Weight 1.111 kg (2.45 lbs)

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