The HP Spectre 13 2017 Review, Now Touch-Friendly, 8th Gen Intel CPUs

Not to be confused with the HP Spectre model reviewed last year, which was something already described as HP’s flashiest laptop, the new Spectre 13 is dazzling with new and enriched features. Design alone, this isn’t radically different from the original (which some dubbed simply as, the HP Spectre), and there weren’t many things to fix in the first place, but there are aspects at hand that make it look and feel so very new. The way HP designed last year’s laptop was with a convincing level of style, loads of power, and battery life all in something smooth and thin.

The Spectre line alone did need a few perks in a few areas, including bigger and better options for self-editing, a jump in specs, and a seriously clever new build that shrinks its body. All while removing some of the Spectre 13’s actual footprint, nothing was taken away internally to perfect the ultrabook feel and productivity. In fact, only more power and features are what we now find inside. Looking even sharper than before, the mere 10.4mm machine, measuring 12.69 x 9.01 x 0.4 inches, and weighing 2.45 pounds, has a more narrow and shallow construction, all with thinner bezels around its 13-inch display. Additionally, the 2017 display is now configured with a touch ability, the option of a 4K LCD screen, all the while being proclaimed as the “world’s thinnest” touchscreen laptop, by HP. Also notable is the exciting new color option, which I personally see as super classy. Ceramic White, as they call it, features aluminum treated with a semi-glossy coating. The previous model offered a traditional dark ash look.

As promised, HP also added 8th-generation Intel CPUs, a step up from the 7th-generation before, featuring Intel’s Core i7-8850U at 1.8GHz (maxing out at 4 GHz!). It comes with 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and an Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU. Networking includes 802.11b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, and ports consisting of 2 Thunderbolt 3’s, 1 USB Type-C 3.1 port, and an audio combo jack.

With promises, such as “the thinnest touchscreen notebook out there”, you’ve got to remember that many rivals may say many of the same things. All is true about the Spectre 13 competition, as the likes of Dell’s XPS 13 9360, Asus’s ZenBook 3, and Apple’s 12-inch MacBook, who are all on par with these great specs, but vary slightly, claim similar extravagances.

With the new look alone, this is a classy new upscale change for HP, and the ability to slim down the entire model, whilst adding a touchscreen panel (one thing HP says they couldn’t do with the 2016 model), makes the Spectre 13 a large step up from standard. The company even managed to advance the sound quality, fitting a larger Bang & Olufsen speaker inside. If consumers are craving the most ultra of ultrabooks, this “slim fast” HP device hits higher than ever. Pricing starts at $1,299 for a base configuration, and remember, this incorporates how much more expensive things get when similar specs meet an ultra-thin design. Having said that, battery life is actually good, at 5 hours or so of lifespan. With all the design tweaks here, and although plenty could argue, the battery life is justifiable. In my eyes, these are all grand improvements for the overall ultrabook experience the Spectre 13 wanted to offer.

Topics: Technology News HP Laptop Trends Laptops & Ultrathin Ultrabooks Tech Reviews

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