HP Spectre review: an ultra shiny, ultra portable MacBook competitor
If you’re looking for a premium, ultraportable laptop, there aren’t many options to be found in the Windows world. Apple’s been owning this segment of the laptop market for so long that it almost feels like other companies have given up. But they haven’t, and HP is trying its hardest to change that perception with the new Spectre.
In terms of premium design and ultraportable features, the Spectre is as good as you can get. It’s super thin (the thinnest in the world, according to HP), super light, and super well-made. It’s made of aluminum and carbon fiber and even has some coppery-gold bling in case you forget that this isn’t your run of the mill bargain bin laptop. It’s priced premium too: the Spectre starts at $1,169, and the unit I’ve been testing sells for $1,249. In case you haven’t figured it out, those are Mac prices and HP is putting Apple’s computers – namely the MacBook and the MacBook Air – squarely in its sights with the Spectre.
It’s easy to compare the Spectre to the MacBook just based on how thin it is, but a more accurate description would be that the Spectre takes the best hardware features of the MacBook and mates them with the best hardware features of the MacBook Air. The Spectre weighs just under two and a half pounds and is a mere 10.4mm thick when closed, making it just as portable as the MacBook. But it still has a 13.3-inch display, full-size keyboard (with real key travel), and Intel’s more powerful Core i5 and i7 processors – features that are found on the MacBook Air, not the MacBook.
The Spectre’s design is eye-catching, but it can be polarizing. The dark brown metal finish stands out from the sea of silver aluminum laptops, and the details in the speaker grilles and the logo on the lid are handsome. But the display hinge, while very fancy and cool-looking, is clad in a shiny coppery-gold finish, and it’s definitely not a look for everyone. It’s also very prone to picking up fingerprints, which makes it go from "premium" to dirty-looking in just a few minutes of use.
EYE-CATCHING, POLARIZING DESIGN