HP TECH TAKES
Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
HP Spectre Laptops: A Complete Review
June 29, 2018
Computer needs differ by person, which can make it difficult to recommend just one laptop model to any single consumer. Fortunately, the HP Spectre family of laptops has a wide range of must-have features and add-ons, plus the power and speed to satisfy any person's computing requirements.
While every HP Spectre model in the line offers outstanding durability and reliability in a thin and light body, there are some differences to consider when trying to find that perfect laptop for your busy life. Read on to see just what makes these stellar high-performance laptops a prize pick in our HP Spectre laptop review.
How to buy the right HP Spectre laptop
Are you a creative professional, such as a video editor or graphic designer looking for the best professional laptop? Perhaps you’re a college student looking for more gaming PC power to impress your dorm? Regardless of your goal, it helps to know exactly how you’ll be using your laptop.
If budget is a consideration, you’ll be pleased to know that every one of the laptops in the HP Spectre line is more than adequate for today’s consumer, whether casual or power user. And with the configuration prices differing by only a few hundred dollars, even a fully-equipped HP Spectre is well within reach.
What to know before you shop
Not quite sure where to start? Answer these questions to get a better idea of which HP Spectre laptop you’ll need:
What laptop color will I prefer?
Is a compatible pen important?
Do I prefer a 13” or 15” display?
Will I be using virtual reality (VR)?
What storage capacity will I need?
How much memory (RAM) will I require?
When making your laptop purchase, you may have the opportunity to customize beyond the original technical specifications, and many of the HP Spectre models will let you upgrade before checking out online.
It’s important to understand how those upgrades - such as a 4K touch screen display, additional hard drive capacity, high-end graphics cards, or even bonus software - can enhance your computing experience at a discounted price versus buying and installing components separately. The best time to decide is before you hit that “Buy” button!
With so many of the core PC components in common, the entire HP Spectre family has the potential to help you achieve better results and do more than ever before. With a thoughtful approach toward beauty, efficiency, and innovation, many of the HP Spectre laptop models are already packaged to be used by those with incredible computing demands.
First, the graphics cards (GPUs) are serious business. Depending on the model, users have the choice of AMD Radeon™ RX Vega M or NVIDIA GeForce® MX150 discrete graphics cards. Both are up to the task of getting the most in-depth games to visually display in all their original splendor, but this also means that creators can get the most detailed visual tasks finished in less time and without visual compromise.
All models in the HP Spectre x360 laptop line also include the 8th Generation of Intel® Core™ processing chips. This ensures lag-free activities and seamless multitasking - no freezing up when switching between multiple browsing tabs, high-use applications, playing games, or photo and video-editing software.
For those who want to use this laptop as their stand-alone entertainment hub, it’s easier than ever to allow processes to run in the background while gaming, watching live TV, streaming movies, or downloading large files.
The small but mighty HP Spectre
The most impressive trait of the HP Spectre x360 convertible laptop (and the one most raved about at tech shows) is its compact size.
Take it anywhere
One of the thinnest laptops on the market, the HP Spectre x360 has made waves across the industry with its sleek design and 360-degree, hard-steel case hinges that allow you to configure the laptop multiple ways for use as a notebook, tablet, or tent-like display. And its beautiful exterior finish demands attention all while completing the package.
While portability matters, it’s also nice to know that this family of HP laptops plays nicely with top-of-the-line peripherals. Users are finding ingenious ways to make the most of their HP Spectres by incorporating external monitors, audio gear, storage devices, and more. Virtual reality (VR) has also become a favorite method of putting these powerhouse laptops to work.
Keep out prying eyes
We didn’t forget about keeping your work documents and sensitive data secure, either. The HP Spectre 13-inch laptop models come with a built-in privacy screen that, once activated, masks your display from outsider view. Simply hit F2 and your screen is virtually unreadable to anyone outside of your viewing space (70-degree angle).
The perfect model for your needs
With so many great features included with this line, and even more options available, you won’t be disappointed with any HP Spectre laptop you pick.
All the same, there are some notable differences among these laptop models. Some of the most striking details can be found in the newest model, the HP Spectre x360 15t.
HP Spectre x360 15-Inch Convertible Laptop
It’s easy to get things done with an operating system (OS) that’s familiar to almost everyone, so having Windows 10 Home as standard on all models in the HP Spectre line lets most users get up and running without delay or learning curve. And beyond the latest Windows OS, HP®’s got you covered with user-friendly laptop features along with plug-and-play peripheral design.
However, this more distinguished 15-inch touch screen display model has additional Windows Ink functionality, which allows users to integrate a compatible pen (or just your fingers) to take detailed notes or edit documents right from your screen.
A favorite among graphics professionals, the crisp 4K display is amazingly well-lit and easy on the eyes. And because this HP Spectre convertible can switch seamlessly between tablet and notebook mode, it becomes an ergonomic choice for supporting long work sessions. The 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) touch screen display used with HP®’s own tablet pen gives a realistic pen-on-notepad feeling that’s difficult to match.
Perhaps the most notable feature, however, is the extended battery life and ease of charging. The nearly 13 hours of battery life can be achieved quickly with proprietary HP Fast Charge, which gets a 50 percent charge in as little as 30 minutes.
HP Spectre x360 13-Inch Convertible Laptop
If you don’t quite need the crème de la crème of the HP Spectre laptop family, we’ve still got you covered. The 13-inch model meets everyday computing needs and the most demanding work requirements equally well. It features the same standard design, software, and components as the 15-inch model, but at a savings that those on a budget will welcome.
Its 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 processor does the work you need, and everything shows up beautifully on the 13- inch Full HD (FHD) touch screen display. The Corning® Gorilla® Glass screen finish helps to protect the laptop from accidents while personal touches like your choice of Natural Silver, Dark Ash, or Rose Gold laptop case colors help you make a statement.
One other exceptional feature of this laptop is the sound, which is fully directional and well above par for models in its class. And with its ultra-slim profile, the HP Spectre laptop is convenient to take anywhere, making it easy to see why this HP® pick is a winner.
A winning verdict
Most laptop users don’t want to shuffle between work and play, and who can blame them? Having separate devices for all of your projects and daily tasks is not only a hassle, but also expensive. When you can have lightning-fast charging, amazing battery life, and awesome graphics in a beautiful package at an affordable price, the choice to go with the HP Spectre isn’t that difficult to make.
That’s why it’s exciting to see the potential behind laptop models like the HP Spectre and HP Spectre x360. Versatile, powerful, graphic-rich, and user-friendly, HP Spectre models are well poised to replace expensive workstations and gaming PCs by bringing all of your creative worlds together as one.
Some of the more unique features of the line, including the crafty 4-way folding configuration, are almost too clever to handle. It could take a user weeks - if not months - to explore all of the possibilities of such a powerful and responsive laptop that’s among the slimmest available today.
Whether you’re a seasoned creative professional who is trading in that much-hyped convertible for something that fits your budget (and preference for a Windows PC), or you’re an everyday laptop user who has come to admire the innovative HP® brand, the entire HP Spectre lineup will definitely impress for less.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.