Notebookcheck

HP Spectre 13 (Core i7, Full-HD) Laptop Review

Sebastian Bade (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 03/31/2017

Who has the slimmest one? With a "thickness" of just 10 millimeters (~0.4 in), HP's Spectre is even slimmer than some tablets. After its launch in 2016, the laptop has been updated slightly technically. We have summarized how HP's silver Spectre scores in this report.

For the original German review, see here.

After grabbing the attention with its design as last year, the performance of HP's Spectre 13 has now been updated slightly. The latest Kaby Lake processors that unexpectedly replace the older Sky Lake models are now inside. The exteriors have not changed compared with the predecessor. HP's Spectre 13 is available in silver or the well-known brass-black color combination. In terms of configuration, only a 512-GB or 1-TB SSD storage can be selected. Intel Core i5-7200U and the somewhat faster Core i7-7500U are possible processors, among others. There are no options for the working memory. The 8 GB of RAM is non-removable, but it is also quite sufficient for the primary purpose.

HP charges 1599 Euros (~$1706) for our review sample with 512 GB of storage and Intel's Core i7-7500U. Thus, the newer model  is exactly 100 Euros (~$107) more expensive than the 2016 HP Spectre 13 at its market launch. However, the former model was delivered with a 256-GB SSD, which accounts for the new price.

For comparison purposes, we have only selected 13-inch devices as well as the direct predecessor. They are within the 1299 to 2000 Euros (~$1386 to ~$2134) price range. The following chart provides an overview of the comparison devices:

HP Spectre 13 Apple MacBook Pro 13 Dell XPS 13 9360 HP EliteBook 1030 G1 Asus Zenbook UX305CA
CPU Intel Core i7-6500U Intel Core i5-6267U Intel Core i5-7200U Intel Core m7-6Y75 Intel Core m7-6Y75
GPU Intel HD Graphics 520 Intel HD Graphics 550 Intel HD Graphics 620 Intel HD Graphics 515 Intel HD Graphics 515
Panel 13.3 inches 1920x1080 13.3 inches 2560x1600 13.3 inches 1920x1080 13.3 inches 3200x1800 13.3 inches 3200x1800
RAM 8 GB DDR3-1866 8 GB DDR3-2133 8 GB DDR3-1866 16 GB DDR3-1866 8 GB DDR3-1600
Preis 1499 Euros 1999 Euros 1299 Euros 2000 Euros 1299 Euros
HP Spectre 13-v131ng (Spectre 13 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 620, 21.20.16.4574
Memory
8192 MB 
, LPDDR3-1866SDRAM
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 166 PPI, CMN1374, IPS UWVA, Corning Gorilla Glass, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, 512 GB 
, 406 GB free
Soundcard
Conexant
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 2 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm headset
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 10.4 x 325 x 229 ( = 0.41 x 12.8 x 9.02 in)
Battery
38 Wh Lithium-Ion, 4 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HP TrueVision HD camera
Additional features
Speakers: 4x Bang & Olufsen, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, HP sleeve, power supply, USB Type-C-to-USB 3.0 adapter, McAfee LiveSafe, Netflix, Microsoft Office 365 (1-month trial), 24 Months Warranty
Weight
1.113 kg ( = 39.26 oz / 2.45 pounds), Power Supply: 340 g ( = 11.99 oz / 0.75 pounds)
Price
1599 Euro

 

Case

The stylish casing (display lid and base unit's upper side) of HP's Spectre 13 is made mostly of aluminum. The casing's tray is made of  magnesium alloy. Overall, the build quality is on a very high standard. The stability is decent despite the very slim build. The base can be warped only slightly with force. The display lid presents a similar behavior as the base. The clever hinge design ("Piston Hinge" mechanism) that are also stylish and elegantly curved keep the screen in the desired position quite well. As with the base's entire rear area, both hinges are polished and glossy, which upgrade the device's looks. Gas cylinders in the base regulate the lid's opening resistance; it cannot be opened with one hand. The conservatively designed HP Spectre 13 is an eye-catcher in every respect. The choice of materials convince in both looks and feel. The device conveys a very high-quality impression and is not too susceptible to fingerprints.

Size Comparison

HP's Spectre 13 plays in its own league in terms of casing thickness. However, some of the comparison devices need less room on the desk. Thus, HP's Spectre 13 is one of the larger 13-inch devices. All devices have a similar weight with the exception of HP's EliteBook 1030 G1 (1.4 kg/~3.1 lb).

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Connectivity

The build is the reason for the very limited yet modern interface diversity. All ports are situated in the rear area. Here we find three USB 3.1 Type-C ports, two of which are compatible with Thunderbolt 3. It allows connecting many peripherals, such as high-resolution monitors or external storage devices for high-speed data sharing. The port that does not support Thunderbolt 3 should be primarily used for recharging the laptop. Technically, it is possible to recharge the device via any USB 3.1 Type-C port.

HP has installed a conventional 3.5-mm headset jack, which rounds off the interfaces. Other accessories can only be connected via an adapter or a docking station. HP delivers the Spectre 13 with a USB Type-C-to-Type-A (3.0) adapter. However, the absence of an SD card reader is a point of criticism that is not insignificant.

Rear: 1x USB Type-C Gen.1, 2x USB Type-C Gen.2 + Thunderbolt 3, 3.5-mm combo audio
Rear: 1x USB Type-C Gen.1, 2x USB Type-C Gen.2 + Thunderbolt 3, 3.5-mm combo audio

Communication

A 2x2 module from Intel is responsible for wireless Wi-Fi connections. Intel's Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260 adapter is fast enough for data transmission and supports Bluetooth 4.2. HP's Spectre 13 achieved 663 Mbit/s (transmit) and still 485 Mbit/s (receive) in the test. However, the MacBook Pro 13 2016 is the impressive leader in this test. The 2017 edition of HP's Spectre 13 does not feature integrated broadband Internet (WWAN) either. Users who prefer cabled Internet connections will have to use a corresponding adapter.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Broadcom BCM15700A2 802.11ac
950 MBit/s ∼100% +96%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
525 MBit/s ∼55% +8%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
485 MBit/s ∼51%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Broadcom BCM15700A2 802.11ac
949 MBit/s ∼100% +43%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260
663 MBit/s ∼70%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
575 MBit/s ∼61% -13%

Security

HP's Spectre 13 does not feature fingerprint authentication or IrisScan. Neither are they optionally available for the device. The review sample has only an integrated Trusted Platform Module (TPM).

Accessories

HP includes a fitting sleeve that protects the Spectre 13. However, the sleeve does not have a compartment for the power supply. The compact power supply and USB adapter (USB-Type-C-to-USB-A (3.0)) are included. HP also offers branded accessories, such as a wireless mouse. More accessories can be found in HP's online shop.

Operating System

HP's Spectre 13 comes with Microsoft Windows 10 Home.

Maintenance

HP's Spectre 13 is maintenance-unfriendly. The screws for removing the base plate are hidden under glued rubber strips. Since we did not want to damage our borrowed device, we did not try to remove the base tray. It is not possible to upgrade the working memory, anyway. Only the inserted M.2 storage device module could be replaced, theoretically.

Warranty

HP's Spectre 13 is offered with a 24-month manufacturer's warranty. Optionally, the service can be extended to 36 months (HP Care Pack). It includes a pick-up and return service, and costs 130 Euros (~$139) extra.

Input Devices

HP Spectre 13 keyboard
HP Spectre 13 keyboard
HP Spectre 13 keyboard (illuminated)
HP Spectre 13 keyboard (illuminated)

Keyboard

The keyboard in our review sample is similar to that of the predecessor. The chiclet keyboard with the same color as the casing merges into the base's upper side nicely. The individual keys have a pleasant size of 16 x 16 millimeters (~0.63 x 0.63 in). Only the up/down cursor keys are rather small due to the design. The mechanical drop is 1.3 millimeters (~0.05 in) and corresponds to that of Dell's XPS 13. The individual keys still clatter in the new edition. Furthermore, the keyboard scores with a subtle white backlight. It can only be turned on and off, and it is recommended to turn it off in bright environments otherwise the key lettering will be difficult to read.

The keyboard offers a good typing comfort so that even prolonged typing sessions are easily possible.

Touchpad

HP Spectre 13 touchpad
HP Spectre 13 touchpad

The touchpad implemented as a ClickPad does not have dedicated input keys, but it functions very reliably. The ImagePad as HP calls it supports multi-touch inputs and gesture control. The sleek surface has a size of 9.6 x 5.5 centimeters (3.8 x 2.2 in) and uses the space optimally. HP's silver Spectre 13 does not display fingerprints as much as its black counterpart.

The ClickPad's integrated keys have a short drop that still provide the user with a good acoustic and tactile feedback. The pressure point for triggering inputs is well chosen so that no unintentional inputs are made. Overall, the touchpad makes a very high-quality impression as can be expected from a device from this price category.

Display

Subpixels
Subpixels
Slight backlight bleeding in the lower left corner
Slight backlight bleeding in the lower left corner

HP does not follow the screen trend and has equipped the Spectre 13 with a Full HD panel. The UWVA IPS panel is covered by Corning Gorilla Glass, but it is non-touch. The manufacturer does not offer any alternative screens for this device. However, it can only be speculated why HP does not use a higher-resolution screen.

The resolution of 1920x1080 pixels equates to a pixel density of 166 PPI. Our review sample presents fairly decent measuring results. With an average screen brightness of 382 cd/m², HP's Spectre 13 takes the second place. Only the screen in the MacBook Pro 13 2016 is much brighter, with 542 cd/m². The screen's brightness is not reduced in battery mode (384 cd/m²). The illumination of 91% is very good. HP's Spectre 13 can outperform some rivals clearly here. However, the extreme difference to the older Spectre 13 is striking. We measured an illumination of only 76% there. The manufacturer has apparently made some profound improvements here. Our review sample does not have any major problems with backlight bleeding. A slightly brighter area is only visible in the lower left corner, but it can only be seen  on close inspection.

368
cd/m²
379
cd/m²
385
cd/m²
376
cd/m²
404
cd/m²
385
cd/m²
386
cd/m²
376
cd/m²
381
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 404 cd/m² Average: 382.2 cd/m² Minimum: 18 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 384 cd/m²
Contrast: 1154:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.37 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 6.44 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
89% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 58% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.52
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
CMN1374, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Spectre 13
1920x1080, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
APPA033, 2560x1600, 13.3
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Sharp SHP1449 LQ133M1, 1920x1080, 13.3
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Samsung 133YL04-P02, 3200x1800, 13.3
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Sharp SHP1465, 3200x1800, 13.3
Response Times
-6%
-32%
14%
18%
15%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
46 (26, 20)
50.8 (20, 30.8)
-10%
47.2 (19.6, 27.6)
-3%
32.8 (16, 16.8)
29%
38 (24, 14, Spikes in between)
17%
42.4 (17.2, 25.2)
8%
Response Time Black / White *
33 (21, 12)
33.2 (7.2, 26)
-1%
53 (10, 43)
-61%
33.2 (10.8, 22.4)
-1%
27 (13, 14, Spikes in between)
18%
25.6 (11.6, 14)
22%
PWM Frequency
1429 (20)
Screen
19%
27%
0%
-6%
10%
Brightness middle
404
300.5
-26%
569
41%
351.2
-13%
390
-3%
401
-1%
Brightness
382
305
-20%
542
42%
325
-15%
352
-8%
369
-3%
Brightness Distribution
91
76
-16%
90
-1%
89
-2%
81
-11%
85
-7%
Black Level *
0.35
0.184
47%
0.56
-60%
0.195
44%
0.69
-97%
0.35
-0%
Contrast
1154
1633
42%
1016
-12%
1801
56%
565
-51%
1146
-1%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.37
2.64
51%
1.4
74%
7.4
-38%
3.04
43%
3.5
35%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.46
5.06
47%
2.9
69%
9.08
4%
7.01
26%
6.33
33%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.44
2.8
57%
1.8
72%
6.71
-4%
2.88
55%
4.13
36%
Gamma
2.52 87%
2.16 102%
2.16 102%
2.74 80%
2.43 91%
2.28 96%
CCT
6738 96%
6999 93%
6877 95%
7222 90%
6848 95%
6508 100%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
58
60.9
5%
78.4
35%
50.48
-13%
55
-5%
61.56
6%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
89
94.3
6%
99.3
12%
73.31
-18%
85
-4%
94.64
6%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
7% / 15%
-3% / 17%
7% / 2%
6% / -2%
13% / 11%

* ... smaller is better

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Grayscale post-calibration
Grayscale post-calibration
ColorChecker post-calibration
ColorChecker post-calibration
Saturation Sweeps post-calibration
Saturation Sweeps post-calibration
sRGB color space (89%)
sRGB color space (89%)
AdobeRGB color space (58%)
AdobeRGB color space (58%)

In state of delivery, the average DeltaE 2000 deviation in the grayscale levels and colors compared with the sRGB reference color space are 5.37 and 6.44 respectively. These are in no way top rates considering that the competition present much better values. Calibration helps reducing the DeltaE 2000 rates considerably (DeltaE Grayscale: 0.8 and DeltaE ColorChecker: 2.24). The image looks good thanks to the glossy screen, and colors look quite vivid. Compared with HP's Spectre from 2016, the newer model does not achieve quite the same color space coverage. Our review sample reproduces 89% of the sRGB color space. It is still enough for an AdobeRGB reproduction of 58%. Thus, HP's Spectre 13 can still fulfil the premium claim of the Spectre lineup.

The Corning Gorilla Glass that covers the screen of HP's Spectre 13 causes intense reflections that make working outdoors difficult. The high brightness can improve this to a small degree, only. A place in the shade should be selected when possible in these cases.

HP Spectre 13 in sunlight
HP Spectre 13 in sunlight
HP Spectre 13 in the shade
HP Spectre 13 in the shade

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
33 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 12 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 86 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.7 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 26 ms rise
↘ 20 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 72 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41.2 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8789 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The viewing angles of the FHD panel in HP's Spectre 13 can be called IPS typical. The reference image can be reproduced unconditionally from almost all positions. A light haze covers the image only in the upper two corner screenshots.

HP Spectre 13: Viewing angles
HP Spectre 13: Viewing angles

Performance

The performance of the different HP Spectre 13 models varies only in terms of CPU configuration and storage device capacity. The two available processors from the Kaby Lake series (Intel Core i5-7200U and Intel Core i7-7500U) offer a solid performance for a smooth routine workflow. Expressed in figures, we can say that the Intel Core i7-7500U is approximately 10% stronger than its smaller brother Intel Core i5-7200U. The manufacturer offers PCIe NVMe SSDs with a gross capacity of 512 GB or 1 TB. The working memory is invariable. The 8-GB DDR3 RAM is soldered on the motherboard and cannot be expanded with a second module. Thus, the manufacturer prevents a possible dual-channel mode, which would have greatly contributed to Intel's HD Graphics 620.

CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
HWiNFO
DPC Latency
Intel Extreme Tuning Utility
Intel Extreme Tuning Utility (Benchmark)
 
 
 

Processor

Intel's Core i7-7500U dual-core processor succeeds Intel's Core i7-6500U, and it helps HP's Spectre 13 to a 10% higher performance. However, a drop of bitterness remains: The processor's full performance cannot be retrieved permanently. Thus, HP's Spectre 13 falls behind even Dell's XPS 13 9360 with an Intel Core i5-7200U in the Cinebench R15 multi-benchmark. Several test repetitions substantiated the outcome. The former model also had this issue, and could not outrun the competition based on an Intel Core i5-6200U. However, our review sample clearly outperforms very mobile devices, such as Asus' ZenBook UX305CA or HP's EliteBook 1030 G1. The performance of the very efficient Core m7-6Y75 CPUs is not enough to stand up to Intel's Core i7-7500U in HP's Spectre 13.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
140 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U
131 Points ∼94% -6%
HP Spectre 13
Intel Core i7-6500U
125 Points ∼89% -11%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-7200U
124 Points ∼89% -11%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75
114 Points ∼81% -19%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75
100 Points ∼71% -29%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U
339 Points ∼100% +8%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-7200U
318 Points ∼94% +1%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
314 Points ∼93%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75
283 Points ∼83% -10%
HP Spectre 13
Intel Core i7-6500U
266 Points ∼78% -15%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75
214 Points ∼63% -32%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-7200U
1.45 Points ∼100% +7%
HP Spectre 13
Intel Core i7-6500U
1.37 Points ∼94% +1%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75
1.37 Points ∼94% +1%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.35 Points ∼93%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75
1.28 Points ∼88% -5%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-7200U
3.61 Points ∼100% +5%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.45 Points ∼96%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75
3.25 Points ∼90% -6%
HP Spectre 13
Intel Core i7-6500U
3.2 Points ∼89% -7%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75
2.47 Points ∼68% -28%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
7265 Points ∼100%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
14408 Points ∼100%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
240.46 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U
223 Points ∼93% -7%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U
214 Points ∼89% -11%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75
208.71 Points ∼87% -13%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75
198.16 Points ∼82% -18%
Octane V2 - Total Score
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
35802 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-7200U
31023 Points ∼87% -13%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75
30999 Points ∼87% -13%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75
29889 Points ∼83% -17%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75
1161.3 ms * ∼100% -9%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75
1134.7 ms * ∼98% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U
1129 ms * ∼97% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U
963 ms * ∼83% +10%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U
1067.4 ms * ∼92%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10
Cinebench R10
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Jetstream 1.1
Jetstream 1.1
Octane V2
Octane V2
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
Mozilla Kraken 1.1
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

A minor decrease is recorded after the TDP limit (15 watts) takes effect. However, the looped Cinebench R 15 multi-benchmark outcomes are fairly consistent after that.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
8894
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
11223
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5613
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
8968 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
14408 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
7265 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.45 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
35.88 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.35 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
314 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
140 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.7 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
42.25 fps
Help

System Performance

The combination of Intel's Core i7 CPU and the fast PCIe NVMe SSD ensures a smooth-running system. The PCMark 8 scores are decent despite the poor Turbo utilization. HP's Spectre can come out on top in all subsections and sometimes achieves a lead of up to 11%. Subjectively, HP's Spectre 13 operates without latencies. It only takes a few seconds for the device to boot completely. Internet browsing is not a challenge for our review sample either. Thanks to the 8 GB of working memory, even several tabs can be opened simultaneously without slowing down the system perceptively.

PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Home
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Creative
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Work
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark Vantage
PCMark Vantage
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U, 2700, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5053 Points ∼100%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-7200U, 2500, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4568 Points ∼90% -10%
HP Spectre 13
Intel Core i7-6500U, 2500, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
4498 Points ∼89% -11%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U, 2900, Apple SSD AP0256
4218 Points ∼83% -17%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-512G-1006
3784 Points ∼75% -25%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
3472 Points ∼69% -31%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U, 2700, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4655 Points ∼100%
HP Spectre 13
Intel Core i7-6500U, 2500, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
4222 Points ∼91% -9%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-7200U, 2500, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4211 Points ∼90% -10%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-512G-1006
3555 Points ∼76% -24%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
3298 Points ∼71% -29%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U, 2700, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3789 Points ∼100%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U, 2900, Apple SSD AP0256
3738 Points ∼99% -1%
HP Spectre 13
Intel Core i7-6500U, 2500, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
3549 Points ∼94% -6%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel Core i5-7200U, 2500, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
3535 Points ∼93% -7%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-512G-1006
2838 Points ∼75% -25%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
2614 Points ∼69% -31%
PCMark 7
Productivity
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U, 2700, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4733 Points ∼100%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
3724 Points ∼79% -21%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-512G-1006
2440 Points ∼52% -48%
Score
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel Core i7-7500U, 2700, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5610 Points ∼100%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-512G-1006
4917 Points ∼88% -12%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel Core m7-6Y75, 1200, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
4480 Points ∼80% -20%
PCMark Vantage Result
17414 points
PCMark 7 Score
5610 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3789 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4655 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
5053 points
Help

Storage Device

HP's newest Spectre 13 is still relying on SSDs by Samsung. A 512 GB SSD model connected via PCIe is inside our review sample. Thus, nothing prevents a fast data transfer. A look at the comparison chart shows that our review sample operates on a very high level since only the MacBook Pro 13 2016 can take a lead of just 9%. HP's Spectre 13 is on its heels, followed by Dell XPS 13 9360  at a distance of 19%. Asus ZenBook UX305CA and both HPs lag even further behind.

We determine the SSD's performance with AS SSD and record 1324 MB/s in sequential read and 1189 MB/s in sequential write. We quite like the 4K read and write speeds, where HP's Spectre 13 presents the top rates in the direct comparison.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
ATTO
ATTO
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
HP Spectre 13
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV256
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Apple SSD AP0256
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-512G-1006
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-28%
9%
-19%
-49%
-56%
Write 4k QD32
416
231.5
-44%
419
1%
218.3
-48%
242.3
-42%
192.8
-54%
Read 4k QD32
497.1
513.2
3%
657
32%
479.2
-4%
288.9
-42%
311.3
-37%
Write 4k
140.2
119
-15%
23.5
-83%
116.9
-17%
90.66
-35%
75.91
-46%
Read 4k
57.47
40.09
-30%
16.1
-72%
29.31
-49%
28.57
-50%
30.34
-47%
Write 512
911.3
306
-66%
1481
63%
439.9
-52%
396.2
-57%
335.3
-63%
Read 512
753
621.4
-17%
1183
57%
1036
38%
404.8
-46%
239.9
-68%
Write Seq
1088
305.5
-72%
1336
23%
732.6
-33%
423.7
-61%
348.7
-68%
Read Seq
1090
1322
21%
1662
52%
1233
13%
475.2
-56%
387.5
-64%
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Sequential Read: 1090 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1088 MB/s
512K Read: 753 MB/s
512K Write: 911.3 MB/s
4K Read: 57.47 MB/s
4K Write: 140.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 497.1 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 416 MB/s

Graphics Card

The graphics performance of HP's Spectre 13 equipped with a Kaby Lake is just slightly higher than that of its predecessor. Intel's HD Graphics 620 is simply not strong enough to compete with the MacBook Pro 13 2016Dell's XPS 13 9360 can once again, even if only marginally, place itself ahead of our review sample.

3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Time Spy (Stress test)
3DMark 11
3DMark Vantage
3DMark 06
3DMark 05
3DMark 03
 
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
1657 Points ∼4% +75%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
963 Points ∼2% +2%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
948 Points ∼2%
HP Spectre 13
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6500U
919 Points ∼2% -3%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel HD Graphics 515, Intel Core m7-6Y75
892 Points ∼2% -6%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel HD Graphics 515, Intel Core m7-6Y75
507 Points ∼1% -47%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
13172 Points ∼7% +63%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
8177 Points ∼4% +1%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
8104 Points ∼4%
HP Spectre 13
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6500U
7786 Points ∼4% -4%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel HD Graphics 515, Intel Core m7-6Y75
6684 Points ∼4% -18%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel HD Graphics 515, Intel Core m7-6Y75
4286 Points ∼2% -47%
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, Intel Core i5-6267U
2696 Points ∼5% +73%
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i7-7500U
1562 Points ∼3%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1545 Points ∼3% -1%
HP Spectre 13
Intel HD Graphics 520, Intel Core i7-6500U
1487 Points ∼3% -5%
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
Intel HD Graphics 515, Intel Core m7-6Y75
1132 Points ∼2% -28%
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
Intel HD Graphics 515, Intel Core m7-6Y75
1083 Points ∼2% -31%
3DMark 03 Standard
20740 points
3DMark 05 Standard
11865 points
3DMark 06 Standard
8681 points
3DMark Vantage P Result
6071 points
3DMark 11 Performance
1706 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
56496 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
6298 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
858 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
407 points
3DMark Time Spy Score
350 points
Help

Gaming Performance

HP's Spectre 13 is not a gaming laptop. The gaming benchmarks prove this. The performance of the integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 graphics unit is just enough to play older games, such as "BioShock" in minimum settings smoothly.

More benchmarks and information concerning Intel's HD Graphics 620 can be found in our FAQ section.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 46.929.324.67.8fps
Battlefield 4 (2013) 3527176fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 1394fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 1586fps

Emissions

Noise level
Noise level

System Noise

The measured noise pollution that the two small fans produce is not significantly different from that of its predecessor. The fans are usually inactive in idle mode and thus there is no noise. The level climbs to a maximum of 40 dB(A) during load. The passively cooled HP EliteBook 1030 G1 is the clear winner in the direct comparison. However, the other comparison devices also run more quietly. Furthermore, our review sample produced audible electronic noises that sound like coil whining. This was noticed when the SSD was loaded.

Noise Level

Idle
30.4 / 30.4 / 30.4 dB(A)
Load
40 / 40 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.4 dB(A)
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
7500U, HD Graphics 620
HP Spectre 13
6500U, HD Graphics 520
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
7200U, HD Graphics 620
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
6Y75, HD Graphics 515
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
6Y75, HD Graphics 515
Noise
1%
5%
11%
5%
off / environment *
30.4
28.5
6%
30.2
1%
31.3
-3%
Idle Minimum *
30.4
28.5
6%
30.2
1%
28.9
5%
31.3
-3%
Idle Average *
30.4
30.9
-2%
30.2
1%
28.9
5%
31.3
-3%
Idle Maximum *
30.4
31.6
-4%
30.2
1%
28.9
5%
31.3
-3%
Load Average *
40
38.8
3%
33
17%
30.9
23%
31.3
22%
Load Maximum *
40
41.4
-4%
36.2
9%
33.5
16%
31.3
22%

* ... smaller is better

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.535.132.535.234.52533.531.832.438.433.53138.938.137.638.538.94030.930.931.932.130.95031.128.228.229.331.16329.327.327.526.629.38027.227.427.225.727.210029.726.426.226.429.712525.925.324.526.125.916023.824.52423.723.820024.624.722.322.724.625024.323.821.721.624.331525.325.62120.825.340024.425.520.32024.450025.525.919.419.425.563025.325.618.618.825.380026.426.318.218.326.4100030.530.317.717.630.5125028.628.317.817.828.6160030.330.217.617.530.3200030.630.617.417.530.6250029.929.817.617.429.93150303017.717.830400027.527.518.617.927.5500026.326.518.118.126.3630022.922.918.318.322.9800021.220.918.718.421.21000019.419.318.418.419.41250018.818.618.418.318.81600018.518.418.718.318.5SPL40.140.130.430.440.1N3.33.31.41.43.3median 25.5HP Spectre 13-v131ngmedian 25.6median 18.6median 18.3median 25.5Delta2.62.21.81.92.640.637.939.137.937.440.538.338.539.138.241.837.737.73933.432.237343033.436.334.435.333.733.937.737.732.931.331.535.133.930.932.131.53333.33232.531.331.332.73333.138.73332.4343131.932.63231.532.832.833.530.428.933.632.329.229.831.529.33030.632303029.93032.937.534.131.631.132.730.932.33232.830.930.929.727.928.533.528.529.428.930.326.928.728.929.528.928.927.626.227.129.126.227.825.528.426.727.626.22726.126.126.925.625.529.625.826.126.727.126.826.625.726.2252525.924.32526.225.72524.925.924.924.324.425.925.625.623.823.623.227.525.124.724.324.924.8252423.923.323.323.322.822.929.424.725.424.925.225.224.22422.9232322.82221.733.626.125.726.426.124.223.3232222.322.321.520.421.537.729.527.529.126.725.72323.421.921.721.721.22020.840.228.928.127.826.625.623.323.721.421.521.519.719.419.333.725.525.72524.623.222.22120.820.420.419.518.418.733.424.323.723.623.52221.421.119.818.918.918.71818.33325.124.62423.522.121.120.719.518.618.618.417.91837.226.62625.424.823.521.420.519.318.618.617.717.617.637.126.925.92624.822.820.620.218.5181817.517.317.438.827.627.426.725.822.720.420.118.418.218.217.417.517.237.124.624.523.522.620.919.51917.917.117.117.317.217.237.825.92524.323.421.41918.317.417.217.217.217.317.234.920.720.419.519.217.917.617.417.317.217.217.217.317.235.719.319.118.618.217.717.417.317.317.117.117.417.317.332.617.917.817.617.617.417.217.217.217.217.217.417.517.426.217.517.517.517.417.417.517.317.417.617.617.417.417.422.217.317.417.517.317.417.417.317.417.317.317.517.317.320.417.317.317.317.317.317.317.317.317.217.217.317.317.318.117.417.417.317.317.317.317.317.217.317.317.430.230.347.936.936.43635.233.632.231.830.930.630.630.21.41.46.22.62.52.42.321.71.71.51.51.51.4median 17.9Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)median 18median 33.4median 25.1median 25median 24.3median 24.6median 22.7median 21.1median 20.5median 19.3median 18.6median 18.6median 17.72.72.75.12.633.43.13.23.232.62.72.72.6hearing rangehide median Fan Noise

Temperature

3DMark 11 post-stress
3DMark 11 post-stress

We deem the casing's temperatures of HP's Spectre 13 as much too high. The hot spot of 54.2 °C (~130 °F) is found on the base's upper left side. Compared with that, the underside remains cool with 37.7 °C (~100 °F).

The installed components have to show whether the cooling system is sufficiently sized for permanent load. The processor heated up to a maximum of 83 °C (~181 °F) when loaded with Prime95. The average clock speed was 2.1 GHz. Thermal throttling was not an issue as the power target set in before this. We recorded a maximum of 72 °C (~162 °F) when Intel's HD Graphics 620 was stressed with FurMark. The graphics unit's clock rate fluctuated between 950 and 1000 MHz.

Stress test: Prime95 only
Stress test: Prime95 only
Stress test: FurMark only
Stress test: FurMark only
Stress test: FurMark + Prime95
Stress test: FurMark + Prime95
Idle, oben
Idle, upper side
Idle, underside
Idle, underside
Load, upper side
Load, upper side
Load, underside
Load, underside
Max. Load
 30.9 °C
88 F
40 °C
104 F
35.1 °C
95 F
 
 54.2 °C
130 F
27.7 °C
82 F
26.7 °C
80 F
 
 24 °C
75 F
23.1 °C
74 F
24 °C
75 F
 
Maximum: 54.2 °C = 130 F
Average: 31.7 °C = 89 F
27.7 °C
82 F
37.7 °C
100 F
27 °C
81 F
24.7 °C
76 F
27.1 °C
81 F
25.1 °C
77 F
23.6 °C
74 F
23.3 °C
74 F
24.2 °C
76 F
Maximum: 37.7 °C = 100 F
Average: 26.7 °C = 80 F
Power Supply (max.)  39.4 °C = 103 F | Room Temperature 20.7 °C = 69 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
7500U, HD Graphics 620
HP Spectre 13
6500U, HD Graphics 520
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
7200U, HD Graphics 620
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
6Y75, HD Graphics 515
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
6Y75, HD Graphics 515
Heat
-12%
9%
1%
11%
-8%
Maximum Upper Side *
54.2
45.2
17%
45
17%
43.4
20%
39.1
28%
43.4
20%
Maximum Bottom *
37.7
50.2
-33%
39
-3%
49.2
-31%
38.7
-3%
44.5
-18%
Idle Upper Side *
29
32.4
-12%
26
10%
26.4
9%
26
10%
32.6
-12%
Idle Bottom *
27.6
33
-20%
24
13%
26.4
4%
25.7
7%
33.5
-21%

* ... smaller is better

Speakers

Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics

The sound system comes from Bang & Olufsen and is comprised of a total of four speakers. They are situated on the sides of the chiclet keyboard. Due to the very compact build, the high tones are very dominant in contrast to the virtually absent bass. The sound makes a relatively weak impression when playing music or videos. We recommend connecting external speakers or headphones to the rear-sided 3.5-mm jack for prolonged multimedia consumption. The maximum volume of the four speakers is sufficient for small rooms, and distortions or interference noises are not produced at maximum volume.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.635.231.62533.138.433.13144.138.544.14036.632.136.65029.129.329.16329.126.629.18027.425.727.410025.926.425.91252726.12716033.923.733.920033.322.733.325039.321.639.33154620.84640053.52053.550051.319.451.36305018.85080050.418.350.4100052.617.652.612505817.85816006117.561200063.117.563.1250064.817.464.8315067.317.867.3400067.717.967.7500067.118.167.1630065.118.365.180006418.4641000063.618.463.61250061.718.361.71600058.118.358.1SPL7630.476N331.433median 58HP Spectre 13-v131ngmedian 18.3median 58Delta10.61.910.635.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
HP Spectre 13-v131ng audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (68 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.1% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (26.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 81% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 13% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 77% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 18% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

The small power supply provides a maximum of 45 watts.
The small power supply
The small power supply provides a maximum of 45 watts.
provides a maximum of 45 watts.

Power Consumption

The power consumption of HP's Spectre 13 is surprising. The consumption compared with the predecessor has been lowered, especially in idle mode. The idle power consumption of our review sample now ranges from 3.6 to 9.2 watts. This is a very good outcome because the very efficient devices equipped with a Core m7-6Y75 are roughly on par with this. The energy requirement climbed to a maximum of 34.4 watts during the stress test, which is still relatively low in view of the installed hardware. Dell's XPS 13 9260 is also surprisingly efficient and can distance itself by 23% in the overall comparison. Nevertheless, HP's Spectre 13 does not have to hide - the trend clearly indicates the direction.

However, we see room for improvement in the turned off state and standby modes; 0.5 and 0.6 watts are still simply too much.

The power supply has a maximum output of 45 watts and is thus sufficiently sized. HP's Spectre 13 can be recharged via all three present USB Type-C ports.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.5 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.6 / 6.4 / 9.2 Watt
Load midlight 34 / 34.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
7500U, HD Graphics 620
HP Spectre 13
6500U, HD Graphics 520
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
7200U, HD Graphics 620
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
6Y75, HD Graphics 515
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
6Y75, HD Graphics 515
Power Consumption
-48%
-21%
23%
9%
-2%
Idle Minimum *
3.6
8.6
-139%
2.1
42%
4.1
-14%
4.2
-17%
4
-11%
Idle Average *
6.4
11
-72%
7.6
-19%
4.2
34%
8.4
-31%
8
-25%
Idle Maximum *
9.2
11.3
-23%
8.2
11%
5.1
45%
8.9
3%
8.6
7%
Load Average *
34
33.8
1%
56.4
-66%
22.1
35%
15.9
53%
26.5
22%
Load Maximum *
34.4
36.2
-5%
59.8
-74%
29.4
15%
22.5
35%
34.8
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

3DMark 11 in battery mode
3DMark 11 in battery mode

Although the power consumption has been reduced compared with the 2016 model, the battery life has not improved much. We only achieved a four percent longer runtime with our review sample. The non-removable 4-cell battery still has 38 Wh, which is the lowest capacity in this comparison group. Consequently, the other comparison devices sometimes have a clear lead. Dell's XPS 13 9360 carries the biggest battery with 60 Wh.

The battery of HP's Spectre 13 is enough to provide the device with power for almost 12 hours in idle mode. As with the predecessor, the critical battery state is reached after just 1:17 hours during load, and it has to be recharged. We managed 6:34 hours of Wi-Fi time in the test with our review sample, which is a relatively good outcome. A charged battery should be enough for two or three videos before HP's Spectre 13 has to be reconnected to the outlet. This device needs roughly three hours for one charging cycle, although the battery capacity is at 80% after just half of this time.

Maximum battery life
Maximum battery life
Minimum battery life
Minimum battery life
WiFi battery life
WiFi battery life
H.264 battery life
H.264 battery life
Charging time
Charging time
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
11h 58min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge 38.14393.0.0)
6h 34min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
6h 07min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 17min
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 38 Wh
HP Spectre 13
6500U, HD Graphics 520, 38 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550, 49.2 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i5
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
Asus Zenbook UX305CA-FB055T
6Y75, HD Graphics 515, 45 Wh
HP EliteBook 1030 G1-X2F03EA
6Y75, HD Graphics 515, 40 Wh
Battery Runtime
-4%
21%
85%
48%
13%
Reader / Idle
718
715
0%
1295
80%
1013
41%
618
-14%
H.264
367
483
32%
418
14%
377
3%
WiFi v1.3
394
338
-14%
566
44%
677
72%
402
2%
305
-23%
Load
77
78
1%
66
-14%
157
104%
182
136%
144
87%

Pros

+ stylish design (ultra-slim, light, mobile and luxurious)
+ good input devices
+ high system performance
+ fast NVMe SSD
+ bright, viewing angle stable screen
+ low idle power consumption
+ USB Type-C Gen.2 ports incl. Thunderbolt 3
+ USB-C-to-USB-A adapter and HP sleeve included

Cons

- relatively loud during load (sporadic and high-pitched fan)
- only few configurations available, no 2K/3K/4K panels or touchscreens
- poor Turbo utilization
- highly reflective screen
- limited connectivity
- no maintenance hatch
- mediocre speakers, weak bass
- no SD card reader
- high casing temperatures during load

Verdict

In review: HP Spectre 13. Test model Courtesy of HP Germany
In review: HP Spectre 13. Test model Courtesy of HP Germany

There is no doubt that HP's Spectre 13 is one of the slimmest 13.3-inch laptops even in 2017. The manufacturer has accomplished a good compromise of mobility, design, and performance. Our review sample is equipped with a fast Intel Core i7-7500U that, however, cannot utilize the full Turbo mode permanently. Nevertheless, its power is enough for a very good system performance, especially in conjunction with the very fast NVMe SSD. In our opinion, the 8-GB DDR 3 RAM is enough at the moment, but 16-GB DDR4 RAM would be considerably more future proof.

HP's Spectre 13 is the right laptop for those who put a lot of value on elegance and looks, but do not want to waive system performance. This is exactly where HP comes in with its Spectre 13.

But not all that glitters is gold, and thus some aspects of HP's Spectre 13 give cause for criticism. The limited screen options are too bad since a QHD+ screen would look good in HP's Spectre 13. Furthermore, the fewness of interfaces due to design-related reasons is also too bad. Although it has been modernized and two of the three USB Type-C ports support Thunderbolt 3, working with adapters can sometimes get annoying. However, the buyer should consider if these compromises can be tolerated in the long run before purchase. Also, there is the purchase price of 1599 Euros (~$1706) for the laptop in our test configuration that is not exactly small. However, the buyer gets a premium device from HP that will attract attention from far for this price.

HP Spectre 13-v131ng - 03/26/2017 v6
Sebastian Bade

Chassis
83 /  98 → 85%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
48 / 80 → 59%
Weight
74 / 35-78 → 90%
Battery
88%
Display
83%
Games Performance
55 / 68 → 81%
Application Performance
90 / 87 → 100%
Temperature
91 / 91 → 100%
Noise
89%
Audio
40 / 91 → 44%
Camera
34 / 85 → 40%
Average
73%
86%
Subnotebook - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP Spectre 13 (Core i7, Full-HD) Laptop Review
Sebastian Bade, 2017-03-31 (Update: 2017-04- 8)