HP: Spectre 13 Flagship Notebook and new logo announced
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Notebook manufacturers are continuing to explore the limits of design in terms of reducing the thickness. The new HP Spectre 13 is currently the benchmark. With a "thickness" of just 10.4 millimeters, HP even clearly beats other thin laptops like the Apple MacBook 12 (up to 13 mm). That the diet was not an easy tasks is supported by some clever details. While the use of CNC machined aluminum and carbon is pretty much standard in this class of this devices by now, HP had to find a special solution for hinge because of the extremely thin display (2 millimeters) as well as the edge-to-edge design of the panel. The result is a so called "Piston Hinge", which folds into the base unit and is then guided or absorbed, respectively, by a special mechanism.
Another problem HP had to solve was the thermal management. Because of the extremely thin case and the intention to use Intel Core-i processors, HP developed a so called "hybrid cooling" solution. Two very flat fans suck cool air from the rear of the notebook and pump it inside the chassis. Here the air flows will be combined and follow the way over the cooling units of the CPU towards the outside.
HP uses Intel's current chips from the Skylake ULV lineup, and you can choose between the Intel i5-6300U or the i7-6500U (both with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 520). Whether they run at the maximum TDP of 15 Watts or HP uses the "Configurable TDP" was not yet specified by the manufacturer. They did, however, mention possible modifications in respect of maximum Turbo clocks.
The display is a Full-HD IPS panel with a luminance of around 300 nits, which is supposed to appear very bright and vivid due to the thin construction (only 0.4 mm top layer). Higher resolution displays might be an option for a possible refresh. HP speaks about a travel of 1.3 mm for the keyboard, even though the typing experience is supposed to feel similar to a notebook with more travel due to an optimized resistance and stroke. The dimensions of the keys meet the standard and the keyboard still gets a background illumination, despite the thin construction. The mouse replacement is a glass touchpad with mechanical buttons in the front area.
The HP Spectre 13 comes with three USB Type-C ports at the back, and two of them are implemented as Thunderbolt 3 ports and therefore allow the usage of two external 4K monitors. Besides high transfer rates due to Type-C (Gen. 2), the ports are also used to charge the notebook. The user can actually choose which of the ports he uses. A 3.5 mm stereo jack for the attachment of headphones/headsets is also located at the back. The sound output is handled by two stereo speakers (Bang & Olufsen). There will also be special editions of the Spectre 13 in cooperation with some popular artists, like a completely golden version, or with golden ornaments and versions with Swarovski crystals.
The HP Spectre 13 and the Spectre 13 Pro (Win 10 Pro) will be available in May. The entry-level price is $1,169 for the version with Intel i5 CPU and 256 GB SSD or $1,249 for the i7 model. The region EMEA should get the device in June with prices starting at 1,499 Euros.
The HP Spectre 13 is also the first device with a new stylized HP logo. According to HP, we will see this more often in the future, so we can speculate that there will be a complete change or at least some device classes will use the new logo.
Specifications HP Spectre 13:
- 13.3-inch Full-HD display (1920 x 1080), IPS, 300 cd/m² luminance, 72 % color gamut, 0.4 mm Gorilla Glass 4 with Edge-to-Edge design and no touch with Glossy Oberfläche
- Intel Core i5-6200U and i7-6500U
- Intel HD Graphics 520 iGPU
- up to 8 GB RAM
- PCIe-SSD with 256 and 512 GB storage
- three USB Type-C Ports, two of them with Thunderbolt 3; supports dual-4K output, charging of the device possible at all Type-C ports
- Dual-Band Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5 GHz)
- 4-cell lithium-polymer battery with a runtime of up to 9:45 hours, quick-charge is supported
- 10.4 millimeters thin, 1.11 kilograms (2.45 lbs)
- Prices start at $1,169.99 (i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD) and $1,249.99 (i7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD)