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The HP Spectre Folio makes for a good alternative to the new Apple MacBook Air

The HP Spectre Folio makes for a good alternative to the new Apple MacBook Air
The HP Spectre Folio makes for a good alternative to the new Apple MacBook Air
It's a bit larger and heavier, but the HP convertible is the more versatile option especially in regard to its integrated 4G LTE Cat. 16 connectivity. The leather casing and brown colors fit perfectly in a coffee shop setting.

The Spectre family has grown to include some of the most highly-rated convertible Ultrabooks in the market. The new Spectre Folio, however, is the latest experiment and a tangent from the Spectre convertibles that we're already familiar with. The "x360" hinges are gone in favor of a "flip" design and the chassis is a unique amalgamation of the classic unibody metal skeleton with high quality leather.

The new Amber Lake Core i7-8500Y CPU in the Spectre Folio sits comfortably in between the Pentium Gold 4415Y and i5-8250U in the Surface Go and Surface Pro 6, respectively, in terms of multi-thread performance. Various levels of throttling will inevitably change some smaller details, but users can generally expect the i7-8500Y to perform closer to the Pentium Gold 4415Y than the i5-8250U. Users who may find the Surface Go a bit too slow for their needs could see more value in the HP convertible. Meanwhile, users on the fence for a MacBook Air may find the HP design striking and its integrated eSIM 4G LTE capabilities useful.

Size is the biggest drawback for the Spectre Folio. Its leather exterior thickens the profile, enlarges the footprint, and increases the weight of the system to be bigger and heavier than even the regular Spectre x360 13. Price is also a major factor as the Spectre Folio retailers for $1200 or $1300 and up to be more expensive than the Surface alternatives. We're hopeful for a price cut in the near future since the convertible uses just a 5 W passively-cooled processor instead of the more powerful 15 W Kaby Lake-R or Whiskey Lake-U series.

320 mm / 12.6 inch 235 mm / 9.25 inch 15.4 mm / 0.606 inch 1.5 kg3.28 lbs304.1 mm / 12 inch 212.4 mm / 8.36 inch 15.6 mm / 0.614 inch 1.2 kg2.73 lbs292 mm / 11.5 inch 201 mm / 7.91 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 781 g1.722 lbs245 mm / 9.65 inch 175 mm / 6.89 inch 8.3 mm / 0.3268 inch 523 g1.153 lbs
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
AU Optronics AUO572D, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Sharp SHP14A6, IPS, 10, 1800x1200
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i5, 128 GB
LGPhilips LP123WQ112604, IPS, 12.3, 2736x1834
Apple MacBook Air 2018
APPA039, IPS, 13.3, 2560x1600
Response Times
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
52 (24.4, 27.6)
44 (22, 22)
42 (22, 20)
39.6 (20.8, 18.8)
Response Time Black / White *
37.2 (21.2, 16)
25.6 (11.6, 14)
25 (14, 11)
28 (15.6, 12.4)
PWM Frequency
1020 (99)
20800 (50)
113600 (75)
Screen
Brightness middle
389.8
456
463
320
Brightness
396
426
450
315
Brightness Distribution
88
88
83
95
Black Level *
0.27
0.31
0.32
0.29
Contrast
1444
1471
1447
1103
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.72
1.3
3.76
1.2
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
5.49
3
7.35
3.2
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
1.25
1.1
2.68
0.5
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.2
1.4
3.18
0.8
Gamma
2.1 105%
2.24 98%
2.53 87%
2.2 100%
CCT
7470 87%
6687 97%
6994 93%
6548 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
62.2
62.3
59
62.1
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98.2
96.8
90
96
Total Average (Program / Settings)

* ... smaller is better

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HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000 UHD Graphics 615, 8500Y, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø220 (212.35-271)
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003 UHD Graphics 615, 4415Y, 64 GB eMMC Flash; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø163 (162.13-163.67)
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i5, 128 GB UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba KBG30ZPZ128G; CPU Multi 64Bit: Ø452 (434.07-584.91)
Apple MacBook Air 2018 UHD Graphics 617, 8210Y, Apple SSD AP0256; CPU Multi 64Bit; macOS: Ø277 (266.55-285.88)
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i5, 128 GB
Intel Core i5-8250U
143 Points ∼66%
Apple MacBook Air 2018
Intel Core i5-8210Y
132 Points ∼61%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel Core i7-8500Y
132 Points ∼61%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
65 Points ∼30%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i5, 128 GB
Intel Core i5-8250U
585 Points ∼13%
Apple MacBook Air 2018
Intel Core i5-8210Y
285 Points ∼7%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel Core i7-8500Y
271 Points ∼6%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
164 Points ∼4%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i5, 128 GB
Intel Core i5-8250U
1509 Points ∼7%
Apple MacBook Air 2018
Intel Core i5-8210Y
1472 Points ∼7%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
1134 Points ∼5%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel Core i7-8500Y
872 Points ∼4%
1280x720 Performance Physics
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i5, 128 GB
Intel Core i5-8250U
6498 Points ∼35%
Apple MacBook Air 2018
Intel Core i5-8210Y
3831 Points ∼21%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel Core i7-8500Y
2942 Points ∼16%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
2319 Points ∼12%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i5, 128 GB
Intel Core i5-8250U
1881 Points ∼4%
Apple MacBook Air 2018
Intel Core i5-8210Y
1572 Points ∼3%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
1257 Points ∼2%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel Core i7-8500Y
1088 Points ∼2%
1280x720 Performance
Microsoft Surface Pro 6, Core i5, 128 GB
Intel Core i5-8250U
2048 Points ∼7%
Apple MacBook Air 2018
Intel Core i5-8210Y
1711 Points ∼5%
Microsoft Surface Go MHN-00003
Intel Pentium Gold 4415Y
1334 Points ∼4%
HP Spectre Folio 13t-ak000
Intel Core i7-8500Y
1169 Points ∼4%

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > The HP Spectre Folio makes for a good alternative to the new Apple MacBook Air
Allen Ngo, 2018-11-25 (Update: 2018-11-25)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.