HP Spectre 13: A jewel among laptops

This is serious slimness Being a 13.3 inch notebook it still happens to be light but strong and well-built and bling is nicely done

This is serious slimness: Being a 13.3 inch notebook it still happens to be light but strong and well-built and bling is nicely done

Gold accents combine with extreme thinness to add luxury to a highly usable but expensive machine

Said to be the slimmest laptop in the world, this jewel of a notebook is certainly one of the prettiest. A big gold strip on the far end of the lid gives it a touch of class that is difficult to deny. Gold accents on a notebook could have instantly made it look garish, vulgar almost. But not on the Spectre. It looks beautiful and, well, fashionable.

Gold and carbon

The gold, combined with a carbon smooth finish for the rest of the body, makes for an elegant and sophisticated looking laptop that no one will fail to notice when you use it. It is impossibly thin and light: 10.4mm thin; 1.11 kgs (2.45 lbs) light. At 13.3 inches, it will not slip into a handbag, but it can certainly be carried in the hand and has a leathery sleeve provided in the box.

Looking back at a fat truck of a notebook I just gave away, I see how far these machines have come since the MacBook Air and Ultrabooks came into the market.

300 nits of brightness

You certainly pay a price for this one though. At ₹99,990 or ₹139,990 depending on the configuration, you need to have the money to spare. The Spectre 13 is not just slim prettiness, it is quite sturdy, with a good build and a strong hinge. It opens up with barely a whisper and is instantly on to reveal a Windows 10 wallpaper. The screen is very bright and has excellent colours and no compromised viewing angles. But this is not a touch screen so no swiping through Windows. The 13.3 inch LED edge-to-edge display has Gorilla Glass 4 and a 1920 x 1080 Full HD (1080p) resolution. There is a Bang & Olufsen speaker on it but they really should have done a better job with the way it sounds.

Keyboard comfort

A keyboard is one of the most important components of a laptop: one that can make or break the experience for the user. The Spectre 13's keyboard is island style with the right breathing room between keys. More importantly, each key has plenty of travel, making it a buttery pleasure to work with. The touch pad has a glass surface with an image sensor to make the touch experience more accurate.

Under the hood

Here is what the specs sound like: 6th Gen Intel Core i7-6500U 2.5GHz processor | Intel HD graphics 520 | 8GB RAM | 512GB SSD | 2XUSB Type-C Gen 2, 1XUSB Type-C Gen 1 | Windows 10 Pro (64bit). Put together, these specs have the machine performing perfectly, specially for the upper-crust customer for whom it is meant. I constantly felt a little disappointed at not having a touch screen to reach out to now and again, but other than that personal quirk of a need, there is no problem with the speed with which the Spectre works. Watching video on it is an excellent experience. Gaming and processor intensive tasks can lead to some hot air, but nothing alarming.

For anyone looking for a dazzler of a device that does not disappoint in performance, the HP Spectre 13 should be on top of the list. It costs, but does not pretend not to.

Price: ₹99,990 and ₹139,990

Love: Slim, beautiful design, great screen, greater keyboard

Hate: Price, underwhelming speakers

Published on October 05, 2016
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