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The 13.3-inch HP Spectre is the laptop HP says will beat Apple (Updated)

By Koh Wanzi - on 27 May 2016, 2:38pm

The 13.3-inch HP Spectre is the laptop HP says will beat Apple (Updated)

HP Spectre

Updated on 27 May 2016: Added details on local price and pre-order options.

Updated on 7 April 2016: Added details on expected availability in Singapore.

Originally published on 5 April 2016:

When it comes to notebooks (also phones, tablets, and a whole lot of other stuff), pretty much everyone agrees that Apple still has the last word on design. Of course, Apple’s rivals have been busy trying to create designs that will rival the MacBook – cue the Dell XPS 13 – and HP thinks it might have succeeded this time. The company today announced the HP Spectre, a brand new notebook that it claims is the thinnest produced by any major laptop manufacturer.

The new Spectre is a mere 10.4mm thick. In comparison, the already ultra-thin Apple MacBook is a good 13.2mm thick, while the Dell XPS 13 comes in at 15.2mm.

HP Spectre hinge

HP has brought out all the big guns this time, but it has trained them squarely on creating the most appealing design possible. This means no flashy features like a 4K display or even a touchscreen. The Spectre is very simply a well-built laptop that also happens to be scarily thin.

The base model features a 13.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080-pixel IPS display, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage. It can be configured with either a sixth-generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor, which is a welcome surprise considering that laptops this thin tend to feature only a lower-powered Core M part. That’s in part because Core M processors don’t require active cooling, allowing manufacturers to implement fanless designs and make even slimmer notebooks.

HP says that it has circumvented the increased heat output of the Intel Core processors by using a hyperbaric cooling system that exhausts heat and sucks cold air in as well. And in order to deal with the increased burden on battery life because of a more power-hungry processor, the company went with a large, hybrid battery that has been split into two thinner pieces. The end result is a laptop that can deliver up to 9.5 hours of battery life, assuming HP’s claims hold true.

It is constructed mostly of dark gray CNC aluminum, although the bottom is made from lighter-weight carbon fiber. However, it is by no means plain, and a large bronze piece at the bottom of the display helps provide a very striking visual feature to draw your gaze.

What is perhaps even more impressive is the fact that HP has also managed to include a total of three USB Type-C ports, of which two support Thunderbolt 3. Clearly, it wants to avoid the accusations facing the MacBook that it had too few ports.

HP Spectre ports

Finally, the icing on the cake is a spanking new HP logo that gives the machine an even more edgy look. It’s actually stunningly simple – just four dashes that come together to spell the brand’s name.

HP Spectre logo

The Spectre 13 will cost S$2,299 when it goes on sale in June. You can already pre-order it at the same price at CEE 2016. For more details on the notebook, you can check out our hands-on article here.

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