I feel like the whole tech world jumped ahead of itself by about five years when the term Ultrabook was introduced. Now a relic of marketing terms gone by – the word is actually the perfect description for some of the amazing laptops we’re starting to see these days as boundaries are pushed by designers and engineers.
HP’s new Spectre x360 is the encore performance to the stunning Spectre from last year, but with an added twist – the convertible fold back screen.
Yep, the x360 will flip around on itself to be your tablet, and sit like a tent or folded back to be your media viewing centre, it also comes in the box with a stylus for full use of Windows Ink technology in Windows 10.
And – most importantly, it will sit “normally” and be your basic laptop.
In reality – I think laptop mode is 99% of the use of these devices, but for the odd occasion where you stuck down the YouTube rabbit warren or need to use your PC to watch that show because you’re stuck at the airport lounge – it’s a winner.
Until now, I’ve given Lenovo all the points for design and usability in laptops, but geez, HP have come a long way – the hinges on this aren’t as fancy looking at Lenovo, but inside there’s actually a set of gears that mean it rotates in a fluid motion, yet holds its place wherever you stop. The gears are actually encased in a stainless steel hinge – so they look good too.
Full metal body isn’t uncommon these days, but it’s still the premium market – this fella starts around $2,000 – and upward from there – but you’re getting solid quality and features.
The keyboard isn’t some fancy new light touch format, it feels like a good punch it hard workhorse. Tapping away for hours at a breeze. HP have managed to fit in the Home/End and other keys down the right hand side – so you’ve got a full set of keys, and standard spacing in what seems a very small laptop.
At 13 inches the screen is optimal in size, and the boundaries of the laptop squeeze down to create an almost edge to edge look.
Folded flat, this baby is 13.8mm thin – and weighs just under 1.3kg.
You can buy it with Intel Core processors, up to 16GB of RAM and the battery will push through the whole day if you manage it correctly – It seems to hold it’s power well too – I didn’t lose bundles of charge folding it shut and powering it back up a day or so later.
It’s been a while since I’ve been impressed by a laptop, the HP Spectre does that in droves.
With two USB-C ports, both capable of all your data needs and charging it’s modern – but with a good old USB port on the other side you’re not left stranded or looking for adaptors. In the box you’ll get a HDMI adaptor ready to go.
The consumer version comes in the standard grey aluminium, while Harvey Norman also stock the Katie Page inspired black and gold version which has since gone global – a testament to the Harvey Norman CEO’s eye for design and detail.
Comes at a price, but packs the power to last a very long time.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.