HP Spectre rekindles the notebook thinness wars

HP just renewed the ongoing struggle for the title of world's thinnest laptop. Its latest entry in the high-end Spectre notebook family, the HP Spectre, features a folded thickness of just 0.4" inch (10.4mm). HP claims that figure makes the Spectre the world's thinnest. Given what this PC lacks in volume, it's also a featherweight at just 2.5 pounds. The machine's body is made out of aluminum and carbon fiber. Gorilla Glass shields a 1080p IPS display, a fine resolution for the machine's 13.3" size.

Perhaps because its last 13-inch Spectre laptop faced complaints about its performance, HP has implemented Intel's hyperbaric cooler on the new Spectre. That cooler lets the machine use Skylake Core i5 and i7 processors, rather than the Core M or Atom processors typically found in this size class.

Buyers get up to 512GB of PCI Express-based solid-state storage, 802.11ac Wi-Fi with a 2×2 antenna, and three USB Type-C connectors, two of which are Thunderbolt 3-capable. HP says the new Spectre should manage a nine-hour runtime on battery. Pricing starts at $1169.99, but there's no word yet on when the new ultrathin notebook will be available.

Comments closed
    • tipoo
    • 4 years ago

    I’ll just leave this here

    [url<]http://www.blogcdn.com/www.engadget.com/media/2009/11/17nov09compach0qw83.jpg[/url<] HP has been investing in the form in the last few years, not so much in the function. Still crappy trackpads, usually below average battery lives, and reliability issues. I'd take a Dell any day of the week even though people tend to clump them together, and the above supports that.

      • End User
      • 4 years ago

      Apart from the Surface Book is there any Windows laptop with a good trackpad?

    • mtruchado
    • 4 years ago

    does anybody know if we can expect premium laptops like this one based on amd’s zen architecture?

      • Kretschmer
      • 4 years ago

      If Zen flops in the mobile space like Bulldozer did, it will be relegated to budget units as well. That’s assuming that Zen is even targeting mobile…

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 4 years ago

        AMD would be making a terrible mistake to not be targeting mobile, and in general targeting a good balance between performance, power and manufacturing cost.

          • Kretschmer
          • 4 years ago

          It only makes sense if AMD can create something competitive in that space with their limited resources. AMD could very well target a niche (e.g. servers of a particular type) to maximize their part margins per dollar of R&D spend.

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 4 years ago

            Hide in the corners, accept a tiny market share, beg for a profit margin, wait for death.

            Alternatively they could make something general purpose, mostly as good as Intel, and sell it for a lot less, they just need to manage to design something they can produce in huge volumes. There are big profit margins in x86 still, its just money laying around for the taking, if they can just produce something half-decent, and deliver in large volumes.

            If performance is too low, Intel can just lower prices at the low end, and ruin AMD’s party. If its too expensive to manufacture or not available in volume, it basically doesn’t matter how it performs, Intel can mostly ignore it because only Intel would provide the volume. Also if it runs too hot, thats a problem for AMD, the market for high-wattage chips overlaps basically 100% with the market for [i<]highest performance[/i<] chips. Intel would win on performance anyway, no doubt about it. But... if AMD can sell some OEM as many chips as they want, at 50% Intel's price, at 80% the performance, at 120% the wattage, I bet they'll make some good money. Seems like Bobcat/Jag have shown the way, on a smaller scale.

            • Kretschmer
            • 4 years ago

            If AMD could churn out something “mostly as good as Intel”…in Intel’s prime segmentation…on a tiny fraction on Intel’s R&D…with massive Fab capacity…they’d be Intel, but better.

            [quote<]AMD can sell some OEM as many chips as they want, at 50% Intel's price, at 80% the performance, at 120% the wattage, I bet they'll make some good money.[/quote<] Again, that seems like a highly unlikely scenario. AMD has offered products at 50% of Intel's price because they were desperate to survive, not because doing so would be healthy. Bobcat was successful when Intel was still teething in that power envelope. How many blind spots does Intel have in 2016?

            • Anonymous Coward
            • 4 years ago

            I expect that just as Intel can’t make each new generation amazing compared to the last, they will struggle to impress compared to a competent design from AMD. I think Intel’s performance has been the exception compared to any other industry you can find.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 4 years ago

      I’d recommend that when every watt consumed and instruction processed matter, you choose the best option, not the least expensive one.

    • Raymond Page
    • 4 years ago

    When did laptop designers decide cell phone designs were to be lauded and followed after? Thinner laptops at the expense of durability, battery life, and thermal dissipation volume.

    If they can stick the 28W [url=http://ark.intel.com/products/91167/Intel-Core-i7-6567U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_60-GHz<]i7-6567U[/url<] we'd have a performant little machine. However these thin form factors struggle to dissipate 15W chips heat. Look at the Surface Book Pro and Dell XPS 13 thermal/TDP throttling issues.

    • End User
    • 4 years ago

    i7 in a 10.4mm laptop is impressive.

    Dual Thunderbolt 3 Type-C ports = awesome.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      Especially if they support external GPU

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    I want my devices durable, and if that means adding a little heft and thickness, I’m fine with it. I don’t want devices that are slim but easily break when you accidentally sit on it.

      • cygnus1
      • 4 years ago

      So I have to ask… How often are you “accidentally” sitting on laptops? Is this some fetish I’ve never heard of?

        • Redocbew
        • 4 years ago

        Cyber-squat cobbler?

        Oh sure, it’s an “accident” every time…

          • Wonders
          • 4 years ago

          Injured? Better Call Wasson.

      • Deanjo
      • 4 years ago

      It’s a sign to hit the gym.

      • NovusBogus
      • 4 years ago

      Gotta agree with this. I want to like the new XPS, and to some extent I do, but I’ve handled it and just can’t get past the thought that it’s going to break into a million little pieces if I set it down too hard.

      Anorexic laptops are also not very aftermarket-friendly.

      • ludi
      • 4 years ago

      So far, I have sit-damaged zero laptops during my lifetime. Something about not leaving one on a chair, or if I have no other option, then I prop it upright.

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 4 years ago

      What you’re looking for is [i<]flexibility[/i<].

    • Anovoca
    • 4 years ago

    A lot of hype around a very thin premise. Yep Spectre is an appropriate name for this.

    • DPete27
    • 4 years ago

    I had to do a quick google search of Intel Hyperbaric Cooling, and I still don’t understand the difference/benefit between that and traditional active cooling.

    My interpretation:
    [b<]Traditional:[/b<] Centrifugal fan sucks in cool air from under laptop, blows air through heatsink located near edge of laptop. Obvious downside being typical design of laptops have very small clearance underneath which starves airflow, and only the components that are connected to the heatsink get cooled. [b<]Hyperbaric:[/b<] Centrifugal(?) fan sucks in cool air from side of laptop, blows air through heatsink into the body of the laptop and out the other side. Obvious downside being you're blowing hot air all over inside your chassis, which increases chassis temps. Although many components are getting active cooling that otherwise wouldn't, that air could very well be hotter than the components got to passively (active cooling not necessary).

      • faramir
      • 4 years ago

      It’s a fancy name for using two fans (intake and exhaust) rather than a traditional single exhaust fan you find in most laptops.

    • watzupken
    • 4 years ago

    I think this looks very nice and sleek, but I wonder if its really worth getting it for the price relative to its specs. I feel Intel Core i5/i7 U series processors are good enough for day to day basic usage, but they are nowhere near powerful.

    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    There are no victors in the Notebook Thinness Wars, but along the way, we have buried our fallen soldiers. Can we please have a minute’s silence to honour the memories of the dead:
    [list<][*<]Battery life under load[/*<][*<]Performance when not under load[/*<][*<]Ports that are the right size for your cables[/*<][*<]Quiet cooling[/*<][*<]Keyboards with key-travel and decent action[/*<][*<]Screen hinges that last more than a year[/*<][*<]Discreet GPUs[/*<][/list<]

      • xeridea
      • 4 years ago

      I would like to add serviceable components. My work laptop at my last job I switched to an SSD, but it was a royal PITA trying to get it apart, and impossible without breaking half the plastic clips. What should have been 3 minutes took 3 hours. Also, forget adding RAM, and replaceable batteries are iffy. It wasn’t even an ultrabook just your typical thin n light.

      • ermo
      • 4 years ago

      I get that a GPU in a thin chassis probably needs to be unassuming, but perhaps you meant to say “Discrete GPUs”?

        • ericfulmer
        • 4 years ago

        I think this comment is the most polite grammar correction that I have ever seen.

          • jihadjoe
          • 4 years ago

          A rather discreet correction, I must say.

        • cphite
        • 4 years ago

        I don’t know about you, but some of us prefer our GPUs not be overly obtrusive or ostentatious…

        • kmm
        • 4 years ago

        Nah, the comment just overlaps with “quiet cooling”! Any GPU in these form factors are showy and make their presence known via increased acoustics and temps.

      • mattshwink
      • 4 years ago

      [quote<]we have buried our fallen soldiers[/quote<] In very shallow graves

      • Growler
      • 4 years ago

      While there is some benefit to having a GPU that doesn’t blab about your browsing habits, I prefer discrete GPUs for performance reasons. 😀

      • derFunkenstein
      • 4 years ago

      Pouring one out for our homies.

      • TwoEars
      • 4 years ago

      Don’t forget structural integrity. I prefer my laptops (and everything inside them) non-flexing.

      (some of those lightweight sony’s flex so much it’s almost like holding a thick magazine. It just can’t be good in the long run.)

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