Intel's eighth-generation Core desktop processors have been all the rage over the last couple weeks, but laptop makers have new wares containing not-quite-as-novel eight-generation mobile CPUs. HP is the company making announcements today, and the portables du jour are the primo Spectre x360 convertible and the Spectre 13 laptop. Both machines are available with 4K displays and Intel Core i7-8550U four-core, eight-thread processors that boost up to a ludicrous-for-a-laptop 4.0 GHz.
The Spectre x360 has an all-aluminum body surrounding a 15.6" touchscreen display. The hinge responsible for the 2-in-1 functionality is made of steel for durability. HP says the six-cell 79.2-Wh battery is good for 13 hours of regular usage, or 11.5 hours of video playback. The eight million pixels get marching orders from an Nvidia GeForce MX150 card with 2 GB of its own memory. Buyers can spec out machines with 8 GB, 12 GB, or 16 GB of 2400 MT/s DDR4 memory and M.2 NVMe storage in capacities ranging from 256 GB all the way up to 1 TB.
The machine has all the goodies one expects from a premium convertible machine, like a Windows Hello-compatible camera, a backlit keyboard, Intel 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a multi-touch trackpad. The port selection is highlighted by a Thunderbolt 3 connector and includes USB 3.0 Type-A and Type-C ports. The machine measures 14" wide, 9.9" deep, and 0.7" thick (36 cm x 25 cm x 1.8 cm) and weighs 4.4 lbs (2 kg).
The Spectre 13 is not as flexible as the x360, but it's arguably more stylish with a choice of "Ceramic White and Pale Gold" or "Dark Ash Silver and Copper Luxe" finishes setting off the nearly-borderless 13.3" display topped by Corning Gorilla Glass and available with 4K resolution. HP says the 0.41" thick (10 mm) machine is the thinnest touchscreen laptop on the market.
According to Digital Trends, the Spectre 13 can be optioned out with up to 16 GB of LPDDR3 memory and 1 TB of M.2 NVMe SSD storage. Discrete graphics cards didn't make the cut into the thin chassis, so the 4K display has to make do with the Intel UHD 620 graphics processor. The 60-Wh battery is said to be good for 11.5 hours of use and can be restored from empty to half-capacity in 30 minutes. The I/O section is a bit more full-featured than that of the x360, with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one USB 3.0 Type-A connector, and an SD card reader. The machine measures 12.1" wide and 8.9" deep (31 cm x 23 cm) and weighs a scant 2.5 lbs (1.1 kg).
A sample Spectre 13 with a Core i7-8550U processor, a Nvidia GeForce MX 150 graphics card powering a 4K display, 8 GB of memory, and 256 GB of storage rings in at $1300. Lesser versions of the Spectre 13 with a 1920×1080 display will start at $1150. HP offers one-year warranty on either machine. Hot Hardware says that the updated Spectre x360 and Spectre 13 are expected to start shipping on October 29.