HP SPECTRE 13
HP’s Spectre range has impressed us over the years with beautiful aesthetics and premium build materials and the latest addition to the lineup, the 13.3-inch Spectre 13, is certainly no exception. Sporting a machined aluminum unibody chassis with a stylish, brushed ‘truffle brown’ lid and base, complemented by a ‘champagne gold’ interior, the Spectre 13 just oozes class – don’t worry, despite their extravagant names, the brown and gold colors are actually fairly muted and tasteful.
On the inside, HP has fitted the Spectre 13 with a nicelysized chiclet keyboard with a firm response and fairly generous travel distance. The keyboard also sports one of the brightest backlights we’ve seen on an Ultrabook, which makes typing in the dark a real pleasure. Below the keyboard, you’ll find HP’s unique ‘control zone’ clickpad, one of the widest track pads we’ve ever seen. The clickpad consists of a regular size middle section, which feels like a normal track pad, and two sections on the left and right side with a gritty, darker gray finish. These side sections are designed to be used with Windows 8.1 - clicking anywhere in the right area will open the Windows 8.1 charms menu, while clicking the left area will display the lastused apps menu, saving you from constantly opening unwanted menus with that awkward edgeswipe gesture. Double clicking either area will take you to the tiled Modern UI screen.
The Spectre 13 is available with either a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution display or a QHD+ 2560 x 1440 resolution display, which rivals the display found on ASUS’ Zenbook UX301. As expected, clarity on the QHD model is superb, and the display itself is also bright with excellent viewing angles. Price-wise, you pay quite a bit for the QHD display, which retails with an Intel Core i7-4500U 1.8GHz processor for $2,499, while the Full HD option (with the same processor, but a 128GB SSD) is available for $1,999.
“BELOW THE KEYBOARD, YOU’LL FIND HP’S UNIQUE ‘CONTROL
ZONE’ CLICKPAD, ONE OF THEWIDEST TRACK PADS WE’VE EVER