Hands On

Published on July 8th, 2016 | by Varuna Singh

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HP launches the thinnest laptop– the Spectre in the UAE [Hands On]

According to HP this is the thinnest laptop around. So you might think Oh another low powered laptop with Core M. But that’s not true, this is in fact a full Ultrabook level Intel i5/i7U laptop that gives over 9 hours off battery and it looks great.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (23)

Sales for premium PCs increases while the PC industry overall slowly declines. You have to admit the fact that most PCs look the same as your 2 – 3 year old device works just as fine with Windows 10. While apple has succeeded in a premium software and hardware mix, the PC and laptops you get today are varied and don’t really compete properly. HP has publicly stated that their new Spectre is not only the thinnest device but its going in direct comparison with the MacBook Air.
Except that it isn’t really. Its more of a MacBook Pro killer once you lay down the specs and compare it in raw performance. HP has been releasing out some really innovative and beautiful products lately and the Spectre was so much of an outstander, they even have a new HP logo on it.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (16)
In an event in Dubai, HP teamed up with four fashion designers to create fabric inspired by the HP Spectre. The exclusive pieces were created by some of the region’s top fashion designers, including House of Nomad, Arwa Al Banawi, Dima Ayad and Ayah Tabari, who put together outfits that captured the essence of the luxurious laptop. The designs debuted at the event and were worn by four of the Middle East’s most widely respected fashion influencers: Rosemin Manji, Nadya Hassan, Ola Farahat, Dina Akesbi and Ahmad Dabbas.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (11)
It’s not exactly the kind of mix of technology and fashion but the message is loud and clear. The HP Spectre is aimed at the creative; the one that wants to stand out and not compromise on performance. The move in design is far from Apple’s minimalistic approach but it kind of works.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (20)
Mathew Thomas, VP & MD, Middle East, HP Inc., believes the HP Spectre is the perfect illustration of how the company not only reacts to trends, but also embraces change. “A large part of our business philosophy is to reinvent who we are, what our customers want, how we can provide that and – uniquely – how we anticipate that. We aspire to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere and in the HP Spectre we see innovation at its best – advanced and progressive technology that is geared to optimum productivity and a style and design that defines class.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (101)
The GCC region fits with HP’s new laptop and its target market. Thomas added: “In a region where we are constantly on the go and want to excel at our work and personal lives, it is important that we provide users with a laptop that complements their lifestyle – and today, our consumers are demanding a thin and light device with all-day battery life. We understand these needs, and will always strive to reinvent and innovate, to engineer experiences that amaze.”

The Spectre has a carbon fiber bottom with high glossy copper accents at the back. HP says this lifts the laptops look and it’s almost jewelry like. It’s not sexist by any means, and it looks like its balanced well. It weighs just 1.1kilograms with a width of less than 1.5cms.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (12)
Once you start holding it from the glossy back, you soon notice how this can be a bad idea. It’s really glossy and catches a lot of fingerprints. It’s at the back so you don’t really see it much. It’s this section where the circular hinges that connect the screen are.

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When I first saw them in person I thought they would be very flimsy and sensitive. But upon holding the device it’s really assuring in built quality. In fact the whole laptop is quite assuring. There is a hidden piston hinge that works the laptop.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (18)
The screen looks good as it’s a 13.3” Full HD IPS display. Now that’s not as high as other premium devices but it doesn’t hurt the laptop as much. Its covered by Corning Gorilla Glass and its colors look bright. It isnt a touchscreen and that’s okay with Windows 10.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (19)
The base of the laptop is very thin. The thinnest in the world according to HP. In houses a hybrid battery that is split into two thinner pieces that would give the Spectre over 9 hours of battery according to HP. I’d suspect it about be close to about 7 in real world tests.

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Powering the laptop is full Intel Core i5 and i7 processor with PCIe SSD storage and hyperbaric cooling system that keeps the machine running cool. It’s really impressive how HP managed to fit a full Ultra core i5/7 processor with its battery innovation.

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If you thought the speakers weren’t branded in this premium laptop, you would be wrong. The Spectre has Bang & Olfusen speakers with HP Audio Boot technology with HP’s Audio boost software enhancement tools built-in.
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One of the most striking feature of the Spectre is in the ports department. You have not one but three USB Type C ports. Two of them are thunderbolt. The other isn’t and is also used for charging the laptop. Now thunderbolt is a very big deal. You can offload enormous amounts of power from thunderbolt. It enhances USB Type C. For example you can attach some external graphics card or some form of dock that gives the laptop additional performance and features. Thunderbolt and USB Type C is the future and its nice to see the Spectre without any proprietary ports for charging.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (15)
That also means there isn’t really a USB port. Backward compatibility on ports would have to be addressed with dongles and additional dongles.

HP Spectre UAE Middle East Launch Dubai Fashion Technology Design Release Price (13)
The base i5 HP Spectre is available today starting at AED5,499. The price is pretty okay for the device. In my opinion if you’re really looking for a thin and powerful laptop, and can live with over 7 hours of real world battery, the HP Spectre is a worthy look. In fact it’s already better than a MacBook Air, it might even be better than the MacBook Pro. HP has a winner here.

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About the Author

I work with technology in Education. I also write stuff. I love design and people. @varunasingh



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