Reviews and Problems with HP Spectre 13 / Spectre 13 Pro
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HP Spectre 13t-3000 Ultrabook
16 February 2015
Summary: The HP Spectre 13 is an excellent all-around ultrabook, with a great keyboard, display, and battery life. The unique Control Zone touch pad is interesting, but I wish it were a little more useful and intuitive.
Pros: The HP Spectre 13 has a sharp, thin, ultrabook design, high-end upgrade options, a great keyboard, and an extra-wide touch pad.
Cons: A handful of other premium ultrabooks offer better value. The extra "control zone" spaces on the touch pad don't feel like a fully realized concept.
Summary: The HP Spectre 13-3010ea is a thin-and-light laptop that is smart and good-looking. The key feature is a really big trackpad, so if you are looking for a laptop that is portable and easy to use, look no further. Here's our HP Spectre 13-3010ea review.
Excerpt: HP's 13-inch Spectre packs a number of premium ultrabook features in an attractive package and an even more attractive price point. For a starting price of about $1,000 you get an attractive aluminum case, 13-inch touchscreen running at 1920x1080, 4th generation i5 processor and fast SSD storage. Add in a few extras, such as Beats Audio and pre-loaded software like Adobe's Lightroom and you've got yourself quite a value play in the Windows ultrabook arena.
Conclusion: The HP Spectre 13t x2 is very similar to the standard HP Spectre 13t ultrabook. Though the latter offers slightly better performance, the difference isn’t noticeable in day-to-day use, and battery life is almost identical. The x2 is about a pound heavier, is a tenth of an inch thicker, and will set you back only $100 more.
Pros: Solid build quality, Pleasing keyboard, Intuitive hinge and dock, High-quality 1080p touchscreen, Fast solid-state drive, Silent, cool operation
Cons: Lackluster processor performance, Disappointing battery life (as a tablet), Heavy for its size
Summary: Quite the spectre! HP calls its premium ultrabooks "Spectre" - and equips its most recent flagship device with a high-resolution QHD IPS display. But is the difference between QHD and Full HD truly that noticeable? And what about its build quality, its design, its performance and its connectivity? In short: Is the premium ultrabook worth its premium price?
Pros: fast enough for everything - except for games, sturdy premium chassis without any uneven clearances, great design with much passion for detail, good keyboard, three-zone touchpad, works very well with Windows 8, fine display with a QHD resolution, precise, reliable touchscreen, most scaling issues resolved with Windows 8.1, Lightroom 5 (full version!) pre-installed, Both the high-resolution display and the premium chassis.
Cons: somewhat heavy, some sharp edges, twitchy fan (not always that quiet), very prone to fingerprints, gets very warm under full load (sometimes too warm to use on one's lap), CPU might be a bit faster, highly reflective screen, barely any accessories, no software DVDs, Accessories such as adapters - why does a microfiber cloth have to be the highlight?
Conclusion: The Spectre 13 has a touch screen, and a very nice one, but its innovative touch pad makes a strong play for users with a traditional bent. They want to use gestures to accomplish some tasks, but they don't want to be poking their notebook's screen to do them. When you combine the Control Zones' convenience with the quality build, outstanding display, and peppy performance of the HP ultrabook, it's an exceptional value at $999.
Pros: Control Zone touch pad reduces need to poke screen, High-quality, distinctively colored aluminum case, Gorgeous 1080p display, Quick recovery from sleep, hibernation, Good battery life
Cons: Not the quickest multimedia machine, Cramped palm rest, Tactile distinction between touch-pad zones too subtle, F functions are two-key combinations by default
Summary: HP's $1,019 Spectre 13t-3000 has everything you want in an Ultrabook: a sleek design, fast performance and long battery life. And while you can always use the full HD touchscreen to navigate Windows 8.1, HP gives you an excellent alternative with its Control Zone touchpad. We also like this ultraportable's keyboard and sound quality. The only complaint we have is that the bottom of the Spectre 13 runs a tad warm.
Conclusion: Performance is the Spectre 13t’s only problem. Though its specifications look fine on paper, they translated to below-average figures in both our compute and 3D benchmarks. Day-to-day use isn’t a problem, but you’ll notice the lack of grunt when editing video or playing games. By every other metric, however, this Ultrabook excels.
Pros: Thin and light, Excellent 1080p display, Loud, enjoyable speakers, Great touchpad, Long battery life, Affordable
Cons: Compute performance is below average, Only two USB ports and no Ethernet