Senin, 01 September 2014

HP Spectre 13-3010ea Reviews

Someone at HP has obviously had their thinking cap on. The company recently released its Envy 17 laptop with a built-in Leap Motion sensor (see previous page) that allows you to control the laptop with hand gestures. The Spectre 13 boasts a less exotic innovation in the form of a Very Big Trackpad. That’s not HP’s name for it, but given the US company’s Love of Capitals and trademark signs it might as well be. We realise a larger trackpad might not sound exciting, but small details can make a big difference, and the Spectre 13 turns out to be one of the most attractive Ultrabooks we’ve seen recently. In most respects, the Spectre 13 looks very similar to its numerous predecessors in the Spectre range, based on the Apple MacBook Air design, with a slimline aluminium chassis that is both sturdy and elegant. It’s eminently portable too, with a weight of just 1.52kg, and a smoothly tapered profile that measures just 15mm thick.

Excellent display
Its 13.3in display is excellent, with a bright, colourful image that’s so crisp and sharp that we initially wrongly assumed it must have a pixel-packed Retina display similar that of Apple’s MacBook Pro. In fact, it turns out to be a 1920x1080 resolution – which makes more sense given the Spectre’s £999 price tag – but it’s certainly one of the best displays we’ve seen on a laptop costing less than £1,000. HP only refers to it as a ‘Radiance’ display, but the brightness and all round viewing angles are what we’d expect from an IPS panel.

And, just to show off that excellent display, HP even bundles a free copy of Adobe Lightroom so that you can edit and show off your holiday snaps in all their glory. The screen is touch-sensitive, but that seems almost irrelevant once you get used to that extra large trackpad. Measuring 140x67mm, it’s the largest trackpad we’ve ever seen on a laptop.

The surface of the trackpad has a very smooth finish that feels pleasantly tactile, and it responds very smoothly to the various multiple-fi nger gestures that are available. There’s a special control panel for the trackpad that allows you to divide it into three sections, with narrow ‘control zones’ on the far right and left edges that can be used to mimic touch-screen controls such as a left-flick to activate the Windows 8 ‘charms’. I prefer the trackpad on my MacBook Air to that of most Windows laptops, but HP’s twist on the trackpad theme could teach even Apple a few tricks.

Only one model

The Spectre 13 is currently only available in a single configuration, priced at £999 with a dual-core Intel Core i5 running at 1.6GHz, 8GB of memory with a 256GB solid-state drive. The Spectre 13 out gunned the similarly-priced MacBook Air when it came to PCMark 7 performance. That combination achieved a respectable mid-range score of 5006 points when running PCMark 7, compared to around 4200 points for the recently updated 13in MacBook Air.

The Home and Work suites on PCMark 8 didn’t fare quite so well, though, with scores of 2260 and 2651 points, respectively. Gaming performance is poorer too, as the integrated HD Graphics 4400 couldn’t sustain decent framerates until we dropped resolution right down to 1280x720 pixels, where it then averaged a more a playable 31fps in our Stalker: Call of Pripyat casual gaming test.

But, to be fair, there’s always a trade-off between performance and portability with Windows Ultrabooks such as this, and the Spectre 13 was still adequate for routine tasks such as web browsing and running Microsoft Office. Unfortunately, the other trade-off is reduced connectivity, with one pair of USB 3.0 ports and lack of ethernet.

However, the Spectre 13 compensated with usable battery life, giving us 7.5 hours (450 minutes) of streaming video via BBC iPlayer, even if the 13in MacBook Air can manage over 12 hours.


It won’t break any speed records, but the HP Spectre 13 is a smart, attractive Ultrabook that can give Apple’s MacBook Air a run for its money. The HP’s slimline design, high-quality display and reasonable battery life help ensure that it earns its keep when you’re out and about.

Of course, there’s that gorgeous over-sized trackpad, which is a worthy innovation that makes it slightly more comfortable to use than many of its rivals. Will we see more oversized trackpads emerging? Only time, and the success of the Spectre 13, will tell.


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