I called it the quietest new notebook for a reason – this new Spectre 13 x2 has no fans, and with solid state storage, that means no moving parts whatsoever, and no noise. The Spectre is part of HP’s premium line of technology, another step up from the ENVY line of PCs and notebooks.
This new x2 is part of what Intel likes to call 2-in-1s, or what everyone else seems to call a convertible notebook. Regardless of which terminology you prefer, the Spectre 13 x2 can split itself into two separate parts. Sort of like how the saucer section undocks from the NCC-1701, you can hit a button below the x2′s display and off pops the entire top half of the notebook.*
You’ll be able to take the screen around and use it as a tablet – and don’t worry, it doesn’t run Windows RT or use some low-powered Atom processor, either; there’s a full-fledged Intel Core i3 or i5 inside, depending on configuration (HP said that it would ship with a Core i3, but the computer reported a Core i5 inside; this might just be a fluke of pre-production or represent a future configuration choice).
The system feels super solid, with most of it carved out of aluminum. There’s no flexing in the frame, and the backlit keyboard felt nice to type on.
Aside from the cool technical aspects of the machine, it stands apart from many others based on design alone. HP, apparently to much internal consternation, chose a different sort of color scheme for the Spectre 13 x2. Instead of going with silver like nearly every other PC manufacturer (including themselves, it should be pointed out), the team working on the Spectre chose to go with a two-toned color scheme – “Truffle” and “Champagne”, according to one staffer, but I won’t tell if you just call it brown and gold.
The overall effect is extremely elegant, and while it sounds like it might be tacky or gaudy, it isn’t at all. It’s actually a really attractive machine, and one that could very well stand out in a coffeeshop full of MacBooks.
While exact specifications were hard to pin down, you can expect a lower voltage Haswell CPU, SSD, 4 – 8GB of RAM, a 1920×1080 display, Windows 8.1, a capacitive touchscreen, and about three and a half pounds. HP wasn’t willing to let battery life slip, but given the nature of the CPU inside, we expect you’ll end up with at least 7-8 hours out of this, and probably more.
The HP Spectre 13 x2 2-in-1 notebook will go on pre-order in the U.S. on October 16th, 2013, with a starting retail price of $1,099.99.
* = Apologies; it totally slipped my mind to actually take pictures of the tablet functionality.