HP's Spectre is the thinnest laptop in the world. At 10.4 millimetres thick at its maximum, and built from aluminium and carbon fibre and finished in satin black and burnished copper, this is one seriously premium notebook, but that thin design doesn't mean it's entirely short on power. Instead of using Intel's lightweight Core M chips the Spectre is a Core i7-powered beast, with fast solid-state storage. And it's out today in Australia.
The ridiculously skinny (325x229x10.4mm) and lightweight (1.11kg) 13-inch laptop hides away not one but two thin batteries inside its base, all of which work in tandem to power the sixth-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU, 256 or 512GB PCI-Express solid-state drive, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and integrated Intel graphics. HP is presumably using Intel's most efficient 15-Watt Core i5 and i7 chips, not only for power saving but also to reduce the amount of waste heat produced.
That heat is extracted by what HP is calling 'hyperbaric' cooling, with two intake blower fans at the rear of the Spectre's base drawing in cool air over the internal components, then exhausting it past a single combined heatpipe. Unlike other thin-and-powerful laptops like the Microsoft Surface Book, all the Spectre's components are contained within the base. HP promises 9.5 hours of battery life despite the super-thin design and Core i power.
If the name seems a little familiar, it's because HP has used the Spectre brand in the past — on the Spectre X2 and Spectre x360, most notably — but the Spectre doesn't have any extraneous letters or numbers after its title. It's just the Spectre. There will be two different versions of the Spectre available in Australia, identical apart from different internal specs, with only the single Ash Grey matte charcoal and burnished rose gold accents on the hinge available.
This Spectre is, like the X2, a sign that HP is being surprisingly quick to adopt the reversible, versatile USB Type-C standard. There's one USB Type-C port on the Spectre's rear right for charging and USB 3.0-speed data transfers, but there are also two more USB-C ports that also function at Thunderbolt 3 speeds, giving the Spectre plenty of input/output grunt and possibly making it possible to use an external graphics amplifier like the Razer Core.
The 'base' model Spectre uses a Core i5 processor, has 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD for storage, and its 13-inch display is a 1920x1080pixel one — it'll cost $2299 in Australia. The top-end Spectre trades all that in for a Core i7 and the same 8GB of RAM and display but a larger 512GB SSD, for $2999. The HP Spectre is actually on sale right now, with JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman being launch partners; the laptop will be released to all of HP's vendors soon, so it might even start to come down in price quite quickly. [HP]