After the latest MacBook Pro refresh failed to deliver the kind of features buyers really wanted, Apple's competitors sensed weaknesss. Instead of an overabundance of USB-C ports and gimmicky touch screens above the keyboard, systems like the new Spectre x360 15 are hoping to entice users back to PC land by offering way better flexibility, faster performance and the ability to live life dongle-free.
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About a month ago, Intel announced its new 8th-gen CPUs, so we put together a little roundup of all the coolest notebooks getting new Core silicon. But one company was notably left off the list, because it didn't have anything to share at that time. Now, HP is finally ready to show off its new Spectre and Spectre x360, and even though the saying goes beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I think it's HP -- not Apple, Dell or Microsoft -- that's now making the best looking laptops on the market.
It's a new year -- time for a fresh start, and some fresh tech for work or uni.
Laptops are becoming increasingly versatile, powerful and thinner. The market is flooded with options and it can be tricky to pick what will be right for you.
That's where the specs come in. If you're not quite sure what all those letters and numbers mean, here are the most important ones.
HP's newest laptop is also its thinnest. It's the world's thinnest, actually. At only 10.4 millimetres thick, it's almost 30 per cent thinner again than the already seriously skinny Apple MacBook, and it's thinner even than most of the standalone tablets with detachable keyboard -- like HP's own Spectre X2. But it doesn't use some super-low-voltage processor and battery-sipping hardware to get there.
The 13.3-inch Spectre's big claim to fame here is its minuscule size and the amount of power its able to pack inside that tiny frame. Normally, as computers devolve from gargantuan machines to teeny laptops, you start seeing performance trade-offs. A processor is be first to downgrade -- see the case of the Apple's MacBook -- because a low-power processor means no heat sinks or cooling fans. The result? Maximum thinness.
With the new Spectre, HP decided to eschew traditional design and stick with the powerful Core I Skylake chips -- the best Intel processors found in most high-end laptops -- yet still keep that impressively small and lightweight figure. In fact, it comes in at 10.4mm thick -- almost 3mm thinner than Apple's MacBook, which we already called "Stupidly Thin".
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.
Video: I've been looking for a new thin, powerful, USB Type-C-powered laptop for quite a while now, but I seem to have missed HP's early-April announcement of the new Spectre: a 13-inch laptop that's barely over 10 millimetres thick, but that still has Intel's excellent Core i5 and Core i7 processors inside. This laptop looks beautiful, and it wants to dethrone Apple's MacBook as the high-flying business exec's super-luxury gadget of choice.