The Mainstreaming Of The Ultra-Thin Laptops

HP Spectre 13

Earlier this week, HP announced the new HP Spectre 13. It’s said to be the thinnest laptop on the market, at only 2.45 lbs and 10.4 mm thick — quite impressive for a laptop with a 13.3-inch screen. All the pictures of HP’s new device show that it is definitely the “Gucci handbag” of the laptop world.

The best part of the Spectre 13 is that, unlike the MacBook’s mobile Core M processor, it actually runs either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor. It would be interesting to see how they actually fit in such a processor. Still, many hands-on reviews have been impressed with HP’s new device.

The Verge can’t get over how thin it is and Engadget is impressed as well. However, is HP sacrificing the screen resolution in order to make this laptop so incredibly thin and even affordable, when compared to other ultra-thin notebooks (starting price is $1169.99)? The 13.3-inch screen only has a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution (166 ppi), which may have been great in 2013, but is behind the times now. The Dell XPS 13 has a 3200 x 1800 pixel resolution screen (267 ppi) that measures the same 13.3 inches as the Spectre 13.

It’s too early to disregard the Spectre 13 yet, based solely on the screen resolution, but the release of the device and the fascination towards it shows that ultra-thin laptops are becoming mainstream. It used to be that many people wanted to stay away from ultra-thin laptops because even though one could carry them in one hand, they were usually under-powered and easy to break.

Ultra-thin notebooks also lacked all the ports and drives that were usually present on a full-sized notebook. For example, many people freaked out when the first MacBook Air arrived in 2008 and committed the ultimate sin of not having a built-in CD/DVD drive. A couple of years later, this became the norm.

The MacBook only has one connection port -- a USB-C port.

Some of today’s ultra-thin notebooks are cutting off ports as well as drives. For example, the MacBook and the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S both have just one USB-C connection port. In order to use a USB drive or an HDMI connection, one has to buy an adapter. This may seem bothersome now, but it will be the norm in a couple of years.

In a couple of years, we also won’t be referring to any notebooks as “ultra-thin” or “ultra-portable.” Notebooks like Apple’s MacBook, the Dell XPS 13 and the new HP Spectre 13 will be the norm. The future notebook isn’t just ultra-thin, it is ultra-powerful as well.

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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