I am calling this a hands-on review since i did spend fifteen minutes with the HP Spectre 13.3, but not enough time to give a full review. Still, the results of my time spent with HP’s new ultraportable laptop revealed what I thought it would — it’s a groundbreaking laptop, but the 1080p screen (this was considered top-notch three years ago, but not in 2016) makes it not worth recommending.
First of all, the Spectre 13.3 has to be the the best built ultrabook I have ever seen. It has a stunning metallic design that screams the word “premium.” The Spectre 13.3 is just 10.4mm thick and weighs just 2.45 pounds. Notebooks like this usually run an Intel Core M processor, but you can actually purchase a version with an Intel Core i7 processor at Best Buy for $1249.99.
Unlike the MacBook, the Spectre 13.3 includes three USB-C ports, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD drive. It isn’t a touchscreen like HP’s other Spectre notebooks, and this is because it would cause the screen to be thicker. Right now, the screen feels like a sheet of paper. It’s fascinating, but also feels like it can break or crack easily. It isn’t the type of notebook you want to put on the floor by your bed and accidentally step on while waking up in the middle of the night.
The ISP display is nice, but not as colorful as the displays on recent ultrabooks by Micrsoft, Dell and Apple. But the worst part about it is that the 1920 x 1080 display feels outdated. Unlike most of today’s ultrabooks, you can make out the pixels on the lettering and pictures on the Spectre 13.3. The viewing angles are good, but not perfect. If feels if HP put an incredibly cheap screen on such a premium device that deserves better.
One thing I noticed is that after typing for ten minutes, playing clips from Netflix, and even doing some internet surfing, the keys didn’t get hot. If I did the same thing on the 12-inch MacBook or even the Dell XPS 13, my fingers would start to tingle from the keys getting warmer. I wasn’t able to intensely test battery life, but still had 92 percent left after 15 minutes of use. Some have claimed they could get six or seven hours of constant use with the Spectre 13.3, which is good for an ultrabook.
I suppose business users who want a powerful computer that is incredibly light and thin may like the Spectre 13.3 to do office work, photo work, and even some video editing if needed. However, the multimedia-oriented consumer may be enticed by the beauty of the design and build of the Spectre 13.3, but will walk away after seeing the screen.