الاثنين، 2 مايو، 2016

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet

The ThinkPad X1 Tablet is the most versatile Windows 2-in-1 yet, thanks to a unique modular design that lets you attach not only the included keyboard but also projector and 3D camera modules. The 12-inch business-friendly slate also boasts a vivid 2160 x 1440 display, a durable chassis and comfortable active pen. The ThinkPad X1 Tablet ($1,029 to start, $1649 as tested) is a strong performer and extremely portable, but you'll need to spring for the high-capacity battery if you want long endurance

Design Other than its modularity, the ThinkPad X1 tablet doesn't do much to further detachable 2-in-1 designs. It's a black rectangle with a fairly thick bezel surrounding a 12-inch screen. A single-touch fingerprint reader is located on the right side of the screen for extra security

You'll find a ThinkPad logo on the back top left corner, right next to the rear camera. A small switch releases a kickstand that you can pull out and adjust to your liking. The hinge feels secure but didn't always stay flush with the back of the tablet. I found that if I gripped the tablet too hard, it started to bend a bit at the sides, but in using it as a laptop and holding the tablet in just one hand, the magnesium body felt solid

 
The hinge folds out differently from other tablets: the Surface Pro 4's stand, for example, pulls away from the bottom of the tablet, but the X1's pulls away from the center and folds down towards your desk or lap, with a long piece jutting out behind it. This makes the X1's stand very rigid, but also stable no matter where you use it
 
The bottom of the X1 tablet features magnetic pins for accessories, such as the included ThinkPad Thin keyboard and a set of modular add-ons. The keyboard snaps on easily and folds up to cover the screen when you're not using the computer, but does not fold around the back when you're in tablet mode. The 1.7-pound X1 tablet is 11.5 x 8.2 x 0.33 inches (with the keyboard on, it's 2.3 pounds, and adding the Productivity Modules makes it 2.9 pounds), making it easy to fit in a bag or carry around. Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 is a similar size at 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.43 inches and 2.4 pounds with keyboard. The XPS 12 is the heaviest of the bunch at 2.8 pounds and measures 11.5 x 7.8 x 0.63-0.99, while the HP Spectre X2 is the largest at 11.8 x 8.2 x 0.52 inches with its keyboard and 2.68 pounds (1.87 pounds without).. Modules Lenovo will be offering a series of modules that add functionality to the ThinkPad X1 tablet: the Productivity Module, a RealSense 3D Camera and a projector. The first two will cost $150, while the latter will sell for $280
 
 
The Productivity Module brings an additional USB 3.0 port, HDMI output and OneLink+ for docking (the module also serves as an extended battery). The projector will allow X1 owners to make presentations or watch videos on walls or screens without a separate device, while the RealSense camera will allow artists and designers to scan real-life objects and people in full 3D
 
Placing modules involves flipping a switch to remove the bottom casing from the tablet (which you set aside), aligning the new module with the bottom and fastening them with switches on the module itself. When I went to use the keyboard with the Productivity Module, I had to remove a protective strip from the front that protects the magnet. It was another piece I had to cast aside in what felt like an Erector set of extra parts. Security and Durability Lenovo claims that the X1 Tablet is MIL-STD 810G tested for humidity, extreme temperatures and vibrations
 
Additionally, the slate boasts a handful of security features, including an intuitive touch-to-activate fingerprint reader (like those on the iPhone), vPro technology for multi-factor authentication and biometric data and TPM for data security. Keyboard, Touchpad and TrackPoint The ThinkPad Thin keyboard looks like Lenovo standard business keyboards, which are historically very good. The keys have the excellent ThinkPad layout and smile shaped curves, and they make a pleasant, audible click. However, with just 1.25 millimeters of travel, the keys felt a bit flat and hollow
 
On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I managed to type 101 words per minute (the low end of my average range of 100 - 110 wpm), with a 3 percent error rate (just a slight bump from my usual 1 to 2 percent). I like the Surface Pro 4's keyboard a lot better -- it has deeper travel (1.4mm) and feels sturdier when you type on it.
The clickable, 3.5 x 2.0-inch touchpad provides plenty of room to navigate and perform gestures like pinch-to-zoom. Power users who never want to take their hands off the keyboard will be happy to find Lenovo's TrackPoint nub between the G, H and B keys, along with separate click buttons, including one for scrolling. 

Display

The 2160 x 1440, 12-inch display on the X1 Tablet is sharp, vivid and accurate. The only issue I have with the screen is that it is very glossy, which makes it reflective. I often saw my own reflection while I worked, especially if I was looking at a dark web page or video. But as I watched the latest trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse, the feathers in Angel's wings and the scars on Nightcrawler's face stood out. Cyclops' bright-red optic blasts and Storm's white-hot lightning really popped.
The X1 Tablet's screen is plenty bright at 335 nits, outshining the HP Spectre X2 (322 nits) and ultraportable category average of 305 nits. However, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (382 nits) and Dell XPS 12 (413 nits) are brighter.
 
Both content watchers and creators will love this colorful display. It covers 104 percent of the sRGB gamut, which is fantastic. Only the Dell XPS 12 did better (114 percent), but the Surface Pro 4 came close (100 percent). HP's Spectre X2 (72 percent) wasn't even close. Viewing angles on the X1 Tablet are excellent and didn't wash out until I was nearly 90 degrees to the side. 
Not only is the screen colorful and vivid, but it's also incredibly color accurate with a Delta-E error rating of 0.4 (the closer to zero, the better). That's the same score as the Surface Pro 4, which has one of our favorite detachable 2-in-1 screens. The HP Spectre X2 registered a good score of 0.7, but the XPS 12 delivered a meh 4.4
 
Stylus The stylus on the X1 Tablet, which Lenovo calls the Active Pen, is more ergonomically friendly than the one on the ThinkPad X1 Yoga. In fact, it's more of a full-sized pen than a stylus. It has two programmable buttons that you can customize using the Wacom Pen app to click or open programs like OneNote and features 2,048 levels of sensitivity
 
 
Unlike Microsoft's more innovative stylus for the Surface Pro 4, the Active Pen lacks an eraser. In fact, trying to use the end of this the X1 Tablet's stylus continues to write on the screen. The pen worked well with Lenovo's WRITEit app, one of my favorite vendor additions to Windows 10. I loved having the ability to mark up articles and highlight them using the pen or jot down ideas in OneNote. I could also fill in text fields via the pen in both the operating system (like Cortana's "Ask me anything" bar and various search boxes) and web browsers like Microsoft Edge. I could also write my searches in Google, though text recognition was only so-so, and I sometimes found myself pulling up the on-screen keyboard in lieu of writing. Unlike the X1 Yoga's stylus, which charges when plugged into the laptop, the Active Pen requires a AAAA battery and hangs from the notebook by a loop. You can check how much of a charge your stylus has with the aptly named ThinkPad Pen Low Battery Notifier app. Ports The X1 doesn't have a ton of ports, but it offers the ones that matter most for getting work done. The left side features a Kensington lock slot, volume rocker and headphone jack
 
The right is where you'll find the USB Type-C port (which the device uses for charging), USB 3.0 port and Mini DisplayPort. A nano SIM slot and microSD card slot are located behind the kickstand
 

Cameras

I snapped a few selfies with the 2-megapixel, 1080p  webcam on the front of the X1, which turned out sharp but dark. I could make out fine details, like my individual hairs (they often look like blobs on other webcams), but the lighting behind me was overexposed. My skin appeared slightly orange and the white wall behind me came out yellow, because it seems like the camera has a warm tint

The 8-MP, 3200 x 1800 rear camera took photos without blur, but they still looked overly warm. I went to the roof of our office and took some pictures of the neighboring buildings and found I could make out individual bricks and architectural flourishes in them. Some colors were off, though; the gray building in front of us had a slight yellow tint to it, and a red building showed up lighter than it did to my eye

Audio Unlike the Microsoft Surface Pro 4's front-facing speakers, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet's are mounted along the sides. They don't get incredibly loud, though; I could hear street noise over them when sitting in a conference room, but they produced clear highs and mids. I listened to Sia's "Cheap Thrills" and was pleased with the clear vocals and instrumental backing, though the bass was pretty weak


The Settings app has a spot to turn off the Dolby Audio and switch between Movie, Music, Gaming and Voice modes. In my experience, though, the default settings provided the best experience.

Performance

With its 1.2-GHz Intel Core m7-6Y7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, the X1 can handle any of your work-related tasks, from researching on the web to writing reports or filling out spreadsheets. I opened 10 tabs in Google Chrome (one of which was streaming a 1080p episode of The Daily Show) while writing in OpenOffice Writer before I noticed a pause between tabs switching.
On Geekbench 3, which evaluates overall system performance, the ThinkPad X1 earned a very good score of 6,497. That soundly beats both the HP Spectre X2 with the same CPU and RAM (5,814) and the Core m5-powered  XPS 12 (4,875). However, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4's sixth-generation Core i5 processor sent the competition packing, achieving 6,811.
The X1's SSD is no slouch -- it copied 4.97GB of mixed media files in 33 seconds, a rate of 152.37 MBps, faster than the category average of 147.21 MBps. That's neck and neck with the HP Spectre x2 (148 MBps), but the Surface Pro 4 blew the field away at 318.1 MBps. The Dell XPS 12 faltered with a speed of 82.09 MBps,
On our OpenOffice spreadsheet macro test, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet paired 20,000 names and addresses in 4 minutes and 31 seconds. The Surface Pro 4 was a tad faster at 4:11, while the XPS 12 (5:14) and Spectre X2 (5:34) fell behind.
With Intel's integrated 515 graphics on board, the X1 Tablet scored 61,799 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark. The Surface Pro 4 fell just shy at 60,424, while the Spectre X2 notched 52,450. The XPS 12 hit 46,364, just under the category average.
The X1 Tablet won't handle any heavy gaming, but you should be able to play low-end games like World of Warcraft without a problem, as well as casual fare like Candy Crush.

Battery Life

If you want the ThinkPad X1 Tablet to last most of the day without charging, you should pick up the extended battery option. The standard battery lasted just 5 hours and 32 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits of brightness. When we added the $150 Productivity Module with the extended battery, we saw a much stronger time of  9:14.
With the extra battery, the X1 tablet outlasts all of its foes and surpasses the ultraportable category average of 8:13. Without the module in place, the HP Spectre X2 took the lead at 6:31 with the Surface Pro 4 close behind (6:04) and the Dell XPS 12 (5:17) bringing up the rear.

Heat

When we streamed 15 minutes of video from Hulu on  the X1 Tablet, it got a tad warm. The middle of the screen reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit, matching our comfort threshold. We never found it too hot to use, however even, after the middle of the back panel reached 98 degrees.

Software and Warranty

The build of Windows 10 on the X1 includes a variety of extra software that ranges from bloatware to helpful utilities.
Lenovo's Settings tool mostly doubles up on Windows 10's own settings, albeit in a more user-friendly manner, while Companion lets you check on the health of your device. Lenovo ID, makes you an account for Lenovo's web site, forums and apps.
There's only two pieces of bloatware pre-installed: Flipboard and the ever-present Candy Crush: Soda Saga.
Like other ThinkPads, the X1 Tablet comes standard with a one year limited "depot" warranty, where the company pays for return shipping on defective products. You also have the option to pay extra for an extended warranty or for accidental damage protection. See how Lenovo fared on our Tech Support Showdown and in our Best and Worst Brand ratings
 

Configurations

Our $1,649 review unit of the ThinkPad X1 Tablet came stocked with an 1.2-GHz Intel Core M7-6Y75 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD.
There's a $1,349 version with an Intel Core m5-6Y57 processor that is otherwise identical to the version I tested. The $1,029 base model has an Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD.

The Productivity Module  and the 3D Imaging Module will cost $149 each, while the Presenter Module with built-in projector will be pricier at $279.
Representatives for Lenovo noted that there is a possibility (though no guarantee) that the prices of these modules  could be lower through deals on their web site or through other retailers.

Bottom Line

Overall, the ThinkPad X1 is one of the best business 2-in-1s yet. Unlike the Surface Pro 4, the Lenovo comes with a keyboard. Plus, the Lenovo's display is one of the best on the market and its performance (at least with Core m7) stacks up well against the competition.
The modules are a cool idea, and adding the $150 backup battery provides a huge advantage over the X1's competitors. Swapping the modules is a bit of a pain, though -- a tablet shouldn't have this many removable parts.

The Surface Pro 4 is a slightly better deal and offers a better (optional) keyboard, but it doesn't offer an extended battery. If you want a 2-in-1 with business level security, mil-spec durability and expandability, the ThinkPad X1 tablet is for you
Lenovo thinkpad x1 carbon

Lenovo has never stinted on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon, its flagship thin-and-light business laptop. This year the company has expanded the X1 range, which now includes the modular ThinkPad X1 Tablet and the convertible ThinkPad X1 Yoga with OLED display. The ThinkPad Carbon X1 has also had an upgrade, the fourth-generation version being "the world's lightest 14-inch business ultrabook," according to its maker.
ThinkPad laptops have a certain 'design icon' status about them. The matt-black chassis, silver 'ThinkPad' on the lid with the red-LED 'i' dot that pulses when the notebook is sleeping are simple, useful and distinctive visual elements.

 
 
All these elements are present in the 4th-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which has a starting weight of 1.21kg. Rather than the weight, it's the extreme slimness of this laptop that I noticed first and found most appealing. Measuring 1.64cm along the back edge and tapering towards the front, and with a footprint of 33.3cm by 22.9cm, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is no problem to stow in a backpack.
The chassis is made from carbon fibre, so you can probably get away with carrying this laptop without a protective sleeve. That said, the lid and base are relatively easy to prize apart, so beware of detritus in your bag that might squeeze its way between screen and keyboard -- a stray paperclip, for example, can do significant damage

Open the lid and more distinctive ThinkPad features are revealed. The red trackpoint is accompanied by three buttons that sit above the touchpad, the central button offering a scroll function. The buttons on the touchpad itself are embedded. I found two-finger zooming on the touchpad a little jerky for some reason, but everything else involving pointing devices was smooth and responsive.
The keys are large, and there's plenty of travel -- some people might even feel they rise and fall a little too much. They're well spaced, and also backlit -- two levels of brightness are controlled by the Fn key-spacebar combination. My review unit had a fingerprint reader on the wrist rest, although it's not present on every model.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of those old-fashioned laptops whose screen doesn't rotate fully. You can push it back 180 degrees to rest flat on a table, but that's as far as it will go. If you want a ThinkPad X1 with full 360-degree rotation, you'll need the Yoga version. Nor is the 2016 X1 Carbon's screen touch sensitive -- last year Lenovo released two touchscreen models, one of which we reviewed. Again, look to the X1 Yoga if you want a touchscreen (and pen support).
There are two options for the 14-inch screen. On the two less expensive models you get a 1,920-by-1,080-pixel (157ppi) IPS screen, while the two higher-end models, which include my top-of-the-range review unit, have a 2,560-by-1,440-pixel (210ppi) IPS screen. The matte finish makes this a great screen to work with, although I found

horizontal viewing angles a little lacking unless the display was set to maximum brightness.

Working with the screen at maximum brightness will, of course, put greater strain on the
battery, so you'll need to think about the trade-off here. Lenovo says the 4-cell battery will give
you up to 11 hours of life, but anecdotal evidence suggests this is rather hopeful

On one occasion, after three hours of relatively low-level use but with the screen at maximum brightness for about half the time, the battery was down to 69 percent and the ThinkPad's own battery gauge suggested there was just 3 hours 30 minutes of life remaining.

Lenovo's Power Manager app includes a slider which you can use to move between higher performance and longer battery life. For me, anything over half way towards the maximum battery life side reduced screen brightness to an unworkable level.
There are currently four off-the-page 4th-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon configurations on Lenovo's UK website. As already noted, our review unit was the top-of-the range model:
  • Intel Core i5-6200U up to 2.80GHz, Windows 10 Home 64, 14.0 1920 x 1080, Intel HD Graphics 520, 8GB RAM, 192GB SSD (£1,159.99 inc. VAT)
  • Intel Core i5-6200U up to 2.80GHz, Windows 10 Home 64, 14.0 2560 x 1440, Intel HD Graphics 520, 8GB RAM, 192GB SSD (£1,389.99 inc. VAT)
  • Intel Core i7-6500U up to 3.10GHz, Windows 10 Pro 64, 14.0 2560 x 1440, Intel HD Graphics 520, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, integrated mobile broadband available as an upgrade (£1,419.99 inc. VAT)
  • Intel Core i7-6600U up to 3.40GHz, Windows 10 Pro 64, 14.0 2560 x 1440, Intel HD Graphics 520, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, integrated mobile broadband (£1,769.99 inc. VAT)
You can fiddle with the base configurations. For example my review sample arrived with Windows 7 Pro installed, which is available through downgrade rights. You can also boost SSD storage up to 512GB, with both SATA and faster PCIe NVMe options on offer.
There's a 720p webcam above the screen, flanked by dual array microphones. My review unit had a MicroSIM card slot under a cover on the back edge, which also protects a MicroSD card slot.
There are now three USB 3.0 ports on the X1 Carbon, along with HDMI, audio, Mini-DisplayPort, power and OneLink connectors. Image: Lenovo
Lenovo has been slightly more generous with ports on this year's ThinkPad X1 Carbon than with its 2015 predecessor. There are three USB 3.0 ports rather than two as before, plus a full-size HDMI port, a Mini-DisplayPort and a 3.5mm headset jack.
A Lenovo OneLink+ connector allows you to attach the provided RJ-45 Ethernet adapter. If you need more ports, you can also use this connector to attach a OneLink+ Dock, which will cost you an extra £154.80 (inc. VAT). The ThinkPad X1 Carbon also supports WiGig and Lenovo offers a WiGig Dock, allowing for wireless access to dual HD displays, mouse and keyboard, USB storage and Ethernet. This sounds convenient, but comes at a price: £261.60 (inc. VAT).

Conclusion

If you're looking for big changes in the 4th-generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon, you'll be disappointed: it's much more about updating the 2015 model than breaking new ground. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but there is one area where Lenovo should be striving for better performance: battery life.
Still, this is another impressive ThinkPad X1 Carbon from Lenovo, albeit one that's distinctly evolutionary. We're keen to explore whether the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, with its OLED touchscreen and pen support, moves Lenovo's premium business ultrabook line up a notch.
Celluon Epic projection keyboard
Today more and more people use smartphones and tablets as their main computing devices. But these devices typically don't have physical keyboards, and that leaves the door open for innovation and creative alternatives. Take, for example, the Celluon Epic projection keyboard. Read on, as Gizmag goes hands-on with a device that will turn any flat surface into a full QWERTY keyboard.
 
 
The first thing to know about the Celluon Epic is that, yes, it does work. Prop the tiny (70 x 35 x 20 mm) gizmo on a desk or other flat and opaque surface, near your PC or mobile device. Pair it via Bluetooth with your computer, and you can start typing. Tap your fingers on the projected red laser keys, and the letters pop up on your screen. It can even serve as a mouse or touchpad for your Windows PC or Mac.
If you've never seen a projection keyboard before, it makes for quite the "whoa" moment. Sometimes you have to shake your head and marvel at what technology is capable of, and using your kitchen countertop as an iPad keyboard is one of those times.
Of course, like any magic trick, there's actually something very specific happening behind the scenes that creates the illusion. Here we're looking at infrared light that's emitted from the lower end of the Epic. When your finger (or any other object) passes through a key's projected area, the sensor detects the infrared light reflecting off of it, and computes it as a keystroke.


The device itself is tightly constructed, with a compact, attractive design. It doesn't look remotely cheap. It's small enough to drop in a pocket, and can easily sit next to the device you're typing on without drawing attention to itself.
The Epic is compatible with all the major mobile and desktop operating systems, including iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS X. Windows Phone isn't yet supported.

Typing with Celluon Epic

So, with the Celluon Epic, we have something that is sure to grab any gadget- or technology-lover's attention. But is it something you'll actually want to use on a regular basis? Is this worth considering instead of a physical keyboard?
Unfortunately, unless you have a lot of patience, I'd say probably not. The Epic is about as accurate as you'd expect it to be, considering the technology behind it, but it's a far cry from using a physical keyboard. In fact, it's even a far cry from an iOS or Android multitouch software keyboard.
The image above is the result of my attempt to type out Mary Had a Little Lamb without looking at the screen. Spaces often ended up as n's, other letters were mistyped, and it ended up a jumbled mess. When typing while looking at the screen, I eventually typed what I was trying to say, but spent about three times as long correcting mistakes as I did typing.
To Celluon's credit, the company recommends beginning by typing with a hunt-and-peck style, and gradually building up to standard two-handed typing after you're comfortable with that.
But there's one problem with that. Why? Why should customers have to go through a grueling learning process to use a new product? Why should we trust that it will yield rewards and become more comfortable in time? Why not just buy a much cheaper Bluetooth keyboard and call it a day?
There's a fine line with innovation. On one hand, there's the jaw-dropping, "holy crap" factor that comes from new technology you've never seen before. Epic has that. But a truly innovative product also needs to solve a problem, make things easier, or do something better than products before it did. This is where Epic is sorely lacking. It doesn't solve any problem, it actually makes typing harder, and it doesn't do anything better than physical or even on-screen keyboards do.

Who is it for

Here at Gizmag, we keep a close eye on exciting and interesting new technologies and technology products. So we do have a certain appreciation for products like the Epic that swing for the fence and try to do something new and exciting. But apart from gadget lovers who want a cool party trick, the US$170 (discounted for $150 on Amazon) Celluon laser keyboard probably isn't worth it. Perhaps future versions will offer infrared typing that works to perfection, and provides a legitimate alternative to the keyboards you already have. But in its current form, it's hard to recommend.Who is it for


 
HP Spectre world thinnest laptop

 
Seriously, when are these things going to become just actual sheets of paper? HP has announced that, at just 10.4mm thin, it has crafted the world's thinnest laptop, the HP Spectre.
The math checks out – I looked it up, and so did HP, I'm sure. But this isn't only the world's thinnest, it's among the world's first Ultrabooks to house not one, but three USB-C ports.
That's two shots across the bow toward Apple, and I haven't even gotten into what this thing looks like yet. This is how serious HP is about trumping the laptop leaders in design – it's coming out guns a'blazin'.

And, it honestly shows in the product. The Spectre, a 13.3-inch, 2.4-pound follow up to the firm's Spectre x360 of last year, exudes style from every angle. This is a laptop that HP wants you to be proud to pull out of your bag on that packed flight to, say, a tech conference.
For a starting price of $1,169 (about £820, AU$1,539) on HP.com starting April 25, it sure as hell better
 

Design

Let me put it this way: you better believe that this laptop will be in the next Bond flick. This is the kind of laptop that you would see an ace hacker whip out in the getaway car with a hotspot dongle – USB-C, natch – to screw with the traffic lights as they escape.

But, really, the Spectre is one slick notebook. It's "ash black" screen lid is coated in anodized aluminum emblazoned with a new, hip and edgy HP logo. The keyboard deck, with the same aluminum finish, features a centered glass trackpad and a keyboard boasting 1.3mm of travel. Finally, the bottom plate is a light carbon fiber, but you can barely tell the difference.
It's so thin, the laptop doesn't even have room for ports on its sides: they're all in the copper-plated rear of the hinged base. And, that's three USB-C ports.

That's it.
"That's it? What do you mean, 'that's it?'" I mean that, yes, three USB-C ports is two more than the new MacBook has, and yes, that is awesome
 
But the problem with the MacBook isn't just that it has one USB-C port, but that it has one USB-C port. Having three of the latest in hardwired connectivity is excellent and arguably future-proofed, don't mistake, but we all still have these bags of accessories and other devices rocking USB-A ports and cords.
In that case, which may well be the case for another few years, having five of a cutting edge port that my just-fine accessories don't use wouldn't help much.
At any rate, two of these USB-C ports are Thunderbolt, meaning that they can collectively power two 4K displays as well as a dock. That means, save for lacking dedicated graphics, the Spectre could make for a mean mobile workhorse.
Photographers or videographers looking to up their 4K game, HP's looking at you.
At the starting price, the Spectre comes housing a dual-core, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200U processor. That's backed up by the chip's own Intel HD Graphics 520, 8GB of LPDDR3 memory and a 256GB PCIe, M.2 solid-state drive.
An upgraded model gets you an Intel Core i7 processor, though HP hasn't issued many more details on this model much less pricing.

Display and using the laptop

HP is priding itself on the sheer engineering of this device, particularly its new piston hinge – everyone's got a hinge, eh? – that allows you to open the laptop without disturbing its place. (It's actually quite impressive when you see it bare in action.)
But there's also the hyperbaric cooling system, or the two rear fans that create positive pressure inside the laptop, enabling its super thin frame.
But, for all of that clever design, the laptop maker made the seemingly most pedestrian move: a Full HD screen. Just 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.
 

 
It's sharper than a MacBook Air, though less than just about every other competing Ultrabook, including the 12-inch MacBook. The Gorilla Glass screen enjoys reaching 72% of the color gamut, which at 300 nits max, is enough for work and play.
The display, an IPS panel, is a clear statement from HP that pixels aren't everything in a screen, something that I agree with. (It's why I don't throw all that much shade at the MacBook Air.)
Plus, it no doubt helps the Spectre achieve a battery life of 9 hours and 45 minutes – by HP's measurement, not ours. Will it stand to the MacBook's pretty accurate 9-hour claim? Only time in techradar HQ will tell.
When testing out HP's newly designed keyboard, which employs a force-displacement curve that's been optimized to feel like keyboards with naturally higher travel than 1.3mm, I couldn't help but notice how easy it was to adjust. The keys respond punchily enough to make coming from any chiclet-style keyboard a breeze.
I don't think I'd notice this laptop in my bag, either. At 2.45 pounds, the Spectre weighs more than a new MacBook, but is lighter than most others in its class.

Early verdict

Inside and out, the HP Spectre aims for the cutting edge and largely nails it along the way, at least by first glance. There's still testing to do, after all.
What's clear is that HP is out to raise the stakes in the battle for best laptop with a device that's not only gorgeous on the outside, but capable on the inside. HP is so confident in its latest design, that it unveiled the laptop during the New York Times Luxury Conference in Versailles, France.

But, beyond the glitz and glam of its reveal, HP has clearly built an attractive, strong product – more than enough to compete in Apple's court. That said, this is exactly the kind of laptop that I see get made and immediately begin with questions, especially considering it already starts at just under the MacBook when it lands in Best Buy on May 22, at $1,249 (about £879, AU$1,645).
The HP Spectre is firmly sat in what I'm going to call the emerging hyperlaptop scene, kind of like hypercars – super souped up vehicles with incredible design and limited practicality. Of course, like any self-respecting tech head, that doesn't make me want to test one out any less.

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