HP SPECTRE Review | Did I miss my MacBook?
That’s the overriding question, and in the truth of the main concern for most. And quite rightly so, many of us that made the transition from the timer-strewn-update-riddled-anti-virus plagued world of the PC to ‘serene’ world of the Apple MacBook have not looked back since. We’re talking about a veritable inertia here; after all, why mess with what’s good? The lack of (perceived) need to change brand, has been the challenge for the world of PC’s, who have of late had to settle for the bastion of the ‘most affordable’ and as being ‘perfect for gamers’. HP are looking to change that perception, and with the Spectre it has to be said is a good start.
I could tell you that the HP Spectre has a Intel® Core™ i5-6200U processor, 13.3″ diagonal Full-HD Corning® Gorilla® Glass screen with 8 GB RAM & lightning-fast next generation SSD PCIe storage, but I’d probably get more reaction by telling you it’s thinner than a Mackbook Air and has Bang & Olufsen Speakers. These stats used to be the leading light, but with the level of performance that most have come accustomed to across all devices, these are now expected rather than being seen as an added bonus. The ‘absence of’ is a reason not to buy, rather than the ‘presence of’ being motivation to buy.
While the specifications could suggest otherwise, this laptop is clearly not made for a gamer, it’s been designed with a certain kind of customer in mind as the elegant features and gold hued hinge mechanism suggest. The slender frame is cool and metallic to the touch, and although it’s incredibly light it has an air of density and refinement; the kind you would associate with a fine watch or timepiece.
So did I miss my MacBook Pro? Well, at first yes, but within minutes I found myself erring more to the “I could get used to this camp”. While not directly HP’s doing, the Operating System plays a massive part with Apple iOS consistently delivering(ish), and I have to say the new Windows 10 is surprisingly good. No real confusion, with where to go, cleaner design, smoother user interface, it felt like less of a jump. Couple this with HP’s clever use of hardware, mirroring the touchpad function of the MacBook meaning that navigating the Spectre was eerily familiar; like eating McDonalds abroad, it tastes similar, but not quite the same.
For me this is key, as it shows that HP have addressed the “elephant in the room” and decided to tackle them head on. Laptops are now an accessory, and they have approached luxury end of the market with a notebook that visually compliments that lifestyle.
Even the classic HP logo has been modified to reflect this new positioning, giving it an elegance that the former failed to posses.
With most popular desktop apps being multi-platform – take for example Spotify, Whatsapp or Dropbox – and cloud based, having multi-branded devices is less of a challenge these days, with the programs syncing seamlessly across all devices making the choice of device less ‘life changing’ and HP’s task that little bit easier.
So while I did miss my MacBook the main reason was for the screen real estate – I now use a 15” screen and the Spectre’s screen is 13.3” but aside from that, I’d have to give the Spectre a big thumbs up. With a starting price of £1,099 it’s not cheap, but my advice would be to give one a try – even if only in store. It will surprise you.
The model reviewed was the HP Spectre 13-v001na Laptop (£1299); for more information visit the.