Windows 8 – Ultrabook Preview: HP Envy 14 Spectre

Ever since CES, we’ve had a handful of new ultrabooks announced. For those of us that need a highly mobile solution, it is hard to beat thin-and-light, in particular Intel’s Ultrabook standard.

Today we take a look at HP’s new ultrabook, the Envy 14 Spectre. While the system isn’t out just yet, now is a good time to give our users an early review to help them decide if HP’s ultrabook is right for them.

We’ll start, as usual, by looking at the system’s specs:

  • 14” LED backlit display with a 1600×900 resolution
  • Intel Core i5-2467M (1.6GHz and 2.3Ghz models)
  • Intel HD 3000 graphics
  • 4GB DDR3 (expandable up to 8GB)
  • 128GB mSATA SDD
  • 1 USB 3.0 port
  • 1 USB 2.0 port
  • Mini Display Port
  • HDMI
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • Battery up to 9 hours
  • Full versions of included Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements
  • 2 Years of Norton Internet Security 2012
  • Weight: 3.79 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12.88×8.7x.79

Starting with the size, at 14-inches it is slightly bigger than most, which makes for a great movie watching experience and light-gaming. Thankfully it has a super-thin bezel so it doesn’t add any extra bulk compared to other ultrabooks. Not to mention, the screen has a bright 1,600×900 super-TFT display.

The HP Spectre measures 20mm thick when closed, which makes it chunkier than other ultrabooks, but it is still a delightfully mobile experience.

Hardware wise, if the claimed HP 9 hours of battery life hold true, its really hard to complain there.

The overall looks of the Spectre are first-rate, and the black glass lid adds a new level of class that even puts the Macbook Air to shame. Unlike many other ultrabooks out there, this is far from just an “Airbook Clone”, and has something unique to offer, at least from an aesthetic angle.

Under the hood, you can choose to have an Intel i5 or i7 processor, 128 GB SSD, and a full range of connectivity options such as UBS 3.0 and HDMI.

The device is probably one of the most attractive out there, but considering all you get is a slightly larger screen and a ‘prettier’ design, it doesn’t seem worth the hefty $1399 price point.

If aesthetics are at the top of your list when it comes to importance, the Spectre is a solid option. If you want a thin ultrabook at a sub-$1000 price point? You might want to look else where.

You can reserve your Spectre now, from HP.

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