HP Spectre (2016) | Review | BrightTitan
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HP Spectre (2016) | Review

HP Spectre 13

HP Spectre (2016) | Review

Performance or portability and design? That is the choice you need to make when buying a laptop. Do you mind to have a great design by giving up the high performance? Or are you willing to make compromises from the design for better specifications? In the technical sense, while computers at the top level are generally way too heavy to carry, the laptops with thin designs lacks many connectivity and hardware features. Moving with the idea of designing the best looking computer and desire to make a difference on the market, HP is able to position itself in a different spot with Spectre.



HP Spectre 13


Envy Design


Spectre shows you how special it is even in the first moment you unbox its box. When the box is opened, the computer is right in front of you with its all splendor. The computer in which the black and gold colors are used seems quite remarkable in terms of design. Aluminum material is used on the top and cover of the computer, but there is carbon fiber material under the device. This allows the device to very light. When we lift the lid, we have a 13.3 “screen. The computer on which a special hinge system is used can be opened on and off smoothly. When opened, the Bang & Olufsen loudspeakers, located on the both sides of the keyboard, are one of the details that attracts your notice. Even though the speakers can reach a high volume level, they are lagging behind in terms of quality. We would expect a much higher quality audio experience from a device of this level. However, it should be noted that at the high volume level, there is not enough clean sound. There is no port on the front and sides of the computer which is very thin. In the back part there is again a section of golden color and the ports  are in this part. Just below this part is the ventilation part. At the back of the screen is a renewed HP logo. This new logo is actually the clearest indication that HP is moving to a new design concept. The device comes with a stylish carrying case as well. So you do not have to worry about the airy appearance of the device while you’re standing by. With this envelope, it seems that they are referring to one of their greatest competitors in terms of grace.



HP Spectre


Useful Keyboard


The computer’s keyboard is really easy to use. Generally, if the key spacing is good, it is possible to write comfortably on the keyboard for a long time. Backlit keyboard makes it possible to write even in dark environments. While HP normally uses keyboard keys with a height of 1.5 millimeters, this slimmer computer has keys of 1.3 millimeters, which translates to a better writing experience. Unfortunately, we can not say good words when the subject is trackpad. We expect a top-quality trackpad in this segment and price level, but the trackpad on the device does not offer a good quality at all. Spectre, one of the slimmest computers in the world, is a little bit heavy, unlike its counterpart. However, when we consider that there is a very strong hardware inside the computer, it is possible to ignore it.


When it comes to design, the exterior of the computer comes to mind, but the interior design and ventilation are also important. HP Spectre pays for its sleek design with heat and high fan noise. The bottom of the device gets very hot under high load. When you use it on your lap, it reaches a perceptible level. In the same way, the sound from the fans under load is loud and can be disturbing. In a quiet environment, this sound can be heard more clearly.



HP Spectre 13


Decent Performance


Spectre is powered by the Intel Core i7 processor that easily handles day-to-day tasks as well as power-hungry tasks. Graphics-based applications, such as Photoshop, can also be used without problems. It is even possible to play some simple games. The Intel HD Graphics 520, which is available internally, provides the power for many operations, even though it struggles to handle apps and games that depends too much on the graphic cards because the computer does not have an external graphics card. The Gorilla Glass protected screen looks fine in full HD resolution. But it would have been better if there was a higher resolution display at this price level. The computer with 256 GB and 512 GB SSDs offers enough storage space. At the top of the screen is a camera that displays images in HD quality. With this camera, it is possible to perform interviews with sufficient image quality. HP says the computer’s battery will last around 9 hours. However, as with any device, HP’s use time on this computer is entirely shaped by the user’s habits. In light use and at low brightness levels it is possible to approach this value, while in intensive use, it lasts around 6-7 hours.


As a result, HP Spectre is an important alternative for those who want to buy a high-end PC. The device is able to deliver the premium feeling until the end. This laptop that offers enough power for everyday tasks,  is basically all about its design that draws on curious eyes. If you do not care about its high price tag and if you want to use specifically Windows, HP Spectre is one of the first devices you need to look at. However, if you are interested in playing games, using plenty of ports, and doing things that require a very high system, then HP Spectre will not be able to meet your needs. Besides, frankly speaking, if you are willing to spend this amount of money on a device and can choose portability over design, just go get a MacBook.





13,3 inch at 1920×1080


Intel Core i7 6500U at 2,5GHz



Graphic Card

Intel HD Graphics 520

Operating System

Windows 10 Home Edition


512 GB SSD


HP TrueVision HD


1 unified headset / microphone, 1 USB 3.1 (Gen 1), 2 USB 3.1 (Gen 2, Thunderbolt)


4 cell, 38 Wh Lithium ion


32,5 x 22,9 x 1,04 cm


1.1 kg







Why / Why not ?

Why: Stylish design, decent keyboard, surprising performance in such a segment

Why not: Screen resolution could be higher, fan sound can be disturbing, high price


Score | 9

Jack Goodman

Founder & CEO of BrightTitan

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