2017 will not go down in history as a key year for notebook design. They are all thin now and with screens with reduced borders. Even Apple's Touch Bar is already over a year old. That's why we take our hat to HP who has made his new 13-inch Spectrum the most attractive notebook of the year, moreover super fine and powerful. But this is paid at the high price with a tariff of 1599 to 1999 euros for the models proposed in France in price advised by HP.
Until now, we have always recommended our readers to choose a laptop based on their needs and budget and then decide on aesthetics. Last year's Specter was already very thin, but it was lacking in things: a touch screen and a more consistent autonomy than the 7 hours it offered.
The 2017 version brings some major evolutions, both aesthetic and technical. The processor switches to the 8th generation Intel Core i, which translates into an impressive performance gain.
The screen becomes tactile, which was one of the most notable omissions of the previous model. Everyone does not necessarily need a touch screen on a laptop, but there are still some elements in Windows 10 that are better controlled at your fingertips such as scrolling long web pages or the adjustment of connections in wire. A good point for HP who has managed to evolve his machine while maintaining great finesse with only 10.4mm thick and 1.1 kg on the scale.
The last significant evolution is that of the design which was already excellent. The speakers have been moved over the keyboard, allowing the chassis to be refined. The screen borders are also a bit thinner. But it is especially the finish in matt white ceramic that has most bluffed us. The touch is beautiful and the hinges enhance all very well. Even if the fashion of the white laptops is a little past, all those who saw this Specter were impressed.
The keyboard follows the current trend with a very flat key profile, but it works quite well and has a greater depth than the keyboard of the MacBook Pro. On the other hand, it's the touchpad that has disappointed us. It is large but lacks precision as it is the case on many touchpad Windows. We tried to increase the sensitivity but did not obtain a really satisfactory result.
Finesse requires, the connection is limited to the USB-C port. But there are 3 including two compatible Thunderbolt. The machine comes with a USB-C / USB-A adapter and an imitation leather pouch.
Also note that, unlike the new Specter x360, whose screen rotates completely in tablet mode, this one This is a standard clamshell format. The hinges do not allow to tilt the screen too far back, which can be embarrassing when one seeks to obtain a better angle of view with the machine placed on the knees.
With the 8th generation of Intel Core i processors, the focus is on performance. And our test benches confirm a very significant gain compared to the 7th generation chips.
In contrast, autonomy is still not the strong point of the Specter with only one hour better (8h10mn) compared to the 2016 model.
Although it is not perfect, the new 13-inch Spectrum is an excellent machine and HP has managed to make it very attractive.