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HP Spectre 13: Slim, but powerful

The world's thinnest laptop houses an i7 processor, performs exceptionally well but could do with better battery back-up

Kakoli Chakraborty 

The Dell XPS 13 was a huge hit, so it didn't come as a surprise when HP launched the Spectre 13. Its USP: it is the world's thinnest laptop at 10.4 mm; the 12-inch MacBook is 13 mm thick, while the Dell XPS 13 comes in at 15 mm. The Spectre 13 is elegant and looks premium, which is the least one would expect given that it is priced at Rs 1,39,990 (before taxes). It comes with a 13-inch 1,920 x 1,080p screen, which makes for excellent display as was evident when I watched Black Sails on Netflix. But, there's bad news for those who prefer laptops with a touchscreen, because this doesn't have one. The laptop is sleek and houses three USB type-C ports at the back - one on the edge and two high-speed transfer ports at the centre. On the other edge is a headphone/earphone jack. Since a lot of external hard drives are not USB type-C compatible, you'd need a converter for it. The review unit houses an Intel Core i7 processor with 8GB of RAM and an onboard memory of 256GB. This might seem too little to some, but in the age of external drives and cloud sharing, it is decent enough. The surprising bit, however, is that such a thin device houses a mainstream i7 processor, instead of Intel's low-power ones. The laptop is fast and so is the boot-up time.

I didn't face any lags. Even when the battery was down to 12 per cent, the device lowered its brightness but the performance wasn't affected. That said, it does heat up. I usually work on a laptop while it is placed on my lap, instead of a desk. While using the Spectre 13, I noticed a part of it heating up even while performing simple tasks such as browsing the internet. You could feel how warm the device was by touching the area just above the keyboard. The Spectre 13 is not made for hardcore gamers. Of course, you can install Minecraft or Terraria, but don't expect Geralt of Rivia to gallivant seamlessly if you decide to install The Witcher III: Wild Hunt. The laptop has a decent enough battery life. On a full charge, it ran for about four-and-a-half hours. But if I'm spending more than Rs 1 lakh on a laptop, I'd expect better battery back-up. The HP Spectre 13, housing a strong processor, is the world's thinnest laptop and if you don't mind a non-touch notebook, this device is up to the mark.

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First Published: Sat, September 03 2016. 00:21 IST
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