Introduction

HP Spectre laptops reign high above the competition, with them earning themselves spots on the “Top X” laptop lists every year. Sure, the Spectre laptops don’t do anything “innovative” or “special”, but their premium feel, sleek and stylish design, and varying price cement them as the consumer’s choice.

Their popularity ensures an annual release from HP, and that’s exactly what we’re receiving this month, with the Spectre x360 13 receiving its annual refresh.

The press release grants us insight into all the upgrades and features of the new Spectre, so why don’t we take a look into the new Spectre?

New HP Spectre x360 13: New Upgrades/Features

The CPU

Previous Spectre laptops used the Intel 8k series, but the new Spectre 13 will use the new Intel 10k series processors. It’s a little disappointing that HP will not be offering an AMD option for the new Spectres, but I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up either.

The GPU

Moving on from the CPU upgrade, we have the GPU upgrade. The Spectre laptops have always used an integrated GPU i.e. a GPU provided by the CPU, and that hasn’t changed. However, the move to the Intel 10k processors upgraded the old Intel UHD 620 iGPU to the Intel Iris Plus iGPU.

Both the CPU and GPU upgrades promise double the performance of the previous Spectre, according to the press release. It’ll be fun to see whether or not these claims hold up as more people get their hands on it.

The 4K Display

4K displays are amazing on laptops, though the price point does little to justify them. The new 4K displays on the Spectre 13, on the other hand, justify the near $2,000 you’d spend on buying one.

Instead of the regular LCD 4K screen, you’d receive with previous Spectres, you’ll receive an OLED 4K screen with True Black HDR. Basically, for a couple hundred more dollars, you’ll receive a display that would make any cinephile foam at the mouth. Plus, OLED just looks fantastic, especially with HDR, so this upgrade is definitely one of the best HP could’ve made.

Thinner Bezels

While we’re on the subject of displays, let’s talk about the bezels. No one likes thick bezels. They distract from the display and make any device look ugly. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the regular iPad and then the iPad Air.

To avoid the ugly nature of thick bezels, HP reduced the bezels enough for a 90% screen-to-body ratio–an impressive ratio for a laptop. You won’t even be able to tell the bezels are there, and that’s just how I like them.

Security Upgrades

What surprised me in the press release was a large number of security upgrades HP has made to the new Spectre. I’m not going to go into extreme detail with each one, but I feel it important to point them out, so here are a few quick bullet points:

  • A kill-switch to turn on/off the webcam at the user’s discretion,
  • A dedicated mute button for the microphone, complete with an LED indicator,
  • An optional, built-in privacy screen that HP will offer sometime in January 2020,
  • And an HP/ExpressVPN partnership, letting users of the new Spectre receive a free 30-day trial for the pre-installed VPN on Windows and the same apps on other devices.

If you’re interested in more in-depth reading of the security upgrades, you can check out the press release.

Conclusion

As I said earlier, HP’s new Spectre isn’t aiming to reinvent the wheel, per se, as much as it’s trying to make the wheel a bit flashier and sturdier. With all the improvements to the display, specs, and security, I think they’ve accomplished just that.

The new Spectre 13 just released, so you can get one on HP’s site. They seem to be on backorder, but if half of these upgrades are as good as they sound, then the wait is definitely worth it.


A Brief Overview of the New HP Spectre x360 13

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