HP Spectre Folio – The Leather Laptop: Full Review

HP’s unique new leatherbound laptop – the HP Spectre Folio – has much more to offer than just a classy appearance – Let’s check out its top specifications and features

HP Spectre Folio – The Leather Laptop: Full Review

So, let’s review the HP Spectre Folio – a 13-inch ultra-portable convertible laptop that’s a little bit different than your regular run-of-the-mill convertibles.

To start with let’s do a quick rundown of the specs.

The HP Spectre Folio boasts a 13.3-inch full HD IPS display, which is a WLED-backlit touch screen (1920 X 1080p) with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

There are also rumors about a 4K display version coming soon; however, there’s not much information available on that, as of now.

Folio comes with either the Intel Core i5 or the Core i7 Y-series processor, which we’ll talk more about when we discuss performance.

It also packs 8GB of DDR3 RAM with storage options starting at 256GB and going all the way up to a whopping 2TB of PCIe NVMe onboard storage.

Furthermore, HP is also offering the optional LTE version (Intel XMM 7560 LTE-Advanced Pro), which, of course, is going to cost you extra dollars, or whichever currency you deal in.

Coming to the design language of the HP Spectre Folio, the first thing you should know is that the leather bit of the architecture is no gimmick; on the contrary, it does have a role to play in the overall scheme of things.

It looks really sophisticated with a premium high-end feel to it – a device that top executives would like to be seen with, one would imagine.

Talking about performance – which is something that makes or breaks a product, however good it may look – the HP Spectre Folio does not disappoint; suffice to say that it recorded a higher Geekbench 4 multi-core score than last year’s Microsoft Surface Laptop.

For those who may not know, “Geekbench is a cross-platform processor benchmark, with a scoring system that separates single-core and multi-core performance, and workloads that simulate real-world scenarios.”

It held its own in couple of other performance tests, too, including the Cinebench R15 test that compares CPU and graphics performance across systems and platforms (Windows and OS X) and the PCMark 10 test –  a comprehensive set of tests that cover web browsing, video conferencing, common office productivity tasks, as well as more complicated work such as photo and video editing.

Another area of performance where the HP Spectre Folio excelled in is its Thermals, recording pretty decent numbers during a 15-minute test of HD Video streaming; undoubtedly, HP has done an exceptionally good job with the thermal solutions on this device

As far as the battery life on this thing is concerned, HP has made some pretty tall claims, promising up to 17 hours and 15 minutes of mixed use on Core i5 version and up to 13 hours and 45 minutes of mixed use on the i7 variant.

Now, the battery on this device is a 6-cell 54.28 watt-hour Lithium-ion battery and although it does not deliver what HP pledges, it still offers a pretty much respectable battery-life, above the category average.

A 65W AC power adapter is included in the box with a braided cable for longevity, which takes the battery from 0 to 100 percent in 2h 25m.

The HP Spectre Folio comes with two USB-C Thunderbolt ports, located on the right-hand side of the device, with a USB-C 3.1 port and a 3.5mm headset jack on the opposite side.

The device does not come with an SD Card slot (or a micro SD slot) which, obviously, translates to no storage expansion options; so, make sure you go for a storage version that suits your purpose when you’re buying this device.

The display on the Folio does not fail to impress, too.

The 13.3-inch display (specs mentioned at the start) gives a perfect viewing experience, regardless of what you’re watching, be it Netflix, YouTube, or whatever else.

Also included in the box is an HP Tilt Pen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, which its pretty cool to work with, though not in the same league as the Microsoft Surface Pen.

There’s a neat little leather loop attached to the side of the device that serves as the pen holder and does a decent job of it.

However, it would have been nicer, at least aesthetically, if HP had included a hidden slot for the stylus to slide into and blend with the device.

For better or for worse, the feature that is actually the most unique on this HP Spectre Folio is the way you put it into different modes.

At first, you will find it a bit awkward and somewhat frustrating but you will get the hang of it after you’ve had it for a while; you may even develop a liking for it, for all you know.

The device sports a decent keyboard with 1.33mm key travel, which is a tad on the shallower side, but has a good tactile feedback.

The sound quality is also up to the mark – thanks to the Bang & Olufsen speakers.

While HP Spectre Folio does not have a fingerprint sensor, it does boast a Windows Hello camera that uses infrared for login and is quite easy to set up.

To sum it up, the HP Spectre Folio looks far more like a hit than a miss; in fact, it’s fantastic.

Some of its outstanding features include an excellent display, premium leather casing, fanless thermals, above average performance, acceptable battery life, included HP Tilt Pen.

As far as the negatives go, well, there aren’t too many to talk about, other than the missing SD slot and the somewhat cumbersome changing modes, which don’t really come in the deal-breaker category.

The base variant of the HP Spectre Folio with Intel Core i5 inside will set you back by $1,299, while the Intel Core i7 version with LTE chip can be pre-ordered for $1,499.

HP Spectre Folio | Behind The Design | HP

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