Saturday , May 15 2021

The HP Specter Folio is Gaudi, ambitious and perhaps the future

GIF: Alex Krants and Andrew Lisevski (Gizmodo)

The HP Specter Folio is deceptive. Closed, it looks like business types of trousers leather folders in conference rooms. It is held in your hands, it is a smooth and rich feeling under your fingers, but harder than you would expect. It opens exactly as a laptop needs, but then, when you move it into your tablet mode, you discover that you pull the screen to yourself instead of doing 360 degree gymnastics. That's weird. Confusing. But also naturally? If laptop makers are dead set on making laptops double as tablets, then this is figured out.


What is that?

Really ingenious download 2-in-1.


It starts at $ 1,300; Reviewed at $ 1,500.


A brilliant design and a great battery life.

Not like

Just too expensive for the speed you get. A bit too much skin.

HP Specter Folio is a new notebook in the Specter line of HP. Comparable in the design of devices like Surface Laptop 2 or Lenovo Yoga C930, Specter Laptops are intended to be a reasonable mix of price and luxury that slips below the price of a similarly configured laptop from Apple. They are Windows devices that do not need to feel red or cheap to use, and Specter Folio is neither dorky nor cheap. Well, except when it's closed. Then it looks like my brother with the foil took it in a suitcase for the entire fourth grade. He thought it was cool. He was not.

When I saw Specter Folio at HP headquarters in Houston in September, HP noted it was a laptop made from leather. The skin is essential for the engineering of the device and provides an intriguing and attractive mystery that does not bother me (more for both in a minute), but it also feels a bit in your face. There is a thick layer where the skin binds together only the past point of the components of the magnesium throughout the body of the device, and there is a little excess skin wrapped around the primary hinge. Design of the laptop – especially in this premium space – is for minimalism: aluminum uniforms and millimetric thick frames. In this context, the skin feels excessive, and a little castration would be nice.

There is a little furry gap in the back.

Ask to write "rich Corinthian skin", but this is chrome-plated skin. As you will find in the upholstery of the car.

All writing out is engraved.


But the use of skin as a primary component? It actually works well. The heat of the laptop breaks through the keyboard, the lattice of the speakers, and then through the skin itself and does such a beautiful thing that will get angry on all these laptops with plastic or aluminum bottoms. They will likely burn your bare thighs at 110 degrees Celsius, while Specter Folio is more like a hot hot pad at the same temperature. It's like when you sit in a warm car. Yes, the leather seats are not pleasant, but they will not wrap your skin like metal accents on the steering wheel.

As far as I like the decision of HP to go with a leather kit, I can not say that I agree with my choice to use the 8-generation processors of the Y-series – dual-core Intel chip introduced in August, are slower than the U-series found in Specter Folio 13. Specter Folio 13 is available for $ 1,300 with the i5-8200Y processor, 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. For $ 200 more you can encounter the i7-8500Y processor. It's a product I've reviewed.

I had the hope of a secret queue mode where you are watching the screen, but the keyboard does not work outside of the laptop mode.
Photo by Alex Kranz (Gizmodo)

This thing works great when I get used to Chrome or Microsoft Edge and Slack – you know, basic browsing on the Internet – but it's much less energetic when I open Photoshop or I'm trying to play one round Gwent which is found in our benchmarks. In WebXPRT 2015, a synthetic benchmark that gives the result of how quickly the device handles a number of browser-based tasks, Specter Folio 13 has achieved a respectable 461. It's just under the Yoga c930 (523), but it's actually on some other, more powerful laptops with U-series processors, such as Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 (392). But in Civilization VI, where we set the resolution to 1080p and the graphic adjustments are high, Specter Folio took a terrible average of 282 milliseconds to make a frame. It's twice that of what you see from the laptop 2 or the Yoga c930 at a similar price.

So, it's not particularly fast, and as I reviewed its $ 1500. What's so good about it then? First, they depend on the battery. They performed very nicely 12 hours and 22 minutes when streaming a 1080p YouTube video with a brightness of 200 nits. It's far beyond the vast majority of Intel laptops, including Surface Laptop 2 (7:57) and Yoga C930 (9:45). In more than twelve hours, it is more in line with slower Qualcomm-based laptops, such as the Samsung Galaxy Book 2, or tablets like the iPad Pro.

Which makes sense. This is not for people who are trying to get a job project or a school. It's for people who are considering that project while they are hoping for a cross-country flight or sitting on board to pay all our salaries in combination. It's a fat laptop that can turn into a tablet-but for well-paid teams.

What's terrible, because these types are unlikely to appreciate the very clever engineering of Specter Folio 13. In addition to its primary hinge that is common to all laptops, it has a second hinge, built from its body of skin, about half a half on the screen. You grab the top of the screen, and its lower half is separated from the skin, and then drag it forward in Movie Watch mode, making it easier to leave the available touchpad to use, or fully down in tablet mode, which really allows you to to appreciate the beautiful look and super slim 13.3-inch 1080p screen. (It's possible to get a computer with a sharper display of money, by the way.)

The transition is smooth. Practically perfect. Finally, there is a device that works well like a laptop, but it does not compromise quite as much when entering a tablet mode. If you are an artist, the tablet's mode may take some time. It's practically perfect – it's not really perfect. The screen does not lie against the keyboard, but at an angle, all the skin it adds to the bulk. For someone like me, who enters the tablet mode when I read or play a card game, it's pretty good. I can settle it in a pillow in my lap just as easily as on the surface or on my iPad. The difference is that when I need to switch to a mode (laptop) mode, it's much easier to reach a laptop mode with Specter Folio 13 than any other device.

But would you recommend exiting and buying? It's harder. This device is huge enough to guarantee its price, but slow enough that it feels too expensive for most people. Setting a minimum of 1,300 to 300 dollars more than the iPad Pro or Surface Device is a high order. And for 1,400 dollars you can get a much faster Lenovo Yoga C930. However, the Yoga C930 – which we really like – is simply not as elegant as the Specter Folio 13, and it does not have the same remarkable battery life. If you spend all your meetings and you can afford it, Specter Folio is your choice, but that's not the biggest part of us. Here is hoping that its excellent design innovations are moving towards more accessible laptops.


  • On all skin body will insult you with metal and plastic competitors.
  • But there is a lot of skin.
  • The battery life is exceptional.
  • The Y-series processor is a little leaf.
  • $ 1,300 to $ 1,500 is feeling too expensive for the Y-series machine.
  • But damn, that hinge is cool like hell.

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