HP Spectre Folio review
HP Spectre Folio review

When HP introduced that the HP Spectre Folio before this season, it created some big statements about the way the 2-in-1 laptop would reinvent the PC.

That is a fairly huge promise, particularly as we have seen numerous innovative designs which have changed the way we think of PCs.

Though the HP Spectre Folio is surely a nicely-put together apparatus, using a design that HP explains as"modern classic matches tech," is it really that revolutionary? At the start event, HP boasted the Spectre Folio"essentially has no defects," another badly daring claim.

While we must respect HP's bravado when speaking about the Spectre Folio, we have now got a device into check out how well the HP Spectre Folio can fulfill the hype.

HP Spectre Folio review

Price and availability

HP did not only make bold claims about the HP Spectre Folio, it is also giving it a more daring price tag: $1,299 (AU$2,799) for entry-level version. This includes an Intel Core i5-8200Y fanless processor, 8GB of DDR3 memory and a 256GB M.2 SSD.

The screen will be a 13.4-inch 1080p (1,920 x 1,080) WLED touchscreen that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. Although this version is offered in the United States and Australia, it is unavailable in the United Kingdom.

There's also a version using a Core i7-8500Y processor with an LTE modem connected for wireless connectivity everywhere, plus the exact same amount of RAM and storage since the version above. This costs $1,499 (£1,499).

Australia does not get that version, but it will get a distinctive Spectre Folio using all the Core i7-8500Y processor, together with 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM plus a 512GB M.2 SSD for AU$3,399.

It is a small shame this fully specced-out version is not available to purchase globally, at least for now.

These costs pit the HP Spectre Folio contrary to flagship laptops such as the 12-inch MacBook along with also the Asus ZenBook 3. Additionally, it is comparable in cost with the Surface Pro should you purchase one with the computer keyboard cover included.

It is a costly proposition, then, together with fierce competition, so HP should pull all the stops to produce the Spectre Folio worth the significant quantities of money it's asking for.

HP Spectre Folio review


Maybe 1 place the HP Spectre Folio can definitely claim to'reinvent' the PC is in its design, together with the Spectre Folio constructed into a part of real leather. This is not as radical as a lot of folks can have hoped , but it will give the Spectre Folio a more exceptional look and texture that sets it apart from additional premium laptops.

You see this is not only a leather cover which slips over the laptop -- that the leather is a part of this laptop. Therefore, when closed, the HP Spectre Folio closes much as a magazine or a book, thus the'Folio' moniker.

HP Spectre Folio review

You might even use the HP Folio Spectre as a laptop, at a media manner as a tablet, along with the leather case slides to different positions easily, supporting the screen based on which style you use.

Behind the screen is a seam at the folio case which permits the device to change into different manners. Tug the screen toward the touchpad to get a handy way to watch videos and movies.

This covers the computer keyboard using the screen, but nonetheless provides you with access to this trackpad for controlling media playback (also as with the touchscreen). Pull the screen further toward your device's foundation, and it'll rest on top of this computer keyboard to get a pure tablet style.

HP Spectre Folio review

When correcting the Spectre Folio to these various manners, the laptop feels solid and sturdy. Banish some notions of flimsy 2-in-1 laptops with substance covers, as the Folio feels as a strong and well made piece of kit. It is here where you determine the way that HP has fully incorporated the leather to the design. The hinge can be powerful enough for the screen to be removable once in laptop mode minus the entire apparatus leaning over. It feels like a superior apparatus.

The brown leather feels nice to the touch also helps keep the unit in 1 area on differently slippery surfaces, such as glass, granite or marble.

The WLED backlit screen is very vibrant, along with the IPS panel provides wide viewing angles, which can be useful when correcting the screen to several modes. The screen is impressively thin, although the bezels, particularly on top, which houses a webcam, and also in the base, which displays the HP logo, are rather thick. We have been spoiled by thin bezels in superior laptops such as the Dell XPS 13, so that they feel somewhat cheap and old fashioned .

Unlike a few premium devices (we are looking at you, Surface Pro), the Spectre Folio carries a stylus, making the cost a bit more palatable. It has got a wonderful heft to it once in use, along with also the screen reacts fast and easily to drawing and composing with it. Windows 10's strong support for stylus input has to be praised here too, as it is put to great use by the Folio Spectre.

HP Spectre Folio review

However, what of this computer keyboard? Most 2-in-1 devices that provide laptop and tablet modes frequently make compromises when it comes to keyboards, since they're often too thin to earn tablet style more comfy to hold.

The fantastic thing is that the keyboard is big and evenly dispersed between keys, making it more comfortable to type on, so you are less likely to strike the incorrect key, particularly if you type fast. But as is frequently true for 2-in-1 devices, the essential journey is shallow, so it does not feel quite responsive when studying. We prefer keyboards which have somewhat more traveling, and so a more pleasing typing encounter, but that is the price that you pay for using such a slimline laptop.

The distances between the keys can also be backlit, which delivers a nice effect, and will enable you to kind if in low light conditions. On the other hand, the letters themselves aren't lit, so unless you're able to touch type without looking at the keys, then it will not be useful in the dark.

HP Spectre Folio review

Port-wise, you just get three USB-C ports, which may double as an electricity source. It keeps your system slender, but it means in the event that you have a great deal of legacy USB devices you will fight for ports, and there is no microSD slot . It is important to note that although two of those USB-C ports are Thunderbolt 3, one is USB 3.1, so it's a slower data transfer rate.

A conventional USB into USB-C adapter is included in the box, and this is a wonderful touch. The USB-C power adapter also includes a stainless-steel cable, further giving the Folio Spectre a superior and trendy appearance.

HP Spectre Folio review

In 320 x 234 x 15.2mm (12.60 x 9.21 x 0.60 inches) and weighing 1.50kg (3.3pounds ), this can be an impressively-compact and light laptop which you could easily carry around with you. When closed, it is possible to slide it under your arm, and in tablet style it is mild enough to hold easily in 1 hand.

Combine this with its distinctive leather design and you have got a superior looking -- and sense -- laptop quite unlike anything we have seen previously. It surely makes a statement.

Additionally, it is worth noting that in the present time it only comes from real leather, so in the event that you've got ethical concerns about using leather, then you will want to steer clear of the device.

Stay connected to the internet

Another feature we are very happy to find in the HP Folio Spectre is a SIM port for mobile LTE data. This permits you to insert a SIM card to your laptop and connect to the internet with a cellular connection.

Does this imply you can get the internet from virtually anywhere, provided that there is network policy, but in addition, it means that you don't need to rely on people Wi-Fi hotspots, which could often arrive with safety consequences.

Even though a growing number of laptops include LTE connectivity, it is still comparatively rare and helps the HP Folio Spectre stand out among its rivals. HP also claims that this is the world's first gigabit course LTE Intel-based laptop, offering rates similar (and even over ) house broadband connections.

Windows 10 does a fantastic job of incorporating LTE connectivity, and also our review sample came with a Vodafone SIM card installed. This meant that after establishing Windows 10 for the first period we could access the internet instantly without needing to connect to some Wi-Fi network and then enter into a password.


The HP Folio Spectre configuration we had been sent for inspection is accompanied by an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8500Y processor, 256Gb SSD and 8GB of RAM, all which make Windows 10 feels quickly and responsive through daily tasks.

While it should go without saying that a laptop of the cost can run Windows 10 with no issue, that is sadly not always true with a few laptops. But for the large part, the HP Folio Spectre does an excellent job, however we found that unzipping files onto the device took some time.

The Intel i7-8500Y processor is an 8th generation chip in Intel using two cores and foundation frequency of 1.50GHz plus a turbo frequency of 4.20GHz. Thus, it is not the speediest processor or the very skillful at multi-tasking, but it's an impressively low TDP of 5W.

This allows to get a fanless design that retains the HP Folio Spectre impressively thin, while still being nearly completely quiet when in use. Additionally, it entails the battery life is prolonged -- more on this in an instant.

HP Spectre Folio review

In our benchmarks, the HP Folio Spectre lagged behind rivals like the Dell XPS 13 and Huawei MateBook X Pro, each of which include quad core Core i7 processors, which will make a difference in regards to performance.

The screen is bright and lively, and watching media on it's a joy. The speakers are by Bang & Olufsen, but sadly they do not quite match the caliber of the screen. There is hardly any bass for them, which renders noises, particularly music and action scenes from movies, feeling somewhat flat. It is a shame.

Graphics are handled by the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 615 GPU. It does the task of displaying Windows 10, apps and press at 1080p, however do not expect to play with any graphically-challenging games onto this item, or edit movies. For many people, however, that will not be an issue.

However, as we said, in daily use the Folio Spectre performed nicely, provided that you do not attempt any longer intensive tasks, like video encoding and editing. The silent fanless design, and lengthy battery life make a persuasive case for HP's selection of components , balancing performance using design sophistication and battery lifetime.

HP Spectre Folio review

Battery life

Another place where the HP Folio Spectre can officially claim to be revolutionary is in its own battery lifetime, together with HP promising around 18 hours on a single charge. That is seriously notable for an Intel-powered laptop, nearly reaching the giddy heights attained by lower-powered ARM laptops, such as the HP Envy x2.

By providing better performance with much effect on battery life, the HP Folio Spectre provides an extremely attractive choice, and in case you're searching for a laptop that grants you nearly a full day's worth of battery life, although not being hamstrung by poor performance, then the elevated price tag of this Folio Spectre could be warranted.

But, though HP promises 18 hours, what's the battery lifetime actually like? Well, though the HP Folio Spectre did a fantastic job, lasting 7 hours and 51 minutes in our battery life standard, in which people run a looped 1080p movie in 50% brightness, it was far off the 18 hours promised.

Obviously, using a little bit of tweaking, like dimming the screen longer, turning off Wi-Fi along with changing the power settings, you might observe a more battery life, but also remember that for internet browsing, media streaming and other tasks, the battery can drain more rapidly.

However, nearly eight hours remains a very good quantity of time and you need to be able to go a full workday without having a charge.

HP Spectre Folio review

General assessment

Whenever the HP Folio Spectre was unveiled, we must admit we were somewhat underwhelmed. This was because of HP over hyping the show at the run up, promising a laptop that could reinvent the marketplace. But during our time together with the HP Folio Spectre, we have come to actually enjoy this, and while it is not the groundbreaking 2-in-1 we had been promised, it is a very well put together device.

The design is just magnificent, and through our tests a range of people approached us to inquire about the laptop, since it actually does look stunning and stick out in the audience. Many people's enthusiasm was quickly tempered, but when we showed that the cost. At $1,499 (£1,499, approximately £2,600), this is a really costly laptop which is going to be from the purchase price assortment of a lot of people.

In case you can manage that, however, you're going to be quite delighted. The design and build quality exude a superior texture, along with the screen appears brilliant also. The addition of a stylus can be welcome. Putting the HP Folio Spectre to its different modes is simple, with the good structure ensuring the Folio stays feeling hardy.

But, it is not the most effective laptop at this cost, along with the speakers allow down it from the media playing section. If you are following a strong and reliable work laptop that's remarkably fashionable and will evoke impressed murmurs from the boardroom, then you will love the HP Folio Spectre.

If electricity is much more important than fashion, nevertheless, then your money will be better off elsewhere, with all the Matebook X Pro along with Dell XPS 13 (or even XPS 15) worth contemplating rather than