I’m at the HP Global Influencer Summit 2012 in Shanghai, and in between product showcases and forums, I slink away to get a closer look at what HP is demoing at the show. While the entire show floor is abuzz with activity, there is a growing mob of people desperately trying to get a glimpse of a particular product – the HP Envy Spectre XT. While HP have launched a whole host of products at the show, this is one Ultrabook that got everyone’s attention. I was lucky enough to have some ‘quiet time’ with the unit to really find out what made this Ultrabook so appealing.
At first glance I have to say that the unit does look very similar to another device that’s “lighter than Air”. Having said that, the Envy Spectre XT comes in a beautiful aluminum finish and looks gorgeous from any angle.
Taking a quick tour of the device, on the left hand side is full-sized Ethernet port, USB, and HDMI ports as well as a Kensington security slot.
On the right side is another USB port, SD card reader, AC input, headphone jack, and power/HDD indicator. While I would have liked just one more USB port somewhere, I think the selection of ports available will keep most people happy and free them from carrying around various dongles that other Ultrabooks seem to require.
The chiclet-style keyboard is backlit, which is a welcome addition to any laptop or Ultrabook. While the keys were comfortable enough for a quick typing test, I did have to fiddle with the arrow keys which are of different sizes. The trackpad is responsive and responded fairly quickly to my rapid double clicking.
Like with most of their lineup, the Envy Spectre XT comes with Beats audio, and features four speakers for optimum sound; two near the base of the Ultrabook and two hidden in the display hinge. I wasn’t able to check out how the audio sounded, but generally the Beats lineup does not disappoint.
The model I looked at was running Windows 7 Professional x64, with an Intel i7-3667U 2.5GHz processor, and 4GB of RAM. You can also configure the device with a 256GB SSD which I believe was what was in the demo unit. The only two downsides I found were that it only has integrated graphics, and the price point starts at around USD$ 1,000. Still, it’s hard to resist the allure of the Envy Spectre XT, as evident by the hordes of people trying to snap a photo or play with the device.