Grand Spectre

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: November 2012

Price: Rs 64,990
Specs: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 13-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED backlit display; Intel Core i5-3317U; 4GB RAM; 128GB SSD; Intel HD Graphics 4000; USB x 2, HDMI, Ethernet, 1.4 kg.

The HP Envy 14 Spectre was an amazing device with a never before seen glass body that could actually make heads turn. But this flagship Ultrabook never really made it to Indian stores. Now, HP is trying to make amends by bringing to India the 13-inch HP Envy Spectre XT, a mid-level Ultrabook.

The Spectre XT is also a stunner in the design department with an all-metal body with an angled rear that reminded us of Italian cars. This one is also slim like an Ultrabook should be with a maximum girth of 0.69 inch. The all-metal body means there is also a lot of chrome all over the place, especially above the keyboard where the speakers are nestled. In fact, the only non-metal colour on the body is tbe Beats audio logo on this grill. The backlit keyboard is well spaced out and easy to use, though we found the arrow keys in a tight spot. The trackpad is smooth and has pinch and squeeze. Plus, this Ultrabook has a lot of connectivity option which are rare in other mid-range models. So along with the two customary USB ports, you have an HDMI and Ethernet port as well as a card reader.

The 13-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED backlit display is crisp, though we found that it has certain angles where the viewing is not such a comfortable experience. Like in other HP devices the sound gets big fillip due to the Beats Audio branding and this one has four internal speakers that produce amazing sound.

Running on Intel's 3rd Generation Core i5-3317U processor, performance is pretty much a given for this device. So we were pleasantly surprised by the impressive PC Mark score of 4713 that this device clocked. Also HP's CoolSense technology seemed to be at play when during the PC Mark test, the device did not heat up like many other Ultrabooks we tested recently. The Spectre XT woke up from sleep in just two seconds while a full start took just 32 seconds to the login screen, among the fastest we have seen. Hi-res pictures, Full HD video, nothing could ruffle the feathers of this mean machine.

From what we have seen, the HP Spectre XT is defenitely among the best Ultrabooks available in India at the moment. To add to the superb performance and style is the fact that this device costs a very competitive Rs 64,990, all the ingredients for a succesful product.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT? Great power and style in an affordable Ultrabook

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