In spite of its hefty price tag, HP's Spectre Folio is bound to get mixed reactions as far as looks are concerned. Clad in cognac brown genuine leather, it could be a head-turner but only if you have a taste for the classic corporate combo of leather and metal. However, what matters most is what is under the hood and how well it performs.
As it is a convertible, there is multimode play, which means you can switch from laptop to tablet to a standing mode that the company calls 'forward'. It is a little unusual, but the hinge is at the centre of the display (attached to the leather), giving it a limberness and flexibility that would put any yoga guru to shame. A slight backward push and a sliding motion will release the display from the bottom frame so that tablet or forward mode can be activated.
Spectre Folio comes preloaded with Windows 10 Pro operating system, is powered by an Intel i7 processor, and comes with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of SSD. Although it is quite sleek (about 0.6-inch thick), this workhorse houses two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the right and a USB Type-C port and a headphone jack on the left for connectivity. The island-style keyboard is well-spaced and features big backlit keys. Plus, there is an impressive battery backup of close to 12 hours.
When switched to tablet or forward mode, the Folio automatically detects it and optimises the touch points. The 13.3-inch full HD display is vibrant with good touch response and great viewing angles. The accompanying stylus (charges using the hidden Type-C port) offers accurate pen strokes and proves to be an extremely useful accessory for hand-written notes, sketching or working on presentations.
A few improvements were required, though, to make the device flawless. With everyone moving towards a bezel-less, infinity display, the thick bezels at the top and the bottom of the Spectre Folio is a serious loss of screen estate. Again, instead of a hanging pen loop at the side, there should have been a better way to attach the Digital Pen with the Folio. HP could have adopted something similar to Apple's second-gen Pencil with magnets that easily gets attached to the iPad.@nidhisingal