Windows 10's MacBook challenger: HP revamps Spectre x360 with thinner case and bigger battery

HP has refreshed its premium 13-inch consumer laptops, including the Spectre x360 and Envy.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

The second-generation HP Spectre x360

Image: HP / Microsoft

HP has refreshed its popular Spectre x360 laptop and the more affordable Envy, bringing hardware improvements, longer-life batteries, and Windows 10 features to the new systems.

The new Spectre x360 represents HP's efforts to perfect the mobility of the first generation of the convertible laptop, which offered a solid if slightly heavy non-Surface Windows answer to the MacBook.

See also: Get ready for a MacBook Pro and MacBook Air refresh

HP has shaved 10mm from the bezel on each side of the screen to deliver its "near zero border" 13.3-inch touch display in the updated model. The overhauled Spectre x360 retains the aluminum finish and curves of its predecessor, but at 13.88mm thick and weighing 2.85lb (1.29kg), it is 13 percent slimmer and 11 percent lighter.

In spite of the weight drop, the new model packs a larger 57.8W battery, which along with fine-tuning for Intel's Kaby Lake processors will offer up to 15 hours of battery life, according to HP.

It has also added an infrared camera to the device, bringing support for Microsoft's Windows 10 Hello facial login. Dual-array mics have also been optimized to support Cortana's voice-control features, while there are now four rather than two speakers.

The laptop also features a backlit keyboard, two USB-Type C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support and one USB-Type A 3.0 port.

The Spectre x360 laptop will be available with Intel's new generation i5 or i7 processors, solid state storage of up to 1TB, and up to 16GB of RAM. It will be available on October 12 starting at $1,050.

The refreshed 13.3-inch ENVY laptop is a handsome piece of hardware in a metal finish, but lacks the finer trimmings of the Spectre x360. It's also $200 cheaper.

At 14mm thick and weighing 3.15lbs, the ENVY is now actually thicker and heavier than its predecessor but, perhaps offsetting this, a bigger battery offers up to 14 hours of battery life, equal to four more hours.

It features dual speakers, a backlit keyboard, two USB 3.0 ports, and one USB Type-C port. The laptop will be available with new generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 1TB solid state storage, and up to 16GB RAM. It will also be available with a QHD display, if customers want to add touch.

The ENVY will go on sale on October 26, starting at $850.

And, just ahead of Microsoft's rumored Surface all-in-one launch in the next fortnight, HP has introduced its ENVY all-in-one with a 27-inch QHD display. Its camera with IR support also enables Windows Hello. This will be available in October, starting at $1,299.99, with up to 256 GB solid state storage or a two terabyte hard disk and sixth-generation Intel i5 or i7 quad-core processors.

$300 (or less) laptops for work and play

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