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HP & # 39; s Specter x360 13 appears to be an improvement in almost all ways

HP & # 39; s Specter x360 13 has undergone a fairly drastic makeover before 2019. It is still a Specter: the premium 2-in-1 has glossy edges, a cleverly placed on / off button and a USB-C port embedded in the two diagonally cut corners. But HP has taken away much of the surplus from the old design, making the latest version smaller. Yet it feels somehow bigger when you use it.

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This effect is partly achieved by the considerably shortened top and bottom edges, giving it a screen-body ratio of 90 percent. The top ring is 5.8 mm thick and seems too thin to fit in a webcam. But HP designed the smallest IR webcam in the world with Windows Hello for that ring. It is 2.2 mm thick, and while that is impressive, I am skeptical that such a small camera will produce good image quality.


The new model (above) is considerably smaller, but just a bit thicker than the previous version (below).
Image: HP

The chassis is 23 mm shallower than last year's model, making it easier to put in your arm and carry around. It requires less space on your desk and it fits a little easier on a tray in a train or plane. Fortunately, there is still enough room for the same keyboard layout with a new, special microphone mute button, although the trackpad is slightly smaller.

This time you can opt for an OLED screen with 4K resolution, borrowed from the HP Specter x360 15. This looks just as bright and is capable of deep, ink-black and rich contrast. The event space where I saw the machine was flooded with natural light and the screen was still easy to distinguish, looking straight ahead and from multiple viewing angles.

The new HP display control feature is designed to help you get more accurate colors from the OLED. Allows you to switch between color gamut & # 39; s (DCI-P3, sRGB, and Adobe RGB) depending on the type of content you are viewing. This function can be adjusted; HP has demonstrated this by comparing the color of a shirt with how it looked online using the different modes. If you bought the shirt while watching it through, for example, the movie (DCI-P3) mode, you would probably be disappointed with the color of the shirt when it arrived. But the web mode (sRGB) was almost a perfect match.

The $ 1,099 basic model of the Specter x360 13 has a full HD LED screen, an Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor, 8 GB LPDDR4 RAM and a 256 GB SATA SSD. The high-end model built with an OLED screen features the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor and 16 GB RAM. That model is available in two configurations, each costing $ 1,499: one with an anti-reflective screen and a 512 GB NVMe SSD or a standard OLED screen with 1 TB NVMe SSD storage. A fourth option will be made available later in 2019 with HP & # 39; s Sure View display technology that digitally limits the viewing angle to help protect you from viewers. (The price is not yet available.)

Every configuration of the Specter x360 13 is equipped with Intel & # 39; s 10th generation Ice Lake quad-core processor and Iris Plus graphics card. HP says this is a Project Athena certified laptop, which means it lasts up to 22 hours (depending on the type of screen your model has). The standard FHD LED uses 1 W power, but the OLED – with and without HP & # 39; s anti-reflective screen or with Sure View technology – will use more.


Photograph by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge

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A few different configurations will be released in October: two are being built for sale at Best Buy, while HP will offer a few models directly through its site, starting at $ 1,099. This allows people to adjust the laptop via HP.com.

My colleague Dan Seifert praised the previous version of the Specter x360 13 for its great build quality and impressive performance. The new model is aimed at repairing some of its low points, such as making the edges smaller, but we will soon see how the rest of it maintains in our upcoming full assessment.