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Dated: Feb. 08, 2013

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The Spectre XT is a very attractive ultrabook that many compare to the legendary MacBook Air.
It is indisputable that these two computers have resemblance, though Apple has brought up a lawsuit because of patent infringement in the design. With the average thickness of 15 mm, the Spectre XT is a very thin and elegant computer, within an aluminum casing of impeccable design with a few (not to many) luxury details.

One of them is a glass touchpad surface that protects it from scratches, but you need to get used to it, especially if your fingers are dry. The touchpad is monolithic, which also needs some time to get used to. When you press the square on the top left corner you can turn it off. The luxury detail is the keyboard lighting – HP didn’t go easy here so every key got its own LED diode. The lighting is completely equal. The keyboard is a chiclet type, the keys are evenly distributed, and their surface is flat.

HP Spectre XTAlthough the computer is mostly firm, the upper part of the screen bends a little bit under pressure. The 13 inch screen is pretty controversial: the picture is just fine when you are straight in front of the screen, but if you move to the left or to the right the picture becomes blurry. If you even more, it is very difficult to use. The screen has standard resolution, and it is handled by a graphic core HD 4000 processor Ivy Bridge – which means that Spectre will handle moderate intensity games, but you shouldn’t count on the more demanding ones.

Talking about multimedia, you can adjust this screen to HDMI, and you don’t have to mess around with cables or adapters, because HP placed an outlet of full dimensions on the housing. The same stands for the network port that has its own lid. Even if you don’t have external speakers, this little computer will fill your room with sound. It has two built in speakers, and the company Beats Audio took care for their quality. Next to the mentioned HDMI and LAN, Spectre also has a combined audio plug, a memory card reader and two USB ports. One USB port is for the 3.0 type, and the other one allows you to ’’steal’’ power from it, for charging your mobile phone and things like that.

The computer is powered by an ULV Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB is the standard memory, and HP has built in an SSD disc of 128 GB capacity. It is not much, but SSD brings good performances, longer autonomy and more silent work. The Spectre XT isn’t really loud, but it is not very quiet either – if you give it a more demanding task the fan will notify you about its presence. There is a model on the market that has an SSD disc of 256 GB, but you have to pay a lot more for it.

HP Spectre XTThe hardware is balanced well – the performances are pretty good, and the autonomy is solid: a bit more than two hours in the battery eater test under full strain promises five to six hours on battery life in normal conditions.

Ultrabook computers aren’t cheap, and the Spectre isn’t too. For about a thousand dollars you get an elegant, high-quality and pretty fast computer that last long on a battery, as well as the handbag to carry it inside. Then, there is the 64 bit Windows 7 and a bunch of following software, among other things the Norton Internet Security with a two year license. The only thing you need to think about is storage space. Although you can get the larger SSD disc version, but then the price goes up...

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