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HP Spectre Folio 13 Review

This entry is part 180 of 181 in the series Laptop

HP Spectre Folio 13

Not suitable for vegans

There are laptops, there are tablets, and now there’s this: a touchscreen and keyboard fixed to a folder that can be stood up like a laptop or folded back to use as a tablet. It looks different from any other laptop with its chocolate-brown real leather finish – a brave choice in an increasingly vegan age, but one that should age gracefully. A stylus is supplied, for which our Folio lacked the advertised storage loop, making it easy to lose.

A timeless design, a pleasure to use and a long battery life

There’s something slightly self-defeating about making an incredibly thin laptop and then welding it into a thicker shell. HP reckons the whole thing is 15.4mm deep, although they must have squashed it a bit to get that measurement: we made it 17mm. It’s about 25 per cent bulkier than the very slimmest and lightest models, but still well below average, and no trouble at all to carry. The mains adapter is also unusually compact, at just over 200g (7oz), but you probably won’t need it: in our usual video-playback test, the Folio lasted 10 hours 38 minutes.

That’s an excellent result for a Windows 10 system of this size, and it’s

SPECIFICATIONS

1.5GHz Intel i7-8500Y dual-core processor • 8GB memory • 256GB SSD • 13.3in1920x1080-pixel touchscreen • Webcam • 802.11ac Wi-Fi • Bluetooth 42 • USB-C3.1 port • 2x USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports • SIM slot • Windows 10 Home – 15.4x 320x235mm (HxWxD) • 1.49kg • One-year warranty

pretty clear how it’s been achieved. Almost everything inside is battery except the i7-8500Y processor, which isn’t much like an i7 at all, but comes from Intel’s low-power mobile range. That means performance can keep up with regular mid-range laptops in less demanding tasks, but with anything more complicated it begins to lag behind. At the challenging end of our tests, which attempts several highly demanding operations at once, the Folio took hours to complete what chunkier machines managed in minutes. The integrated GPU, meanwhile, supports 3D gaming in principle, but it will struggle with the latest games.

For basic tasks, though, it’s more than adequate, and HP’s design makes it a pleasure to use. The flat keyboard is well laid-out and surprisingly dicky, even if the touchpad – set into the leather front panel – is rather small. There are only USB-C ports, but two have Thunderbolt 3 for fast external SSDs – the built-in 256GB could be a bit tight – and there’s a webcam with Windows Hello face recognition.

The screen is Full HD, with no 4K option, but covered over 95 per cent of the sRGB range with very high accuracy and strong brightness and contrast. The only flaw is a highly reflective finish.

VERDICT

8 Total Score
HP Spectre Folio 13 Review

You could get higher performance for less, but the Folio is something different - both stylish and practical

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Make media more fun with this HP Spectre Folio convertible laptop. Three possible screen positions let you watch videos or edit photos in comfort, and its powerful Intel Core i7 processor is ideal for gaming. This HP Spectre Folio convertible laptop has a 256GB M.2 solid-state drive, ensuring speed and ample storage.
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Top features: - Genuine leather design with a thin, lightweight finish - Get creative with Windows Ink - 8th gen Core i7 processor and 4G connectivity - All-day battery life lasts up to 19 hours Genuine leather design Crafted from 100% genuine leather with a thin fanless design, the HP Spectre Folio 2 in 1 is a truly unique laptop. The cognac coloured leather is highly durable, so you won't have to worry about it getting damaged or wearing over time, and it has a high quality, tactile feel that looks just like a cover when closed. The Spectre Folio is a 2 in 1, which means you can use it as a laptop, and then fold the keyboard back to use the touchscreen just like a tablet. You can even use the keyboard like a case and prop up the screen - perfect for catching up on the latest Netflix special. 8th gen Core i7 processor The Spectre Folio doesn't just look great, it's filled with impressive specs too. Powered by an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor and 8 GB RAM, you'll have all...
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HP Spectre Folio 13 Convertible Touchscreen PC 13-ak0001na - Intel i7-8500Y 8GB...

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ALTERNATIVE

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

Soon to be replaced, this very similar spec comes with a more conventional 360-degree hinge

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