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HP Spectre XT Touchsmart Review

What We Think

The HP Spectre XT Touchsmart boasts a slim, metal body, a decent serving of power and a Full HD touch-enabled screen for swiping around Windows 8. It’s biggest flaw is its price yet you get sufficent power for the money.

Introduction

The HP Spectre XT Touchsmart is a slim, metal body that includes decent performance and a 15-inch display. The Spectre XT is perfect for computing on the go and the display’s Full HD resolution and good grasp of colours makes it handy for movie lovers too.

At £1,000 it might be rather steep, but it’s a good all-round machine and it makes a stab at trying to justify the money with its classy body and touchscreen capability.

Design

The Spectre XT has a rather attractive finish. However, we think it’s a little overused and is beginning to feel dated. Nonetheless, it measures 22mm thick and weighs 2.15kg, which is pretty heavy for something claiming to be an ultrabook. However, it’ll fit comfortably inside a backpack, but you probably won’t want to drag it around town all day.

The metal lid helps give the machine a more luxurious look and the keyboard and trackpad are sturdy and responsive giving the laptop a premium finish and feel. At the same time if you’re looking to do more precise work, such as edit images in Photoshop then a USB mouse or graphic tablet.

Yet, there’s a slightly off-putting plastic bezel around the very edge of the screen, which is rather cheap.

Furthermore, the HP Spectre XT Touchsmart is packed with numerous ports. There’s two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, a full-sized SD card slot, a Thunderbolt-enabled Mini DisplayPort and an Ethernet port. Storage is taken care of by a 500GB hard disk drive with a 32GB SSD for the operating system.

Screen

The Spectre XT’s 15.6-inch display boasts a resolution of 1,920×1,080 pixels. There’s no optical drive on board, so you won’t be able to enjoy your blu-ray collection, but it’s perfectly equipped for handling high-definition streamed content from YouTube.

The screen is reasponably bright which means it’s more susceptible to reflections. If you plan on working under harsh office lights or in bright sunlight, you might want to test it properly before you depart with your money. It’s bold though, and colours are displayed very well — in most circumstances, it’s an ideal mobile media machine.

Performance

The Spectre XT is running on an Intel Core i5-3317U processor clocked at 1.7GHz with 4GB of RAM and does not come up short in any way and is more than sufficent for running the day to day havoc of a business man or a student.

Our Verdict

The HP Spectre XT TouchSmart might be pricy, but it has some good kit to justify the price. The Full HD screen is well-suited to movie lovers and its touch abilities mean you can get the best from Windows 8. It’s not the most powerful machine in the world but it is more than sufficent for the majority of laptop users. However, I’m sure there are few people willing to spend £1,000 on a laptop without any particular reason.

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