HP has revamped its Specter x360 lineup of convertible, champfered-edged laptops with a purportedly quieter sound profile, Intel’s new Arc graphics card, and beefed-up webcams.
Today, HP released 12th Gen Intel versions of the Specter x360 in 13.5- and 16-inch sizes.
If the 13.5-inch sounds new to you, that’s because HP hasn’t released a “Specter x360 13.5” since 2020. Last year, its 13.5-inch Specter was called the “Spectrum x360 14.” But don’t get confused; this thin-and-light laptop still has a screen that measures 13.5 inches diagonally and uses the 3:2 aspect ratio for up to 3000×2000 resolution if you opt for OLED.
If you prefer a brighter (the OLED claims up to 400 nits with SDR and 500 nits with HDR), less power-hungry option, you can get the Specter x360 13.5-inch with a 1920×1280 IPS LED display with up to 1,000 nits of brightness.
HP claims that the 13.5-inch Specter will be the quieter than its predecessor. A new fan design claims an 8 percent sound reduction, plus 10 percent better airflow. The new fans have 122 blades, which is 46 percent more than before, and those blades are 25 percent thinner. Considering the 13.5-inch Specter is 0.67 inch thin, heat management will be critical to maintaining high performance and making sure the thing doesn’t burn your lap.
Across the Specter lineup, HP moved from a 0.9 MP to 5 MP webcam. It includes trendy add-on features, like auto framing (keeps you in view, even if you’re walking around), brightness adjustment (based on ambient lighting), and HP GlamCam, which claims to enhance your looks by smoothing the appearance of your skin and under-eye bags, for example.
You could also get the 13.5-inch Specter with an integrated privacy screen that makes it hard for others to view the display from an angle once you press a key combination. Meanwhile, the 16-inch Specter can use AI software and the IR camera to automatically blur the screen if it senses someone creeping up behind you, which just feels like a different, more virtual kind of creeping.
A smaller addition, the Specter x360 3.5-inch also has HP Palette, which HP describes as a “digital workspace” for creatives’ photo management. It includes a photo-finder feature, a space for drawing with a stylus, and wireless file sharing.
In terms of components, the 13-inch-class Specters go up to an Intel Core i7-1255U (two Performance cores running at 1.7-4.7 GHz, eight Efficient cores running at 1.2-3.5 GHz, and 12 threads). The smaller laptops can also sport up to a 2TB PCIe 4.0 M.2 SSD and 32GB of LPDDR4x-4266 memory, plus Intel Iris Xe integrated graphics. The 13.5-inch claims a 16-hour battery life with mixed usage, based on the MobileMark18, but you’ll probably get lower numbers if you opt for OLED and/or max brightness.
Intel Arc, or Nvidia, discrete graphics
The Specter x360 16-inch is a bit more powerful than the smaller Spectres. It carries up to an i7-12700H (six P-cores at 2.3-4.7 GHz, eight E-cores at 1.7-3.5 GHz, and 20 threads), 32GB of DDR-4-3200 RAM, 2TB of storage, and an Intel Arc A370M discrete graphics card.
Intel plans to expand its mobile (and desktop) GPU lineup, but only the A370M laptops have been announced thus far. The GPU has 4GB of GDDR6 memory and can run at clock speeds of up to 1,550 MHz. For comparison, Nvidia’s RTX 3060 laptop GPU has 6GB of GDDR6 and a boost clock speed of up to 1,283 to 1,703 MHz. The Specter x360 16 joins the likes of the upcoming Asus Zenbook Flip two-in-one and Samsung Galaxy Book2 Pro in early Arc adoption.
The 16-inch Specter x360 starts at $1,650.
Cheaper “Envy” laptops
HP also released refreshes of its cheaper Envy laptops today, boosting them with Intel’s 12th Gen chips, discrete graphics, and the aforementioned 5 MP webcam features. HP released refreshes of the Envy 17.3-inch and 16-inch clamshellsmore than 15.6-inch convertible that’ll sell with up to AMD Ryzen 7 CPUs in addition to the Team Blue options, and a 13.3-inch convertible.
Those with graphics-intensive workloads, however, will be drawn to the 16-inch version, which is configurable with an Arc A370M or RTX 3060 GPU and up to an i9-12900H (six P-cores at 2.5-5 GHz, eight E -cores at 1.8-3.8 GHz, and 20 threads). The laptop starts at $1,400.
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