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HP Spectre XT TouchSmart review: Near Perfect

|February 17 2013 |Laptops


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The new HP Spectre XT TouchSmart comes in a 10 point touch on its 15 inch screen. The HP Envy Spectre lived up to expectations, so does the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart?

Looking a lot alike, the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart has a bunch of similarities that can be pointed out with the Envy Spectre XT. The all metal chassis and brushed silver finish are also incorporated in the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart  like in the Envy Spectre XT. Even the HP logo is placed exactly the same. One striking difference is the Beats Audio and Spectre XT TouchSmart branding placed on top of the display instead of below it.

hp spectre XT touch smart ultrabook

Weighing in at 4.96 pounds and being about 0.87 inch in thickness, is most certainly not true to its ultrabook name. Most Companies draw 4 pounds as their upper limit. Nonetheless, bear in mind that this is a 15.6 inch screen and the additional less than a pound seems inevitable.

Like a typical HP the speaker grill and power button are located above the keyboard deck, and the HP TrueVision HD Webcam is placed in the centre above the display. The bottom of the laptop has an air vent and two speakers. HP is usually generous with ports, providing 2.0 USB port, an SD card slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, charging connector and a Kensington lock slot is found on the right side. On the left is an Ethernet jack, full-size HDMI port, Thunderbolt port (first in an HP)and two USB 3.0 connections.

The HP Spectre XT TouchSmart has a large keyboard with a well sized Synaptics touchpad which is sensitive to gestures taking care of all Windows 8 needs. There is enough space to more than comfortably rest your wrists too while typing and your palms when you’re not. The screen has a 1080p resolution and IPS technology, the TouchSmart's 15.6-inch Radiance screen displays clear, color intense and contrast perfect visuals making it one of HP’s finest panels ever. There is no variation in color intensity even when moving the screen around and therefore offers wide viewing angles.  The touchscreen is very responsive and beautifully executes Windows 8 commands, so much so that you may prefer using the touchscreen to the touchpad! The audio by Beats Audio is clear and loud enough. The beats are good, however there is a lack of pump in the base. Overall,  the media experience on this device is really good.

The TouchSmart works smoothly with almost zero lags. It is very responsive and can resume processes ultra fast. Cold booting takes about 12 seconds which is not bad at all. The battery cannot be removed, and can last about four hours, which is standard for laptops of this size.

The HP Spectre XT TouchSmart is powered by a 1.9GHz Core i7 CPU, backed up with 8GB of RAM, and has Intel HD Graphics 4000. There is a 500GB (5,400RPM) hard drive space. Two versions the 4 GB and 8GB of RAM are available. With the former an upgrade to 128GB SSD is possible while on the latter you can upgrade to 256GB SSD.

With better and more efficient laptops expected soon, the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart may not make the cut, however, this laptop does offer some good specifications and meets certain hallmarks. The poor battery life is unfortunately a dampener.


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