The HP Spectre Fold: The $5,000 3-in-1 Marvel!

More flexible than a contortionist! Experience magic with the HP Spectre Fold, a $5,000 laptop that transforms into a tablet, notebook, and desktop, all in one

Spectre Fold: Unfolding the $5,000 Magic Laptop

The HP Spectre Fold, priced at a jaw-dropping $5,000, initially raises eyebrows due to its hefty price tag. With the same budget, you could potentially acquire an Apple Vision Pro, an iPhone 15, and a Google Pixel 8, and still have change left in your pocket. However, as you dive deeper into this innovative device, you’ll realize that it offers more than meets the eye. This foldable laptop, HP’s first of its kind, is more than just a laptop. It seamlessly transforms into a tablet, a portable clamshell notebook, and a massive 17-inch portable monitor. 

In this article, we’ll explore the HP Spectre Fold’s features, specifications, and performance to understand what makes it worth the investment.

Let’s get started.

Unveiling the Spectre Fold

Starting with the highlights of this machine, the HP Spectre Fold boasts the following specifications:

  • Intel Core i7-1250U CPU
  • Intel Iris Xe graphics
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 1TB of SSD storage
  • Windows 11 Home
  • 2560 x 1920-pixel OLED display

It’s essential to note that this is the only configuration available, and it comes with a price tag of $4,999. Let’s discuss what sets the Spectre Fold apart and explore its unique features.

The Astonishing Flexibility

The true magic of the Spectre Fold lies in its remarkable flexibility. It can transform from a compact 12.3-inch clamshell laptop into various configurations:

  • Gigantic Tablet: The Spectre Fold unfolds to reveal a massive 17-inch, 2560 x 1920-pixel OLED display. With a built-in kickstand, it’s perfect for drawing and sketching.
  • Portable Desktop: By placing the detachable keyboard in front of the unfolded display, you can create a portable desktop workstation with a substantial screen real estate.
  • Extra Screen Space: You can detach the keyboard slightly, which adds an extra 1.5-inch screen in front of the keyboard, perfect for multitasking.

This flexibility offers a wide range of possibilities, making the Spectre Fold a versatile tool for different tasks.

Seamless Folding and Minimal Crease

One of the standout features of foldable PCs is their bendable screens. The Spectre Fold executes this exceptionally well. While a faint crease does exist, it’s barely noticeable. Running your finger over it reveals its almost non-existent presence, enhancing the overall user experience.

Multitasking Mastery

With Windows 11’s Snap Layouts feature, the Spectre Fold offers an outstanding multitasking experience. Whether using it as a 12.3-inch notebook or a 17-inch monitor, the ability to divide the screen into four quadrants is a multitasker’s dream. This feature allows users to manage numerous tasks simultaneously, improving productivity.

Stylus Convenience

The Spectre Fold ships with a stylus that can be stored in two locations: the edge of the keyboard or the right side of the display. Charging is possible while docked on the keyboard, thanks to wireless induction coils. The keyboard also charges magnetically when attached to the Spectre Fold. The stylus boasts a 70-hour runtime, while the keyboard offers an impressive 360 hours on a single charge.

Exceptional Keyboard

Typing on the Spectre Fold’s detachable keyboard is a delightful experience. HP is renowned for its exceptional keyboards, and this one is no exception. Testing reveals increased typing speed and accuracy compared to other laptops, including the MacBook Pro.

Battery Life Surprises

Considering its touchscreen and a massive 17-inch display, the Spectre Fold’s battery life surpasses expectations. Even though it doesn’t match the power efficiency of MacBooks, it offers decent battery life that’s sufficient for most users.

Room for Improvement

While the Spectre Fold excels in many areas, there are a few aspects that could be enhanced:

  • Audio Performance: The quad-speaker Bang & Olufsen setup delivers excellent sound quality for some music but falls short in delivering depth and richness for bass-heavy tracks.
  • Port Placement: The placement of the two Thunderbolt 4 ports can be inconvenient when charging while using the laptop in clamshell mode. Adjusting their position for more accessibility would be beneficial.
  • Processor Choice: The Spectre Fold houses an older 12th-generation CPU due to the limitations of obtaining a suitable 9-watt CPU for thinness and battery life. While the laptop performs well for most tasks, demanding users may find it lacking in certain scenarios.
  • Webcam Oddity: The webcam reflects a non-mirrored image, which can be disorienting. It’s a unique quirk that sets it apart from other laptops.
  • Tablet Mode: Despite its slim design, the 17-inch display makes holding the Spectre Fold in tablet mode for an extended period uncomfortable. It’s better suited for use on a flat surface.

Performance Benchmarks

The Spectre Fold’s Geekbench score of 7,491, while decent, doesn’t match up to the M1 MacBook Air’s score. However, it’s essential to consider the Spectre Fold’s unique form factor and its ability to transform, offering a different set of advantages.

Battery Life

In PCMark 10’s mobile office battery life benchmark, the Spectre Fold lasted for 9 hours and two minutes, which is impressive considering its touchscreen and large display.

Webcam Quality

The Spectre Fold’s 5-megapixel webcam offers marginal improvements over standard laptop webcams, but it doesn’t provide exceptional quality.

Final Thoughts

The HP Spectre Fold caters to a specific audience—peripatetic artists, creatives, and tech enthusiasts with a penchant for luxurious gadgets. Its ability to transform from a compact laptop into a 17-inch desktop experience is its key selling point. While it may not appeal to everyone, for those who appreciate its unique features and have the budget to indulge in premium tech, the Spectre Fold is a remarkable choice. Its versatility, exceptional keyboard, and flexibility make it a valuable addition to the world of foldable PCs.

To summarize, the Spectre Fold may come at a high price, but for those who embrace its innovative design, it’s an investment in a new era of portable computing.

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