HP Envy Spectre: Your move, Apple

HP Spectre ultrabook gives Apple something to chew on.

HP Envy 14 Spectre high-end ultrabook debuted last night at CES. Your move Apple.
HP Envy 14 Spectre high-end ultrabook debuted last night at CES. Your move Apple. Brooke Crothers

LAS VEGAS--Hewlett-Packard's Spectre high-end ultrabook--which debuted publicly for the first time Monday night--could be a leading indicator of where Apple is going with larger ultrathin MacBooks.

While Apple is expected to bring out larger, thinner MacBooks in the spirit of the MacBook Air, HP is leading the way here and now.

I had plenty of opportunity to handle the 20mm-thin Envy 14 Spectre Monday night and my initial impression is that this is a very high-quality ultrabook, albeit pricey at $1,399. That said, that's the same price range that Apple's larger MacBooks fall into.

And this combination of quality, design finesse, and features is possible only with a large PC maker with resources like HP.

HP Envy 14 Spectre highlights:

  • Gorilla glass everywhere: display front and back, lid, palm rest, and touch pad.
  • Dual solid-state storage: two SSDs up to 256GB (per single drive)
  • Core i5 processors: Fast Core i series processors (but no discrete graphics)
  • High-resolution display: 1,600x900-pixel HP Radiance LED display
  • Price: $1,399

If Apple combines a larger MacBook Air with a ultra-high-resolution display (about which I heard more rumors from Asia-based sources last night), that would certainly be tough competition. But HP is delivering this now. And expect this Envy to only get better over time with Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors and better displays.

See CNET first look here.

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