CNET First Look
The slim and lightweight HP Envy Spectre XTA high-end laptop at a mainstream price, the HP Envy Spectre XT gets much of the look and feel right, with only a few missteps.
-I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the HP Envy Spectre XT laptop. Now that's a lot of names for a laptop, what that basically means is it's part of the Envy line which is HP's sort of step-up from the Pavilion laptops which is a more budget size mainstream laptops, and we've always like the Envy laptops in the past, and then on top of that, it's got the extra Spectre branding which ends with an R-E instead of an E-R. That's apparently now and even higher level of product than the Envy, so when you put that second qualifier on there, that means it's even fancier than your normal Envy, and then it's got the XT at the end. I jerkingly thought that meant extra thin. I asked HP and apparently it does actually mean extra thin. So when you put all that together, you get the Envy Spectre XT which is what HP considers pretty much the high point, the flagship of their laptop line right now. This is of course an Ultrabook, a 13-inch Ultrabook. It's got a pretty premium look with a lot of brushed metal accents on it, and it's got that unique 2 MB sunken touchpad which sort of looks like the touchpad is floating in the kind of little sunken indentation in the wrist rest. I think the whole thing comes off looking very nice. However, it looks very familiar and if you strain yourself where have I seen this before, that is because we just reviewed the HP Pavilion M6 which is a much less expensive, much more mainstream 15-inch laptop that's still fairly slim and attractive that oddly looks almost exactly like this. So even though you're paying a lot more for the premium product line here, you get something that pretty much looks exactly like one of HP's less expensive Pavilion laptops. I would've like to see them differentiate those brands a little bit more to be fair most Pavilions don't look like this. It's just that one M6 model. Now you get current gen Intel Core I series processor, basic you know Intel-integrated graphics, no problem there, 128 gig SSD, the one thing I thought made this system feel a little less than high end was the fact that the display is only 1366 x 768, that's a freely standard display resolution, for a budget and mainstream laptops not if this is your super high-end flagship product. If they could fix that one thing, maybe bump us up to a 1600 x 900 or heaven forbid a 1920 x 1080, then I think for about the 1,000 bucks they want for the entry-level model in this, you get a really sharp, really sleek laptop. As it is, it does have those 1 or 2 little budget things that make you feel like a little bit less than a total flagship. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the HP Envy Spectre XT.