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The HP Spectre 13 comes in ultrabook and hybrid flavors, starting at $999.99 (hands-on)

HP's Spectre 13 features a premium build and gives users the choice of hybrid or ultrabook features.

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Eric Franklin
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Eric Franklin

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Eric Franklin leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco as managing editor. A 20-year industry veteran, Eric began his tech journey testing computers in the CNET Labs. When not at work he can usually be found at the gym, at the movies, or at the edge of his couch with a game controller in his hands.

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The HP Spectre gets both hybrid and ultrabook editions
Watch this: The HP Spectre gets both hybrid and ultrabook editions

The HP Spectre now comes in two different flavors: a traditional ultrabook (the Spectre 13T-3000 -- read the full CNET review) and a hybrid tablet model with a detachable keyboard (the Spectre 13T-H200 X2).

Each device features an aluminum case, and according to HP the ultrabook version of the Spectre 13 is the first fanless detachable ultrabook with a Haswell processor. That's definitely a lot of qualifiers, so it's also probably true.

The laptops also include Beats Audio speakers, and each features a 1,920x1,080-pixel-resolution IPS screen.

HP's sleek Spectre 13 X2 hybrid tablet (pictures)

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In my demo time with the X2 -- HP had the ultrabook version at our meeting, but the prototype unit was not working at the time -- the tablet felt like a well-designed, surprisingly light high-quality device with a fairly thin slate and a large comfortable keyboard with tactile metal keys.

The 13 X2's wide keyboard kept my hands from feeling cramped during my limited demo time with the device. Josh Miller/CNET

Each device features dual USB 2.0 ports and a full-size HDMI port and the ultrabook additionally includes a full-size SD card slot, mini DisplayPort however physically, the Ultrabook differs in one major way. It features an extra wide touch pad that allows users to use certain Windows 8.1 gestures without touching the screen. In other words you can use the touch pad to not only swipe, but bring up the charms menu as well.

With the HP Spectre 13 Ultrabook's extra wide touchpad you can control your Windows 8.1 laptop without ever touching the screen. Well, maybe not ever. James Martin/CNET

The middle section of the touch pad feels like a normal touch pad, only noticeably wider than typical; however, as you slide your finger to the far left or right there's a tactile tell that indicates when you've entered the space that controls the Windows 8.1 charms menu. It's a good method to keep you from constantly bringing up unwanted options.

Eyes on the HP Spectre 13 Ultrabook (pictures)

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The Spectre 13 X2 starts at $1,099.99, while the Ultrabook version can be picked up at a starting price of $999.99.

There's no release date yet set for either Spectre 13, but HP says to look for them before the end of the year.