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Laptops

Hybrids go big at CES with 15-inch HP Spectre x360

The latest big-screen hybrid from HP includes an Nvidia GPU, bigger battery and a 4K display.

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There's been no shortage of praise for HP's line of Spectre ($1,399 at Amazon) x360 hybrid laptops. Both an early-2016 model and a late-2016 update received high marks in our reviews, thanks to a slim aluminum body, excellent keyboard and a good selection of ports (even if the late-2016 version retained only one full-size USB port).

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The lead update for CES 2017 is a new 15-inch version of the Spectre x360, and it looks and feels different from its predecessor, but not always in the way you'd expect. This new x360 has a slimmer screen bezel, which is a trendy new feature to add right now, down to just 4.65mm on the left and right sides of the 15.6-inch display. The overall footprint is also smaller, while the glass trackpad has gotten wider, although not nearly as big as the massive trackpad in the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

But there's a trade-off involved. This new version is actually a little thicker and heavier than the one it replaces, moving up to 4.4 pounds and 17.9mm thick. That's because there's an Nvidia GeForce 940MX discrete graphics option, as well as a battery that HP says is 23 percent larger than before.

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Josh Miller/CNET

You'll probably need that battery, as there's only one screen resolution option, a full UHD 4K display. That's a very cool feature to have in a 15-inch laptop, but it's also a bit of a battery killer in our experience.

The new 15-inch Spectre x360 will be available around the end of February, starting at $1,249 in the US (£1,017 or AU$1,737). The smaller 13-inch Spectre x360 is also getting a 4K screen option, plus optional Intel Iris graphics (slightly better than the default Intel graphics in most laptops), and the same cool-looking ash silver color as the 15-inch model.

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