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CNET First Look
Can HP's Spectre XT cure your 15-inch MacBook envy?With Thunderbolt and a touch screen, this 15-inch laptop is plenty premium, but could use better battery life.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the HP's Spectre XT 15. All those words get what they mean, well, it indicates that this is part of HP's higher end line that used to be the Envy was the highest and then enter the Spectre and the XT isn't sort of additional modifier. On top of that, you get various combinations of Envy and Spectre and XT, this is the Spectre XT. I think the XT stands for extra thin or something like that because this is a very slim laptop especially when you consider it's a 15-inch laptop with a core i7 processor and a full 1920 by 1080 display. Now, this is a pretty high-end system, it's $1299 but you can go a little bit more, a little bit less, depending on how you configure it. Even though for that it's meant price, you don't get some of the high-end. I'm sure I'd like to see like maybe a slot loading optical drive or certainly seem grand and the system is just about as thin as this or the speed graphics or even a full SSD hard drive. This got a regular 500 gig hard drive with a 32 gig SSD cache, which is becoming increasingly common. That's a good way to go a lot of storage space in a laptop but still have to qualify as an Intel Ultrabook, which require a certain amount of SSD storage. The keyboard is very similar to what we've seen on other recent HP systems. It's got kind of a rounded corners on the keys of the 4 XT corners here, it's back lit which is nice, the touchpad is also the recent HP style. Literally stands out from other laptop brands and that it's a flat touchpad but it's sort of this big indented mode anyway. I kind of like the design, it makes a little bit difficult to deal with if you're doing off the edge moves to control Windows 8. But you shouldn't have to worry about that too much because this is a touchscreen, just like pretty much any new Windows 8 laptop should be. One interesting note about this laptop, it's one of the few non-Apple laptops we've seen with a Thunderbolt port. Now, if you wanna get a bigger 15-inch screen in Windows 8 with a touchscreen, you can certainly go way down to $600 or $700 or $800 and get something that's perfectly nice, probably not as thin or with the same high resolution but if you wanna go super high-end like this, there are very few candidates, this is maybe a good alternative, a less expensive alternative to the 15-inch Apple Retina MacBook Pro, although that system of course has a much higher resolution and discreet graphics. That's what you're giving up here. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is HP Spectre XT TouchSmart 15.