The HP Spectre is everything the Macbook is not

HP has surprised us all with its HP Spectre, a laptop that is just a laptop in spirit -no convertible mumbo jumbo here, thank god- but that gives the conventional segment a real spin.

First, of course, is design. Last year Apple launched the MacBook, a new concept that was right in several ways -ultrathin and ultralight- but that was wrong in so many more. It was underpowered, had just a USB-C port and had a keyboard that made not many fans.

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HP has take all those hints and have made them their strengths: there are 3 USB-C ports (two of them with Thunderbolt 3), a promising keyboard (1.3mm of travel) and touchpad, powerful Core i5 and i7 CPUs, and an intriguing cooling system. The non-multitouch screen is also a great choice, because the 1080p resolution allows to save battery without compromising too much the pixel density.

This is a really well balanced spec sheet, but it is impressive to find it inside on such a thin device. Putting all that technology in just 10.4 mm is really a wonderful feat. The new HP logo for its premium products is also a nice addition, and although I’d like to have another color combination -silver instead of gold- I think HP has really made something great here.

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Surpassing Apple -which seems to be a little bit unimaginative these days– in design, specs and price wasn’t easy a few years ago, but we are seeing how more and more makers are showing their capabilities here. And that’s absolutely fantastic. Kudos for HP.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 Pro is another testimony on why 4K is mostly useless on a laptop

We don’t need latops with 4K UHD screens. At least not yet. The benefits are minimal for most users, because you’ll end using scaled resolutions. That happens on Retina MacBooks since their launch, and for example the 15-inch Retina models have 2800×1800 native resolution, but you end using 1680×1050 or 1280×800 scaled resolutions.

With a UHD screen (3840×2160) you’ll end using 1920×1080 as the scaled resolution -unless you’ve got a really incredible eyesight. You’ll see beautiful detail and definition there, but the impact on battery is clear. The Toshiba Satellite P50T lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes on PCMark 8 Battery Life benchmark -3.5 hours on the Toshiba Radius 12 4K tested by Mossberg-, and although Samsung says this model lasts 6.5 hours, we’ll what’s the real number here. There’s an impact on performance too, although that is well managed by the GeForce GTX 950M included in the package.

The $1,599 price tag isn’t that bad for what Samsung offers in terms of specs, but if you value battery life, 4K laptops are not the way to go. In fact, the interesting¬†one here is his little brother, the ATIV Book 9 Spin:

The $1,399 Samsung ATIV Book 9 Spin has a 13-inch QHD+ display that can rotate 360 degrees, turning this notebook into a tablet.

Not bad for a convertible laptop that offers the same specs minus the discrete GPU and that gimmicky screen. The resolution here (3.200 x 1.800) is nice and the format, with a 13.3 inches diagonal, is much more interesting for users that demand more portability.

Source: Samsung Enters 2-in-1 Fray with ATIV Book 9 Spin