HP Spectre 13 (world's thinnest*) - Discussion thread

Discussion in 'HP' started by sephstyler, Jun 14, 2016.

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  1. sephstyler

    sephstyler Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi guys,

    Noticed there wasn't a discussion forum for the new HP Spectre, I've gone ahead and bought one and wanted to see if there were any other users who were quietly observing, or if anyone had any questions about the computer.

    Couple of initial thoughts for anyone who may be interested.

    1. Screen is 1080p FHD, no touch - but is bright, with great viewing angles, and good colour reproduction. I came from a 13" MBPretina, and to be honest, I dont miss the screen much.

    2. Performance - as typical as you would expect from a 6th Gen Skylake ultrabook, have used it to do some photoshop and lightroom stuff, and also have played a little bit of overwatch - its coping!

    3. Battery - HP Claims 9 hour, I think that's only possible if on low brightness and minimal CPU intensive work. Realistic use is 6 hours.

    The battery component leads me to the most disappointing thing about the laptop so far for me - Charging.

    The good : HP's 45 W usb-c Charger is small, lightweight, and inexpensive (I picked up a second charger for $67AUD, compared to what I paid before for an Apple magsafe 2 at $129, $67 is fair, thank you HP).

    The bad: HP seemingly has "locked down" the charging, so it appears only HP branded chargers can work - NOW, I will preface this by saying, I have not yet plugged ANY other 45W USB-C charger in, but I have tried to put in 15W chargers (Google Pixel C / Nexus 6P), and a variety of external power banks, and none of them register.

    It seems HP's current flock of USB-C computers are locked down to prevent damage from 3rd party chargers which may not meet their requirements - read more here http://www.pcworld.com/article/3017...-every-device-we-have-to-chase-the-dream.html

    Whist that seems noble, it impairs the whole point of an Universal connector, and it does seem other computers can manage to still keep it relatively open, whilst HP has chosen not to.

    The UGLY: the laptop doesnt charge particularly quickly. a 20% to 90% charge will take over 2 hours, and the trickle charge to get from 90-100 is also very slow - perhaps another full hour.

    Also, I would like to see some official support for some external Thunderbolt 3 docks and external GPUs.

    Any one with any input?
     
  2. clarenceX

    clarenceX Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for starting this thread. I don't have anything to add I'm afraid, instead here to pick brains. I'm considering buying this one vs the Dell XPS 13. I can't get access to the Spectre here in Asia, but can buy one when I go Stateside this summer. Do you have any comments on the keyboard, how it compares specifically to the XPS 13, but perhaps any others like the Air? I am on a Samsung Series 9 and was originally going to go Thinkpad just for the keyboard, but the early comments on both the Dell and the HP sound too good to pass up, especially as the sizes are closer to my Series 9.

    As an aside, thanks for the comment on the Type C power charging, I did not know. That was one of the key reasons to go HP or Dell frankly, the thought that in 3 years time I could borrow a friend's charger.
     
  3. powerslave12r

    powerslave12r Notebook Evangelist

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    Thank you for the thread. Looks like an interesting machine. How has your experience been with the fan noise, heat and what is the config that you have?

    Thanks.
     
  4. sephstyler

    sephstyler Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi ClarenceX,

    The keyboard is actually really nice. It has much more travel than the 12" Macbook, and is very comparable to the XPS 13, I find the Spectre's keys a little more "clicky" than the XPS 13, but they are very similar. The keyboard backlight doesn't have brightness adjustment, just on or off - not sure if thats an issue for you. It isn't an issue for me.
     
  5. sephstyler

    sephstyler Notebook Enthusiast

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    I've got the i7 6500U version with 8GB RAM (max in my market), and 512GB SSD.

    Noise - the fan does come on more than I expected, but usually on at a whisper quiet setting. With heavy CPU load, they will then increase, never really obtrusive, and if you have audio volume at conversation volume, you will never hear it. The fans do seem to be more keen than others, but its efficient. You can actually feel the induction airflow on the bottom grilles. My spectre was preloaded with a HP utility basically to turn on a more aggressive cooling profile or not.... not a great deal of control, but its there.
     
  6. powerslave12r

    powerslave12r Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks, that's a little disappointing to hear about the fan coming on too often. It's good that HP gives you some level of control over the cooling profile.

    What an interesting machine this would be if this came fanless.
     
  7. sephstyler

    sephstyler Notebook Enthusiast

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    I think it wouldn't be an "i5 or i7" processor if fanless. Likely to be similar to the Apple 12" macbook - intel m processors. Still decent if that is your use case. Im sitting in front of my spectre now, with the fans on, this is as loud as it has ever gotten for me, with the cooling profile on. using my phone to measure ambient noise it is about 33 dB when measured from the front, and 43dB when aimed at the exhaust
     
  8. sephstyler

    sephstyler Notebook Enthusiast

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    with the cooling profile off - and a noticable slowdown in fan, it is about 30dB. Mind you, its 11:30am where I am and I can hear construction in the background, so I'd say its in the mid to high 20 dBs under normal use. and early 30s in heavy use.
     
  9. powerslave12r

    powerslave12r Notebook Evangelist

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    Oh yes, I didn't mean to say that the i5 can be fanless today, I was just doing some wishful thinking. One day fanless laptops will be sufficiently powerful for sure. I wonder if any laptops use active liquid-only cooling.

    What tool or app did you use to measure the noise?
     
  10. clarenceX

    clarenceX Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks sephstyler for the reply! Another question: I always use a wireless mouse with my laptops. The Spectre only having USB-C though means I have to always insert the C-to-Standard USB dongle to use them, a minor nuisance. Do you do the same, or just only use the trackpad? One option I have tried before is using a Bluetooth mouse, but even using two different Bluetooth mice I found the mouse would stutter. My laptop only has 4G of memory so perhaps it was a memory issue that affected performance, though that would seem strange to me.
     
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