HP Spectre x2 leads refreshed line of high-end HP laptops

Debuting in France at the Cannes Film Festival, HP has pulled the curtain back on not one, but three refreshed lines up laptops and 2-in-1 devices. The goal for these newly upgraded devices is to empower media creators both professional and enthusiast.

Leading the pack is the HP Spectre x2, with just one model asking for $999 (about £769, AU$1,342) this June. The upgraded Spectre x2 adopts much of HP’s new Spectre aesthetic found in its recent high-end laptops, but more importantly an entirely new screen.

This time, the firm has dipped even deeper into Microsoft’s font of inspiration, fitting its latest Spectre x2 with a 3,000 x 2,000-pixel touch display in a 3:2 aspect ratio. That should sound mighty familiar to anyone following Microsoft’s leader in the 2-in-1 space, the Surface Pro 4.

HP also managed to improve the kickstand on this tablet hybrid with magnets, all while housing one of the latest Intel Core i7 processors, 360GB of solid-state drive (SSD) and 8GB of memory. Oh, and HP’s dropped its proprietary stylus, adopting Microsoft’s recommended, more generic solution that’s nevertheless fine for creators.

Finally, HP promises up to 8 hours of juice from a battery that can fast charge from zero to 50% in just 30 minutes.

HP likes a lot of Envy

Also available in June, HP has upgraded both its 13- and- 17-inch Envy laptops with a slightly new design and lots of new internal upgrades. For starters, the two laptops still come in HP’s natural silver color (and now “silk gold!”) aluminum shells, but the firm’s lift hinge takes on a more angular design from last year.

HP’s taking a similarly focused approach in positioning the 13-inch and 17-inch in regards to models available, with just one version of each device. But, before getting into the differences, note that each model comes packing a full HD (1,920 x 1,080) screen with an optional HP Secure Pad that embeds a fingerprint scanner right into the trackpad, powered by Synaptics.

For $1,049 (about £805, AU$1,403), the HP Envy 13 offers the above plus a 128GB M.2 SSD and 8GB of memory powered the one of the latest Intel Core i5 processors. With those parts, HP promises up to 14 hours and 15 minutes of mixed use on a charge. All of that comes within a 2.72-pound frame that’s just 0.55 inches thin housing two USB-C and two USB 3.1 ports.

The 17-inch model goes for a bit cheaper at $999 (about £769, AU$1,342), and offers the above screen (though with multitouch support) with a 1TB, 7,200 rpm spinning hard drive, 16GB of memory powered by one of the latest Intel Core i7 processors and an Nvidia GeForce GRX 940MX graphics chip. With those parts, HP sadly hasn’t made any promises regarding battery life.

Last but not least we have the also June-bound Envy x360 convertible, a newly refreshed 15.6-inch hybrid for the next school season. The new Envy x360 starts at $899 (about £690, AU$1,202), not changing much year over year beyond internals and updating the color choices.

Now available in HP’s newer “Ash Silver” or a natural silver color, the Envy x360 is apparently optimized for inking, including an N-Trig stylus in the box. Behind that full HD touch display is your choice of either the latest Intel or AMD processors (Intel Core i5 and i7 or AMD A9, A12 or FX) 12 to 16GB of memory and a 1TB HDD at 7,200 rpm. One USB-C, two USB 3.1 and an HDMI port round out this laptop’s varied offerings.

HP’s refreshes are smart upgrades that, in some cases, may be a little less inspired, but nevertheless put the firm in an incredibly competitive position with some strong pricing.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.