HP Spectre x360 laptop goes extra thin to win this holiday

In attempts to make its way under your Christmas tree, HP is doubling down on its luxury laptop offerings to close out the year. The firm has announced its latest versions of both the HP Spectre x360 and HP Envy laptops.

The two brand, spanking new iterations hone in their respective key selling points – the x360’s thinness and portability to the Envy’s projected double-digit battery life. Let’s start with the machine of the hour then, shall we?

 Spectre x360: thinner, lighter and smarter 

Starting at $1,049 (about £851, AU$1,383) when it lands on HP and Best Buy’s online stores on October 12, the new x360 comes in more than 2mm thinner (13.8mm, to be exact) and a few ounces lighter (2.85 pounds to the old hat’s 3.2).

Compounded with a reduction in width of around 10mm on either side of its 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) touchscreen, it all lends well to the device’s convertible hybrid nature. See? Thin, light and smart.

But, the true smarts about the x360 come from a different approach to cooling this laptop: a new dual-fan system for cooling the processor under load. You don’t hear much about fans from 2-in-1 laptops, so it’ll be interesting to see whether this works out in a full review.

Of course, powering the whole show is the fresh line up of 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i series, starting at Core i5, backed by up to 16GB of RAM. As for storage, the new x360 can support PCIe solid-state drives (SSD) as capacious as 1TB.

Look! The Spectre x360 even brought presents

Look! The Spectre x360 even brought presents

The notebook comes housing two USB-C ports – one being for charging – and one USB 3.1 port along with a headphone jack, and sports dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Bluetooth. Both of which should come in handy when video chatting with the laptop’s FHD (!!!) webcam, which also houses an infrared camera for Windows Hello logins.

All told, HP promises that, with its now-bigger 57.8W battery, the x360 can do all of this while lasting for up to 15 hours and charging to 90% in as many minutes. Judging by the general discrepancy between battery life claims and in-house results, this might still be a Windows 10 laptop that can last for longer than 10 hours – stay tuned for our review.

 Envy goes the distance 

While the Spectre x360 might be the star of this show, we’d be remiss not to tell you all about a machine that brings the Spectre panache to a much more preferable price point: $849 (about £689, AU$1,19). The new Envy laptop is by no means a convertible like its cousin, and unlike its kin actually managed to get thicker and heavier (now at 14mm thick and 3.15 pounds) with this revision – gasp, we know.

But, HP has an end goal in mind here to otherwise do the unthinkable. The additional weight and mass are the result of making room for a larger battery that, the firm claims, has boosted the laptop’s battery life from 10 to a whopping 14 hours. Naturally, our benchmarks will be the judge of that, but an impressive number nevertheless.

The aluminum-and-magnesium laptop comes housing a similar range of 7th generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processors with up to 16GB of RAM and as large as a 1TB PCIe SSD. That processor is powering a 13.3-inch FHD screen that can be upgraded to a QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) touchscreen or an UHD (3,840 x 2,160) panel.

In contrast to the aforementioned x360, the Envy houses two USB 3.1 ports and just one USB-C – that alone should be enough to tell you the target audience. Beyond that, there isn’t much else about the Envy that’s terribly groundbreaking, though charging to 90% in 90 minutes isn’t a bad deal.

And this is the HP Envy – you can tell by the hinge

And this is the HP Envy – you can tell by the hinge

And, in the Envy’s case, that’s OK. When it lands on HP’s online stores and other retailers on October 26, the message will be clear: premium looks and performance without so much of a, erm, premium.

HP also announced today a 27-inch Envy all-in-one PC with Nvidia GTX 950M graphics, 6th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 chips inside and room for up to 2TB of storage behind a QHD (2,560 x 1,440) display – starting at $1,299 (about £1,056, AU$1,713) when it launches later this month. 

Finally, the firm outed a 27-inch 4K Envy monitor as well, which is kind of like the Envy all-in-one stripped of its innards and equipped with a sharper screen for $499 (about £405, AU$658) when it arrives this December. Between all this and the luxurious Spectre laptop, consider HP’s holiday plans booked.

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.