HP Introduces Envy Spectre XT, 14.5mm Thick Premium Ivy Bridge Ultrabook — Hands-on Video

Posted on 09 May 2012 by

The ENVY Spectre XT Ultrabook has just been officially unveiled by HP as a refresh of the previous Envy Spectre. The new Spectre XT Ultrabook represents HP’s top of the line Ultrabook offering Intel’s latest third-generation Ivy Bridge CPU with HD4000 graphics and a full range of ports. At just 14.55mm thick and 1.39kg, the Spectre XT can manage up to 8 hours of battery life, according to HP. Step inside for a rundown of features, a gallery of photos, and a hands-on video.

As mentioned, HP is positioning the ENVY Spectre XT Ultrabook as their most premium mobility device. The Spectre XT’s release date is still about a month away (June 8th) so full specs haven’t yet been released. We know that it will be using the third-generation Ivy Bridge processors which include HD4000 graphics. Although not explicitly stated, there are hints that the Core i5 will be used; if configuration is offered, we could see a Core i7 option in the Spectre XT. RAM is unspecified, but 4GB is likely the base with options potentially up to 8GB. A 128GB SSD is the standard for storage, while up to 256GB can be equipped. The Spectre XT also features Intel’s Rapid Start technology which allows it to boot or resume in seconds.

The screen is 13.3″ display which HP says is a surprisingly low 1366×768. It’s possible that there will be an option for a 1600×900 screen, seeing as the previous Spectre Ultrabook was equipped with such a resolution. I can’t imagine they’d refresh the Spectre with the latest processors but downgrade the screen!

There is a full range of ports including 1xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB2.0, full HDMI, full SD, 3.5mm headphone jack, and even gigabit ethernet (LAN).

Intel Smart Connect is included which allows the Spectre XT to connect to the web to keep email and other applications up to date even while the computer is in standby.

The keyboard is backlit is there is also an ‘HD’ webcam (the resolution isn’t specified but I imagine it’s 720p).

Interestingly, HP is offering full versions of both Adobe Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements with the Spectre XT. This is a nice inclusion as the suite normally runs $150. In my experience, even the second-gen Sandy Bridge Core i5 CPU on an Ultrabook platform is capable of handling Photoshop just fine. Disappointingly, it doesn’t appear as though Premiere supports Intel’s QuickSync technology which is used to increase video rendering times.

You can find the HP Envy Spectre XT microsite here.

Price and Release Date

The HP Envy Spectre XT release date is expected to be on June 8th in the US with a starting price of $999.99, according to HP. Worldwide availability was not mentioned.

Hands-on Video

The fine folks from Notebooks.com already have a hands on with the Spectre XT. See their video below, and be sure to stop by their site!

Gallery

  • Etha

    “the Spectre XT’s release date is due sometime in October”

    “The HP Envy Spectre XT release date is expected to be on June 8th”

    It will be the 8th of June for USA and October for Europe ?

    • Ben Lang

      Sorry for the confusion Etha. The October line shouldn’t have been in the article (it was about another product). HP hasn’t said anything about release dates for the Spectre XT other than the U.S. release on June 8th. The Spectre XT is up on HP.co.uk so I would imagine it will hit Europe too, just not sure exactly when.

  • Andrew

    I was about to ask the same question as Etha, but then I started watching your preview and saw that ugly glossy screen. So yep, I’ll definitely say pass to this, as to any other crap with glossy screen.

    Guess the battle is still only between the Zenbook Prime and the Series 9 Ivy. Oh, and I saw that Fujitsu U772. Looks quite promising.

  • Looks like they killed the DisplayPort from the Spectre 14. :-(

    • Ben Lang

      Why use DisplayPort and not HDMI?

      • You can drive a 27″ 2560×1440 monitor with DisplayPort. You can’t with HDMI*

        * In theory HDMI 1.4 can support higher than 1920×1200 by way of a higher signal clock. But in practice, monitors only support 165 MHz which is compatible with DVI. Single-link DVI is similarly limited — whereas HDMI increases bandwidth by increasing the signal clock, DVI increases bandwidth by increasing the width, i.e. dual-link DVI. Monitors that support dual-link DVI are more readily obtainable than those that support high-resolution HDMI, but you won’t find any laptops with DVI output, only HDMI running in DVI-compatibility mode! Hence the need for DisplayPort (or Thunderbolt) to drive larger monitors.

  • Robert

    I like the new design alot and as stylish the gorilla glass idea was this appeals more to me .. it has a great assortments of full size ports not donglism and the weight is a great plus ! I sincerely hope it will have 1600 * 900 anything else would not be a refresh but a downgrate spoiling the picture of this new ivy bridge model. although screen resolution and as in the previous model -brightness was compromised if not to keep in the magic 999.99 range then to come up with the better than avarage battery life — the sound solution should be on par with the previous specter if not better — what makes me sad that there is no matt version planned it seems for outdoor use .. so i am still doomed to lean to the new samsung series 9 .. otherwise i would consider it strongly .. i would probably even play with the adobe software which i usually wouldnt think of:)

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