Everything You Need to Know About the New HP Ultrabooks — Positioning, Pricing, and Release Dates

Updated on 14 May 2012 by

Just last week, HP announced a slew of new computers at a press event in Shanghai (see all HP news). Among these new computers are four completely new Ultrabooks (the Folio 9470m, the Spectre XT, and the Envy 4 and 6), and and two ‘Sleekbooks’. HP is positioning each of these devices differently in terms of features, intended audience, and pricing. In this article, you’ll find a concise guide to HP’s latest Ultrabooks which will hopefully help to make sense of the differences and similarities — and you’ll find all known pricing and release date info.

Spectre XT – 13.3″

Positioning and Specs

With the Spectre XT, HP is positioning this as the ‘premium’ Ultrabook. The design is refined and the chassis is the thinnest of the new Ultrabooks at 14.5mm thick. It looks like the Acer S5 will be dethroned as the ‘world’s thinnest 13.3″ Ultrabook‘; the Spectre XT beats it by 0.5mm, according to HP.

This is a refresh of the Spectre 14. It upgrades the second-generation Sandy Bridge processor to the third-generation Ivy Bridge processor (which also includes the graphical upgrade from HD 3000 to HD 4000 graphics integrated). Discrete graphic options are not available with the Spectre XT which puts it in an awkward position — HP says it’s the most ‘premium’ Ultrabook on offer, but the Envy 4 and 6 offer better performance with discrete GPU options. Full configuration options haven’t been released just yet, so HP could save the Spectre XT by making it the only Ultrabook in their lineup to offer the Core i7 CPU — as of now, we’re expecting Core i5 with possible i7 configuration options. A 128GB or 256GB SSD can be equipped.

The Spectre XT disappointingly shrinks the screen size and resolution when compared to the Spectre 14. The screen size drops from 14″ to 13.3″, while the resolution drops from 1600×900 to 1366×768. The port spread isn’t too bad, featuring 2 USB ports (1×3.0, 1×2.0), full HDMI, full SD, 3.5mm headphone jack, and gigabit ethernet (LAN).

Price and Release Date

The Spectre XT price starts at $999, which is pretty awesome for a premiume Ultrabook because that nails Intel’s $1000 Ultrabook target right on the head. Knowing HP, you’ll probably be able to configure it up to $2000 if you want to deck it out with top-end options. The release date for the Spectre XT is June 8th.

If you want to read more about the Spectre XT, see out full article covering it. Otherwise, read on!

Next Page: Envy 4 and Envy 6

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15 Comments For This Post

  1. Aaron says:

    The HP envy 4t-1000 sleekbook is currently available and it has an intel core i3-2367m. It doesn’t have to have an AMD processor to be a sleekbook. In the customization area under the Hard Drive Acceleration Cache it states:

    32GB mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache
    Select this Solid State cache to upgrade the ENVY 4t to an Ultrabook (TM). Supports Intel Rapid Start Technology for quick resume from power off and Intel Smart Response Technology for fast access to files.

    So it is a sleekbook to start and adding the 32GB mSSD upgrades it to an ultrabook. The current article on HP’s new lineup isn’t completely accurate pertaining to the sleekbook designation.

  2. Aaron says:

    The HP envy 6t-1000 is considered an Ultrabook because the 32GB mSSD Hard Drive Acceleration Cache comes standard (already included in the price).

  3. Ben Lang says:

    Thanks for pointing this out, Aaron. According to HP’s press release, the Sleekbooks are supposed to come equipped with AMD APU (which would mean the Fusion platform). This is wholly different than an Intel CPU with an AMD GPU.

    It’s quite possible that the PR folks got it wrong (the release was a mess), but it still seems like HP intends to offer the Sleekbooks with AMD processors given that if the Envy 4 without the mSSD is a Sleekbook, why wouldn’t the Envy 6 Sleekbook be available until June 20th… even though the Envy 6 Ultrabook is currently being offered with the mSSD by default (surely it wouldn’t take a lot of effort to offer an Envy 6 sans an additional hardware part — you don’t even need to wait for a shipment, just don’t include the part!)?

    Here are the official release words:

    “The HP ENVY Sleekbook—available with either a 14-inch diagonal display and the latest Intel Core processors,(6) or a 15.6-inch diagonal display and the latest AMD Accelerated Processing Units (APU)—boasts up to eight or nine hours of battery life,(4) respectively. With optional discrete graphics on Intel platforms and discrete-class graphics from AMD on AMD platforms, users can create and edit videos quickly and experience incredible gaming and multimedia.”

  4. Jordan says:

    Rather dissapointed with the “premium” Spectre XT. The downgrades seem more significant than the upgrades. Hopefully it can be customized to restore its resolution to its former glory.

    Im also disappointed in the Envy 6. There’s no reason to solely offer a low resolution for a 15.6″ screen. I guess I like my laptops screens like I like my land, with plenty of real estate.

  5. david says:

    Do you not think the current spectre 14 will be refreshed?

  6. Nklenchik says:

    Does the xt have a backit keyboard as well?

  7. Ben Lang says:

    Yes, backlit keyboard has been confirmed on the XT.

    For the Envy 4 and 6, the backlit keyboard is optional (+$20).

  8. Adam says:

    The Spectre XT is pretty exciting, except for the screen.

    Despite the fanatics that will state that any metallic, thin laptop is a Macbook Air rip-off, I think it’s a pretty unique design, too. Very “stealth-bomber” looking.

    The screen and the price considering it includes a fake hybrid SSD are the only downsides assuming that it’s battery is as good as the Folio 13.

    $1000 computer should include a REAL SSD.


  9. Ben Lang says:

    Adam what do you mean about a fake SSD hyrbid? The XT can be equipped with a 128GB or 256GB SSD — I haven’t see anything about a hybrid HDD.

  10. Charlie says:

    I can understand your sentiment, but the 32GB mSATA SSD gives you much of the perceived benefit of an SSD, but with the larger 320 or 500GB hard drive too. Boot times with the mSATA cache SSD are very similar to actual SSDs.

  11. Kezi says:

    HP Spectre XT or Acer S5, which is more premium and is there a big difference in price between those ultrabooks.

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    i want to prchse a neew hp ultra book

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2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. New HP Ultrabooks and Sleekbooks Available to Order « Ultrabook News and the Ultrabook Database says:

    […] We’ve got another HP Ultrabook overview article here. […]

  2. HP Now Offering AMD-powered Sleekbook Ultrathin With Optical Drive for $699 « Ultrabook News and the Ultrabook Database says:

    […] on 19 June 2012 By Ben Lang Back toward the beginning of May, HP revealed a deluge of new Ultrabook products. Despite a rather confusing array of press releases and announcements, we waded through it all and […]

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