Ultrabook

Review of HP Spectre XT Pro: One of the Best Ultrabooks On the Market

A few months ago, in May of this year, HP announced the HP Envy Spectre XT 13 inch premium ultrabook, which we think focuses more on design. However, soon after that, HP started to work on a new ultrabook, inspired by Envy Spectre XT. We are talking about the HP Spectre XT Pro ultrabook which targets corporate consumers.

At first you won’t notice anything special about the HP Spectre XT Pro because the only differences between the Envy Spectre XT and Spectre XT Pro are the Windows 7 Professional OS and TPM security module.

In this article we are going to review the HP Spectre XT Pro ultrabook and we are trying to find out if it has chances of making a good impression on the 13 inch segment of the ultrabook market.
Before going any further, we have to take a look at the technical specifications of the HP Spectre XT Pro ultrabook.

HP-Envy-Spectre-XT

Technical Specifications

Processor: Intel Core i5-3317U @1.7 GHz
RAM Memory: 4 GB
Storage: 128 GB ( SSD )
Screen: 13.3 inch 1366 x 768 px, shiny panel TN
Ports: 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, HDMI, LAN, card reader, jack audio
Thickness: 14.5 mm
Weight: 1.42 kg
Battery: 4-cell 45 wHr

Construction

Even if it’s not entirely built out of aluminum, the sides, frame of the screen and the area underneath are made from plastic. We can find aluminum on the screen cover, around the keyboard and around the restpad.

Thickness and Weight

HP Spectre XT pro is not the lightest and thinnest ultrabook on the market, but at 14.5 mm and 1.42 kg we don’t have many negative things to say. Construction wise the case gets thinner in the front, which gives you the impression that you are dealing with a thinner ultrabook.

Air flow

Most ultrabooks present a vent on the side however the vent of this ultrabook is located in the back of the device, which is great because it causes no additional problems.

Keyboard

The HP Spectre XT Pro comes with a classic chiclet keyboard. The keys are well spaced and they provide a very good feedback. Key illumination is another plus, even if you can’t adjust the illumination level. The directional up and down keys are reversed functionality of the FN keys are the only things that should have been improved.

Touchpad

Even if HP decided to build incorporated buttons ( clickpad ), the cursor is precise. It supports multi-gestures so this is a typical touchpad. It can be disabled by pressing the upper left corner but sometimes you have to press many times to disable or to enable.

Hardware

Although we are dealing with a classic ULV platform ( Ultra low voltage ) with Intel Core i5 processor, the presence of the 128 GB SSD is felt, as the ultrabook boots and starts applications very fast.

Ports

Personally we think that a business ultrabook needs as many ports as possible so it would have been a very good idea for HP to add a VGA port at at least 3 USB ports.
The first problem can be easily solved by buying a HDMI – VGA adapter.

Speakers

Because the HP Spectre XT Pro includes four speakers and it comes with the Beats Audio system we expected the sound quality to be better however, the quality is above average.

3G/4G Connectivity

A business ultrabook needs constant internet access however HP does not offer it not even optionally. However, you can use a USB dongle.

Business Features

A business ultrabook has to provide good security options and the HP Spectre XP Pro does just that with the help of the TPM platform and compatibility with the Computrace service but it lacks fingerprint reader and SmartCard support.

Battery

This battery should, in theory, provide an autonomy of at least 8 hours, however you might get around four hours if you set the screen at 60% luminosity. This means that you can get more than 5 hours if you set the luminosity at 50% and you run very few apps.

Display

Here is where HP made some compromises as the HP Spectre XT Pro comes with a 13,3 inch TN display with HD Ready 1366 x 768 pixels resolution. The display is shiny, it has narrow viewing angles and powerful reflections. The colors however are alright as well as the luminosity level.

Conclusions

If the screen would have been better, we are sure that the HP Spectre XT Pro would have been a perfect ultrabook. However, despite the screen, there are many things we can hold against this HP ultrabook. Maybe the autonomy won’t please everybody, however, overall, HP Spectre XT Pro is a beautiful ultrabook with a solid construction, with very good keyboard and touchpad and above average speakers.

If you need permanent internet connection, top security features, a better battery and a much better display, when you might want to take a look at other ultrabooks, even if they are more expensive than the Spectre XT Pro.