We revealed the ENVY 14 Spectre in January – and it won Best of CES 2012 for its awesome design. And tomorrow, you’ll be able to order a Spectre if you’re on the market for a premium ultrabook that stands out in a crowd. Truth be told, these laptops are a little in demand at that moment – but that ain’t stopping me. I was able to grab a prototype unit for an hour or two. So, of course, I decided to take it for a spin around town. Read on for a couple bits from my short, sweet test drive.
After sneaking an ENVY 14 Spectre out of the labs, my first stop: A nearby coffee shop – Peninsula Coffee Roaster Deli in San Mateo. I didn’t even get to flip it open and the dude behind the counter, Johnny, starts stealing glances. “Man, that thing looks cool!” He’s no techie, by his own admission, but I open it and show him – the guy was actually pretty impressed. Knocking back a cup, I get back on-mission: Plant myself somewhere and start playing with the ENVY 14 Spectre before the guys in the lab even know it’s missing.
(A shot in case you were wondering how cool the back of the lid can look….)
And yep, I found a couple other like-minded remote workers. For comparisons-sake, take a look at the Spectre in the foreground compared to a more conventional work laptop just beside it.
Funny pictures aside, I wanted to share with you some of the specs of the unit in my hands….
Here’s what that breaks down to when you look at the Windows Experience Index scores. Bear in mind that this is in no way a true benchmark. This is just a rough snapshot of what’s inside the system. As for the score: It just screams, “Yep, I’m an Ultrabook!”
Something I stumbled across as I was sifting through the MSCONFIG’s Startup tab for this machine: HP Touch To Share. Turn on the Near Field Communication (NFC) radio in the laptop and you can link this with an Android phone that has the app installed. (Sorry, I only had a Pre3 on me – what can I say? I’m stubborn. ;p) For those unfamiliar with the concept, Touch to Share means that you could be checking out something on your phone – say directions – just place your phone near the laptop and the NFC function transfers that data between devices. Needless to say it’s a neat feature I hope to test when I have more time. And when I have the right phone. Another thing I spotted in the MSCONFIG: HP’s Wireless Audio Manager (for streaming to Kleer Audio-enabled devices).
The Corning glass on the wrist rest area actually made a surprising difference for me. (As I wrote this post on it.) It’s cool to the touch, nice and smooth and it doesn’t hurt that it looks kinda cool as well. Hey, I’ve got expert testimony from Johnny on that count as well. Speaking of glass, you know that it also covers the 14-inch 1600 by 900 resolution screen, right? That screen looks clear and sharp in broad daylight. And in a bar.
Personal preference of mine: The Spectre also carries over the Beats analog dial from the new ENVY 15 and 17. (The dial doesn’t have stop-points; it’s a free-spinning dial.)
I would’ve loved to do more with the Spectre. Maybe leave it on a bar seat and see if anyone would notice? Nah.....
More like play games....y’know, for scientific purposes. The truth is you wouldn’t have gotten a full picture of how it works from this prototype – and, quite frankly – I only had one pint’s-worth of time before someone would notice that it’s gone. You can bank on the fact that I will give you guys a full update about what the Spectre is capable of at some point soon. But if what I was able to tell you here has you curious to learn even more, read the stories I’ve already written about Spectre. You can also check out the Spectre homepage – right here.
The ENVY 14 Spectre is available for order starting tomorrow, February 8th. Got any questions for me in the meantime?