This was the weirdest, most exciting laptop I reviewed this year

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Each year, 1 laptop retired of nan galore I reappraisal jumps retired astatine maine nan most. It tin beryllium a singular outstanding characteristic aliases a operation of small things that sets it apart. It’s not needfully nan best laptop that I’ve reviewed, because possibly it has immoderate property that limits its entreaty to a prime group of buyers. But it’s a laptop that’s different capable that I’m not speedy to hide astir it.

For 2023, that laptop was nan HP Spectre Foldable PC. On paper, it’s an different instrumentality pinch a 17-inch foldable show and immoderate absorbing imaginable usage cases. In practice, it’s truthful well-designed that it useful amended than immoderate different laptops that activity to connection arsenic overmuch flexibility.

Sometimes it’s nan small things

HP Spectre Foldable PC beforehand position showing afloat magnitude show and abstracted keyboard.Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Spectre Foldable PC is simply a batch for illustration nan Asus Zenbook 17 Fold that we reviewed past year. Both laptops person ample 17-inch OLED displays that fold successful nan middle. Both person outer keyboards pinch touchpads that let nan machines to fold into usable 13-inch clamshell laptops. And some person akin specs, moving nan aforesaid Intel Core i7-1250U CPU that provides capable capacity to meet nan emblematic user’s needs.

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But nan 2 are not identical. The Spectre Foldable PC offers up immoderate differences that springiness it a chopped edge.

HP Spectre Foldable PC rear position showing kickstand.Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

First is nan intends for propping up nan laptops successful desktop mode. The Zenbook uses a heavy furniture connected nan backmost of nan tablet pinch a kickstand that extends to clasp it successful place. The Spectre has a smaller embedded kickstand that’s conscionable arsenic effective, but results successful a slimmer and simpler design.

Next is nan outer keyboard. HP’s type wirelessly charges while sitting connected nan little information of nan tablet erstwhile it’s folded into clamshell mode. The Zenbook’s keyboard is charged separately, which is simply a batch little convenient. The Spectre Foldable PC besides has a mode wherever nan keyboard rests connected half of nan folded display, revealing different touch show pinch an ergonomic fold successful nan keyboard, making for comfortable usage of nan touchpad.

HP Spectre Foldable PC beforehand position showing dual display.Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The pen tin besides connect magnetically to nan Spectre tablet and wirelessly charge, giving it different advantage complete nan Zenbook.

Generally speaking, HP paid a batch of attraction to immoderate different specifications arsenic good erstwhile designing nan Spectre Foldable PC. The hinge is designed to beryllium some comfortable to usage and durable. I tin attest to nan former. The batteries are divided evenly betwixt some sides of nan fold, making for a 17-inch tablet that’s remarkably well-balanced. And somehow, HP managed to nutrient a laptop that performs good capable while still offering up decent artillery life successful spite of nan monolithic OLED display.

The Spectre Foldable PC and Zenbook 17 Fold aren’t nan only 3-in-1 designs. The Lenovo Yoga Book 9i is different that uses 2 abstracted OLED displays and an origami guidelines to connection up akin usage cases. But nan Spectre Foldable PC is nan easiest and astir convenient to usage successful nan existent world.

Oh, but that price

HP Spectre Foldable PC beforehand position showing desktop mode.Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

As I reviewed nan Spectre Foldable PC, I recovered myself utilizing it much arsenic a desktop than I expected. Sure, it made for a clamshell laptop that was arsenic bully arsenic astir of those I reviewed successful 2023, but its desktop mode was amazingly useful. The 17-inch show was ample capable for maine to usage 2 windows broadside by side, thing I seldom do connected laptops, but it still fresh into comparatively mini spaces.

If I were buying a laptop today, nan Spectre Foldable PC would beryllium precocious connected my list. But I’d ne'er bargain it. Simply put, it’s measurement excessively costly astatine $5,000. That makes it a very tantalizing desktop, and nan the meaning of thing that teases, but is unobtainable.

The Zenbook 17 Fold is besides costly astatine $3,000, but that’s a batch much affordable.

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Mark Coppock

Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave measurement to Windows and nan PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his emotion for…

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