7 Things To Know About HP's New Spectre Folio

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With the Spectre Folio convertible notebook, HP Inc. is aiming to transcend consumer and commercial PC categories with a new premium PC that can serve as an ideal device for both home and work. The device, which seeks to merge vintage design with the latest computing advances, may just point to where HP may be heading in the future with its commercial-specific designs. The Spectre Folio seeks to create a "new standard in what premium experiences mean for our customers, and ultimately the industry," said Alex Cho, president for HP's personal systems business. HP is not resting with its top market-share position in personal computing, and is seeking in fact "to shatter the mold of what a traditional PC is," Cho said Monday while unveiling the device in New York.

What follows are seven key things to know about HP's Spectre Folio.


HP is calling the Spectre Folio the world's first "leather convertible PC," with its exterior wrapped by 100-percent genuine leather. The leather covering extends to both sides of the exterior, as well as to the area around the touchpad, and encases a magnesium aluminum frame. The notebook will be available in "Cognac Brown" and "Bordeaux Burgundy" colors.

"This is one of the most innovative designs that I've ever seen," said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst for Moor Insights and Strategy, speaking with CRN. "The thing I like about it is, it's not just leather for leather's sake. I feel like they chopped up the design and really re-looked at this … While I don't think this is going to appeal to everybody, I think there is an audience that is very design-centric that is looking for something different in a sea of mediocrity out there."

Display & Pen

The Spectre Folio offers a 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) touch screen display, with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT for added durability. (HP says that a 4K model will be available near the end of the year.) For brightness, the display offers a choice between 300 nits and 400 nits. The notebook also comes with an HP digital pen that is stored in a genuine leather pen holder on the side of the display.


A key difference between the HP Spectre Folio and other convertible notebooks is that it replaces the typical "stand mode"—where you can bring the display closer to you by flipping the screen back using the keyboard as a stand. Instead of "stand mode," the Spectre Folio features "forward mode," where the screen comes forward and magnetically locks into position closer to your viewing. The advantage with "forward mode" is that you can still use the touchpad, which reduces the need to extend your arm fully for navigating on the touch screen. The Spectre Folio also has the familiar tablet and laptop modes, while "folio" mode—with the notebook closed—aims to resemble a leather notebook rather than a PC.

Battery Life & Processor

HP promises a generous 18 hours of battery life with the Spectre Folio to enable true all-day usage, thanks to the inclusion of a six-cell 54.28 WHr battery in the notebook. The battery life also owes in part to the use of energy-efficient processors in the Spectre Folio. The notebook will come with eighth-generation Intel Core processors from the low-power Y series, with a choice between Core i5 and Core i7 (dual core in both cases). The Y series processors have the added advantage of not requiring a fan for cooling, which helps to enable a thin design, HP said.


HP said the Spectre Folio will be available with 4G LTE connectivity, so that the notebook can serve as an "always connected" device for users. Along with rarely having to lose web connectivity, LTE brings security advantages by not having to connect to potentially untrustworthy WiFi hotspots. HP also specified the device will offer "gigabit" speed LTE, suggesting it will offer faster LTE than some other devices on the market. Getting LTE capabilities will require buying a pricier SKU for the Spectre Folio, and will also require a data plan. However, Sprint is offering a deal for six months of free LTE with the Spectre Folio, which will cost $15 per month (with automatic billing) after the free period.

Other Specs

The Spectre Folio aims to be strong on portability with a thickness of 0.6 of an inch and a weight of 3.24 pounds. While the base model for the notebook starts with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, it will be configurable with up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 2 TB of storage, HP said. For ports, the Spectre Folio includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one USB-C port, one USB-A port and a headphone jack.

Price & Availability

HP says the Spectre Folio has a starting price of $1,299.99 for a WiFi-only model with an Intel Core i5 processor. The Spectre Folio with LTE capabilities and Core i7 is priced at $1,499.99. Both of those prices are for the "Cognac Brown" model with an FHD display. Those models are available for pre-order today, with the devices rolling out on Oct. 29. Models with the "Bordeaux Burgundy" color and 4K display will be available in late December, HP said.