HP Spectre Folio “reinvents the PC” with new leather exterior

Hewlett Packard’s (HP) latest convertible laptop is supposedly going to “reinvent the PC”. The Spectre Folio’s exterior is “100% genuine full grain leather” and is equipped with aluminum touches and delicate stitching. It’s 2-in-1 laptop design is akin to that of the 12-inch MacBook or Surface Pro.  It is an aesthetically pleasing design that is also power efficient with long-lasting capabilities. In addition, it comes with a digital pen that can take notes, navigate, draw, doodle, edit, etc.


Besides its sleek exterior design, thee Spectre Folio also has a semi-detachable keyboard that appears to connect Bluetooth with the main system. The keyboard is passable however the key press can either be too ‘squishy’ for the average user. In addition, unlike with most laptops, the Spectre Folio does not allow you to click by tracking your thumb resting on your keypad.

However, a keen feature of the new HP design is its three modes: laptop, media mode, and tablet mode. Behind the screen is a seam in the leather casing that allows the devices to transform modes. If you pull the screen towards the touchpad and stop just before you reach you will set your device in media mode. However, if you pull the screen even further toward the device’s base, it will rest on top of the keyboard, setting your device in tablet mode.


The Spectre Folio runs on 2 thunderbolt 3(USB-C) ports, one straight USB-C 3.1 port and a Windows biometric through an infrared webcam. In addition, the traditional headphone jack is still available for the convenience of the common user.

The display is equipped with WLED backlighting and wide-viewing angles with IPS technology inside. Although not available yet, a 4k display option will be available in December

Performance and special features

One should expect excellent performance if they purchase a Spectre Folio, akin to that of the 12-inch MacBook. However, since Hp’s primary objective isn’t sheer power, but longevity and versatility, one should not expect to use this device for complex functions or video/photo editing.

This new laptop can last up to 17 hours and 15 minutes on the Core i5 model and up to 13 hours and 45 minutes on the Core i7 version. In addition, devices can quickly charge from 0-50% battery within the course of half an hour through the use of on of its USB-C ports.

The device also has 16 gigabytes (GB) of memory and 2 terabytes (TB) of SSD storage.  

The Spectre Folio also has superior audio capabilities developed by Bang and Olufsen, equipped with HP quad speakers, HP audio boost, and expert-tuning.

Lastly, there is an optional new SIM slot under the display where one has the emotion to embed eSIM to quickly connect to mobile cell networks.

Pricing and Accessibility

HP has priced its entry-level version of the Spectre Folio at USD$1,299. With this model you will get an Intel Core i5-8200Y fanless processor and an SSD of DDR3 memory and a 256 GB M.2 SSD.

For the Spectre Folio’s superior model, it will cost upwards of USD$1,499 for an Intel Core i7:8560Y processor that contains an LTE modem attached for universal wireless connectivity.

To fully access the Core i7’s LTE modem capabilities, one would have to purchase an additional phone plan from a phone carrier. However, Sprint is offering a 6-months free plan for every purchase of the Spectre Folio model in the US.

Overall, the Spectre Folio is an efficient, slick new model, with a never-before-seen exterior aesthetic. However, many consumers may not see a massive performance upgrade from products like the 12-inch MacBook or Surface Pro 2-in-1, or may be intimidated by the high price.