HP Announces World's Thinnest Laptop - The Spectre 13.3

Subject: Systems, Mobile | April 6, 2016 - 10:01 AM |
Tagged: ultrabook, thinnest laptop, Spectre 13.3, notebook, laptop, Intel Core i7, Intel Core i5, hp

HP announced their thinnest notebook ever - and "the world's thinnest laptop" period, according to HP - yesterday with the new Spectre 13.3.

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The 10.4 mm thick HP Spectre 13.3 (Image credit: Engadget)

It's an astonishingly thin design, with a "CNC machined aluminum chassis as thin as an AAA-battery at just 10.4 mm", and yet it manages to avoid using Core M (or even mobile SoC) parts, opting instead for full Intel Core i5 and Core i7 mobile processors.

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(Image credit: Anandtech)

Here's a list of the Spectre 13.3's features from HP:

  • A carbon fiber bottom creates a thin profile that is both durable and lightweight, keeping the total weight of the notebook at just 2.45 pounds
  • High gloss copper accents reflect a hand-polished, jewelry-like finish and an innovative hidden piston hinge creates the illusion of a hinge-less design to offer an unmatched premium look-and-feel
  • An innovative hybrid battery split into two thinner pieces delivers the same wattage as a single battery for up to 9 and half hours of battery life while enabling the world's thinnest laptop
  • Full HD IPS edge-to-edge display featuring Corning Gorilla delivers a superb viewing experience for editing photos, perfecting a presentation, or watching a movie.
  • 6th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors and a lightning fast PCIe SSD with storage up to 512 GB with up to 8 GB of memory for maximum performance. Integration of Intel hyperbaric cooling system keeps the machine running cool even with powerful processors in a small package
  • Stereo speakers by Bang & Olufsen with HP Audio Boost technology, a combination of hardware and software to give customers the depth they want.
  • Three full function USB Type-C connectors, including two of which support Thunderbolt, to provide a fast, versatile I/O connection.

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The hyperbaric cooling system (Image credit: Anandtech)

Note the mention of "Integration of Intel hyperbaric cooling system..." in the above list. We first saw hyperbaric cooling back in 2010 with products like the Dell Vostro V130, and the system is based on pulling cool air from outside of the enclosure, rather than simply pushing it out.

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A look inside the Spectre 13.3 (Image credit: PC World)

With the use of regular laptop processors inside an enclosure as thin as this new Spectre 13.3 cooling will be crucial, though (as speculated by Anandtech in their post) actual clock speeds for the processors may have been lowered significantly due on thermal restrictions.

What exactly are the specifications for the Spectre 13.3? Here's what we know (via Anandtech):

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6200U or Intel Core i7-6500U
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB or 512 GB PCIe SSD
  • I/O: 3x USB 3.1 Type-C, 2x Thunderbolt, audio jack
  • Thickness: 10.4 mm (0.41 inches)
  • Weight: 1.10 kg (2.45 lbs)
  • Pricing (256 GB SSD): Core i5, $1170; Core i7, $1250

Exact specs on memory standard/speed, Wi-Fi, etc. were not available, and availability has not been announced.

Source: HP

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April 6, 2016 | 11:44 AM - Posted by Cian (not verified)

Wonder if anyone would bother with the i5 given the minimal price different.

Really impressive design all the same.

April 6, 2016 | 11:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No integrated 970m? No thanks!

April 6, 2016 | 11:51 AM - Posted by mAxius

GET REVIEW SAMPLE and test EGPU solutions :D

April 6, 2016 | 12:05 PM - Posted by Flea (not verified)

that thing is sexy

April 6, 2016 | 12:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


April 6, 2016 | 01:18 PM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

Great for a centre-piece in your living room! Horrible as a laptop. Give me a laptop that's functional, not sexy.

April 8, 2016 | 07:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It is functional.
More than any apple computer.

April 6, 2016 | 01:21 PM - Posted by Eneq (not verified)

Why wouldn't it be functional? I guess it all depends on what you want todo with it though...

But for its target audience (fashion, portable) and its use cases (surfing, office tools, presentation etc) I def. think its functional.

Anyone who games on a laptop is a bit of a noob anyway...

April 6, 2016 | 02:59 PM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

You are giving up things like battery life, ease of use with peripherals and keyboard quality in the pursuit of laptop thinness. Sure you can make it work but if I'm going to spend my money I'm going to spend it on something that works well for the tasks I need it to do.

April 6, 2016 | 01:33 PM - Posted by cyberwire

Does anyone even make a mouse with a type-c connector?
Guess people dont mind cluttering their bags with usb hubs...

April 8, 2016 | 07:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This thing comes with 3 ports, one for charging and an adapter in the box.

April 6, 2016 | 01:46 PM - Posted by johnestan (not verified)

That's a good looking laptop! Hope the real world battery life is ok. It's relatively heavy for being so thin. The upcoming Samsung series 9 13.4" laptop is 13.4mm thick and weighs 1.84lbs.

April 6, 2016 | 01:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The two TB ports, are they TB3 based? And if they are then do they share a single TB controller/root hub, or do they each have their own TB controller for more TB bandwidth.

These OEM specification sheets/markiting are just like the confusing IP service provider billing statements the FCC/FTC are cracking down on, so maybe the FTC/FCC needs to force the Laptop/PC/other device OEMs to publish more complete specification/data sheets with their products and offer more information than simply the marking copy which is never correct or sufficient because most marketing copy is done by marketing morons with no technical knowledge.

The majority of laptop “reviews” are mostly thinly disguised ads that mostly cut and paste the confusing ad copy, this needs to be made a violation by the FTC, and reviewers/websites put on the hot seat for failing to explicitly mark the regurgitation of promotional material at the top in large text as promotional in nature!

April 6, 2016 | 03:03 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

You realize this is a news post, and not a review, right? Also, not disclosing paid content is already against FTC guidelines.

April 6, 2016 | 04:27 PM - Posted by Bianchi4me (not verified)

Wait, we were supposed to figure out from subtle clues like the article being titled "HP announces..." that this article was, in fact, discussing a press announcement? Then somehow deduce that the announcement came from HP?!?

Crafty move, hiding it in boldface right in the title. Sneaky devils at PCPer.

April 6, 2016 | 02:14 PM - Posted by Gunbuster

Too bad its made by HP with that ugly logo and is a fingerprint magnet in the un-boxing video I just watched.

April 7, 2016 | 04:27 AM - Posted by Rob T

I quite liked the logo until I noticed it also looks like lip and now I've seen it that way I can't un-see it :)

April 6, 2016 | 04:11 PM - Posted by funandjam

The strangest thing about the laptop is that HP won't be supporting the Razer Core, maybe HP is thinking of doing their own eGPU box down the road?


April 6, 2016 | 08:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Awesome looking laptop! Not for kids!

April 6, 2016 | 09:27 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

There seem to be many compromises, in order to reach this thinness. A device ought to be fit for purpose. With a laptop, this means - firstly - it should offer a good experience while creating and consuming content. If it's easy to carry around, so much the better.

It looks like this laptop *really* shines when it's ... off. Soo thin, soo pretty. I look forward to a review of how it goes as a laptop, rather than a gorgeous item of tech couture. I wonder if the version that ships will still be free of stickers...

April 7, 2016 | 12:50 AM - Posted by Oistrus (not verified)

Still heavier than the 2.03 pound MacBook (https://www.apple.com/macbook/specs/), but, it does pack an i5 and better graphics (HD 520 v HD 5300) while keeping the battery life quite high for a form factor like that. An interesting product no doubt.

April 7, 2016 | 01:42 PM - Posted by BigMike678 (not verified)

I can understand shaving weight off of electronics but this obsession with making everything as thin as they can needs to stop.

There are too many drawbacks with thinning out mobile electronics (Battery size, thermal transfer, ease of repair-or repair at all, placement of ports, component selection, etc.) than there are rewards (aesthetics, weight)

Do marketers still think having the biggest/smallest number impresses the consumer?

April 8, 2016 | 01:12 AM - Posted by BlackDove (not verified)

I would rather have a CCFL backlit TV or monitor, even a laptop screen, that has better color than all this WLED backlit thin garbage.

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