1704393046 HP Specter Fold review a beautiful innovation sandwich sold at

HP Specter Fold review: a beautiful innovation sandwich sold at a high price – Journal du geek

Today we are dealing with a very special machine HP Specter Fold. This amazing device, which can be transformed into a tablet, laptop or desktop PC at will, exudes a love of innovation and will undoubtedly make the most passionate tech enthusiasts dream… but is it really wise to give in to temptation? Here is our opinion.

Discover the HP Specter Fold

Admittedly, this Specter Fold takes effect as soon as you open the box. The innovative side of these machines is still very exciting as they don't jostle at the gate; It's a real breath of fresh air in this market, which tends to become more and more homogeneous over the years.

Closed © Journal du Geek HP Specter Fold closed HP Specter Fold closed

Visually, the machine is quite successful with its curves and the paintwork typical of the Specter series. The build quality also seems to be satisfactory, although, as with all folding devices, we have to worry a bit about the hinge.

Unsurprisingly, when folded, the Specter Fold is thicker and heavier than a traditional small-format notebook. The problem lies in the magnetic keyboard, which lies between the two halves of the screen. In terms of pure portability, we're pretty far away from current benchmarks like Asus Zenbooks. But this hybrid PC obviously couldn't compete at this level.

A delicious sandwich full of innovation

However, these small concessions are fully justified by the enormous versatility of this model. This is undoubtedly the main argument and we had to admit that HP has put considerable effort into making its device as versatile as possible.

The first possible configuration is the most classic. If the magnetic keyboard is positioned in the lower half of the screen, you will benefit from a mini ultrabook with a 12-inch screen. Pull the magnetic keyboard towards you and you get an additional piece of screen for a total surface area of ​​14 inches. When you remove it completely, the Specter Fold transforms into either a massive 17-inch tablet or a freestanding display to mimic the desktop PC experience. Very exciting for geeks interested in innovation.

Unfold © Journal du Geek HP Specter Fold laptop © Journal du Geek HP Specter Fold Desktop © Journal du Geek HP Specter Fold Stand © Journal du Geek

On paper, this variety of possibilities is extremely tempting. The good news is that the software side has been well refined; You can seamlessly switch between the different configurations. HP even had the good taste to pre-configure personalized rest zones for windows, even if they can be a bit unruly at times.

However, it is clear that in practice the result sometimes leaves much to be desired. We quickly get the feeling that this format will need a few more years to mature. For example, the overlap of the screen and keyboard in a laptop configuration means that the bottom shelf is often a little too high to be used comfortably. The second option is already much more comfortable (see below for more details on the keyboard). But unlike a Zenbook Duo, whose second screen tilts when opened to provide an optimal viewing angle, the lower part of the screen is less practical to use here as it remains flat.

HP Specter Fold Laptop large© Journal du Geek

The desktop/tablet configuration is also not optimal. A locking system may be missing Lock the surface in the open positionbecause it usually stays closed very slightly and therefore never completely flat. So we are quite far away from the display of a monitor or the feeling of a real tablet. Even though the centerfold is subtle for office use, it's difficult to ignore when watching a video, for example.

Screen and audio

However, when it comes to the performance of the panel itself, that's a different story. This 2.5K OLED screen does its job perfectly ; The color reproduction is excellent, as is the contrast.

The touch interface is also efficient: it is fluid and responsive and overall very pleasant to use. The brightness remains quite modest, but not prohibitively so. In summary: a beautiful record that the format of the machine doesn't always pay homage to.

HP's efforts in audio are also worth mentioning. This is a major weakness of notebooks in general, but this Specter Fold is clearly superior to the others in this regard. When the format demands it, the sound remains quite chaotic, especially when we venture towards the lower end of the spectrum; But thanks to the four Bang & Olufsen speakers, you can watch a video without feeling like you have to take out headphones or earbuds, which is rare enough to be highlighted. In addition, positioning on both sides of the two halves of the screen makes it possible to achieve a convincing result regardless of the configuration.

HP Specter Fold speakers© Journal du Geek


The keyboard is also excellent. The corners would probably have benefited from a little more rounding, as they tend to attack the palm in the laptop configuration; but otherwise it is quite difficult to direct even the slightest criticism at him. The covering is very comfortable, the layout is well thought out, the touch is well balanced and, above all, the tactile feedback is really excellent for a keyboard of this type.

HP Specter Fold keyboard© Journal du Geek

In addition, the powerful, cleverly positioned magnets ensure that it stays perfectly in place. No matter the configuration, it doesn't move an inch and always feels like an integral part of the machine. However, we regret the lack of a small fold-out stand that would allow this keyboard to tilt in desktop configuration. But overall it's a real success.

Hardware and performance

On the hardware side, HP has chosen a great classic from the Ultrabook ecosystem: the Intel Core i7-1250U. Of course, this is only a 12th generation processor, while some competitors have already equipped their hybrids with more efficient i7-1355Us. Nevertheless, it is a chip that has proven itself in many small Ultrabooks.

Add 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD and you get a responsive and functional device that handles all traditional office tasks with ease and is even enough to run some very light games thanks to the integrated Iris Xe graphics chipset.

On the other hand, don't expect to be able to play AAA games or do creative tasks under good conditions. HP has made appropriate hardware choices that allow you to work smoothly while preserving the device's autonomy (see below), and that's everything we expected from an extremely versatile utility like this. But once we move away from this scenario, the performance becomes too limited to realize the full potential of this pretty panel. For comparison: There are models for a few hundred euros that perform significantly better in all benchmarks…

Connectivity and autonomy

The other big disappointment concerns the connectivity: it's just shaky. This Specter Fold makes do with two Thunderbolt 4-compatible USB-C ports, nothing more and nothing less. Of course, they are positioned so that there is always one in the bottom corner of the machine, allowing easy access regardless of the configuration chosen. On the other hand, this also means that the second port is present often placed in a place that is difficult to access. For example, in laptop configurations it is located on the edge, in the upper left corner of the part that serves as the screen. Anything but ideal.

However, when it comes to another criterion, the machine catches up. Given the size of the screen and the experimental nature of the machine, we expected very limited autonomy. But it's exactly the opposite; The battery life is pretty amazing. Whatever the configuration is, we have Fortunately, more than twelve hours of moderate multimedia use ! That's significantly more than many traditional Ultrabooks and is enough to get you through a day of work, even if you forget the charger. Pretty impressive, and in this context the machine's low performance is immediately easier to forgive.

Price and availability

Then comes the annoying question, namely the price. The HP Specter Fold is offered at €5999 on the manufacturer's website – a completely prohibitive price for almost all usersexcept for a few wealthy geeks who love unusual machines.

As it stands, we simply cannot recommend this machine. Although some will probably be willing to pay more to benefit from an extremely versatile device, such an outlay will remain completely unjustified for a commercial vehicle with such modest performance. Because for the same price you can treat yourself to one of the best traditional Ultrabooks on the market with a dedicated GPU, a high-quality tablet and a powerful desktop PC… or even a small used car. The performance/price ratio is therefore quite catastrophic, hence the poor rating despite all the intrinsic qualities of this very attractive machine.

Discover the HP Specter Fold

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