MacBook vs HP Spectre: Who is closer to perfect ultraportable?

The announcement of  the new MacBook Apple left us a little cold, and indeed, it was inevitable to think about that surprising and striking perhaps to HP Spectre appears to have been created to demonstrate that to iterate over a product already created and improve it is not only a matter of Cupertino.

This twist on the traditional notebook shows there is still travel to this format. Convertible (both tablets and laptops) try to offer the best of both worlds, but it is clear that there are still many users who still do not want millings, and that is where these contenders come.

The war on paper…

When HP introduced its Spectre few days ago did it forcefully: the idea that Apple had with the MacBook was good, they seemed to want to say, but its execution is not. Already we commented then, but it is as if the computer had been used to try to overcome as much as possible on technical specifications.

MacBook vs HP Spectre

Processor Intel Core i5 / i7 Skylake (dual-core 2.3 / 2.5 GHz, 14 nm, 15 W TDP) Intel Core m3 / m5 / m7 Skylake (1.1-1.3 GHz dual-core, 14 nm, 7W TDP)
GPU Intel HD Graphics 520 (24 EUs) Intel HD Graphics 515 (24 EUs)
Memory 4/8 GB 8 GB LPDDR3-1866
SSD 256/512 GB 256/512 GB
Screen 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS LCD 12-inch, 2,304 x 1,440
ports 3 x USB-C (1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 x Thunderbolt 3) Connector 3.5 mm minijack 1 x USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1) 3.5 mm minijack connector
connectivity 802.11ac 2×2, BT 4.0 802.11ac 2×2, BT 4.0
Battery nd 41.4 Wh
Dimensions nd nd x 10.4 mm x 280.5 x 196.5 x 3.5 to 13.1 mm
Weight 1.11 kg 0.92 kg

This table reflects data cold, but there are other elements which of course also have much in the final result. One aspect that clearly differentiates both teams is the integrated processor. Core M MacBook makes it possible that there is no active ventilation, but the HP Spectre has built a promising new cooling system if it meets as we hope could become one of the highlights of this proposal hardware.

If there is something that the MacBook than the HP Spectre is on display resolution Retina display is one of the sure values of the brand, but HP has preferred to bet on thinness: its leaders claimed that not go to a panel 2K (1440p) allowed them to reduce lovely millimeters. They did not speak the impact on the battery which certainly exists – but we said at the presentation that the decision we like, but obviously the definition of the screen does badly.

This disadvantage is probably compensated for many with that HP’s decision to leave in the dust the MacBook in terms of connection ports: these three USB-C (two with Thunderbolt 3) ports assures us that we can connect all types of peripherals, but yes, the adapters will still be needed if we want to take advantage of USB-A conventional peripherals.

It is also inevitable to talk about topics such as the keyboard and touchpad. HP boasts a 1.3 mm travel for the keys, which a priori convince users of conventional keyboards. Apple decided to make a different keyboard for MacBook, and here are conflicting opinions by the fact that the touch and stroke those keys are very special. Some people get used to, and some people do not, but in the analysis of our colleague Javier Penalva his impressions were not too positive.

Within touchpad’s we have the striking Force Touch trackpad that seems to convince people who try it , and failing to test the HP Spectre what it does is clear is that the experience and expertise of Apple here is usually a guarantee.

And then there are the designs of these teams, of course. This section ends up being a decisive subjective factor in the purchase, and here many have complained of a “dangerous” combination by HP, which uses the Spectre gold and black that make the team have a moot finish. Not that the new MacBook in gold rose to leave either good standing who criticize the choice of HP, but this is a very particular aspect that is difficult to make judgments. Personally, I would have appreciated at least one more option for the HP Spectre, perhaps with silver instead of gold colors.

… But there is the world beyond specifications

Some say that portable passes and cameras: the best is that you have with you on top; you have not gathered dust on a table at home. That is the defining characteristic of these ultrathin ultraportable precisely focus on portability make the main factor that attracts potential users.

Here it is evident that the proposed Apple is clear: in the MacBooks that have just renewed no more USB-C ports, but you may never have because Apple does not want to connect anything to this team : I see it as a computer to use as is, without using that USB-C port rather than to load it.

The problem with this concept is that for many – and I include myself that’s just limiting the possibilities to another segment of users. What if you also want to use it at home connected to an external monitor and other peripherals? I can, but need multiple adapters or hub that allows me to combine all these accessories.

HP has preferred to expand possibilities and give the team also several ports open that possibility. It is a team that you can move equally well (or almost, are 90 grams of difference) but which also are not as doomed by its expandability. MacBook true that in a good hub USB-C provides a variety of connection options, but here it is clear that the HP Spectre offers more freedom and possibilities.

In that bet also, it affects the power that can give these teams, and certainly will be higher in the Spectre thanks to its Core i5 and i7 processors. The new MacBook have made the leap to the Skylake Core M family, something that surely leave a note that will significantly improve performance compared to the obvious limitations of the models of the previous generation.

Here we repeat the same thing in the expansion ports: Apple is not bet on more powerful processors because this team is not for that. And while the Spectre adopts the same format but opens the range of options and allows us to be a little more ambitious with our workflow. It’s a different way of understanding the ultraportable, but personally, I have always been clear: the options are good. If I want to use my ultraportable and ultrathin desktop computer as I can do with many more guarantees in the case of HP Spectre.

I can do it or not, but there is the possibility. Apple has no interest in that, and the problem is that this team is a rival of his other concept in computing mobility, iPad Pro. Since these new convertible tablets also offer this approach to productivity, to whom Apple leads the MacBook and who the iPad Pro? True that one is more oriented to consumption and other production, but that line is increasingly blurred.

Others also looking for the perfect portable format

We have focused on the MacBook and HP Spectre as benchmarks of a new trend that gives a twist to Ultrabooks that Intel has pulled off for years, but in fact, many manufacturers are trying to offer their own proposals a market that desperately seeks to try to attract new (and old) users.

Here it is evident that the tablets and convertible notebooks are absolute protagonists. All who bet based on Windows 10 have tried to validate the paradigm of Microsoft, that according to which the fiddling the screen is a perfectly valid way to interact with the machine equipment.

That has resulted in teams of all colors and flavors that in my opinion are a huge hymn to love and I cannot. The 13 – inch convertible tablets are very striking in the picture, but believe me when I tell you using a diagonal and tablet mode are not recommended unless you work on a table.

Three-quarters of the same happens to convertible laptops that have a key for producing (produce) and do not consume many advantages: the rigid keyboard with touchpad is a blessing, but there reweighed (and never better) the fact that its usefulness as tablets is compromised. The way I see a 13 – inch tablet does not have (too) sense, but neither does (too, insist) 10. It is a portable love him comply at all without ever succeeding.

That is why so manufacturers continue iterating. We striking equipment like the Surface Book, or the Lenovo Yoga 900, the Samsung Galaxy S TabPro, or the new iPad 9.7-inch Pro. Everyone tries to concern’s that we can have the best of both worlds, but none of them achieved the perfection.

It is for this reason that laptops all – that life without millings – still make sense for many of us, and that at least in my case if I want to work on mobility do in a conventional notebook, and is so that the search for the perfect laptop that Apple and HP are driving me seems so valuable. The concept is not dead, and I hope these teams are only the first of a batch that retrieves a perfectly valid format for many users.