on December 25, 2012
I bought spectre 14 3010nr first and it turned out to be very very slow for a $1200 original price computer. I returned it and bought this model for about $100 more thinking that it will be fast enough as it does have better processor and graphics memory. Turns out it is snapping fast for a notebook as well it came with all the necessary softwares with less junk.
Why 3 stars? Because it has a defective screen. I read the reviews of 14-3010nr that there were problems with screen but I thought newer model will have that issue fixed. It works but sometimes the colors go dim and white color turns into light green. I am really disappointed from HP because when you buy a laptop on a premium price, you expect premium performance too. I think all the "premium price" you pay is for the software that it comes with (Adobe premiere elements, lojack 1 year subscription and Norton internet security for 2 years). But I would rather had got a fantastic laptop with none of these software, which I can substitute with ones of my choice.
Here are pros and cons in my POV:
Awesome design>>> I really mean it.
Good processor >>> Don't compare it to desktop i5's or i3's but its good for daily uses
Intel HD 4000 >>>> This is only in pros if you compare it to previous model with graphics 3000; which had lags in playing hd videos.
Sound >>> don't expect to use it for party even though it has beats audio but the volume is very good for a laptop
Screen >>> even though it has higher resolution then most of the laptops out there, screen problems are just not acceptable when they are carried from one model to another.
Ram >>> 4 gb is not enough especially when the Ram is also used for graphics purposes. Note: you can upgrade to 8 gb but its a very painful process.
NFC >>> Awesome idea on paper but no practical use. It only add $$ to price.
Camera >>> I am really sick of companies advertising <1.3 megapixel cameras as HD. They are just not as good as you would expect from "hd cameras".
Conclusion: Awesome design but I am sure HP is gaining lot of profit as internal specs look cheap. You can buy the similar specs laptop for under $500 (with NFC being an exception). It surely will turn the heads around but for practical work, Ii think be careful with screen as many complains seems to turning over from the previous model. As of mine, I will be returning it without a replacement.
on March 25, 2013
OK...see below for my preliminary ordeal.
Received my THIRD new Spectre on the 26th (I'm writing this after about 4 days of steady usage), and, like the previous two, was extremely impressed by its stylish looks and compact design. Considerably heavier than it looks, I'm sure given all the glass in it's construction (I hope Gorilla Glass lives up to its name). Since I had a problem with the spacebar on one of the duds I'm very sensitive to how this ones whole keyboard feels...and so far so good...hopefully it stays that way. I love the backlit keys (though I'm not sure if the proximity thing works so well).
I really hope that the unified glass trackpad (the whole thing is touch sensitive, including the right and left clicks) doesn't pose a problem; i.e., sometimes when I place the cursor on something small, preparatory for a left or right click, just the putting of my finger on the (either) corner to click causes it to move off the object and the click doesn't "hit" (for instance...the little up or down scroll arrows on the right of almost every page of everything). And sometimes I must inadvertently touch it (or something) because the Start screen shows up, necessitating hitting the Windows key again to bring me back.
Having the physical sound volume roller adjuster where it's located is really dumb.
Ran the battery out once, lasted ~6 hrs, I would guess at average power usage.
Fan comes on pretty often...whiney, but not too noisy...and so far goes away pretty quickly.
Coming from Win XP Pro Win 8 is beautiful...and a pain!...I like things to be keyboard shortcut activated and having to figure out new ones (hopefully they are, or will be, there) is a (temporary?) hassle. All the Win 8 graphics are very nice to look at but I'm after functionality.
It's really too soon to grade performance (processor, Solid state harddrive, screen, graphics) everything works, or even write a very useful review...so I'll try to write another update in a month or two.
******************************March 25, 2013 3 stars**********************************************
Received this replacement laptop (old one's harddrive died...one reason I bought the solid state in this one) nicely packed (I thought) in HPs smallish black cardboard box.
Opened it with excitement....looked VERY stylish!
Plugged in...turned on...and...SYSTEM FAN error 90b (cooling fan); contact HP support...and it turned off :(
Major bummer!!! waited 5 min and tried again...Voila!...turned on and beautiful, etc., etc.!!
Decided to call HP anyway and they said "Send it back!"...very likely could happen again after you shut down...and it did...and I did; returned it.
Called Amazon (actually they call back, nice) immediately and customer service was fast and impeccable...sent a replacement instantly, overnight, for nothing...no questions asked other than what was wrong...Just the way it SHOULD be.
Story's not over yet...
Replacement arrives next day....this time in an outer cardboard box (with some air cushions inside) containing the black HP the first one came in (I say Aha!)...plugged in and, with trepidation, turned it on, and, Yippee!...it worked. Spent hours playing around, trying to learn about, and navigate around Win 8 (as my previous was XP Pro) before I started to work with the keyboard (extensively, on a Word doc) and found, at first with disbelief, and then in increasing dismay, that not only was the spacebar key sticky, it was out and out BAD! The middle of it is fair, the left third worse, the right third almost unusable. Depression. Called HP again, hoping against hope that they'll tell me I can simply pry up (somehow!) that key for an instant fix and they say NO, send it in for a new keyboard! Forget it!...another call to Amazon and another very nice, competent, customer service rep and the third, and FINAL (three strikes and you're out!) replacement is being overnighted today.
So........the jury is still out.
I'm pretty bummed at all the wasted time...and I need to be connected a lot for the lifestyle I live...so all in all this is really a trial.
I obviously have concerns about this model. This is my first HP...I've had LOTS of laptops from almost every major manufacturer and there's been likes and dislikes re each of them.
I've actually never written a review before but this was so extraordinary that I thought I would.
I will definitely write an update. Hopefully you will NOT hear from me for a few days...which will mean that the final replacement didn't have an immediate defect. If all goes well in a few days, after getting rid of bloatware and figuring out which way to maximize storage (unfortunately almost half the 128GB SSD is unavailable as delivered) and sussing out which devil (MS or Google, or likely some combo) I want to trade my privacy soul for functionality with, I will report.
Whew! and good grief!
on February 27, 2013
I am a Windows devotee but have always wished some PC manufacturer would meet the build quality of the Mac products. This one makes me smile every time I open it. It is really a 13.3" case with a 14" screen. I wouldn't have believed it. It weighs in at a bit more than a regular 13.3" with SSD because of the glass used on the laptop cover and around the touchpad. It's like HP made this one meeting every one of my user requirements. No regrets, not one. Amazon had the best price.
on June 8, 2013
I chose this product because If I was going to get a new laptop, I was going to go for the highest quality one available, instead of having to get a new one a few years down the line. I was sick of completing reports on my tablet and opted for this sleek, beautiful and lightweight ultrabook.
It is absolutely stunning to look at and to use. Turns on/off ridiculously fast. The keyboard is fantastic. The display is dazzling. I don't like Windows 8 much, so I bought Star8- an application that brings back the Windows 7 start menu. It has made my machine perfect. I am a big fan of the gorrilla glass, as it gives me a sense of security. The battery life has surpassed my expectations. I've become one of those people that tucks their laptops under their arms, and walks around, opening it at a cafe, or at the park... Extremely pleased!
I almost went for a Mac. So glad I didn't! It looks like a mac a bit when you open it, but it most definitely is not one. For one, you have the beloved delete button, and obviously it is a PC. It is PERFECT for both work, and play, and the fact that is makes you look good doing it doesn't hurt either ;)
on December 14, 2013
I don't normally write reviews but I think this is a great product that deserves recognition. I needed a laptop to replace my dead DelI, and after lots of research I settled on this one. When I bought it I was slightly concerned that the ram and the processor wouldn't be good enough, but this computer is fast as lightning and I haven't had a single issue with it. Honestly, if you're not a heavy gamer you're probably not going to notice the difference between an i5 and i7 processor.
Appearance-wise, this laptop is sexy. It's slim and the Gorilla Glass looks amazing. It looks like a Mac but with the functionality of a Windows! I love the back-lit keyboard and the picture is really sharp. It is a bit heavy, but nothing too bad. I love that it's not a touch screen. Speakers sound great IMO. One thing I personally needed to change ASAP was the touch pad settings. I can't stand the whole "tap to click" feature but it was easy to turn off. Oh yeah - you should know that it comes with a case so there's no need to buy one before your computer comes (I wish I had known that).
Okay, let's talk about Windows 8. For me this was pretty tough to get used to coming from Windows 7. To anyone who's concerned about this, there are things you can do to ease the transition. Like another reviewer said, you should definitely purchase the program "Start8" to get the start menu back and make your computer boot straight to the desktop. It's only $5 and it makes a world of difference. You can also change that ugly space needle lock screen in Computer Settings and make your desktop pretty as well. Now that I've customized everything and added a start menu, I actually don't mind Win8 at all.
Basically, once you make a few slight changes this computer is awesome. Highly recommended!
on September 20, 2013
I really wanted to give this 5 stars. I really do love using this computer. It's really fast, has a beautiful screen, excellent keyboard and touchpad, and it looks great. So why only 4 stars? I'll answer that with some questions; like, why only 2 usb ports? Why is only one of the usb ports usb 3? Why only 94gb of hard drive? I thought I could overcome the tiny SSD with a 2tb external usb3 drive, but being tethered to an external drive for doing anything involving my photo, movies and music collections is really inconvenient. I tried adding a second SSD after reading that that was possible, but it resulted in several hours on the phone with HP support trying to get my computer running again. No matter what you read, be very careful with attempts at upgrades of the memory or SSD. Also, the battery life is terrible. With the external drive attached, I'm lucky to get 2 hours.
I also want to give a little bit of the obligatory complaint about Windows 8. I actually really like most of Win 8, but the bits I don't like, I really dislike. I've bypassed the ridiculous Metro interface with Start8, but because of the glass palmrest and touchpad of this computer, that I really like, I find myself constantly accidentally sweeping in from the right and bringing up that stupid charms bar, or worse, throwing myself into the dreaded Metro start screen.
Maybe the next update of Start8 will allow disabling the charms bar and maybe after my warranty expires, I'll try again with an additional, bigger SSD. If all that works out, I'll change my rating to 5 stars (I still won't be happy about only 2 usb ports).
on February 24, 2013
This is an amazing Ultra book.First of all its beautiful, you cant beat the overall first impression this PC gets. every time you pull it out your happy that you bought it. Its lightweight, and easier than a tablet to carry around. what other PC is made of glass. this makes apples computer look like a joke. Its powerful and gorgeous. SSD is the way to go. i will never go back to regular HHD after realizing how efficient and effective having a Solid state is. this PC starts in 7 seconds flat. never freezes or lags and you never see the loading icon that is inevitable with typical HHD that work fine for a few months then become overwhelmed. the SSD in this PC never gets exhausted and truly lives up to its name so much the size doesn't matter. just get an external.if space is your problem this ultra book even has a spot for an additional 128 SSD tp couple with it. With the USB 3.0 and fire wire ports provides the perfect outlet for an external 1 Terabyte slim portable hard rive. and BAM problem solved. I love this PC. Has HD resolution that make your Flat screen look like a joke. I love this PC. WAY to go HP.
on December 23, 2013
I needed a laptop that was not too bulky since I travel internationally several times a year. I did not want a tablet because I use "Word" frequently and prefer email to keep in touch with my family.
Positive: 1. Attractive glass and aluminum build 2. Comfortable, lighted keyboard. 3. Fairly long battery life- enough for one movie or about 3 hours of typing. 4. Good Speakers. 5. Fast start-up.
Negative: 1. Trackpad highlights typed text accidently causing problems and potential deletions. 2. Fan sounds are high pitched and loud. The fan can easily be heard by anyone in a quiet room. 3. WiFi connectivity is weaker than on other devices in the same location. Many times my Kindle gets WiFi and the computer does not.
Overall, this is a fast and nice looking computer. But for the money it should not have the problems listed above and encountered by many other reviewers.
on August 23, 2013
Coming from a 10-inch Toshiba NB205 netbook, the Spectre is a major step up, though it is 3X the price. I love this machine. Fast, great screen, perfect for what I do. I use it with a IF mouse, not a keypad fan. But excellent on my lapdesk or tabletop. It's my backup PC (use a desktop for work), but it's just great so far, about two months into owning it. Heartily recommend if you are looking for a great 14-inch ultrabook. Sure, it's heavier than the Air, but my Apple friends really loved it when they saw it. Haven't sold my netbook yet, but it's going up on ebay soon. I thought I would keep it for use on short trips, for the plane etc. But now have an iPad Mini for that. Excellent HP piece. Now, we'll see how durability goes. My last HP, a mini-desktop, literally went up in smoke. I am using a MS chill pad on the Spectre, keeping it running cooler.
on January 7, 2014
Bought this laptop in August hoping to use it in college. However, less than a month later, the gorilla glass on the keyboard broke and it is very EASY to have the screen cracked as well. While, this laptop is no doubt a stunner, it is also extremely fragile. Nothing much to complain about the computer itself, it has a solid battery life of around 6 hours. Graphics are stunning. Since this is not a cheap laptop, you will want to think twice before you buy it due to the very likely possibility you might break it. Or the very least purchase additional warranty.