Foldable displays are more popular than ever, and laptop OEMs are quickly jumping on this rising industry trend. After Levovo and ASUS, HP has also announced its first foldable display laptop, the HP Spectre Fold. It’s the new star of the HP Spectre family that can quickly transform into a Laptop or into a Tablet/Desktop setup.
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HP Spectre Fold is more than just a first-gen product
HP’s first foldable device is an ambitious attempt from the company to enter a market with a lot of potential. However, unlike what several other brands did with their first-gen foldables, HP seems to have taken a slightly different approach.
Instead of just making a foldable to get into the game, HP made a full-fledged work computer that also happens to fold from the middle. This device is made to be used on a daily basis instead of just staying at your desk while you get your work done on your traditional computer.
When unfolded, the Spectre Fold is a giant 17-inch Windows tablet, but when you fold it and put the Bluetooth Keyboard on one half of the display, it becomes a 12.3-inch laptop that you can carry with you just like any traditional laptop. This concept is similar to what ASUS did with the Zenbook Fold, and it is indeed pretty useful.
Spectre Fold – An exotic powerhouse
HP has packed a lot of hardware inside a thin and flexible form factor to make the Spectre Fold a desirable product for the masses. While this isn’t really a device for everyone, its unique features and bold design make it an exotic piece of technology.
A gigantic Display that also folds
The large 17-inch OLED panel is definitely the star of the show and alongside being a Foldable display, it also has 2.5K (2560×1920) resolution, 400 nits SDR & 500 nits HDR peak brightness, IMAX Enhanced certification, and 99.5% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut.
Spectre Fold’s massive display comes with several smart features including Auto Screen Dimming, Walk Away Lock, Wake On Approach, Screen Distance Reminder, etc., and it also houses the 5MP Webcam and Dual Array Digital Microphones in the bezel. Overall, there are a lot of premium features associated with the display that seem to be aimed at a superior user experience.
There is also support for the HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen. You can use the pen to sign documents, work on presentations, or do drawings with the entire display acting as a giant canvas. The HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen comes in the box and makes the display just a little bit more useful.
The Hardware and its performance potential
HP is using an Intel Core i7-1250U CPU to power its foldable laptop and while this U-series processor isn’t as powerful as its P-series and H-series counterparts, it still packs plenty of punch.
The main reason behind using low TDP processors in foldables seems to be the thermal limitations as there is no way to implement a proper active cooling system in such a thin form factor.
There is 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 1TB of PCIe gen 4 SSD, which combined with the i7 CPU, is capable of pumping out significant power for day-to-day work and basic creative tasks.
Intensive tasks won’t do well though because of the thermal limitations and low TDP which I’ve talked about earlier. The integrated Iris Xe GPU handles regular tasks just fine, but it’s not going to win any awards for GPU-intensive workloads. If you have an external GPU though, you can connect it to the Thunderbolt 4 port.
The large Battery and fast Charging capabilities
When it comes to the battery, the company has used a gigantic 94.3Wh cell (6-cell configuration) which is one of the largest I’ve seen on a foldable. With the U-series chip proving extra power efficiency, you should be able to get good battery life when using the device in its 12.3-inch form factor. However, if you’re using the full 17-inch display, the battery is going to drain much faster.
HP claims up to 12 hours and 30 minutes in the folded laptop mode and up to 11 hours and 45 minutes in the tablet/desktop mode. However, the actual battery life should be somewhat shorter. Thankfully, you can also charge it pretty quickly (about 50% in 45 minutes) using the supplied 100W Power Adapter.
Limitations in I/O and how HP solves it
You’ll be limited on I/O as the device only comes with Thunderbolt 4 (Type-C) connectivity, but the company ships a Type-C Hub in the box which gives you access to USB Type-A (USB 2 and USB 3), USB Type-C, and HDMI. For wireless connectivity, you get Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, so there are no compromises in that area.
HP Spectre Fold – Price and Availability
As you may have guessed, the HP Spectre Fold isn’t a cheap device. It comes in a single configuration with the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1250U, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD storage, and if you’re thinking about picking one up, you can get it from HP’s official website or from BestBuy for a whopping $4999.99.