"This Best Selling HP Spectre XT 13-2050nr 13.3-Inch Laptop (Silver) Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
Automatically keep the HP ENVY 13-2050nr SpectreXT, an Ultrabook, cool and comfortable on the go with HP CoolSense technology. Also, hear music the way the artists intended using Beats Audio. At less than 1-inch slim and just over 3 pounds, this ultra-thin and ultra-fast notebook is designed to help you do everything without weighing you down. Integrated Bluetooth helps you sync your HP laptop to other digital devices, like your smartphone or desktop PC, without using cables. Plus, print, e-mail and browse the web wirelessly using built-in Wi-Fi. Edit documents and watch videos on the 13.3-inch diagonal high-definition LED-backlit display. Stream content to your HD TV with Intel Wireless Display, too. The HP ENVY 13-2050nr SpectreXT Ultrabook has plenty of style with the all-metal design and backlit keyboard. You can video chat in low-light environments using the integrated HP TrueVision HD webcam, which is also Skype HD capable. Plus, transfer photos from a memory card to your notebook using the digital media reader. This HP laptop has a solid state drive that's ready in seconds, so you can count on fast response and reliable data access.
Now, for the not awesome part (this is for me. for other users, this might be sufficient..), only 4gb of ram, and it’s on-board, meaning not upgradable. Ram prices are cheap nowadays and it would be more awesome if the ram is not on-board so you could put an 8gb stick. One more thing, there’s no option for a higher resolution screen. 1366×768 is nice for 13 inch, but a 1600×900 would be a nice option. 1 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0, now why not just both 3.0?
If you buy this directly from HP, there is an option to upgrade to an i7 proc, and 256gb SSD. But still no option for a higher on-board ram, or higher resolution screen.
- Core i5 IVY bridge processor, ULV – The processor is a ULV version (Ultra-Low Voltage). This is slower compared to full-pledged i5 processor. All ultrabooks have the ulv processors. The number one advantage of this is lower TDP (low wattage), which means longer battery life for the notebook. In return, the performance is slower too. The i7 ulv version is only dual core compared to the quad core for regular i7 non-ulv.
- HD4000 graphics – This is considerably faster than the older HD3000 found from the sandy bridge processors. You should get 30~40% increase in performance, so you should be able to play even the latest games, but not with high settings. This can even outperform older dedicated gpu like nvidia gt620m
- 128gb SSD – Fast reads and writes compared to a regular HDD. Windows bootup and shutdown is quick as well as opening up applications. Upon logging in to windows, you can even click the internet explorer and start browsing. You can’t do that with an HDD, you have to wait for a few seconds before you can start browsing.
- WiDi connectivity – Note: You’ll need a Widi receiver connected to your HDTV in order for you to use this functionality.
- Backlit keyboard – Isn’t this nice? Now you can use your laptop during night on a dark room or in a low light situation, and you can see your keyboard clearly. No more guessing with the correct key (unless your a very good in typing)
- 4gb on-board ram, not upgradable
- No option to upgrade the screen
Many blogs and reviewers gripe about the screen, but at 13.3 inch, the resolution works. I briefly had the higher-res Spectre 14 and the higher res screen made things a little too small on this size machine–don’t get me wrong, it was a gorgeous screen aside from the defects I experienced on two separate models, but the XT screen does the job well. Build quality is very good for windows based machine. Specs are good too–Ivy Bridge i5, 4 gig of ram and a speedy SSD.
Boot up time is minimal and it awakes from sleep almost instantaneously. Battery seems decent too. From what I can tell so far, I get roughly 5-6 hours out of it. Minimal bloatware. This machine feels light and sturdy. I get the feeling it will last me several years. On board speakers are decent, but i probably wont be using them much. I didn’t buy this for beats audio, but listening through a pair of good headphones is great.
Cons: Although it is a well built machine from HP, it isn’t perfect. Screen wobbles a bit and the underside has a soft-grip, but plastic quality to it. The SSD is fast, but a lot of the space is eaten up by the system restore partition. I’d rather have that space and put the system restore on an SD card or something. Out of the box, you’re looking at about 70 gig available. But with SSD, you trade speed for space. And this thing is fast.
I think the screen is nice, but the colors don’t blow me away. I don’t expect to be playing any new games on this, but it seems powerful enough to dabble. Also the memory is on-board so you can’t upgrade it. That may be a problem in two or three years.
Other Thoughts: Overall a great computer. If you’re looking for a computer with equal build quality to the macbook air and don’t care about the OS, just go with a macbook air. This machine comes close, but little things like screen hinge balance (so you can just open with one hand) aren’t there. HP definitely did a great job paying attention to detail, but they overlooked a few superficial things. Of the available options, this one is the best for the price. I wanted a Windows machine, and after extensive research and screen defect issues with two HP Spectre 14′s, this one is the best available for the money. All the other ultrabooks seems to have some issue with the screen, trackpad, cheap keyboard or poor build quality–these manufacturers can’t seem to get it right, and a computer like the macbook air kind of destroys the competition (in terms of build quality).
You’re not getting a super-hi-res display here, but you’re getting a great computer with very good specs and excellent support from HP. They’re trying. Really. And if you’re in the market for an “ultrabook” today then you can’t go wrong with the Spectre XT when you consider the other options. I really shopped around. Went to stores and played with tons of different models in this price range–Acer laptops felt poorly made; the Asus machines had weird screen bleed on the display models and the trackpad–the main method of input–was terrible; other HP’s were either non-SSD or had strange ripple defects on their screens (Sandy Bridge Spectre 14′s); the Samsung models, once you figure out the huge difference between the 2011 and 2012 thirteen-inch models had junky keyboards and were incredibly expensive; I wouldn’t touch Vizio yet and they haven’t been reviewed well; Dell’s… meh, they didn’t have a good feel either; Lenovo has a weak plastic keyboard tray and a ton of flex. It felt like it was going to break.
This is an Ultrabook, a designation owned by Intel (the maker of the computer chips inside this laptop) to designate thin and light computers featuring their products. This computer is an excellent example of what they are trying to encourage. My scale weighs it at 3 lbs 2 oz and my calipers measure it at 0.68″ at the widest dimension.
The 13.3″ screen looks great (resolution of 1366×768) although it is glossy instead of matt. It isn’t going to “wow” anyone, but it is a fine screen and a decent resolution for the size. There is a great loss of fidelity if the screen is tilted too far up or down, but it is easy to get a position where it looks fine. Off axis (someone sitting to your side), it is much better with just a little degradation until you get to extreme angles. 13.2″ is a good size to be both portable and useable. 15″ and above is just too big and below 12.5″ I feel it is too small.
The keyboard is composed of flat and square keys and is full sized. It has a backlight that I think it the right intensity (the 14 inch Envy I have it too bright) so it isn’t overpowering when using your computer in a darkened room (e.g. while watching TV). The insert, page up, page down, home, and end keys are not dedicated keys but instead are on top of other keys (arrows and prt scrn) so you have to shift to use these. No big deal.
The touchpad is a multitouch that works very well. It supports two-fingered scrolling, pinch and zoom, and two-finger rotation, among other things. Where it is less ideal is when you need to click and drag, as when you want to select multiple items on the desktop or you are scrolling with a scroll bar. This is a necessary tradeoff to enhance the multitouch functionality over the older mode of mouse pad and buttons. Once you get used to it, there really isn’t any downside and it is an overall better experience to never have to use a scroll bar. By the way, the whole pad is a click button, so you can just scroll with one finger if you press firmly on the scroll bar. I am a left-handed mouser so sometime I accidently double-tap in the upper right on a box that turns off the mousepad and I need to double-tap to turn it on again (and then double tap to do the thing I wanted to do in the first place!). A little thing, but something to be aware of.
The computer is fast with a very good i5 processor. i5 is Intels main line (i7 is faster, i3 slower). It runs HD video just fine and I don’t notice any lag even when multiple programs are open. I’m not sure who would benefit from an i7 (perhaps a gamer). I think most anyone else would be very happy with the performance of this computer.
The performance is aided by a solid state hard drive that makes starting the computer, opening programs, and shutting down very fast. The computer starts from off in 16 seconds, resumes from sleep in just a few seconds. On the Windows performance index (I uploaded a screenshot), the hard drive got the hightest possible score (7.9). The slowest component is the memory, but that is still pretty fast. It would have been nice to have more memory (I’d choose 8 over 4 if I could) but the memory is not upgradable. That said, this is a very fast computer and I am suggesting more memory out of “conventional wisdom” than any perceived need for it.
The solid state hard drive is nominally 128 GB but the way the hard drive folks count bytes is different than windows, so the drive is actually only 119.4 GB. Furthermore, 4 GB are dedicate to hibernation (equals your memory size), 15.4 GB for the recovery partition, and 0.2 GB for booting, giving you only 99.6 GB of useable hard drive space. Windows and other programs take space from this, giving you about 71 GB of free space. This should be enough for most folks, but this will be quickly eaten up by video files, a large music collection, or a picture library. You are trading speed for capacity ($100 will buy you a 1,000 GB conventional hard drive or 128 GB solid state drive) with this computer. Other HPs use a hybrid system (small SSD with conventional hard drive) which might be a better compromise. Advanced users would be able to disable hibernation to recover that space if needed.
The webcam (1280 x 720) is fine but it doesn’t quite look HD. I am using it inside at night at fairly low light conditions, and it works well, just not stunning. I’ve seen cams that work better.
It has fewer ports than a typical laptop, but I find I don’t use many anyway. One USB 3.0 is fine for backing up, a USB 2.0 for charging or a mouse. HDMI for video is pretty standard and an SSD slot for transfering pictures is also welcomed. They also kept a ethernet connection, which is nice for large file transfers on the network.
I was happy to see very little bloatware. There was nothing on the desktop and only a few Adobe products on the taskbar. I’ve put a copy of the untouched desktop in the images. I disabled the Adobe products (premier and photoshop essentials) using the settings under the HP docking utility (Launchbox) which puts them on the taskbar. I also uninstalled Norton antivirus and put in place Microsoft Security Essentials (which is free and works well.) I also uninstalled the Bing Bar and Microsoft Office 2010 trial edition as I have a full version from my workplace. (There is no CD drive so I have to install Office over a network; you could use a USB drive as well).
This comes with Beats Audio, which just means the sound system meets some standard put out by the “Beats Audio” people. This includes slightly better speakers and a “subwoofer” to improve bass response. I think it does sound very good compared to other laptops I’ve had, although I’m not going to give up my headphones or home stereo. Don’t expect great sound, but is more than passable and certainly fine for casual videos and such. On other laptops I’d find watching movie impossible without external speakers, but this is fine and speech is clear. For music you can certainly hear an improvement with bass response, but it isn’t very deep and the highs are still a bit tinny, as one typically finds on a laptop. Volume is more than adequate. Overall a plus, just don’t expect miracles here.
The laptop is packaged very well. Inside the box in which it is delivered is a black box with the logo. Open that and you see the laptop inside a soft cloth sleeve and nicely done quick-start graphics. Pull a tab and a zippered bag with the power supply is revealed. A bit useless in the long run, but something to consider if you are getting this as a gift or when presentation matters.
Overall a top-notch laptop in looks, usability, and portability. If pressed, I couldn’t give a good reason not to get the somewhat less expensive HP Envy 4-1030us 14-Inch Ultrabook (Black). This is more compact and lighter, but overall both have been great so far.
So I had these requirements: ultra-portable (see above); fast (just because I am impatient); backlit keyboard (so I can use on a plane or watching TV in low light at night); long battery life (I need to work and watch a full movie and listen to music on a cross-country flight and be able to use in the airport beforehand); and good sound (because the Acer stunk in that department). Check in all regards.
Unlike the other reviewer, I think the fan noise is minimal to non-existent (maybe there was something wrong with that one). And it runs very cool.
Complaints: The solid state hard drive is fast, but I thought I’d get a little more out of the 123 GB size. I ony used 65 GB on my Acer and had 235 GB to spare. But this machine, while it says 123 GB, has a D recovery drive that leaves the C drive with 99 GB. After all the software and my basic music and pics and documents, and after I load a few rented movies for a trip, I am down to 48 GB to spare. I have a bunch of flash drives and a 500 GB portable, but still, that is cutting it closer than I expected.
My only other complaint is that the plastic around the screen seems a bit cheap. My work laptop is an HP Elitebook, industrial-grade, and I think I expected a bit more integrity from HP. It closes more delicately than I expected with a plastic-against-metal sound that is a bit inartful. That said, it is the only “cheap” thing I could note. Everything else seems world-class so far: great keyboard feel, the backlit keyboard is attractive and functional, I like the trackpad (just the right umph to make it work without being touchy), and it looks and feels solid, like a Mac book Air (except for the noted concern).
Okay, one more little concern. My Acer rated at 9 hours, and it was good for 7.5-8.5 with my use (more than enough). This HP rates at 8 hours, but I’d say I am getting only 5.5 to 6.5 out of it. Still enough for what I need, but I liked the extra-security of the 8.5 hour machine (in case I forget to recharge before I get on the plane).
As for bloatware, I didn’t think it had any. There was a 2-year Norton subscription which is fine, and it comes with (a huge plus for me) Adobe Photoshop (a $200 value at least). Nothing else but necessary stuff.
Still, I’m tired of corporate looking PC’s that are just NOT SEXY. I had a very un-fun HP ProBook for the last few years. I only used it because I had to and it was cheap. It felt so slow. But, I hate changing computers so I just dealt with it. A few days ago I had enough so I went on a big search for my new laptop…knowing everything I know as I’m deeply entrenched in the computer business.
Lenovo gives us HUGE incentives to buy test models of their computers. I thought for sure I was going to buy a Lenvo X1 Carbon but the reviews were very concerning. I looked at Samsung, Asus and a few others…nothing was really standing out. Then I made my way back to HP..suprisingly….
You know what? Good old HP had lots of good reviews on various thin laptops so I pressed on looking at the Envy line. We have sold a lot of HP Folio laptops to clients and those have worked really well and clients love them. Still, they are a bit too corporate looking for me. Then I came to the HP Envy Spectre XT. All signs pointed to this laptop.
Verdict? I LOVE THIS LAPTOP!!!! I love my computer again!!! The computer is fast. The 13.3″ screen is perfect very crisp and sharp. The keyboad feels and works fantastic. Each key has its own LED and it look very cool. The trackpad feels and works very smoothly and intuitively. I like the advanced gestures for scrolling through webpages.
I do wish HP would work on their AC adpaters so they are smaller and less bulky, though this model has a smaller AC adapter than I’m used to which is nice.
If you want Windows Professional, there is a verion of the Spectre XT called Spectre XT Pro you might want to consider..but I only find Windows Pro necesssary if you MUST connection your OS to a corporate domain. But, with all things going Cloud these days, Home Edition will work fine for any personal or home office user.
So, bottom line is you want a cool 3 pound laptop and want Windows for personal use or work, this laptop is a great fit. I’m very happy.
However, the fan kicks in pretty often and when it does it is LOUD and annoying. The fan spins up on routine things like downloading a large file, doing a Windows update, or performing a backup….things that shouldn’t tax the CPU. In fact, the fan will often crank up when the CPU is running at about a 25% load. I’m suspcicous that other things like the SSD may be contributing to the heat buildup…but that’s just a guess.
Overall, I really like the machine except for this one issue…and perhaps HP can fix with a firmware/BIOS update.
I’ve been using it for several months now and very happy with the performance. It is fast, reliable, very good looking. I don’t see why anyone would want to pay the money for an Apple laptop when these super thin laptops from companies like HP are coming out at half the cost.
Light, beautiful, thin, and hardware is powerful enough for daily use and working task.
SSD disk is fast when saying reboot system from sleep , hibernate and power off .
HD4000 is good for playing HD movies. I tested a 20G sized movie, you can drag to any position with zero lagging.
screen resolution is just 1366-768. I’d rather a 900p.
battery life can’t reach 8 hours described in ads.
overall, I love it very much. I will recommend it to friends.