HP Spectre x2 Marries Surface Functionality With Skylake Core M Processors And USB-C Connectivity

Microsoft’s Surface and Surface Pro family of tables have elicited a number of copycat designs over the years. Most recently, we’ve seen Apple take a stab at the Surface Pro form-factor with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro — a category that Apple CEO Tim Cook just a few years ago likened to pairing a toaster with a refrigerator.

HP is the latest to take a stab at a “tablet with a kickstand” with its Spectre x2. But whereas most previous OEMs have attempted to go after the Surface Pro, the Spectre x2 seems squarely aimed at the more affordable Surface 3. You won’t find high-powered Core i5 or Core i7 processors in the Spectre x2; instead, you’ll discover a range of power-sipping Core m3, m5, and m7 processors which help contribute to a fanless design. The 12-inch tablet has a 1920x1280 display which is surrounded by plenty of bezel and you’ll have your choice of either 4GB or 8GB of RAM, while up to a 512GB SSD can be ordered.

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HP is big on cameras with its new tablet, and includes a total of three. There’s an HP Truevision 8MP camera on the back of the tablet, an HP Truevision 5MP camera on the front, and another front-facing Intel RealSense Camera R200. The enhanced multimedia experience continues with dual Bang & Olufsen speakers on the tablet itself.

The Spectre x2 weighs in at a hefty 1.85 pounds, which is odd for a 12-inch class tablet. The high-powered Surface Pro 4 weighs “only” 1.69 pounds in its base configuration and 1.73 pounds with a Core i7 processor and its requisite cooling hardware. With that being said, the Spectre x2 is just 8 millimeters thick, which can be partially attributed to its inclusion of two USB-C ports instead of full-size USB 3.0 ports. For those that still need USB 3.0 connectivity (in other words, just about everyone) HP is including a USB-C to USB Type-A adapter in the box.

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But perhaps the most interesting that about the Spectre x2 is its kickstand, which can be extended with the slide of a switch on the side of the tablet. The kickstand can prop up the Spectre x2 at any angle and is U-shaped instead of a solid piece of metal like you’d find on the Surface 3 (yet another reason why we’re interested to know why the tablet weighs so much).

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That stand comes in handy when the travel keyboard is attached (the keyboard, thankfully, comes standard with the tablet). The keys have 1.5 millimeters of travel, there’s an integrated touchpad, two additional speakers and the keyboard itself is constructed of aluminum and woven fabric.

The HP Spectre x2 goes on sale November 8th with a starting price of $799.99


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