HP Spectre Folio Review: A Luxurious Leather-Clad Beauty

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HP Spectre Folio: Battery Life and Final Thoughts

Our Battery Life testing is performed using a custom 1080p HD video loop test we developed here at HotHardware. We conduct the tests with Windows 10 quiet hours enabled and the display's brightness calibrated as close to 115 lux on our meters as possible. Brightness calibration is vital to ensure a fair comparison with other notebooks in our group, since it greatly affects battery life.

However, every notebook has different brightness ranges, so it’s critical to rely on a light meter, instead of a Windows brightness setting percentage, in order to level the playing field on brightness output. The HP Spectre Folio required less than 50-percent brightness to achieve 115 lux.

HHLoop HP Spectre Folio

Battery life is where the HP Spectre Folio shines and it finishes at the top of the pack. It made it through our video loop test with 8.45 hours of battery life – beating out all but three notebooks we’ve tested. You could almost finish the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (theatrical cut) in one sitting with this machine. 

concludeLaptops have improved so much in the last three years that its almost hard to go wrong with offerings from most major brands. The downside is the segment gets stagnant and boring – you always get the usual stylish aluminum chassis, thin form factor, light weight and decent battery life. It’s been a while since we’ve been surprised by a new notebook launch, but HP nailed it with the Spectre Folio.

The thing is knock-out, gorgeous, soft to touch and has amazing scent. OK, that sounded a little creepy but it's true. The HP team put together a notebook that we enjoyed the smell of, which is not something that typically comes to mind when discussing notebooks. HP succeeded in delivering excitement in the ultra-portable laptop form factor by going old school. Sure, there’s a machined aluminum chassis hiding beneath the cow hide, but its leather cover is a game-changer and just looks fantastic.

The Spectre Folio's sexy form is also backed by functional hardware and a balanced system configuration. Its 8th-Generation Intel Core Y-series processor isn’t going to win any benchmark competitions, but it delivers snappy performance with excellent battery life. This is the perfect travel companion to compliment a full-size desktop, or if you want something for casual content creation, productivity tasks or content consumption.

HP Spectre Folio 01

While our as-tested price of $1758 may be hard to digest for some, the Folio's retail configurations are easier on the wallet. Ditch the integrated LTE and half the RAM and the price drops down to $1399 for a retail configuration that Best Buy sells. It occasionally goes on sale for $1249 as well, which makes it even more tempting.

The new HP Spectre Folio is a well-balanced ultralight convertible laptop that checks off all the right boxes. Any notebook that combines superb battery life, respectable performance, beautiful looks, luxurious feel and makes you want to take a second whiff, is worthy of our Editor’s Choice award. HP hit a home run with the Spectre Folio and its easily one of the best premium 2-in-1 we’ve tested to date. 


 hot not 
  • Exquisite design and high-quality build
  • Supple and aromatic leather exterior
  • Slick 2-in-1 form factor
  • Superb battery life
  • Bright, accurate display
  • Solid, balanced performance
  • Bundled Active Pen
  • Awkward keyboard layout
  • Performance not as robust as Core i machines.

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