HP Spectre Laptop Review: A Thin, Sleek, Nimble Beauty

HP Spectre ATTO Disk, SunSpider And Cinbench

Our Test Methodology And Comparison Data:

Before we dive into the benchmark numbers that follow, we should underscore our approach to testing and the reference comparison data we use. To show a balanced view of performance relative to other notebooks on the market, on the pages that follow we compare the HP Spectre to other ultralight notebooks and also a few larger premium notebooks. Comparing one laptop to another is also never an exact science. Machines are often configured with different memory setups, different storage components, processors, driver revisions, and so on. However, the data that follows will give you a good perspective of how the HP Sprectre performs in a variety of use cases and versus a variety of other notebook types. 

ATTO Disk Benchmark
Peak Sequential Storage Throughput

We decided to take a look at the storage performance profile of the new Spectre first, so we fired up ATTO for a quick sanity check of the IO throughput of the machine's 256GB Samsung NVMe Solid State Drive.

HP Spectre ATTO Disk Test
ATTO Disk Benchmark

It's impressive to see such a thin and light notebook push over 1.5GB/sec for reads and over 300GB/sec for writes. Though we've seen slightly faster performance from the Samsung PM951 that's on board the Spectre, these are still pretty great storage numbers that will pay dividends for the machine in our forthcoming benchmark gauntlet. 

SunSpider Javascript Benchmark
Javascript Processing Performance

Next up, we have some numbers from the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark. According to the SunSpider website:

This benchmark tests the core JavaScript language only, not the DOM or other browser APIs. It is designed to compare different versions of the same browser, and different browsers to each other. Unlike many widely available JavaScript benchmarks, this test is real-world, balanced and statistically sound.  

We should note that this is more of a platform test, in that different browser versions, associated with different OS types can and do affect scores. However, among the Windows 10 powered machines here, all things are relatively equal. 

HP Spectre SunSpider

The HP Spectre hits the gate running flat out here, taking a top 4 spot out of all the machines we've tested in its size and weight class. This is a light duty Javascript benchmark, however, so let's turn things up a bit on the Spectre's Core i7 processor to see how it fairs in such tight skins. 

Cinebench R11.5
3D Rendering On The CPU And GPU
This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral "No Keyframes" animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various algorithms to stress all available processor cores. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.
HP Spectre Cinebench

Surprisingly, the HP Spectre edged-out all of our thin and light machines in Cinebench and only fell short of the Dell XPS 15 which has a much beefier quad-core Core i7 processor and discrete GeForce graphics chip. So far, the HP Spectre's super thin chassis isn't limiting its performance at all. Though logically you might think that it's "thermally challenged," we see no indication of this yet. Onward... 

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