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

HP Spectre PCMark 8, 3DMark, Far Cry 2 Performance

PCMark 8 v2 is the latest version in Futuremark’s series of popular PC benchmarking tools. It is designed to test the performance of all types of systems, from tablets to desktops. PCMark 8 offers five separate benchmark tests--plus battery life testing for mobile platforms—to help consumers find the devices that offer the right combination of efficiency and performance for their particular use case.
PCMark 8 Benchmarks
Productivity and System Level Benchmarking
This latest version of the suite improves the Home and Work benchmarks with new tests using popular open source applications for image processing, video editing and spreadsheets. These are trace-based tests and a wide variety of workloads have also been added to the Work benchmark to better reflect the way PCs are used in enterprise environments.

We tested three of the benchmark modules: Home, Work and Storage...

HP Spectre PCMark8

HP's new Spectre 13 runs away with our PCMark 8 testing versus all other thin and light machines we've tested thus far. It didn't lead by a huge margin but both its Home and Work scores are some of the best we've seen from a laptop of its size. The only area the Spectre trailed slightly was with the Storage test and there the field is so closely matched that the variances are unquestionably negligible. 
3DMark Firestrike Extreme And Sky Diver
Synthetic DirectX Gaming And Graphics Testing
The 3DMark Sky Diver benchmark pushes a lot more workload to the graphics engine on board the group of premium notebooks we have thrown in the mix with the HP Spectre laptop. The Sky Diver test is intended for mid range gaming machines we'll the Cloud Gate test is much less strenuous and targeted as an entry level gaming test.
HP Spectre 3DMark Cloud Gate

HP Spectre 3DMark Sky Diver

In these 3DMark tests we see what the HP Spectre 13 is and is not in terms of gaming performance. Among ultralight machines and premium ultrabooks, the HP Spectre kicks ass and takes names in the Cloud Gate benchmark, scoring top of the field and besting machines like the Razor Blade Stealth as well. However in the Sky Diver test we see that it still wins out over ultralights but obviously can't hang with discrete graphics-equipped machines like the 15-inch ASUS Zenbook UX501 or Dell's XPS 15 for that matter. 

Far Cry 2 Benchmark
Lighty Duty DX10 Gaming
Sure Far Cry 2 has a few years under its belt but who doesn't love being a bit of a mercenary? Far Cry 2's ahead of its time graphics and realism and exceptional built-in benchmark tool make it a great metric to see how far integrated graphics systems have come. For our tests we target DirectX 10 and aim for the High detail preset...

HP Spectre Far Cry 2

More of the same from the new HP Spectre 13. HP's super svelte beauty is neck-and-neck with the Razor Blade Stealth here, though the Razer machine is a touch heavier and a few millimeters thicker to be sure. Side note: the Dell XPS 15 score was taken on its GeForce GTX 960M GPU. Intel's integrated graphics horsepower has indeed come a long way.  

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