Unique Glass Ultrabook Design Wows Critics

Dennis Faas's picture

A new "ultrabook" from Hewlett-Packard (HP) is getting high marks for squeezing solid performance from a very small package.

And the packaging itself is drawing lots of extra attention: the HP Envy 14 Spectre is covered almost entirely in glossy, scratch-resistant glass.

By the numbers, it's hard to tell the HP Envy 14 Spectre is a premium laptop.

For example, it's only modestly powerful for the price: you'll find a Intel Core i5 processor under the hood, along with 4GB RAM, a 14-inch or 13.3-inch display, and a battery capable of lasting eight hours unplugged.

Laptops with this level of hardware capabilities have been available for well over a year. (Source: cnet.com)

Glass Design Truly Unique

But when you look over this new machine, you realize that HP has crammed these components into a very small box: 0.8 by 12.9 by 8.7 inches, weighing less than four pounds.

Even more impressive is the HP Envy 14 Spectre's design.

Black glass covers its aluminum lid, and clear glass spreads across the section right below the keyboard.

Some experts liken the look and feel of the new ultrabook to a classic car, and insist you'll be obsessively buffing out fingerprints with similar pride, and frequency.

So far, extensive glass casings just haven't been seen very often. Most often, its use has been limited to a unit's display screen, as seen on the Dell XPS 13. To extend the coverage to the unit's lid and palm rest is truly pioneering. (Source: pcmag.com)

Wireless Connectivity Options, Premium Audio Also Impressive

There are other reasons industry observers are raving about the Envy 14 Spectre: Its backlit keyboard is a classy feature, and its premium audio package provides significantly better sound than most other ultrabooks.

The Envy 14 Spectre is also overflowing with wireless options, featuring Bluetooth connectivity, Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) high-definition television integration, and WiFi streaming to music devices compatible with the HP Wireless Audio platform.

Given all these features, it's no great surprise that the HP Envy 14 Spectre, priced at $1,399.99, is a little more expensive than some competitive ultrabooks.

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