Feeds
80%
HP Spectre XT 13-2000ea

HP Spectre XT 13in Ivy Bridge Ultrabook review

Slim, light, fast...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Game on?

The Spectre XT also surprised me with its performance. The original Spectre cost £1199 and had an 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-2677M Sandy Bridge processor that achieved a score of 3531 in the PCMark 7 benchmark test. Priced at £899, currently the Spectre XT is only available in a single configuration featuring a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U CPU, 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD drive.

PCMark 7 Results

HP Spectre XT 13-2000ea

Longer bars are better

However, that Core i5 processor is the latest Ivy Bridge edition and it managed to rack up a PCMark 7 score of 5200 – outgunning not just the original Spectre, but pretty much every other Ultrabook I've seen recently. It certainly felt snappy in use too, waking from sleep in a couple of seconds and launching the always-sluggish Photoshop Elements in just five seconds.

With that level of performance, I dared to hope for the impossible and fired up Far Cry 2 to see how the Spectre XT would cope with a spot of 3D gaming. Sadly, the Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics didn’t prove much of an improvement over the Sandy Bridge era HD 3000, bringing me down to earth with a barely playable 25fps.

Battery life doesn’t quite match that of the original Spectre either, down from a full 4hrs to 3hrs 10mins when running the Futuremark's rigorous PowerMark benchmark utility. However, it did manage a full five hours when using Wi-Fi to stream some old episodes of Red Dwarf on LoveFilm, so you should be able to get a full day’s work out of it for lighter tasks such as running MS Office apps.

HP Spectre XT 13-2000ea

Lighter touch in more ways than one

Verdict

There’s some room for improvement on battery life, but the more I used it the more I found myself liking the Spectre XT. It’s slim, light, fast, and – by Ultrabook standards – competitively priced. If I were HP I’d quit now while I was ahead and forget about the touch-screen gubbins they’re already talking about for the next model. ®

More Ultrabook Reviews

Acer Aspire
Timeline M3 Ultra
Toshiba
Portégé
Z830-10N
Ivy Bridge
for Ultrabooks
HP Envy 4
1010ea
Dell
XPS 13

Intelligent flash storage arrays

80%
HP Spectre XT 13-2000ea

HP Spectre XT 13in Ivy Bridge Ultrabook review

HP's latest stab at Ultrabook form factor gets with the programme with this lightweight Ivy Bridge offering.
Price: £899 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
ICO warns UK broadcasters over filming using drones
Must comply with data protection rules, m'kay?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.