HP adds Intel Kaby Lake chips, edge-to-edge screen to latest Spectre x360 laptop

HP just unveiled its latest laptop built around Intel’s Kaby Lake platform. But this update adds more than just a new processor to the HP Spectre x360 laptop.

Some of the other tweaks lean more towards aesthetics on the 13.3-inch laptop, including a slimmer profile by removing 2mm of thickness (now 13.8mm), the new HP logo, an infrared camera that enables Windows Hello authentication and an edge-to-edge display that sadly supports only one resolution: FHD (1080p). HP retained the 360 degree hinge from previous generations.

By tightening the design and beefing up some of the specs with enough battery to match, HP is trying to convince consumers that it’s more than just an alternative to the Macbook Pro, but a unique system that’s capable in its own right.

Similarly, to how the XPS 13 brought life back to Dell (and sent waves through the review industry for being a great laptop), HP is trying to push the x360 to its limits. It could gain respect in the public eye by not only having a 360-degree hinge, but looking good, charging fast and having the latest chips.

On the side, two new Thunderbolt 3 ports have been added. These are disguised as USB Type-C jacks, allowing the upcoming flurry of USB-C devices will have a native, high-speed place to connect. It’s a trend that most PC manufacturers are adopting and is welcomed.

A bigger, 57.8Wh battery with fast charging (90 minutes to 90% charge) will power the faster NVMe SSD standard (over last year’s SATA tech), which also is getting a size increase up to 1TB.

HP is offering the new Spectre x360 today, starting at $1,049.99. The entry-level model only nets you a Core i5 processor, but a Core i7-7500U upgrade option exists (clocked at 2.7 GHz, up to 3.5 GHz).

In the coming weeks, I’ll get my hands on a unit and will report back on whether or not these changes make for a viable convertible laptop/ultrabook.