Everything in the 13-inch HP Spectre XT from the screen bezel to the speaker grill says quality. If you want a lightweight laptop then this is a machine you should take a serious look at as it's certainly one of the best laptops to buy.
There was perhaps a simple design mission facing the research and development team at HP and, maybe an instruction to 'make it look like a MacBook Air'. The backlit black keyboard, smooth touchpad and luxury build fit the bill perfectly. There are minimal ports and inputs, brushed aluminium and only the overly glossy lid shows any sign that this is a PC product. Weight wise, it's (just) heavier than a MacBook Air.
A standard HDMI socket, two USB sockets, SD card slot and even an ethernet socket can be found around the body of the Spectre XT. An ethernet cable for wired internet is now thicker than the slim frame of the Spectre XT. Beats Audio means that there's a decent selection of four speakers, bass heavy audio when the Spectre XT sits on a flat surface. Storage is based around 128GB of SSD memory, which keeps battery life to 7 hours and is predictably fast combined with 4GB RAM and an i5 processor.
The 13-inch 1366 x 768 pixel resolution is a step down from the previous 'hero' Spectre debut, but the Intel HD 400 chip isn't built for gaming anyway. The bezel could be thinner and the surround less glossy but those are minor complaints against a machine which drags the PC into the stylish reaches of Apple products.
The Spectre XT is fast, has a good battery life and manages to deliver great audio and an easy typing experience. The trackpad looks nice but isn't flawless in terms of response. People like the slim design and useful sockets which don't spoil the stylish design. In terms of storage, we doubt there are many people that genuinely need over 128GB if they use cloud storage or a NAS drive.
HP quotes eight hours of battery life but actually it manages just over seven during intensive use with Spotify on and a constant wireless connection to Google Drive with no downtime.
If you want a PC that resembles a MacBook Air, the HP Spectre XT is the right choice. The issue is that a 13-inch MacBook Air costs around £149 more with an identical spec but better build. This is an affordable and stylish ultrabook which is at the top of the pack for style and value.