Sporting touch displays and physical Qwerty keyboards, the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart and HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabooks run Windows 8, making the most of the touch optimised OS, while remaining true to their notebook roots.
The screen of the Spectre XT TouchSmart is a 15.6-inch Full HD capacitive touch display with IPS technology. Once the keyboard has been folded away it measures 17.9mm thick and weighs in at 2.16kg.
The notebook’s body is an all-metal design with the glass display flowing right to the edges. Place the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart down anywhere and the notebook will be cushioned by a soft-touch base.
Under the bonnet, HP has kitted the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart with all manner of features including, for the first time, Intel ThunderboltTM technology to speed up the transfer of data to external devices.
The tilted speakers are Beats audio and there are Gigabyte Ethernet, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports to boot. Plug any USB toting device into the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart and even when the notebook is switched off the external device will still receive a charge.
An HP TrueVision HD Webcam has been embedded into the notebook, while we’re pleased to again see the inclusion of HP CoolSense, which will help keep the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart from overheating. Powering proceedings along is Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor.
No word on UK pricing or availability but the HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook is expected to arrive in the US this December starting at $1,399.99.
One of the differences between the new Ultrabooks is in screen size: the Envy TouchSmart offers a 14-inch multitouch HD display. It also has a backlit keyboard, up to 8 hours of battery life, and weighs 2.16kg even with the smaller screen. And it's thicker, at 23mm.
As with the Spectre XT TouchSmart, the Envy comes with Beats Audio. However, HP has been less forthcoming with pricing and release details, only citing "the holidays" as to when we might see it.