The HP Spectre Foldable is a 3-in-1 computer designed to be used as a tablet, laptop, or portable desktop PC. It has a 17 inch OLED display that can unfold for use in tablet or desktop modes, but which can also be bent at the middle, allowing you to use the computer like a laptop.
While HP isn’t the first company to enter this space, the Spectre Foldable stands out from the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Fold and Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED in a few ways. It’s the first to have a built-in kickstand, making it easy to stand up the display for use in desktop mode without the use of any removable (and losable) parts. And it’s also the most expensive model we’ve seen so far in a product category that’s already known for expensive devices: HP says the Spectre Foldable goes up for pre-order today at Best Buy for $4,999 and it should be available from HP.com in limited quantities in October for the same price.
That price will probably make this computer a pretty tough sell, especially when you look at other specs. The Spectre Foldable is only available in a single configuration, which comes with:
- Display: 17 inches, 2560 x 1920 pixels, OLED touchscreen w/400 nits brightness, 500 nits HDR, and 99.5% DCI-P3 color gamut
- Processor: Intel Core i7-1250U processor (9-watts, 10-cores, 12 threads)
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe (950 MHz / 96 eu)
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR5-5200 dual-channel memory (onboard, not upgradeable)
- Storage: 1 TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD
- Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 4
- Wireless: WiFi 6E, BT 5.3
- Audio: Quad speakers w/B&O audio, DTS:X Ultra
- Camera: 5MP IR camera with privacy switch
- Battery: 94.3 Wh
- Charging: 100W USB Type-C power adapter
- Keyboard: Detachable full-sized soft cover
- Stylus: MPP 2.0 pen with 4096 levels pressure sensitivity and tilt detection
- Dimensions: 277.1 x 376.1 x 8.5mm (unfolded) / 277.1 x 191.3 x 21.4mm (folded)
- Weight: 1.35 kg (w/o keyboard) / 1.62 kg (w/keyboard)
While those specs are decent for a mid-range computer, they’re kind of underwhelming for a computer that costs nearly $5,000.
But… HP is making the case that this isn’t just a computer, but that it’s truly a 3-in-1 device that can replace a laptop, tablet, and desktop (at least under some circumstances). It’s still a tough sell, but it gets a bit more interesting when you look at some of the things HP has done to enhance the foldable experience.
For example, like other foldables, this model comes with a keyboard that you snaps magnetically in place on top of the lower display for use in laptop mode. But you can also pull that keyboard forward so that it reveals a portion of the lower display, giving you more screen real estate. And HP has expanded on Windows 11’s window snapping feature to automatically recognize when you’re using the computer in this way and offer additional snap zones so that you can, for example, view a video call in the upper screen and your notes in a window on the lower screen.
Those expanded snap modes only show up when the keyboard is connected and pulled forward. They disappear when you’re using the computer in other modes. The keyboard also supports wireless charging, allowing it to draw power automatically when it’s placed on the Spectre Fold, so it will effectively seem like the battery never needs charging.
You can also remove the keyboard entirely to reveal the full 17.3 inch display (or dual 12.3 inch displays if you’ve folded it in half for use in laptop mode).
Other features include a dedicated AI chip for hardware-accelerated AI features including camera effects, automatic screen dimming, automatic lock when you walk away and unlock when you come back, and gesture controls. And the computer supports Intel’s Unison software for connecting your iOS or Android devices to a PC to drag and drop files, accept phone calls from a PC, or view incoming messages and notifications.
The company says the computer’s 93Wh battery is actually two batteries split between the two halves of the PC, in order to distribute the weight evenly. According to HP, you should be able to get up to 12.5 hours of battery life while streaming video, or up to 11 hours of battery life in desktop mode, although those numbers are obviously going to vary depending on the activities you perform on the Spectre Foldable.
Update: Engadget went hands-on with a pre-production prototype, and says the HP Spectre Foldable stands out from the competition not only due to its kickstand, but also its slimmer bezels, which make it feel more like a modern tablet/laptop/desktop computer.