Review: Leica T serves its purpose as a great artisan tool

Review: Leica T serves its purpose as a great artisan tool

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n reality, there are few reasons why you or I would want to have a Leica camera. After all, it’s not a necessity: fast-shooting, high-megapixel and wide-aperture touting cameras all exist from the likes of Sony, Nikon and Canon — all with unique traits that make them suited for different photography styles.

But Leica’s style is unique, and rightly so.

Price as reviewed: $5,385; $1,095 body only; $2,395 for Summilux 35mm; $1,895 for Summilux 11-23mm.

Basics

  • 16.3MP APS-C (cropped) CMOS mirrorless sensor
  • 3.7″ 1.3M-dot TFT LCD touchscreen
  • Contrast-based AF
  • Continuous shooting up to 5 fps
  • Full HD video at 30 fps
  • Built-in flash
  • 16GB internal memory SDXC card slot
  • Wi-Fi connectivity with iOS-only app
  • 1040mAh, 7.4V battery (~400 shots per charge)
  • Micro USB 2.0 for wired connectivity
  • Weighs 384 grams with battery

Experience

DSC_0298What a camera like the model T does is invite the shooter to be creative; to entertain new ideas, and display them with the lighting, color and effects that some call the “Leica effect.”

Characterized by shallow depth of focus, spherical aberration and just the right lens, the “Leica effect” is something only these German cameras produce — in hands that know how to use them.

Design-wise, there’s a lot to appreciate about the body’s simplicity: two dials for controlling shutter speed and aperture, a recording button and the shutter/power/flash switch trio, which I haven’t seen with the X-U (the rugged version of this) or the pro-level SL. I love that feature, because it’s useful.

Coming from any other camera, you’ll be mystified by the lack of immediate inputs, only to realize that the Leica T’s touchscreen interface works very much like a smartphone’s. This makes it eerily familiar and fast to use.

However, the touchscreen method falls short when you need to change settings very quickly, like you would on a DSLR or a pro-level mirrorless camera. With them, you’d have many dedicated buttons and dials to work with.

For example, going from manual to auto-focus takes at least three taps, a process that might be assigned to a single button on a more traditional removable-lens camera.

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For the most part, I am satisfied with the performance of the slightly darker profile of the 11-23mm, f/3.5-4.5 lens. It’s still applicable to most scenes and generally a good choice for landscape and “everyday” shots. Turn the lens the other way and you’ll be greeted by a wide-angle view, where you can let perspective and scene mess with your photo critics.

The 35mm (highly recommended for subject photography and some close-ups) is a stupendously bright lens at f/1.4, and is my favorite of the two. Albeit, it costs $700 more than the camera body does.

While there isn’t too much hope for low-cost Leica lenses, keep in mind that an official adapter for M lenses exists — yes, that full-frame Leica M from 2012. Now your lens choices can increase rather easily, and that’s somewhat cost-efficient.

As for video: Like most cameras not from Panasonic or Canon, Leica’s video mode isn’t vlog-worthy and really is only a supplementary feature. Still, it works and might result in some creative 1080p clips.

Bottom line

DSC_0260There’s likely a photographer out there interested in a camera like this just for shooting with “special gear.” But, I’d argue that an investment in the thousands of dollars like this one nets you good returns.

If you willingly expose yourself to a style of photography where everything is sharp, correct and vibrant, you gain the freedom to create great images. It just takes practice — a lot.

If you willingly expose yourself to a style of photography where everything is sharp, correct and vibrant, you gain the freedom to create great images. It just takes practice — a lot.

Leica has room for improvement with faster focusing, a ship-ready viewfinder, Android remote app support, better focusing in low light (it struggles here) and weather-resistance.

For those of us who have shot with many Leicas before, this may not be as compelling as to someone who hasn’t. But, I can safely say there isn’t a smaller digital Leica that does this good a job, with just 16 megapixels and some good glass. The high cost might hurt at first, but what’s a sore pocket compared to skills you can further hone on a solid mirrorless camera?

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Eating the plant-derived Impossible Burger cooked by Momofuku’s David Chang

Eating the plant-derived Impossible Burger cooked by Momofuku’s David Chang

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n a random morning, if you’re invited to come watch David Chang: chef, personality and owner of the Momofuku restaurants cook a “meat burger made of plants” — you go.

There’s some backstory here: Impossible Foods, lead by Patrick Brown — a biochemistry professor at Stanford of 25 years — dedicated $80 million in research over five years to developing a bleeding, plant-based cheeseburger without harmful preservatives.

The catch? Besides having to taste and behave like real beef when handled, the consumer cost had to be no more expensive than organic ground beef you’d find at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. Brown does have plans to make it just as affordable as supermarket grade beef, but this would only be possible with the success of the brand, and of course, consumer adoption of the patty.

So How Does It Taste?

The short answer: pretty good.

That all sounds dandy, but then the questions started piling up: what is it made out of?

The long answer of a gourmand: so far, nothing comes closer to eating a real burger than this one…made of plants.

I want to dispel the notion that it feels like you’re eating a vegetable patty stacked between two pieces of bread. Instead you’re consuming something warm, with the browning and texture you’ve come to expect of real beef. This is partly thanks to the discovery of a molecule called “heme”, which gives real meat its “look”, and which is more prevalent in animals than in plants, which made it more challenging to recreate.

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The quarter-pound patty is firm and has sufficient flavor to take the place of an unseasoned piece of beef, cooked to about well-done. Diners can request a thicker burger, cooked to rare, medium-rare, well-done, etc.

That all sounds dandy, but then the questions started piling up: what is it made out of?

As it turns out, most of the ingredients in the patty, like potato proteins, xanthan gum used for texture, water, textured wheat protein, coconut oil and other “natural flavors”, can be found in many professional chef’s kitchens. So, it’s not made of anything scandalous, and carries more protein for fewer calories than traditional beef, according to Brown and co.

Also, how is “lab meat” preserved?

According to Chang himself, the Impossible Burger meat is handled just like all other meat perishables: it’s shipped, refrigerated and hydrogenated from the lab to Nishi in New York, then is handled with care. It’s worth noting that the patty can also be preserved frozen, then cooked and consumed.
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Fast-forward five years of development and the culinary community is beginning to take notice: David Chang has given his approval, adding his own version of the “Impossible Burger” to Nishi’s menu. The plant-based burger is available starting tomorrow, for $12 with a side of fries.

Source: TechCrunch

Windows 10’s Anniversary update is just what everyday users need

Windows 10’s Anniversary update is just what everyday users need

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t can’t be disputed: Windows 10 has been a wild success for Microsoft, after being installed on more than 350 million devices. To mark this, August 2nd is the release of the Anniversary Update which brings a slew of tweaks, fixes and new features.

Before I move on, fun fact: it took 25 PC builds and 16 mobile builds for Windows Insider Program participants — the highest engagement from both testers and Microsoft ever seen with this version of the OS.

If you care for nothing else of this update, just know that there’s a “dark mode” in Windows now (finally). However, with an update this big it might be worth updating your computer, for once.

Three Big Changes: Ink, Cortana and Security

Windows Ink

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The first of new features to debut is Windows Ink: an icon on the taskbar, which turns into a hub and is meant to further the interaction of pen-enabled Windows devices, like Surface computers.

It offers integration with Office, Cortana and Microsoft Edge, as well as Adobe. Taking notes, sketching on screenshots, drawing ideas, setting Sticky Note reminders with Cortana; those sorts of tasks.

All these software interactions share one thing: a pen. Basically, Microsoft thought that it’s best to have an area of the system dedicated towards educating the user about the different things your digital pen can do with Windows 10.

It might not be exciting, but it does bring organization, something that Windows always needs.

Security 

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Security is a hot topic (and will stay one) for personal computers. For that, Microsoft has extended its fantastic Windows Hello facial recognition tech beyond the lockscreen. Apps like DropBox, iHeartRADIO and the Edge browser will allow for facial logins.

There are also alleged improvements to the recognition itself, now being able to distinguish between twins, providing adjustments for growing children, and the option to save multiple profiles (e.g. one profile with glasses and other without). Also, to avoid accidentally logging into a system the moment you look at it, Microsoft is adding interactions — tapping the screen, nodding your head — to add a physical additional layer of security.

Also Windows Defender (if you’ve used or heard of it), will begin automatic periodic scans for malware, as well as notifications of threats and scans; I suppose this is cool.

Cortana

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Last but not least of the major additions are the changes made to Cortana.

The virtual assistant now exists above the lock screen, so you can ask questions, play music, set reminders and the like, without needing to proceed to the desktop immediately. Cortana can also save and recall information you recite to it (say, an ID number) or search within docs.

But here’s the best thing the Anniversary update did for Cortana: it can move seamlessly between devices now (Windows 10, iPhone, Android and Cyanogen) where things like navigation or notifications can be sent from PC to mobile.

And The Other Stuff…

SketchWith the Anniversary Update, Microsoft is not only adding features but also cleaning up existing elements of the system. Things like the Action Center, the Windows Store, a new emoji keyboard, game hubs within the Xbox/gaming app, and the (again) redesigned Start menu, have experienced fixes and tweaks that even from first glance, make Windows a little better to use.

The update arrives for free on August 2nd.

Source: TechCrunch

Hands-on with the SpeedX Leopard carbon fiber racing bike

Hands-on with the SpeedX Leopard carbon fiber racing bike

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t was a challenge: finding a day in New York City when it wasn’t raining or sweltering, simply so I could get an hour with the SpeedX Leopard racing bike. Notable not only for its svelte design and concealment of all wires, but for being the most-funded bike on Kickstarter to the tune of $2.3 million, all by a brand based out of Beijing, China.

That’s right: $2 million was publicly raised for a bicycle. However, this isn’t an ordinary Schwinn, but a racing machine with Shimano crankset, front and back derailleurs, cassette sprockets, shifters and B.B. set.

In other words, this is a very fast racing bike, via components alone. Pair that with the sleek military-grade carbon fiber frame, fork and bars and the result is a bike you can lift with a single hand. It even has a rear brake light! Yes, that impresses some people, while also being an critical feature for night riding.

SpeedX plans to start shipping its Kickstarter bikes in the coming weeks, with sales opening up for the Leopard at $1,499 (seen here) and the $2,499 Leopard Pro (professional forks, handlebars seat, tires, flashy red paint, etc.).

Also, there’s another feature to the Leopard bike: an onboard cycling computer, with companion iOS app — more on that later.

So, how is it to ride?

DSC_0319Marvelous. It does make some changes to your rider stance: you lean forward more on a racing bike, using arm and core strength to get more of the horizontal leverage you’d find on “normal” bicycle bars. Once you get over that and find a posture that works for you, it’s all about shifting the two front gears with the 8 (or so) rear ones so you can speed off.

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Yes, all those gears mean that with a healthy human, you can go really fast on this bike.

Yes, all those gears mean that with a healthy human, you can go really fast on this bike. Some pros that had some time to test the Leopard and its pro version were reported to reach speeds over 48kph (or 30mph), which is definitely within the realm of imagination.

But what if you’re not a pro cyclist? No matter: cycling is still a great workout for cardio and legs.

As for the smart functions of the bike: nothing too crazy here. A single button gives you access to a mixture of stats, including average speed, calories burned, pace, distance traveled and the like. With the help of the app, I’d be able to follow routes and challenges set by other riders or SpeedX, which practically gamifies the experience.

Regarding handling and overall smoothness: though I’d opt for the Westside Highway and Central Park instead of Waverly Place. This is location-specific, but roads here are bumpy, cobblestone, or otherwise just detrimental to one’s pelvic region.

Remember, race bikes aren’t mountain bikes: they don’t really get suspension forks, kickstands or mounts to lock them up — they’re speciality tools, which require some sort of maintenance.

If you’re in the market for an aero bike, then SpeedX might have something here for you, however I’d wait for Leopard bikes to start shipping and for new riders to report back. Otherwise, this one is greenlit.

Nvidia launches new flagship graphics card, the $1200 Titan X

Nvidia launches new flagship graphics card, the 00 Titan X

The latest graphics card release from Nvidia is, in fact, the most powerful card its ever produced. With 12 billion transistors, the latest Pascal architecture, 12GB of GDDR5X memory and 3,584 cores at 1.53Ghz delivering an apparent 11 teraflops of performance, it’s a steadfast attempt at being the best there is.

It’s meant for VR, gaming, and basically everything graphically intensive — it will melt what you have in your system like butter, in a second.

Funny enough, Nvidia’s post reads:

“It began with a bet.

Brian Kelleher, our top hardware engineer, bet our CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, we could get more than 10 teraflops of computing performance from a single chip. Jen-Hsun thought that was crazy.

Well, we did it. The result is crazy. And, as of today, Jen-Hsun now owes Brian a dollar.”

So what you’re telling me is, two executives had a bet and the end result is the most powerful product the company has ever produced? Cool story, guys. Now it’s time for benchmarks.

The new Titan X will be available August 2 for $1,200 direct from nvidia.com in North America and Europe along with select system builders, with a release planned for Asia.

Source: TechCrunch

Review: Dyson’s V8 Absolute vacuum can be useful, minus middling battery life

Review: Dyson’s V8 Absolute vacuum can be useful, minus middling battery life

Long before there was a Dyson V8 Absolute vacuum, a bias existed about the pricing and overall effectiveness of Dyson products. While I am not trying to prove or disprove that, I am going to share my impressions of their latest (expensive) household appliance: the V8 Absolute vacuum.

After all, you need to know if it sucks or not. Spoiler: it does a bit of both.

Price as Reviewed: $599 at Dyson

Basics

  • Suction power maxes at 115AW
  • Weighs 5.75 pounds
  • Bin volume 0.14 gallons
  • Washable lifetime filter
  • Soft roller and direct-drive cleaner heads
  • 40 minutes of usage / charges in 5 hours
  • Two year manufacturer warranty

Experience

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So does it work? It does, but the battery lasts forty minutes.

In honesty as a reviewer, I haven’t interacted with many of Dyson’s products, so I haven’t had the chance to test the popular notion that none of their products work, despite being priced as “high-end” technology. But no matter, because I gleaned quite a bit from cleaning with the V8 Absolute vacuum around the house in Brooklyn.

It comes with a variety of attachments, including one for carpets and another for hardwood floors. There are four auxiliary attachments (two with brushes), designed for getting into the small spaces that need vacuuming around your living space. Yes, that includes a soft dusting brush attachment for cleaning keyboards, which I personally welcome.

Dyson also gets points for being intuitive: any placement of red on the vacuum or the attachments indicates something that can be switched out. To further convenience, there’s also a wall-mount included that lets you hang and charge the vacuum (with extended attachment) — though I must admit, I’ve made use of that accessory.

So does it work? It does, but the battery lasts forty minutes. On max power while cleaning, say, a rug or some carpet, it’s not going to take you very far.

Thus, the V8 Absolute’s main shortcoming is that by being so light and small (but with a “V8 motor”) it depletes its small battery supply in less than hour. This time period sounds alright for some, but let’s think of it this way: it would take me three recharges to clean a three-story, five bedroom home.

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How long is each full charge then? Five hours. Right.

It’d take me 15 hours to vacuum the whole house, Dyson! That’s a very expensive commitment to being near an electrical outlet, minus the cost of electricity, of course.

Bottom Line

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This one is very much up in the air, but I’d pass on the V8 Absolute — only because its battery life is not justified against its cost.

In the pursuit of producing another ambitious vacuum, Dyson delivers an appliance with excellent suction, that won’t last too long at all.

Keep in mind, battery life times vary depending on the power requested via the V8 Absolute slider. But then again, if you’re not collecting all the dust and debris with maximum power, what are you doing cleaning the house with a $600 vacuum?

This one is very much up in the air, but I’d pass on the V8 Absolute — only because its battery life is not justified against its cost.

In short, the Dyson V8 Absolute is a vacuum that kinda sucks, because it doesn’t suck enough for long enough.

Source: TechCrunch

Razer is releasing a low profile iPad Pro mechanical keyboard case

Razer is releasing a low profile iPad Pro mechanical keyboard case

Instead of targeting the fitness or gaming crowd, this time Razer’s after the mobile productivity set with its new mechanical keyboard case for the iPad Pro. Caveat: it’s expensive as hell.

Razer’s Mechanical Keyboard Case employs a new switch, called the “Ultra-Low-Profile Mechanical Switch” which has true actuation and a reset. With 70 grams of force required per key, it’s kind of like a real keyboard.

Bridging the gap between a regular desktop keyboard and mobile keyboard (plus Razer’s premium) pricing isn’t easy: at $169, available worldwide and through the Razer Zone.

Other than slim, mechanical key switches, Razer’s pricey iPad Pro accessory has a metal kickstand, a detachable polycarbonate case, connectivity via Bluetooth and manufacturer suggested battery life of 10 hours at maximum brightness, or 600 hours with the backlighting off.

My take: the tech exists for those looking for a great non-touchscreen typing experience on a tablet, but if it’s priced as high as a tournament-level gaming keyboard, I’d pass.

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Source: TechCrunch

Twitter adds stickers to photo uploads, rolls out in coming weeks

Twitter adds stickers to photo uploads, rolls out in coming weeks

People seem to like editing photos through social media, which comes as no surprise with today’s announcement from Twitter: stickers. Made to be plastered over your new photos, Twitter is making sure that emojis, props, accessories, and anything else of the sort is available to add to that penchant of decorating images you post online.

Twitter’s new stickers are also connected, meaning that if they’re present on a photo and clicked on, you’ll be sent to a page of images that use the same sticker(s).

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The feature rolls out in the coming weeks for both iOS and Android users, but it’s not the only thing Twitter is working on  — location-based feeds, powered in part by Foursquare are also on their way.

Now, all Twitter has to do is convince me to use the official Android app, and we’ll be set.

Source: TechCrunch

Review: Acton’s Blink Board is a quirky board with an unpolished remote

Review: Acton’s Blink Board is a quirky board with an unpolished remote

As you can already tell, this is an electric skateboard. It’s not my first rodeo on one either and it won’t be my last. But here’s something I learned the past few days: Acton’s budget-friendly electric skateboard has been the least fulfilling of the electric rolling planks I’ve ridden. Summed up, it’s an electric skateboard with a few quirks.

Price as Reviewed: $499 at Acton

Basics

  • Top speed: 15mph
  • Range: ~6 miles
  • Charging time: 1 hour
  • Weight: 9 lbs
  • Max incline: 15°
  • Rider weight limit: 220 lbs
  • Deck length: 27 inches
  • Motor’s continuous power 350W / max power 800W

Using It

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Remember: they’re trying to keep the cost low for a first-gen product.

Unlike what the folks at Boosted Board have done with the product of the same name, Acton hasn’t poured more than a thousand dollars into the quality of the product. Remember:  they’re trying to keep the cost low for a first-gen product.

So, the $500 gets you a Canadian Maple deck instead of bamboo and a simple plastic remote instead of the safety switch and scroll wheel seen elsewhere. Despite the compromises made to keep cost efficiency, the Blink Board skates pretty well once you get it going, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not entirely without its shortcomings because of the circumstances.

Honestly, I was never a fan of making something accessible if it meant watering it down. The Blink’s ride can be jarring, since such a small deck moving at high speed is less forgiving than say, a longboard.

DSCF6224Despite my past experience with both powered and traditional skateboards, I’m reluctant to take the Blink Board out into the city streets. Instead, I opt for the safer runs at parks. Why? Well this transitions into the unfinished aspects of the board that defeat the purpose of having an electric skateboard — which is meant to be a means of transportation, most likely on city streets.

The problem seems to be the remote. The build quality is questionable, and feels like it could break. To add insult to injury, the slider itself is jittery, with power delivery that’s too sudden and uncomfortable.

Additionally, you don’t really “brake” on the Blink Board. Instead, lean backwards and hope that it doesn’t jerk you forward, straight onto the concrete (which has happened). I haven’t been able to find a true workaround this, since the three riding modes — beginner, intermediate, and pro — all seem to give similar feedback via the remote. The acceleration and deceleration aren’t that graceful, which requires you to adapt and figure out the board’s handling characteristics.

Battery life and range are the most forgiving here: expect to hit the 6 mile mark without having to conserve too much, but since a full charge will take you an hour (and the power brick is huge) it’s best to plan ahead.

Bottom Line 

DSCF6213Buying the Acton Blink Board (mostly) boils down to budget. If you’re willing to drop five hundred for an electric skateboard that isn’t entirely inept, but not the polished experienced seen on more expensive boards, then by all means.

Buying the Acton Blink Board (mostly) boils down to budget.

However, if you aren’t limited by budget and can throw in a few extra hundreds, then seek other boards that would offer you more fun, speed, and ultimately stability. If not, it’s up to you and this electric skateboard to make the most of each other, in which case just run skate with it.

Source: TechCrunch

Review: HP’s Spectre shows a great ultrabook can suffer from being thin

Review: HP’s Spectre shows a great ultrabook can suffer from being thin

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our next laptop will most likely be thinner than the one you have now. That’s because some Windows PC makers like HP aren’t keen with the thinness of even their own offerings. So, their designers and execs have gone all-out to design (with some compromise) an ultrabook so thin, it beats out the Macbook by 0.1 an inch — I wasn’t keeping track of decimals, either.

At that level of thinness — 10.4mm to be exact — long battery life and ports are the first things to get axed. But HP’s Spectre tries to beat the odds and as it turns out, comes pretty close.

Price as Reviewed: $1249 at BestBuy or HP.com

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Basics

  • Intel Core i7-6500U with Intel HD Graphics 520 (2.5 GHz, up to 3.1 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores)
  • 13.3″ diagonal FHD IPS screen, with Gorilla Glass WLED-backlight (1920 x 1080)
  • 8GB LPDDR3-1866MHz SDRAM
  • 256GB PCIe SSD
  • 802.11ac and BLuetooth 4.0
  • Full-backlit island-style keyboard
  • Bang & Olufsen quad speakers
  • 4-cell, 38 Wh Li-ion battery
  • Two USB 3.1 Gen 2 (Type-C, HP, Thunderbolt); 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C); 1 headphone/microphone combo
  • Measures 12.8 x 9.03 x 0.41 in
  • Comes with: USB-C charger; cloth; leather sleeve, Type-C to USB 3 adapter;
  • Weighs 2.45 lbs
  • Windows 10

Experience

DSCF6183The HP Spectre is by default, a unique experience. For the first time in a while, an ultrabook has come along that is mildly different in aesthetics, but also beautiful to look at.

While showing the Spectre to people I mostly heard praise for the sleek deign. After all, 10.4mm is pretty thin, and the contrast of the copper and grey/brown aluminum is worth the extended glance.

Once you pick it up, the Spectre immediately falls between a precious item and a good tool. A carbon fiber underside, with unibody aluminium everywhere else, ensures that the Spectre really does feel polished and premium, without being gaudy. You don’t have to question HP’s design chops: they’re quite real.

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For the first time in a while, an ultrabook has come along that is mildly different in aesthetics, but also beautiful to look at.

HP even finessed the hinges, which use pistons and are reminiscent of kitchen cabinets, but also some expensive furniture. There is a con with this however, and that’s not being able to push the screen too far back an angle; however this con is subjective to your viewing angles.

So now, we get it: the Spectre has a great screen despite its numbers, a keyboard that’s probably one of the best in class, and B&O speakers that do an alright job for watching a YouTube video.

Plus, despite the limited port selection, the three all-purpose USB-C/Thunderbolt ports are open to expansion via multiple USB-C port docks that HP sells.

What could be the one thing I can’t stand about the Spectre’s performance? Its battery life. The sheer thinness shaved two or three hours off of what could have been an ultrabook that lasted 9 hours on a charge (see: Macbook Air). Between six and seven hours of continuous Chrome and Spotify usage isn’t bad, but it’s not the best at all — as with most laptops, your mileage can (and will) vary.

Side note: the trackpad is accurate, smooth and entirely usable, but much too small. In fact, it’s nearly stifling. If it could be taller, I’d have appreciated if it was at least wider.

Having A Temperate Side

DSCF6205The HP Spectre is plenty of good things, but being perfect isn’t one of them. Firstly, the heat generated by the Core i7 processor is not a major issue, but here’s the deal with the Spectre: it has to be kept ventilated through the bottom, where the intakes bring in air, so that the positive pressure cooling system can do its job.

It would have been perfect if it stayed cold to the touch — thermodynamics can indeed be a tricky thing.

That means using it on tables, avoid laying it flat on a bed, and probably always ensuring it’s always well-ventilated. That’s a chore, yet one that usually takes care of itself given that laptops are great on tables, but that just isn’t the usual scenario in the real-world.

What if the Spectre does get hot? If it happens, it’s not unbearable: the palm rests stay cool, while the area near the power button and the carbon fiber underside can become toasty, including fan noise.

Ultimately, I think heat dissipation that works this well on a real Core i7 in a system this thin has to be commended. It would have been perfect if it actually stayed cool to the touch, but it doesn’t — thermodynamics can be tricky. The takeaway here: an ultrabook being too thing for its own good is possible, especially with current-generation processors.

Bottom Line

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Though it might get toasty on its undersides (if under strain), it’s a great first effort at making an ultrabook of this quality.

For a “premium device”, HP’s Spectre 13 is designed well and priced fairly. Though it might get toasty on its undersides (if under strain), it’s a great first effort at making an ultrabook of this quality. In terms of marketing, it may be suitable for more than a few “millennials” who value design and thinness over extra ports or quad HD screens.

In short, a laptop like the Spectre could be the right fit…for some of us.