After listening carefully to what customers are looking for in a premium laptop, Hewlett-Packard Co. used the Mobile World Congress conference in Spain on Sunday to launch the HP Spectre x360, a 13.3” convertible PC that combines performance with an ultra-thin design.

“In the premium space, customers are looking for small and portable devices that can support them for most of the day,” said Mike Nash, vice-president of portfolio strategy and customer experience with HP’s personal systems group. “They want it first and foremost to be a great laptop without compromise, and they expect it to weigh less than four pounds.”

The expectation is also now for all-day battery life – if your smartphone can’t, why not your tablet – and it needs to boot up quickly. They’ll be using WiFi everywhere so it needs to work reliably, applications need to load quickly and they don’t’ want to compromise in either laptop or tablet mode.

Those are the expectations HP set to meet with the Spextre x360, said Nash. The result is a convertible with an all CNC aluminum chassis that is 15.9 millimeters in height and weighs 3.3 pounds. It can transition between notebook mode for work, stand mode for viewing entertainment, tent mode for touchscreen entertainment and tablet mode for on the go usage. It features new hinges with three spiral gears that let it keep the same thin profile in tablet mode as when closed. It has a full-sized, 1.5 millimeter travel keyboard and an extra-wide glass touchpad.

To address the desire for more reliable wireless performance, the wireless driver is tuned to improve performance on noisy networks. The antenna slot has been moved to the top of the display for better performance in whatever mode the device is being used in.

HP Spectre x360 in notebook mode.
HP Spectre x360 in notebook mode.

Both Intel Corei5 and i7 processor options are available, and up to a 512GB SSD. There are full-size HDMI and DisplayPort 1.2 compatible ports, Intel Wireless Display technology to stream content  and three USB 3.0 ports with HP USB Sleep and Charge for charging devices even while the Spectre x360 is in sleep mode.

The Spectre x360 is available now through HP and will be available March 15 through the retail channel. There are three primary models:

  • HP Spectre x360 with Intel Core i5 Processor, Full HD touchscreen display, 4GB LPDDR3 system memory and a 128GB SSD is US$899.99.
  • HP Spectre x360 with Intel Core i7, Full HD touchscreen, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD is US$1149.99.
  • HP Spectre x360 with Intel Core i7, Quad HD touchscreen, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD is US$1399.99.
HP Spectre x360 in tent mode.
HP Spectre x360 in tent mode.
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