Does Hewlett Packard ring a bell?
Maybe a distant one, but I’m sure HP does. Yes – that is the global brand we have come to know for some of the best Windows-running laptops around today. That is not why I have decided to talk about them today, though.
As traditional to just about any gadget manufacturer, everyone is looking for a way to edge out the competition. I saw a recent launch of the HP Spectre x360 13 this October and I believe HP has found the key to silencing competition for now: consumer privacy and ergonomics.
How about I show you some of what I mean?
HP is known to focus most of its design prowess on the flagship units, and they have done the same thing here. What I find most impressive is all the attention to detail that went into the design of this single laptop.
Without further ado, we have:
- Size – These days, almost everyone is on the go. We want to consume our content anywhere and everywhere, but we don’t want the added hassles that comes with lugging a large computer around.
This a case for the ubiquitousness of mobile phones, but some things are just best viewed on a laptop screen.
That is why HP has effectively reduced the size of this laptop by a stunning 13% from last year’s model while still packing it with a chockful of better specs. Coming in at just 13 inches, the computer also comes with near bezel-less design which makes available a larger screen estate anyways.
- Screen – Users can go from brightness levels of 400 nits to as high as 1000 nits on this screen. At that level of brightness, you would expect to see some of the pixels used in the development of the screen technology. Interestingly, HP takes care of that by leveraging its in-house Iris Plus Graphics tech.
In plain English, this screen is really bright and abnormally clear too. To put cream on it, users can choose to get their units with as much as a 4K OLED panel screen tech.
- Design – Let’s face it: computer users want their units to make a statement as much as they want it to be functional. Thanks to the small size of the HP Spectre x360 13, its gem-cut edges (spectacular, I tell you) and choice of color finishes, you’d have just that.
Given the addition of two new color options – Nightfall Black and Natural Silver – to the already available gamut on the Spectre series, the beauty of this device charms every beholder.
Oh, did I remember to tell you that a laptop is easily a convertible unit too? Your tablet and laptop computer, sewn into one body!
Now, I see a lot of laptop devices on the daily, but this one stood out to me because of the online security profile it brings to the consumers. Honestly, that’s why I even cared to look at every other thing on the spec sheet.
So, how does the HP Spectre x360 13 treat online privacy and security?
- Integration of LastPass – Good password habits are going down the drain, and that is giving hackers a field day. Some of the worst habits which users have is setting weak passwords, including personal details in passwords, and using the same passwords for multiple accounts, among others. All of these make it easy for hackers to hack into many accounts today.
With LastPass on your HP Spectre x360 13, that becomes a thing of the past.
Besides the fact that this software helps you store passwords to different accounts and allows for one-click logins, an in-built password generator helps you come up with highly strong and secure passwords. Finally, LastPass ships with a feature that protects your credit card details whenever you make payments online.
- Inclusion of ExpressVPN – I have seen manufacturers bundle their units with antivirus software at launch, but HP teaming up with ExpressVPN to bring a VPN solution is new. This helps users kick against the many ills of public/ unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, prevents data sniffing, internet data tracking and such other dangerous hacking attempts.
While the VPN will protect you from threats you could face online, there still remains those inherent flaws on the system side that could be exploited. The smart approach HP took to these did blow my mind.
- Webcam Kill Switch – There was a time when the world was divided on whether or not webcams can be hacked to spy on computer users without their consent. Well, up until Edward Snowden – a former NSA contractor who turned whistle-blower – came out to cement these claims. Even Mark Zuckerberg was found putting tape over his webcam, obviously to prevent hacking.
HP improved on the taping concept by introducing a physical webcam kill switch. This disconnects the webcam from the hardware, making it impossible for the functionality to be turned on even on-site – talkless of remotely.
- Mic Mute Button – Microphone ports have also been a party to hacks in the past. In fact, everyday users are reporting how they are finding targeted ads on their phones after they discussed related items not long before. That shows the extent to which our units might be used to listen in on us.
HP would have none of that, so they developed an LED button dedicate to muting the microphone. Best believe your laptop now hears nothing you don’t want it to.
- Privacy Screen – Sometimes, the simplest form of hacking is from someone looking over your shoulder into what you are doing. A privacy screen is HP’s answer to ensuring that never happens again.
When turned on, the laptop’s screen changes its display parameters such that only the person sitting in front of the laptop (i.e. you) can have a view of everything happening. This makes it possible to access sensitive files and information on your computer while in public places without the fear of being spied on.
So, user privacy and consumer benefits in view, what do you think of the HP Spectre x360 13 too?
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