Laptops

HP Spectre Folio

The problem with laptops in general is that even the high-end premium ones all tend to look and feel the same after a while. It’s clear when a laptop is trying to be a MacBook Proor an XPS 13. In a world of copycat laptops, almost all of which seem to want to be just like something else, the new leather-covered HP Spectre Folio at the very least offers a different approach to design.

No, it’s not Corinthian leather, but it’s still pretty nice. And I’d be the first to admit I’m having fun using it, despite a few design and usability frustrations.

The leather cover is not just bolted on top of a standard laptop body. Instead, a magnesium frame is paired with a leather outer shell that covers just about everything except for the keyboard and screen. HP says that cuts down on weight and thickness, although this still feels hefty for a 13-inch laptop, at 3.3 pounds (1.5 kg).

We rarely see them now, but this isn’t the first leather-shelled laptop I’ve tested. About 10 years ago, it was briefly in vogue, like this Asus U6S I reviewed back in 2008. But this example makes the leather more a part of the overall design, rather than just gluing it onto the back of a standard laptop body.

It’s called the Folio because, when closed, it looks like a leather folio. So much so, that when I took it for a test drive to the new coffee shop on the corner, I just tucked it under my arm and went, no bag.

 

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