How the world’s thinnest laptop measures up –

HP Spectre vs. Macbook Air Review by Matt Dunn

The HP Spectre is the slimmest laptop at just 10.4mm thin.

IT MIGHT only be 0.3cm thinner than the MacBook Air, but that’s all HP’s Spectre laptop needs to be considered the world’s thinnest laptop.

However, don’t think the company has compromised processing power, functionality or aesthetic appeal to achieve this feat — the HP Spectre is one impressive machine.

With the closest competitor being the MacBook Air, we decided to see how the two laptops measure up across the board.


Drawing inspiration from high-end furniture details, the artfully-crafted piston hinge folds flush for a clean, nearly hingeless look.

Drawing inspiration from high-end furniture details, the artfully-crafted piston hinge folds flush for a clean, nearly hingeless look.Source:Supplied

The HP Spectre is 1.4cm thick, weighs just 1.1kg and has a 13” display, while the 13” MacBook Air is 1.7cm thick and 1.8kg.

Setting aside the minor differences in dimensions and weight, the HP Spectre has taken design and technology to an unparalleled level.

The MacBook Air has the simple design seen with all of the tech company’s laptops — a silver, grey, pink or gold casing with the Apple logo in the centre of the lid.

However, the HP Spectre has used artisan materials and striking craftsmanship to create a luxurious looking device.

The device uses carbon fibre and aluminium craftsmanship, with the two-tone finish on the gold-coloured spine being the first thing to catch your eye.

The golden HP logo in the centre of the lid is also catching against the black background.

Artfully-crafted piston hinges used to lift and lower the display are hidden inside the laptop when the lid is closed, which is a nice touch in itself.

It wasn’t just my opinion that the HP Spectre looked impressive, for the weeks I has it on my desk at work, I lost count of the people walking past and mentioning how sexy it looked.

However, it must be mentioned the golden spine is quite susceptible to fingerprints, so those with OCD might find the finish to cause some huge troubles keeping it clean.


There is really not too much difference between the two devices.

There is really not too much difference between the two devices.Source:Supplied

Apple’s MacBook Air is driven by a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, while the HP Spectre has a 2.5GHz 6th Gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

This means the Spectre is slightly faster when it comes to day-to-day tasks, while also being better equipped to handle more difficult things such as editing pictures or video.

To ensure the HP Spectre is able to handle the performance offered by the i7 processor without overheating, the manufacturer has used breakthrough hyperbaric cooling technology, which actively draws cool air in, rather than just venting heat out.

Both laptops come with full size, backlit keyboards and all-glass trackpads, which have little to no difference in functionality.

Additionally, both laptops have 8GB of memory and come standard with 256GB of storage, which can be configurable to 512GB flash storage.

The MacBook Air offers slightly better battery life boasting up to 12 hours, while the HP Spectre only offers nine hours.

In terms of audio, the MacBook Air has the standard stereo speakers used by Apple.

On the other hand, the HP Spectre has stereo speaker custom-tuned in collaboration with experts at Bang & Olufsen.

The Spectre speakers claim to have an audio boost to give outstanding clarity and more dynamic sound and after using both devices, the HP is slightly more impressive.

Obviously, the operating systems are different with MacBook using OS X and the HP Spectre using Windows 10.


The MacBook Air has two USB 3.0 ports.

The MacBook Air has two USB 3.0 ports.Source:Supplied

The connectivity offered by the devices is also quite different.

Apple’s MacBook Air in the video above has two USB 3 ports, a thunderbolt 2 port, a MagSafe 2 power port and a headphone jack.

On the flip side, the HP Spectre has opted for three USB Type-C ports — a next-generation industry standard offering ultra-fast data transfer speeds, device charging and video output.

While a USB Type-C adaptor can be purchased for the connection of USB 3 devices, HP Spectre is forward thinking for the next gen of technology.


To be completely honest there is little to no difference between the two devices as they both have pros and cons in regards to design and functionality.

If you really wanted to be pedantic and own the thinnest and lightest laptop on the market, the HP Spectre is clearly for you.

However, if you’re just looking a solid laptop to meet every day needs it’s all just a matter of choice.

As most of the products I own are Apple, I would opt for the MacBook because I like the connectivity and prefer the operating system.

Saying that, I wouldn’t hesitate recommending the HP Spectre as it is a powerful and sexy machine.

Continue the conversation on Twitter @mattydunn11.


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