This laptop is more than just a leather skin

This laptop is more than just a leather skin


– HP Spectre Folio, which
starts around $1300, is perhaps the most
interesting laptop I’ve used in a long time. (mellow music) Now, we’ve seen and used laptops made out of all kinds of
different plastics and metals. But this one is made
out of actual leather. If it works, it could mean that
have a super unique computer instead of just another gray slab. Fortunately, this thing
is better than I expected. And the downfalls, well, I can’t really
blame them on the leather. The first most obvious thing about this is that it has leather. It’s wrapped in freaking leather. Like, this isn’t a case, it’s
literally part of the laptop. And it’s not plastic-y,
rubbery, fake leather, either. It’s real. It’s… It’s honest to god leather. Now, HP says it’s using the
scraps from other leather goods to make the Folio. Now leather obviously gives
the Folio a unique look, but it also gives it a
different feel when you use it. It wraps all the way
around the laptop’s deck, so your palms are wresting on soft leather instead of cold metal. There’s no real exposed
sharp edges with this laptop. Everything you touch is
buffered by this leather. And it should prove to be more durable than the Alcantara fabric
that Microsoft uses on the Surface laptop. Though, if I’m being honest with you, I haven’t really used this long enough to put that to the test. But, after about a month of use, it still basically looks brand new. Now, the one knock I
can really point to you with the Folio’s leather construction is that it makes the laptop heavy. It weighs about 3.26 pounds, which is more than half a pound heavier than a Surface Laptop 2,
and a quarter pound more than even a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Now, that doesn’t sound
like a lot on paper, but it’s definitely something of notice when you’re using the
Folio for a few weeks. (upbeat music) The other big difference between
the Folio and other laptops is its hinge design. Instead of having a
flip-around, 360-degree hinge or a removable screen like so many other Windows 2-in-1 laptops, the Folio screen has a flex
point right in the middle of it. It allows you to pull it
forward for a tent setup, which is great for
watching movies on a plane, or push it almost completely flat for a more tablet-like position. The hinge is actually stiff enough to hold the screen in
a variety of positions between the tent mode and fully flat. So, if you’re using the included pen to draw or write on it, you can set up the ideal
angle and just get to work. Inside, the Folio I’ve been reviewing is a fanless Y-Series Core i7 processor, which is not the most
powerful processor available. But it can handle productivity tests without much issue at all. Honestly, I really expected this processor to be a bigger problem than it is. Intel’s Y-Series chips tend to get bogged down really easily, but for my day-to-day work,
it’s been completely confident. Now, the entry-level Spectre Folio, the one that cost 1300 bucks, has a Core i5 chip and eight gigs of RAM. So, I can’t speak to the
performance on that one. But the $1800 model I’ve been testing, which has an i7 chip,
16 gigs of RAM and LTE, has been just fine. Now, the Y-Series chip runs cool, too, even though the Folio doesn’t have a fan. And I’m not sure if it’s the leather that prevents heat from reaching my lap or if the processor just doesn’t heat up as much
as in other laptops, but the Folio remains comfortable the entire times that use it. Even more, that processor enables incredible
battery life in the Folio, easily lasting more than
a full workday for me, even when I’m using
batter-hogging apps like Slack. That’s more than basically every other premium Windows or Mac laptop can go for me at this point. The Folio’s other odds
and ends are solid, too. It’s got a Windows Hello
webcam for face login, three USB-C ports, two of
which are Thunderbolt 3, a comfortable back lit keyboard
with good travel and feel, and the most interesting thing of all, an option for integrated LTE with a SIM card cleverly hidden
inside the Folio’s hinge. It supports AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, but not Verizon, for some reason. (mellow music) So, that’s a lot of good, or even great, things with the Folio. But this computer isn’t
free from problems. There are three things that
kind of keep this laptop from being as good as it could be. Let’s start with the display. Now, I mostly like this screen. The 1080p model that I’ve
been testing is bright, has good colors at viewing angles, and it only uses one watt of power, which helps with that battery life. But it’s 16:9 aspect
ratio feels super cramped compared to the 3:2 or 16:10 screen you get on a Surface
computer or Mac laptop. It also has this giant chin at the bottom, which wouldn’t be so bad
if it didn’t remind me every time I see it, it
would be a lot smaller if the Folio had a 3:2 screen. Worse than the screen
are the Folio speakers. They are loud and clear, and they can be really
good for video calls, but they sound super sharp and
sibilant for music or movies. And there’s basically
zero bass reproduction. If you’re using the tent
position to watch a movie, that sound echos inside this little triangle chamber that’s formed
and it makes it even worse. Fortunately, there is a 3.5
millimeter headphone jack. And then the worst part about
the Folio is its track pad. The track pad’s a little small, but I could live with that
if it had good drivers, which it doesn’t. HP is basically the last laptop
maker that’s still not using Microsoft’s precision drivers
on its premium laptops, and it sticks these crappy
Synaptic ones on it instead. There is support for multi-touch gestures and two finger scrolling,
but response is laggy, and it’s just frustrating to
use for long periods of time. The entire time I was
using this computer at CES, I was cursing myself for not
bringing a mouse along with me. It’s really that bad. All that said, I obviously really like
a lot of the things HP has done with the folio. The leather construction
looks and feels unique, the hinge is awesome, battery life and performance
are surprisingly great, and it has built-in
LTE, which is something every computer should come
with, but is still a rarity. HP just needs to make a
for example simple fixes: update the drivers on the track pad, bring the screen into a modern age with a modern aspect ratio,
and adjust these speakers, and I could see the next
Spectre Folio being a slam dunk as one of the best Windows
laptops on the market. But until that happens, you
might wanna wait on this one. Hey thanks for watching. I’m curious, what other materials would you like to see a laptop made out of? Is leather cool? Maybe felt? I don’t know, a blanket? Let us know on the comments below, and be sure to subscribe
youtube.com/theverge.

100 thoughts to “This laptop is more than just a leather skin”

  1. The fact that HP put probably the worst speaker ever in this beautiful is beyond me. I've returned it simply because of that speaker!

  2. I'm torn. I want to purchase this to tell the industry that I want more laptops with this hinge style, but I want to wait for some other options

  3. The track pad alone is enough to give this a pass, lack of good drivers is a really really bad experience, even with windows precision driver I'd still only give it 6/10 compared to the Mac experience. Those ones that doesn't use precision driver is boarder line unusable.

  4. If you are going to bash the trackpad; why did you not tell the viewers there are alternative drivers. Windows Precision. Did you try that?

  5. 3.26 pounds for an ultraportable…. and guaranteed that the internal temperature is higher even if he doens't feel it in his lap. There's a reason why hp is going out of business.

    Is it just me or does verge make terrible technology videos.

  6. I bought mine almost 2 weeks ago, it is definetly worth it if you are still considering. Personally I don't have problems with the trackpad, even the screen is full HD but there is really no point having a 4k on a 13 inch screen right? As for the speaker, it sounds quite similar to my Razer phone in my opinion.

  7. "I'm not sure if it's the leather, that prevents heat reaching my lap' […]"

    Are you serious? The heat development results from the processor and the power consumption of the other components and not from the outside.
    I always thought "The Verge" was a serious magazine with expertise.

  8. With that lighting, I half expected Dan to start his review with “I believe in America. America has made my fortune”. 😉

  9. I see you're left handed. I messaged HP about the ability to put the pen loop on the left, and currently it isn't made for that customization. Did you find it "deal-breaker" annoying to have to grasp the pen from the wrong side?

  10. I love laptops that are fabric(y). It feels so much better than having palms touch a cold metal keyboard deck. This and the Surface Pro/ Laptop are winners to me.

  11. I would like to see the Verge use the metric system instead or if not in addition, there are other people outside the US that watch these vids.

  12. I need something faster than a Dell XPS 15 or an equivalent Lenovo encased in material that absorbs 6 ft drop shocks.
    though.. will never buy an HP.
    even the panasonic tough book suffers from spks mismatch

  13. I have a hp laptop and I will never buy another one in my life. The model looks nice, but I don't trust the brand, especially not for that crazy price tag…

  14. I LOVE the leather on my old LG4 cell, even with a cracked screen. Everyday use is why I feel. Something about the undesirable tech, made calm using leather. We are STILL humans in a natural world. Wood is still too inflexible albeit tactile. Major selling point for me .. bring on the leather!

  15. silk or stone i dont care about wieght of system more about what the system can do its all about the core and gpus the system has

  16. Leather in diffrent Colors with a Matching Mouse. And Rose-Gold or Copper accents. 😇 Also a great Wiresless Leather Matching speaker!!! Agree on Touch Screen being more Full and Modern.
    And don't forget to Brand the Leather!!! 😀
    Ladies sales will Skyrocket in Pink and Red. Guys would like Blue, Brown and Bright Green. 👀 Maybe even Yellow. Now that's Style bring in 😎 Cool. See what You can do with the Pen too!! Alan 😎 infoSeeker007

  17. AFTER I WATCH THIS…I BUY LEATHER LAPTOP COVER VIA ONLINE FOR MY ASUS…..AND ITS LOOK QUITE SIMILAR!! BUT IN VERY LOW BUDGET…THANK U FOR INSPIRING!

  18. Does the 13.3" screen size include the dark unusable edges (embezzles, not sure of the spelling)? What is the actual screen without the edges?

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