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1/11/2012
09:23 AM
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HP's 'No Compromise' Ultrabook

The tricked-out and pricey Envy Spectre 14, unveiled at CES this week, includes a high-resolution screen, Beats Audio, and NFC.



Ultrabooks Of CES: Visual Tour
Ultrabooks Of CES: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Ultrabooks are everywhere at CES this week, doing their level best to mimic Apple's MacBook Air. HP's newest entry, the Envy Spectre 14, is a high-end version (HP deems it a "no compromise" machine), maxed out at nearly every turn.

Its 14-inch screen is baked into a 13-inch chassis, and offers minimal bezel (to make it lighter), is layered with Gorilla Glass, and has 1600 x 900 resolution. (By the way, HP put Gorilla Glass on the palm rest as well.) The company claims its battery can last nine hours. It includes a mini display port, USB 3.0, HDMI, and gigabit Ethernet, and it weighs less than four pounds.

[ What qualifies as an ultrabook? Read CES 2012: Ultrabook Ultimate FAQ. ]

The Spectre 14 includes Beats Audio, which is supposed to provide superior sound quality--both from the system's speakers and the audio jack. HP has been adding Beats Audio to many of its laptops, and HTC has incorporated it into some of its smartphones.

The wow factor in the Spectre 14 is quite high; dare I say, the keyboard looks very similar to the MacBook Air, with each key getting its own LED, and its outside is also pretty sexy. The ultrabook comes with two years of antivirus protection, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe Elements.

Finally, the Spectre 14 includes near-field communications (NFC), so users can "tap-to-share" with NFC phones.

The Envy Spectre 14 will be available February 8, and will cost $1,399 for the base configuration.

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