HP ENVY Spectre XT

While preparing for a couple of blogging conferences coming up all in one weekend (this weekend, eek!), I’ve been trying to determine whether I should bring a tablet or a laptop with me to keep up with any discussion notes.  I brought my tablet to last year’s conferences and my inlaw’s netbook to BlogHer ’12 in New York (since I needed a monitor port for my power-point presentation during that trip.)  But since I’m only attending, and not speaking at either upcoming conference this time, I have more leeway as for what to bring.

I must admit that I’ve had the most amazing experience with my HP ENVY Spectre XT laptop for the past month – so much so, I actually haven’t touched my tablet at all during that time.

A month.  Without turning my tablet on ever. Seriously.

I was first introduced to this beautiful and powerful piece of tech, back in mid-September at a wine-tasting event hosted by HP Canada, and was immediately impressed with how quietly he purrs while running.  After working with this laptop for the better part of a month now on two major website projects (for my day job), I’m still blown away by how quiet the fan is, which is the most common culprit if you have NoisyComputer-itis imho.

What’s it’s name, you ask?  I call him Loki.  ‘Cause he and I can get into so much mischief if we wanted. 😀

For technical aspects on the HP ENVY Spectre XT, we’re looking at:

  • a 13.3″ screen (which is just the right size for me these days apparently… maybe ’cause I’m more used to looking at a 10.1″ tablet screen these days, lol);
  • an uber-fast 3rd generation Intel(R) core(TM) i5-3317U Processor + Intel(R) HD Graphics 4000 which is made for serious bizness.  I’ve honestly never witnessed a Windows operated computer run this fast and smoothly before.  It takes seconds (instead of minutes) to load Windows 7, and I’m online before I truly realize it.  I’m thoroughly gobsmacked by how quick this baby is.
  • Beats Audio™ sound – a popular audio system found in most (if not all) new HP laptop and desktop series, developed by Dr. Dre, and delivers high quality sound.  I honestly cannot fathom ever turning up the audio to 100%, though I’m sure it would be amazing!  Maybe if I throw a rave in my basement one night I’ll set it to 50% to par-tay, ’cause seriously, the Beats really packs the tunes beautifully in these speakers.
  • An 8 hour battery life (assuming that you aren’t using 30 programs all at once to quickly drain them,) and even if you’re using a multitude of programs all at once (*cough* I have 11 open right now…), you still have a decent amount of power to run your laptop when a plug just isn’t available.  I think I had about 5 hours of battery life when I decided to run Adobe Photoshop Elements, Chrome, Firefox AND Internet Explorer all at once, as well as iTunes the last time I was unplugged.
  • a metalic/chrome casing and backlit keyboard which is just all kinds of shiny, and it only weighs just over 3 lbs, which makes for easy handling;
  • Preloaded with Adobe Elements duo (Photoshop and Premiere) which is a fabulous help for all things blogging and web design on-the-go, as well as 24 Months of Symantec Norton Antivirus.  That means I have a whole two years of worry-free internet usage, ’cause Norton’s is one of the best at keeping your computers healthy and secure (NB – I’m a fan of both Norton Security and McAfee, depending on their “vintage”, and have found Norton’s 360 product to be superior to what McAfee is currently selling… though McAfee could very well have a better product next year. *shrugs*)
  • There isn’t an optical drive (CD/DVD drive), but I’m totally not missing it.  I can’t remember the last time I used a disc drive to be honest. There are a couple USB ports and a card reader, but thanks to Dropbox.com, I haven’t had need for external storage in quite a while.
  • There are a bunch more specs that can be found here.

So yeah, while typing up this post, I think I’ve made up my mind, lol.

This baby truly is the little engine that could.  And if you’re at either the ShesConnected Conference or Blissdom Canada this weekend, wave hello to me and I’ll introduce you to my leetle friend here.

What is your most essential tech for conferences?  Besides the laptop, I’ll also be bringing my Samsung Galaxy III smartphone for on-the-go tweeting. 🙂


* Please note that while this is a review where I’ve been compensated, the compensation has in no way altered my view of the product discussed.  All words are my own.