Since the launch of Windows 8, many users have been waiting for something that does a better job of spanning the gap between laptops/Ultrabooks and tablets. We’ve seen sliders, twist screens, laptops with touchscreens, foldable laptops like the Yoga, and even a few with detachable screens. HP now enters the market with one of the latter, as the Spectre 13 x2 that has a detachable screen.

Given that we’re talking about Ultrabook internals – and a 13” display – pricing is going to be substantially higher than what you’ll pay for a traditional tablet. HP also goes full Windows 8 here, so there’s no secondary SoC running Android like in the ASUS Transformer Book Trio. HP hasn’t yet provided us with a full rundown of the specifications, but it appears the Spectre 13 x2 will sport a 1080p display and the tablet portion pretty much only includes a microSD slot. The dockable keyboard meanwhile adds a couple USB 3.0 ports, HDMI port, and a full size SD card slot; it also includes additional battery capacity and has a backlit keyboard.

While the idea of a 13.3” laptop/hybrid is good, I do have to question the utility of a 13.3” tablet. I’ve used Dell’s XPS 12, and frankly it just feels massive when in tablet mode, and that’s a slightly smaller display size. On the other hand, typing on a 13.3” sized chassis and keyboard definitely sounds more welcoming than a 10” or 11.6” keyboard, so the detachable tablet aspect is basically a nice extra for those times when you want to leave the keyboard behind.

HP has managed to cram all of the hardware into a fanless chassis, which means they’re likely using the Core i3-4020Y (6W 1.5GHz) and Core i5-4210Y (6W 1.5-1.9GHz); it’s possible HP also supports the Core i7-4610Y (11.5W 1.7-2.9GHz), but that seems unlikely with a fanless design. (I’ll update if I hear anything more on the subject.) Pricing on the Spectre 13 x2 starts at $1099, hopefully with at least a 128GB SSD and 4GB RAM (preferably more, but that’s probably just wishful thinking). Availability is scheduled for October 2013.

Source: HP PR/News

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  • centurion87 - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    In case of tablets, I think broadwell Y might be able to narrow the TDP gap. It will be interesting when and if Intel does close it, will Apple adopt it for a converged device which might be substantially faster than an A7 or an A8. Or adopt iOS to higher screen sizes and move upwards with A8+ ?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Tablets are likely hitting at least 4W these days on ARM SoCs, to a 6W Y-series i3/i5 isn't far off of that.
  • boeush - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Considering Broadwell/Merrifield are already getting so competitive, with 14-nm Airmont (and respective tablet/phone SOCs) supposedly shipping toward the second half of next year, Intel will probably close the TDP gap for good right then and there (and possibly do more than just close the gap...)

    From there on, ARM devices will have a hell of a time trying to compete, particularly if Intel does live up to its recently restated plans of being on a 7 nm process by 2017.
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    That will sort itself out one way or another... But the driving choice on whether ARM survives at the high end or not might have nothing to go with hardware and everything to do with the market's adoption of hybrid Windows devices and the modern UI ecosystem. If the market stops caring about Windows it won't matter how much better Intel's doing if ARM can still undercut them.

    Personally I think that if Intel doesn't mess up they should absolutely dominate the higher end and should beable to relegate ARM to <$250 devices... Intel's even equipped to go the Android way. Would Apple ever compile iOS for x86 tho? Would the $500+ iPad ever lose it's massive market share either way?
  • boeush - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    "While the idea of a 13.3” laptop/hybrid is good, I do have to question the utility of a 13.3” tablet. I’ve used Dell’s XPS 12, and frankly it just feels massive when in tablet mode, and that’s a slightly smaller display size."

    OK, this is a bit tongue-in-cheek but only slightly....

    See, at work my colleagues and I habitually print out, hold, and read documents on these giant, enormous, unbearably mega-sized 8.5'' x 11'' slabs of paper (diagonal size: 13.9'').

    Those things are so freakishly enormous, some of us don't even need to put on eyeglasses or use magnifying lenses, in order to be able to read the text.

    We're all hoping, wishing, and dying for the day when our paper sheets shrink to the acceptable and ergonomics-wise perfectly calibrated paper sizes with 11.6'' diagonal -- that is, 6.7'' x 8.7'' (preserving the aspect ratio) -- it would just be much more usable, and so much easier to handle!

    One can only dream, right?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Of course, a notepad or piece of paper only weighs a few grams to an ounce or two at most, where a 13.3" tablet (roughly the same size) is going to weigh two pounds.
  • boeush - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Ah, so the issue isn't really the size. It's the weight. So let's start calling for lighter-weight rather than smaller sizes.

    For instance, less (or no) glass and metal in the construction of the device might help a bit on the weight front... Of course, for some strange reason these days "premium mobile device" == "hefty slab".
  • Impulses - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    You're never gonna approach the weight of a paper pad tho, let alone a sheet of paper... You can also bend paper, throw it around, handle it without much care, etc... It's an interesting discussion, the amount of paper work has been an issue in a lot of industries for decades. A lot of people also find smaller tablets easier to read on given the current ergonomics and tablets don't handle exactly like paper, you can't zoom and resort text on a sheet of paper (not very dynamically anyway, beyond just bringing it up your eye).
  • Toshio - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    *slow clap*
  • Thermogenic - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Perfect response!

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