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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  • DanNeely - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    For the sake of argument I'll point out that with standard 1" margins an 8.5x11" sheet of paper has a text are of 6.5x9 with an 11" diagonal. So in most cases with an 11.6" device all you'd need is a reader that can be configured to hide the margins and you'd be able to see the text at the same side as a in a printed copy.
  • Jaerba - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    There are definitely some industries where a detachable tablet/hybrid could be useful, although it does seem like more of these devices should be coming with active stylii.
  • boeush - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    Indeed. A device this size, might almost begin to fit the bill for a bona fide sketch pad...

    But including an active digitizer stylus would probably be too 'retro' for a hip and fresh company like HP... See, only cavemen use pens and brushes. Modern humans finger-paint.
  • Rick83 - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    thirded. A decent stylus turns a useless tablet into a silent and deadly note-taking machine, perfect for meetings, on sites, for demos, etc.
    Plus you can actually draw stuff too. Sketching is an immensely powerful thing to do, and something that creates gigantic messes, if you do it on paper, where if you do it digitally, boom, you sketch, you fix, you save, no mess, instant corrections....

    My sister has a five year old 12" thinkpad convertible, that was basically perfect (it only lacks a 64 bit CPU) , but it's suffered a bit from regular use. In the current landscape, this device is almost impossible to replace, because "omg, it's too heavy and too think!".
    And Lenovo made the X200 series not only thinner than the X60, but also...worse.
    Surface Pro was a step in the right direction, but stylus support is still a bit of an adventure, especially when it comes to software and the OS. The more tablets with stylus there are, the more likely it is we get to the point, that stylus support becomes commonplace.

  • eanazag - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    There seems to be hostility towards touch screens. There are valid uses for them on keyboard equipped devices. I prefer simple photo editing on a touch screen - crop and rotate. Windows 8 interface is easier to navigate (non-desktop mode). There are possibilities that could be enhanced for programs, but the hardware support needs to be there. If you're throwing Windows 7 on, I can understand the pointlessness.
  • XZerg - Thursday, September 19, 2013 - link

    i want to see a hybrid system but with the base fat enough to cram heavy duty hardware and with dGPU optional. for a lot of work related tasks i find myself integrated/soldered-on little memory, tiny, non-upgradeable and slow ssd, and a slow cpu just not worth the cost or the benefits of being ultra portable. i don't mind the weight as i plan to use it on the go for some quick lookup or emails and such. i have found my laptop being inconvenient on buses or cars (as a passenger) to do such work. A keyboard-less option would alleviate that issue.
  • Hulk - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    I don't get it. Why do manufacturers go to these extremes to build a strange portable device? Just build a good ultrabook finally.
  • JNo - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    Because I want one.

    There are plenty of good ultrabooks for you to buy so go and buy one.

    I don't get it. Why do some people think that just because they don't want something that nobody else should want it.
  • Visual - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    What sort of GPU is in these low-wattage Haswells?
    When will those product designers finally realize that anything below Intel's GT3 or without an active digitizer is never going to be taken seriously?
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 20, 2013 - link

    HD4200 (GT2). GT3 is only available on higher power chips. And for 99.9% of the market an active digitizer is a worthless expense. The only people who need something like that are artist types who'd otherwise be buying directly from Wacom.

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