Modern technology gives us many things.

HP Spectre Folio review – a leather-bound laptop that offers style and performance


That there aren’t many laptops that can tick all the boxes in terms of style, design, performance and connectivity. The HP Spectre Folio is one of those rare breeds -  but you’ll be paying a little bit extra for the privilege.

Any product that can offer impressive design and the performance to back it up is certainly worth noting. That is exactly what you get with the HP Spectre Folio –  the laptop made of durable tanned leather.

It might sound strange, but the fact it doesn’t look like a laptop gives it more appeal.

For those who want to make a fashion statement with this device yet still possess a machine that can go the distance and match it with regular top shelf laptops, it’s not a cheap investment.

On the design side, the HP Spectre Folio has to be seen and held to be fully appreciated.

It looks more like a leather bound book (and not a thick one at that) and the only giveaway is the subtle HP logo on the front and back.

The leather exterior feels rich in your hand not to mention fragrant to your nose as well.

We think this is the only laptop you’ll want to sniff regularly.

It features luxurious hand stitching and neat tapered edges.

We were certainly impressed and we hadn’t even opened up the laptop yet.

And when we got that far, we were delighted to see the impressive hardware on the inside as well.

The first thing that will catch your eye is the 13.3 inch full high definition display.

We were not a fan of the letterbox shaped screen and looked enviously at the space we could have gained if the display didn’t have an inch thick chin.

The screen looked sharp and clear and the colour was superb.

The HP Spectre Folio also has an excellent backlit keyboard with well-spaced keys that offer just the right amount of travel.

The trackpad, located in the middle of the leather wrist pad, was small but still allowed us to easily move the cursor anywhere on the screen with little effort.

It’s also a convertible so it makes this device even more versatile.

Users can set it up as a regular laptop for the work day but then, when they are ready to kick back and relax with a movie, they can tilt the screen forward over the top of the keyboard and watch in comfort.

It’s also possible to fold down the screen flat on top of the keyboard and use the device in tablet mode.

In this position it’s easier to use the laptop with the HP Tilt Pen (priced at an additional $150) which allows users to write and draw on the screen comfortably.

The HP Spectre Folio also has impressive audio thanks to the quad speakers with HP Audio Boost that were expertly tuned by Bang & Olufsen.

Even though the screen rests above the speakers interviewing load, the audio can still be heard quite clearly in the tent-like space created by the display.

There is no questioning the appeal of the design and look of the product.

The good news is the HP Spectre Folio is not just about looks – it can deliver on the performance side as well.

Under the hood is an eight generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor with up to 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage.

It has a 1.3Ghz or 1.5Ghz base frequency and up to 4.2Ghz with Intel Turbo Boost technology that provides excellent speed and responsiveness.

The glamorous look of this device should not belie the fact that it can still match it with other high-end laptops.

Connectivity-wise, HP Spectre Folio has two Thunderbolt 3 ports which enables data transfer at up to 40Gbps as well as a USB-C port.

And also has a headphone jack.

Also built-in is 4G connectivity. All you need to do is insert a data SIM into the slot located on the back of the display so you can stay connected on the go even outside of wi-fi networks.

This is a feature we really appreciated because we knew we always had a connection without the need to carry our 4G mobile hotspot with us.

That just made our backpack that little bit lighter which is something users constantly on the move will definitely appreciate.

One of the strengths of the product is the impressive battery life which HP says the last up to 19 hours.

For our review, we didn’t get it to 19 hours on a single charge but there was enough power to work for almost two straight workdays.

That miserly energy use is a result of the Intel Core processors impressive efficiency which goes beyond just making the laptop perform quickly and smoothly.

All up, HP Spectre Folio is one of the most impressive laptops you can buy – it as looks, it has brains and it has impressive performance.

But it doesn’t come cheap starting at $2799 and going up to $3799 with the maximum specs.


That there aren’t many laptops that can tick all the boxes in terms of style, design, performance and connectivity. The HP Spectre Folio is one of those rare breeds –  but you’ll be paying a little bit extra for the privilege.