Even though the form factor is new, throw everything you know about Intel's Ultrabook concept out the window. Well, almost everything. Hewlett-Packard just unveiled its Envy 14 Spectre, a premium consumer Ultrabook coated with Gorilla Glass on the lid, display, palmrest, and HP ImagePad, and infused with a white glove treatment that includes a concierge service. Seriously.
No, someone from HP isn't going to come into your home and help rearrange your living room around the Spectre, but the service does give you direct access to dedicated support agents, as well as next business day shipping of replacement parts if there's an issue that can't be resolved remotely.
This is a premium Ultrabook, after all, and that becomes clear at first glance.
"Sleek, midnight black glass on the outside and stark contrast silver glass on the inside make Spectre extraordinary, defying conventional notebook design," said Eric Keshin , senior vice president, Strategy and Marketing, Personal Systems Group, HP. "We chose the Spectre name to evoke mystery, and we packed it with the best in entertainment technology to satisfy those who expect the unexpected."
The Spectre Envy 14 brings Beats Audio to the Ultrabook party (with an external jogger dial) and rocks out with the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 processors. It has up to 256GB of solid state storage, Intel Rapid Start Technology, support for two ultra fast mSATA SSDs, 4GB or 8GB of DDR3 memory, 802.11n Wi-Fi, USB 3.0, GbE LAN, HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity, and up to 9 hours of battery life. Also included is 2 years of Norton Internet Security 2012, the same one that scored a 9/Kick-Ass in our most recent antivirus roundup .
In many ways, the Ultrabook category is still being defined as system builders look to put their stamp on the form factor. At a starting price of $1,400, HP just showed it isn't afraid to attack the premium market with a model that costs more than even Apple's MacBook Air, banking on buyers being enticed by better hardware and a "stunningly sleek" frame.
The Spectre Envy 14 will be available on February 8, 2012.