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All About HP’s New Spectre + An Unexpected Partnership

HP’s New Partnership

All About HP’s New Spectre + An Unexpected Partnership

Introduction

Due to companies shifting to an annual release model for their devices, the release of a laptop shocks no one. So, when I tell you that HP recently released their new Spectre x360 13, you may not even bat an eye. However, you may be surprised by some of the noteworthy upgrades made to the laptop that, while nothing ground-breaking, offer serious improvement over last year’s model.

Plus, the press release for the Spectre 13 revealed an unexpected partnership between HP and a cybersecurity company. Before I leave you hanging for too long, let me tell you about the most notable upgrades the new Spectre offers over its predecessor.

The Noteworthy Upgrades

The Display

The Spectre laptops tend to offer a premium 4K display along with the standard 1080p display. The new Spectre takes things a bit further by using an OLED 4K display instead of the traditional LCD display previous Spectres used. In fact, most 4K laptops use LCD, so the move to OLED is a bold move by HP–one bound to work.

OLED offers many improvements over LCD, especially when discussing color reproduction/accuracy. OLED also allows the use of HDR, which further improves image quality.

Overall, there’s nothing but improvement when talking about the new display, though the 1080p display hasn’t changed much. Though, there’s not much that can be done to improve an IPS 1080p display.

Security Improvements

In my opinion, most of the other improvements are standard for annual releases and/or not important enough to point out and dedicate a section to. The security section, on the other hand, contains tons of interesting features and upgrades. It would be a crime to not go over each new feature, so–as a law-abiding citizen–I will be going over each of these new features.

To start off, we have the addition of both a mute button for the internal microphone and a kill-switch for the webcam. While the user won’t be able to turn off the microphone like they can the webcam, at least HP decided to include a mute button. Furthermore, the mute button will be connected to an LED light, indicating whether the microphone truly is off or not.

Continuing the security theme, HP added the option to purchase a built-in privacy screen for the new Spectre. Since it’s built-in, you’ll need to choose the option while checking out; unfortunately, HP has delayed the privacy screen. Instead of releasing the same time as the HP Spectre 13, the privacy screen will only be available for purchase on January 2020 onwards.

To make up for the privacy screen disappointment, HP decided to partner with a certain cybersecurity company to provide better security for the Spectre. Yes, HP has partnered with ExpressVPN, one of the more reputable VPNs available on the market at the time of writing which offers an outstanding Windows app.

The partnership allows HP to preinstall ExpressVPN on all the new Spectre 13’s. Along with the preinstallations, users will receive a free 30-day trial to the VPN service, keeping some users from immediately uninstalling the VPN when they realize they need to pay to use it.

Overall, the security improvements are easily the best part of the press release and, in my opinion, the new Spectre as a whole.

Conclusion

HP’s new Spectre x360 13 may not seem special at first glance, but the devil is in the details, and once you read through the press release, you’ll see that HP has devoted tons of time and attention towards making the new Spectre more than the standard annual reiteration.

With a plethora of security upgrades/features, a new-and-improved OLED 4K display, and a bunch of other, run-of-the-mill improvements, the new Spectre 13 may just be the laptop to beat, even when compared to the new Surface laptops releasing this year.

And the partnership between HP and ExpressVPN will definitely help not the laptop, but security awareness in general–something I can get behind.

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