First spotted at CES 2012, the glass-covered HP Envy 14 Spectre is finally here, as both the first 14-inch ultrabook we've reviewed, as well as a unique laptop nearly covered in tough Gorilla Glass.
Almost anyone who sees the HP Envy 14 Spectre immediately compares it to something. For many, it's the Apple MacBook Pro. From the open position, the interior certainly has that look, aside from the transparent raised wrist rest. To others, the glass back looks like a tablet or slate.
For a starting price of $1,399 you might reasonably expect more than the Envy 14 Spectre's Intel Core i5, integrated Intel HD3000 graphics, and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), specs you can find in a decent thin 13-inch ultrabook for around $899. There's clearly a design premium here, not unlike what Apple, Sony, and others have been working into the prices of high-end systems for years.
Despite the high cost, the Envy 14 Spectre experience ends up being exactly what it was meant to be. It's mostly practical, while still being fun to use and fun to show off, and its glass-covered construction makes it feel just a little like an artifact from the near future.