HP surprised us this week with the announcement of the Spectre Folio 13, an ultraportable laptop completely covered in leather. When closed, the Folio lives up to its name, looking more like an executive portfolio than a laptop. There is still metal inside the Folio as it is required to form the frame and provide rigidity. That being said, not much of that metal is visible, even when the lid is open. The leather covers the palmrest, creating a soft feel similar to the Surface Laptop or Google PixelBook.
The Folio manages to squeeze in convertible functionality as well. The leather meets up with the lid halfway up the top of the laptop, allowing it to act as a hinge so you can pull the display toward you and snap it in front of the display. This is ideal for media consumption. You can take it a step further and lay the display flat on top of the keyboard deck, creating a makeshift tablet form factor. Better yet, it supports pen input, allowing you to take notes and draw like a real portfolio.
This notebook is not a powerhouse. It’s one of the first laptops to feature Intel’s 8th generation Y-series i5 and i7 CPUs. To compliment this, it has a fanless design and claims to use the thermal properties of the leather to help dissipate heat. At launch, the Folio 13 will be available with up to 16GB or RAM and up to a 2TB SSD. The display will come standard with a FHD display that runs on a single watt of power but HP says a 4K display option will be available in late December.
The Folio is part of a larger push to make Always Connected PCs mainstream. This is made evident by its support for gigabit LTE. This, of course, means you can connect to the internet anywhere you have a cellular connection, allowing you to avoid sketchy public WiFi networks.
The Spectre Folio 13 is available for pre-order from HP’s site and BestBuy today in Cognac Brown. A Bordeaux Burgundy color is releasing alongside the 4K display in late December. This laptop’s price lives up to its design. $1,299 will get you a Core i5 model while an i7 model will set you back $1,499. That’s not counting the cost of a monthly data plan to take full advantage of its Always Connected capabilities.