The HP Specter Fold 17 took its time to be born with its foldable Oled panel. The competition has already cleared the ground, such as Asus with its ZenBook Fold 17 in 2022, or Lenovo two years ago with the X1 Fold (55581) – its successor should not be long in coming.
In any case, HP seems to have learned from the mistakes of its adversaries, particularly on the bulk once the terminal is folded. So, the Specter Fold 17 is not much more massive than a traditional laptop PC at 2.14 cm thick.
To obtain this result, the manufacturer set its sights on an Oled panel from LG, with a smaller radius of curvature, therefore forming a thinner PC once folded. Operating in the Specter range which brings together HP’s premium models, the Specter Fold 17 is high-performance thanks to its Intel Core i7 processor and Intel Evo certification, but also well finished with a chassis combining aluminum and magnesium.
The fact remains that all of these technologies result in a final price which is close to the €6,000 mark.
The HP Specter Fold 17 has a chassis combining magnesium and very dark blue aluminum. The lower part stands out for the presence of a deployable kickstand to take advantage of the fully unfolded screen. The cover sports the chrome HP logo, the only real fantasy in the design. Note the wide brushed aluminum strip which hides the entire hinge system, and which allows the Oled panel to be folded. Contrary to what one might believe, the latter is not that flexible.
Opening requires the use of both hands, HP having not provided a grip or notch to facilitate the operation. The Bluetooth keyboard sandwiched between the two ends of the panel also complicates the task, as do the rounded edges of the chassis.
Once the screen is opened, we appreciate the relatively thin borders around the screen. The top border is a bit thick compared to the webcam housing, but there is no bottom border.
The Bluetooth keyboard is particularly thin, with a charging port and a power button on the left edge. The keyboard can also be recharged by induction when it is magnetized to the lower part of the Oled panel. Despite the overall finesse, the keyboard offers pleasant typing. That being said, a backlight would have been welcome, especially since autonomy is not a problem with induction charging.
The touchpad has a generous surface area, all gestures are perfectly taken into account and gliding is pleasant.
It is possible to slide the keyboard towards the front of the Oled panel in order to extend the display surface without losing comfort of use, since a fold allows the touchpad to tilt and rest on the surface on which the Specter Fold 17 is placed. The manufacturer has also integrated additional window layouts into the Windows 11 Snap, as we detail in our Palo Alto hands-on.
The connection is reduced to two Thunderbolt 4 ports in USB-C format: one is placed on the left of the upper edge, the other on the right edge just above the hinge. It is thus possible to access it whatever the mode of use (laptop PC, tablet, large screen with the keyboard in front). HP also provides a USB-C mini-hub with an HDMI port and two full-size USB ports.
The webcam is equipped with a 5 Mpx sensor compatible with Windows Hello to unlock a session. The quality is there and software offers to create a light ring on the screen to illuminate the user in the dark.
Wireless connectivity is provided by an Intel AX211 chip which manages WiFi 6E (6 GHz) and Bluetooth 5.3.
The cooling system consists of a steam chamber into which a fan blows. Given the thickness of the screen, the space available to properly cool the small Core i7-1250U is therefore reduced.
By putting heavy demands on the processor, we noted a maximum temperature of 46.1°C just above. You should therefore not let your fingers drag in this area while carrying out a heavy task. In return, noise pollution is particularly limited with 34 dB measured. You will go completely unnoticed in a library, although the fan turns on quite easily.
The Specter Fold 17 made available by HP is powered by an Intel Core i7-1250U processor accompanied by 16 GB of DDR5 and 1 TB of SSD storage. The Core i7 is normally synonymous with high performance, but the one used by the manufacturer is above all very economical with an envelope of only 9 W. The terminal nonetheless remains equipped with two multithreaded P-cores and eight E-cores for a total of 12 Threads.
The Core i7-1250U obtains a performance index of 82, or 10% less than its direct competitor with the same processor, the ZenBook Fold 17. The efficiency of the Specter’s conservative cooling system is probably the cause. The Specter Fold 17 is also 36% less efficient than the Apple Silicon M2 of the 15-inch MacBook Air.
If the processor allows some very occasional creative tasks, its favorite terrain is office automation and media consultation. Windows 11 is smooth, helped by the 16 GB of memory and the responsiveness of the SSD (5.2 GB/s reading and 4.1 GB/s writing).
This PC benefits from a 17-inch Oled panel displaying 2560 x 1920 pixels. In laptop mode, the display area is 12.3 inches with a definition of 1920 x 1280 pixels.
Under our colorimetric probe, the screen is perfectly calibrated. Its delta E of 1.2 is well below the threshold of 3 beyond which the eye manages to distinguish colorimetric variations. The nominal color temperature of 6500 K is respected with 6552 K recorded.
The contrast is almost infinite thanks to Oled technology and the particularly short response time. Maximum brightness is 425 cd/m², while peak HDR offers an additional 100 cd/m². The only downside is that the reflectance is 51%, too high to consider outdoor use.
The audio part is made up of four speakers distributed on each side. In laptop mode, there are two speakers on each side of the keyboard and two others on each side of the screen.
When listening, the four speakers do not work miracles. The sound volume is certainly high, but the output lacks bass and the treble is far too present. In addition, the Bang & Olufsen software, despite the branding on the chassis, is absent, as we noted during our test of the HP Omen 16 73280.
If you were planning to plug a headset into a jack, forget it: HP has not decided to integrate it and you will have to make do with Bluetooth to enjoy your soundtracks.
Mobility / Autonomy
The HP Specter Fold 17 measures 27.7 x 19.1 cm in laptop mode and is 2.14 cm thick. It is therefore relatively compact despite a folding panel and the solution proposed by Asus to achieve this. Once unfolded, you benefit from a large tablet measuring 37.6 x 27.7 cm with a thickness of 8.5 mm. The whole thing weighs 1.62 kg (keyboard included), to which must be added the 350 g of the 100 W charger with USB charging port at the end.
With its battery with a capacity of 94.2 Wh, the Specter Fold 17 lasted a little over 12 hours of video playback in tablet mode (Netflix under Chrome, brightness set to 200 cd/m²). In laptop mode with the Bluetooth keyboard powered by induction, we benefited from around 10 hours of battery life. Significant endurance which can be explained by the size of the battery, but also by the appetite of the Core i7-1250U capped at 9 W.
Gn Fr tech