HP SpectreONE review

14 Dec 2012

A stylish, high-quality desktop all-in-one that’s pipped to the post by the iMac that inspired it

Price when reviewed: 
1,200(£1,200 inc VAT)
5

HP reserves the Spectre name for its top-end, premium products, and there’s no denying the SpectreONE fits the bill. Glance at this all-in-one, though, and you could be forgiven for thinking it isn’t an HP device at all – from its silver stand to its stylish accessories, it looks just like the latest from Apple’s production line.

Thankfully, the SpectreONE soon begins to impress on its own terms. The screen is only 14mm thick, and the curved stand isn’t much chunkier. The base narrows to a 4mm front edge, and the entire system looks very smart indeed.

HP SpectreONE

There’s no touchscreen, but HP hasn’t left Windows 8’s finger-friendly features completely by the wayside. Included alongside the wireless keyboard and mouse is a huge, clicky touchpad. Again, it looks more like something Apple might have produced, but here it supports the full range of Windows 8 gestures.

Two-fingered scrolling sees the Start screen and its apps moving smoothly from side to side, pinch-to-zoom works well, and edge-swipes function exactly as you’d expect. Pulling a finger in from the right opens the Charms menu, stroking from the left switches between open applications, and brushing in from the top opens the options menu at the bottom of the screen. The two buttons built into the bottom corners of the pad are responsive, too.

If you don’t get on with the touchpad, the mouse also has some touch-based features. A small touch area sits between its two buttons, and gives a light buzz as you stroke a finger up and down it. It doesn’t work as well as the touchpad though – the scrolling motion is inconsistent – and the lack of Windows 8 shortcut keys on the wireless keyboard is also disappointing; a shame, as the sensible layout and cushioned key strokes make for comfortable typing.

HP SpectreONE

As is becoming increasingly common these days, the SpectreONE lacks conventional media features such as an optical drive and TV tuner. You can stream audio and video to the system from a smartphone or tablet, though. The HP makes clever use of NFC (near-field communication) here to quickly pair the devices and establish a direct Wi-Fi link between them, after which content can be streamed back and forth. You can also use the NFC on your phone to log in, just by tapping it to the HP’s “TouchZone” on the base.

There are issues, though. You have to download a companion app, which is only available on phones running Android 4 or later, and we found performance patchy. Logging in worked perfectly, as did audio streaming, but we couldn’t get movie files to stream at all. The speakers don’t help the HP’s media credentials: there’s lots of bass, but the rest of the range sounds muffled and lacks nuance.

Details

Price ex VAT £1,000
Price inc VAT £1,200
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Screen size 23.0in

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 2.90GHz
Processor socket LGA 1155

Motherboard

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec

Memory

Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 1
Memory sockets total 2

Graphics card

Graphics card Nvidia GeForce GT 610
Multiple SLI/CrossFire cards? no
3D performance setting Low
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce GT 610
HDMI outputs 1
Number of graphics cards 1

Hard disk

Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB

Monitor

Resolution screen horizontal 1,920
Resolution screen vertical 1,080
Resolution 1920 x 1080

Additional Peripherals

Peripherals HP Touchpad

Case

Case format All-in-one
Dimensions 528 x 60 x 417mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 2
3.5mm audio jacks 1

Front ports

Front panel USB ports 2
Front panel memory card reader yes

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard HP wireless keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 8
Recovery method Partition
Software supplied HP TouchZone

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 54fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.73
Responsiveness score 0.82
Media score 0.79
Multitasking score 0.58