Today, HP announced that the 2019 model of Spectre x360 13 is available. This lightweight high-performance Ultrabook will compete with Dell’s XPS 13.

The Spectre x360 is verified to be Intel’s Project Athena standard, which (among other things) means some hellacious battery life. In order to qualify as a Project Athena laptop, a device must get nine hours or better on-battery with the screen at 250 nits brightness, out-of-the-box display and system settings, and multiple tabs and applications running.

A cynical person might say Project Athena really just means "if it doesn't have an Intel CPU, it can't have this sweet sticker." The bits about battery life are pretty great, though.
Enlarge / A cynical person might say Project Athena really just means “if it doesn’t have an Intel CPU, it can’t have this sweet sticker.” The bits about battery life are pretty great, though.

Intel Inc.

HP played its CPU selection coyly in its official release announcement. The company only talked about a “10th-generation Intel Core” instead of coming right out and bragging about using Ice Lake. HP did mention Iris Plus graphics, though, which—along with the doubled performance year-on-year with last year’s Spectre and a reference to the i5-1035G4 in the footnotes—makes it clear. The Verge reports that the i7-1065G7 will also be available.

The i5-1035G4 and i7-1065G7 are both quad-core/octa-thread CPUs in Ice Lake’s higher-powered U-series. There is unfortunately nothing that requires OEMs to specify whether these variable-TDP CPUs are deployed in their high-performance or low-power configurations. But the Spectre’s extremely thin profile—and its compliance with Project Athena battery life specs—leads us to suspect its CPU is in the lower 15W TDP configuration.

Like all Intel 10th-gen laptops, the Spectre x360 13 features Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 3 support. It also offers optional gigabit LTE—although most readers probably shouldn’t get too excited about that. Capability in the laptop won’t do you much good if your ISP doesn’t actually support it. It will come with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM depending on trim and an optional Optane accelerator.

Although the laptop has physically shrunk, it’s effectively the same design as last year’s Spectre. That’s a good thing—the aluminum chassis, combo audio jack, angled power button and USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, and hardware webcam kill switch are all still present. There’s also a dedicated key to mute both the internal mic and any externally connected mics, with an indicator LED to let you know when you’re muted.

Listing image by HP Inc.