Wednesday, October 24th 2018

The New HP Spectre x360 Gets Whiskey Lake, But the Real Surprise is Its Webcam Privacy Switch

HP has been trying to differentiate from its competitors in the laptop market for some time now. Certain features and design decisions could be considered not that new (or good at all), but results speak for themselves with the new HP Spectre x360. This year's 2 in 1 laptop features a new angular design that affects the borders of the laptop, but also two of its corners which are now chamfered. The effect is not only intriguing but has also a practical side: that chamfered corners have been used to put there the power button and a USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) connector.

Inside we can find the new Intel Whiskey Lake processors (Core i5-8265U and Core i7-8565U), up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of storage on a M.2 NVMe SSD. Those CPUs allow to get more performance than previous models, but they also help on the battery life side: HP claims the 13.3-inch model can get up to 22.5 hours, a quite optimistic promise that we are anxious to prove right. The 15.6-inch model has the option to get a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max Q and there is also a LTE enabled variant of this laptop, but the interesting part comes on the privacy and security features.
This laptop has a IR camera and also a fingerprint reader that will allow us to authenticate via facial recognition or our fingerprint, but more importantly, they have a "Privacy camera kill switch", a physical switch on one side of the laptop that effectively disables the camera and protects our privacy from those nasty RATs that can take control of the webcam without us noticing anything. Several makers (HP included) have started to include shutters to their webcams to avoid this problems, but the physical switch goes beyond that simple solutions.

The new HP Spectre x360 convertible laptops will be available on November in the United States. Prices start at $1,149 for the 13-inch model and $1,389 for the 15-inch. Source: WindowsCentral
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13 Comments on The New HP Spectre x360 Gets Whiskey Lake, But the Real Surprise is Its Webcam Privacy Switch

#1
bonehead123
yummy.... gimme pleeeeeze :clap::p

and yes, pleeze hold da ratz....
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#2
ncrs
Whoa an electronic privacy switch that for sure cannot be bypassed... How about a physical camera cover - that's probably cheaper to make too, but it would be too sensible and effective.
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#3
enxo218
is the camera switch a main selling point to differentiate itself from the competition?
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#4
lexluthermiester
Betting that switch disconnects the power to the camera/mic. If true, simple, easy, cheap. Very nice.
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#5
texas64
Very nice, except I cannot make myself purchase this gold-tone enclosure... why not just plain aluminum?
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#6
junglist724
texas64
Very nice, except I cannot make myself purchase this gold-tone enclosure... why not just plain aluminum?
The previous gen model came in this color, blue, rose gold, and silver. I would expect this one to have the same options, except maybe rose gold.
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#7
texas64
junglist724
The previous gen model came in this color, blue, rose gold, and silver. I would expect this one to have the same options, except maybe rose gold.
Good to know... I've only seen this gold/brown version stocked at BestBuy. Willl need to look at hp.com and see what they can offer.
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#8
R-T-B
ncrs
Whoa an electronic privacy switch that for sure cannot be bypassed...
That is the concept of a switch. It's pretty basic and isn't hackable. Current on current off.
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#9
lexluthermiester
texas64
Very nice, except I cannot make myself purchase this gold-tone enclosure... why not just plain aluminum?
I like the gold, very classy to me. Maybe they'll have other colors?
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#10
Prima.Vera
This is one of the most beautiful laptop designs from recent years. Good job HP.
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#11
Th3pwn3r
I don't think the name is ideal.
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#12
HTC
Th3pwn3r
I don't think the name is ideal.
When i 1st spotted this topic, i thought it was some kind of new spectre-like attack that was discovered and was affecting Whiskey Lake chips ...

Then i clicked on the topic to read it ...
Posted on Reply
#13
Th3pwn3r
HTC
When i 1st spotted this topic, i thought it was some kind of new spectre-like attack that was discovered and was affecting Whiskey Lake chips ...

Then i clicked on the topic to read it ...
Yeah, us computer guys will probably read through but when we see Spectre we don't think good things ha. I doubt us tech heads are the bulk of their market though.
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