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Acer Aspire Timeline 3810 Series, Acer Aspire Timeline 4810 Series, Acer Aspire Timeline 4810T Series, Acer Aspire Timeline 5810 Series, Acer TravelMate Timeline 8371 Series, Acer TravelMate Timeline 8471 Series, Acer TravelMate Timeline 8571 SeriesAlternatives — including 2-in-1 convertibles, transformers and touchscreens — have intrigued customers, but none have been as popular Apple's laptop.

So HP decided on another strategy to compete with the MacBook Air: just get the basics right, with no gimmicky tricks.Alternatives — including 2-in-1 convertibles, transformers and touchscreens — have intrigued customers, but none have been as popular Apple's laptop. So HP decided on another strategy to compete with the MacBook Air: just get the basics right, with no gimmicky tricks.HP's made a remarkably beautiful machine here. At 0.41 inches thick, it's thinner than the 11- and 13-inch MacBook Air's thickest point (0.68 inches). And at 2.45 pounds, it's also lighter than the 13-inch MacBook Air, which weighs 2.96 pounds. It's also thinner than the newer, ultra-thin MacBook, which is 0.52 inch at it's thickest point.

Then there's the Spectre's one-of-a-kind polished hinge. To get the computer so thin, HP had to look beyond regular laptops for inspiration. HP settled on piston hinges inspired by those found in high-end furniture. The end result is a display that opens in one smooth motion. When open, the display appears to float above the hinge. The polished-copper finish radiates luxury, evoking high-end jewelry and handbags, although it's macho enough to appeal to guys.

On each side of the keyboard are grilles for the Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers. They're not particularly loud and the sound is middling, but at least the speakers project sound up at you; the MacBook Air's speakers are more muffled since they're underneath the keyboard.There are always tradeoffs between design and performance. In most cases, a thinner, lighter and smaller laptop comes at the expense of power and battery life. A thicker laptop is, well, chunkier, heavier and has more power and more room for a bigger battery.Apple's 13-inch MacBook Air is the champion when it comes to long battery life. The Air also has solid performance, but the screen is pretty low-res by today's standards.

The Spectre, thin as it is, comes with either a sixth-gen Intel Core i5 ($1,169.99) or i7 ($1,249.99; the model I tested). All models come with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe solid-state drive storage. A third model with the i7, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of PCIe SSD costs $1,499.99.That's performance on-par with the 13-inch MacBook Air and far more power than the 12-inch MacBook, which uses a puny Intel Core M processor.As my daily machine for a week, the Spectre proved to be a reliable workhorse. Windows 10 is solid and Microsoft's new Edge web browser has grown on me. I also saw longer battery life using Edge over Chrome.

HP rates battery life as up to 9 hours and 45 minutes. My usual workday consists of having dozens of tabs open in Edge and Chrome, writing in a text editor, streaming music via Spotify in the background, editing photos in Photoshop, and watching a couple of videos on YouTube. On average, I got around 6-7 hours. Not quite the ~10 hours HP advertises, but solid in my book for getting through a day.Your own mileage will vary depending on what kind of things you're doing and whether you're pushing the processor to its limits or not (you'll know because the fan kicks up and the base gets very warm).A few of my colleagues asked me about the screen resolution as soon as I got the Spectre in for review and groaned when I told them it's a full HD (1,920 x 1,080) panel. Sure, that's not quite a "Retina" display, but remember, the Spectre is going up directly against the MacBook Air not the 13-inch MacBook Pro — and by that comparison, it's sharper than the 1,440 x 900 resolution of the Air.

The screen is bright and it's a little more reflective than I'm used to (HP's laptop screens always seem to be more reflective for some reason), but the viewing angles are good, and colors are pretty accurate.Typing on the Spectre is a pleasurable experience. The island-style keys are well spaced and have a nice bouncy (1.3mm) travel to them — definitely better than the flat-ass buttons on the 12-inch MacBook, which feel like you're grinding your finger bones right into them.Historically, HP's always had issues with its laptop trackpads. The glass trackpad on the Spectre is on the small side and it could be a little more responsive. The mouse occasionally lags — you can speed up the tracking speed in the system settings — but it really should be a whole lot better at this point.

USB-C (also called USB Type-C) is the Holy Grail of ports. The smaller, reversible port, capable of charging, video output and data transfer, is the port of the future.We're only a year into USB-C showing up on devices, but it's making good progress. Computer makers are still transitioning to new port, so they're not quite ready to ditch legacy ports like HDMI and full-sized USB 3.0 just yet, but HP's betting it all on USB-C with the Spectre.

Unlike Apple, HP's smart enough to know that people want more than just one USB-C port. The Spectre has three USB-C ports — all of them capable of charging the laptop. Two of them even support Thunderbolt 3 speeds. All three USB-C ports can also output video to a 4K monitor (but only to two simultaneously).With three USB-C ports, you can charge the Spectre, output video to an external display and plug in an accessory without needing to buy a dock or multi-port adapter. You'll still need to buy an adapter for connecting full-sized USB accessories to the USB-C port, but those are cheap and there are now more USB-C accessories (like hard drives and flash drives) than last year.

The Spectre is missing an SD card slot. I'm starting to see more laptops drop memory card slots and that's really upsetting. For guys like me who shoot a lot of photos on their cameras and want to offload them to a laptop quickly, it's a big loss. Our expectations of laptops changed forever that very day in 2008 when Steve Jobs stood on stage and slipped the original MacBook Air out of a manila envelope.Apple made two things clear: Premium design and thinness would be the new primary reasons when choosing a laptop. Power and ports — not so much. But Apple was wrong. While thin is still something people care about, it turns out people want a solid balance of form and function. Apple did eventually deliver that balance with the redesigned 2010 MacBook Air.

HP's Spectre attempts no gimmicks. There's no touchscreen. There's no battery-sucking 4K display. There's no rotatable screen. Just a sharp focus on the essentials to a thin and light laptop: powerful performance, bright crisp display, solid keyboard, good trackpad and long-enough battery life.

In the good old days (i.e. until the fall of 2009), it was possible to buy an Apple laptop with an easily user-accessible (therefore replaceable) battery pack to power it while away from an AC tether. Nowadays, however, and as is also the case with smartphones and tablets, the batteries are pretty much always embedded within the system. Supposedly, this "evolution" has led to thinner, lighter, and otherwise ergonomically superior mobile computers than would otherwise be possible. Conspiracy theorists such as yours truly, however, suspect that at least some amount of "obsolescence by design" is also at play. No matter how much computer manufacturers point out their batteries' ever-growing cycle count capabilities, they'll eventually fail, which is problematic for long-term devotees.

Take my wife and I, for example. I'm typing this writeup on a mid-2010 model 13" MacBook Pro, which has been my primary (and near-constant) work companion since I bought it from Apple as a factory refurb in mid-2011 (where it replaced several iterations' worth of early MacBook Airs). My wife also uses a mid-2010 MacBook Pro, this one 15" display-equipped, as her primary work system. It too was acquired as a factory refurb, this time from Small Dog Electronics as the Apple intermediary, in early 2013. I make a point of pointing out the systems' refurbished status as indication that their embedded battery packs probably already had at least a few cycles on them when we got them (although battery replacement might have been part of Apple's refurb prep).

I fairly frequently run my MacBook Pro off battery power, not necessarily draining its stored charge each time but still making an appreciable average dent in it. My wife conversely keeps her MacBook Pro AC-tethered near-completely. In doing so, she's not making an appreciable dent in its recharge-cycle count. Conversely, as you may already know, a constant-trickle-charge situation isn't the greatest strategy for ensuring maximum battery longevity.

So it was that a few months ago, my wife alerted me to a "Service Battery" message that had just begun appearing in her menu bar. The battery still seemed to be holding a decent amount of charge, System Information also suggested that the battery was still chugging along decently, and finding adequate downtime for me to disassemble it was difficult ... so I "let it be". But when "Service Battery" changed to "Replace Now" and un-tethered system operation plummeted to a few dozen minutes max, I knew we could procrastinate no longer.

iFixit's website was, as usual, my go-to guide for disassembly and replacement instructions although (unwisely, perhaps, in retrospect) I didn't spring for the company's own $89.99 battery plus $7.95 tri-wing screwdriver. Instead, after perusing the innumerable (and often dubious) options available from various suppliers and retailers, I went with a well-reviewed $55.99 battery from Lizone-via-Amazon, which had the added bonus of including the aforementioned obscure screwdriver (plus a Philips, which I didn't need, but why not?).
I'm not sure how I'm supposed to reference an online tutorial if the computer being worked on is my one-and-only, eh? Fortunately, it wasn't, and anyway, as I already said, I was planning to go with iFixit's online instructions instead.
Whether you're a few feet from an outlet or flying at 38,000 feet without a plug in sight, you shouldn't have to worry about your laptop running out of juice. Whether your notebook naturally sips juice or gulps it down, there are a lot of things you can do to squeeze more hours out of a charge.

The most visible source of battery drain is your display's backlight, which sucks up more power than anything else in most notebooks (perhaps with the exception of a GPU in a gaming notebook). A few percentage points of luminosity can go a long way.When we tested the Dell XPS 13 at 100 nits of brightness, it lasted for 11 hours and 54 minutes. When we dimmed it to 10 percent of its maximum brightness (20 nits), which was a tad on the dark side, but still possible to read, it ran for an extra 38 minutes, or 12:32. We ran the same test again at 100 percent, or 318 nits, and it only lasted for 9 hours. That extra brightness wasted a lot of potential battery life.

You can fine-tune Battery saver in Settings > System > Battery. The setting gives you options that allow you to decide when to turn on the mode automatically (it defaults to 20 percent), and whether you want to automatically lower your screen brightness when it activates.Just like people, Windows 10 laptops can stay awake longer if they sleep more. So set your laptop to put itself to sleep when you're not using it.- In the menu next to “Put the computer to sleep, pick a time.” The default time interval is 15 minutes, but you should pick a shorter time so that your laptop goes to sleep after only a few minutes of not being used. You can also pick a shorter time interval for the display to shut itself off.

More and more laptops are coming with SSDs by default, but those with a traditional HDD can be easily upgraded. An SSD takes less power than an HDD. In addition, because an SSD lacks moving parts, it is faster and longer lasting.We run the Laptop Mag Battery Test on an 802.11ac Wi-Fi network. Connecting to a 5-GHz connection rather than an older, 2.4-GHz connection can save your laptop's battery life, since 802.11ac networks use less power. It's a quick way to increase your internet speeds as well as your battery life. Check out our top picks for the best 802.11ac routers.