HP makes some of the most gorgeous laptops you can buy, and its Spectre line is the most beautiful of them all. But the new Spectre x360 16, a 16-inch 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop, will flip that dynamic around. Not only is this laptop beautiful — this laptop wants to make you beautiful.
That’s the idea, at least. The Spectre x360 16, starting at $1,639, is the first 16-inch laptop to include an “integrated, intelligent” 5MP webcam, HP claims. But that’s not all. It also comes with a program called — and I love this name — HP GlamCam. It’s not entirely clear what GlamCam will do, but HP claims that one of its main features, Beauty Mode, will “touch up skin, teeth, and eyes” during video calls. The goal, HP says, is to “keep your focus on what you’re saying, not your looks.”
There are also, of course, very legitimate reasons to object to widespread use of beauty filters, which are available on many social media apps and have been popular for decades (though their use in real-time video is a recent advance). Some experts have warned that their prevalence on social media could contribute to unrealistic beauty standards among children and teenagers. On the other hand, this is a feature that Zoom itself has offered for over a year, and one that plenty of grown-up workers have heralded as a savior during a stressful period of time when it was difficult for many to make primping a priority. (The Spectre x360 16, as a premium workstation, also isn’t the type of laptop I’d expect to see too many children using.) It will certainly be an interesting feature to test.
GlamCam includes some other features to simplify your video calls, like Auto Frame (which will keep the camera’s focus on you if you get up and move around) and Lighting Correction (which will adjust your feed to keep lighting consistent if you’re moving from indoors to outdoors). The laptop can auto-lock when the camera sees you leave your desk and unlock itself when you return, dim its screen when you’re looking away, and add blur by itself if someone is behind you.
Software aside, it’s worth noting that HP has been putting 5MP webcams on some of its other high-end devices. I just tried one out on the $2,600 Elite Dragonfly Max, and while it delivered a better picture than you can generally expect from laptop webcams, I didn’t see a mind-blowing jump in quality. This one does support Windows Hello facial recognition, though, and has a physical privacy shutter.
Webcam aside, the new Spectre can come in either “nocturne blue with celestial blue accents” or “nightfall black with pale brass accents.” It has a 16:10 aspect ratio and a 91 percent screen-to-body ratio, with up to a UHD+ OLED panel. It’s HP’s first consumer notebook made from recycled CNC aluminum, as part of a broader sustainability focus that HP has brought to many of its recent premium models. Inside, it comes with up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, and support for Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. It will be available in October on HP’s website.