HP just unveiled the newest addition to their Spectre line of premium notebooks, the Spectre 13. And it's a pretty good-looking piece of machinery; it's almost unthinkably thin at just 10.4mm, and does away with a lot of the gimmicks that other modern notebooks tend to include: it doesn't turn into a tablet, it doesn't turn into a dock for your phone; it's a laptop, and it looks more or less like you'd expect a laptop to look.
Granted, there are a couple of notable exceptions which stand this notebook out from the crowd, like its shiny bronze detailing and steampunk-esque display hinges, which in an interview with the Verge are described by HP's head of consumer notebooks as being inspired by cabinetry or high-end furniture (sounds crazy written down, but works surprisingly well in the flesh).
But it's not these features which are causing the most chatter online today; it's the fact that the Spectre 13 sports a brand-new logo. And it's pretty damn good:
I say 'brand-new' logo, but as it turns out this new look has been on the table before. Back in 2011, HP brought in long-time partner Moving Brands to spitball some ideas aimed at laying the foundation of a wider rebrand, designed to help HP rejuvenate and renew its identity.
As with any rebranding project, the logo is of course just one element in a much wider visual system, but it's typically the part which can stand on its own most effectively, and the part which people most identify with.
It's for that reason that for big companies like HP, changing a logo even slightly can be like playing with fire. We've all seen it before, when companies like Google, Facebook, and more recently relatively young companies like Uber, unveil a new logo and people just lose their shit.
But the reaction today has been largely positive. At least, aside from a view parodies pointing out the resemblance to barbed wire or a raised middle finger, there hasn't been the usual flame war on Twitter that usually follows an update like this.
Now, to be clear, this new logo isn't going to replace HP's official company logo; instead, the company says, it's only going to be used on their premium line of products – at least for now.
But I don't see any reason why this couldn't replace the company's current logo across all of their product lines and platforms. It's close enough to their current logo to remain familiar, but different enough to refresh the brand and show customers that they're looking forward.
HP have a good track record when it comes to this; their original 1941 logo wouldn't look out-of-place today, and I don't think that the new logo is 'too minimal' given the familiarity people already have with the overall shape and character of the current one.
What's more, in this specific context, I think the new logo works as a fantastic complement to the Spectre.
Whilst it's got a whole bunch of clever tech inside, and some fairly impressive specs to go with it, the look of the new Spectre definitely has a somewhat analogue feel to it. Yes, it's made of aluminium and carbon fibre, but it still looks warm, and has a certain charm to it that isn't typical of most laptops.
The same is true of the new logo. Some may say that it's too stripped-back and bare, too minimal and characterless, but to me it looks fittingly analogue; it looks like the neat diagonal strokes could have been drawn with a wide-tipped calligrapher's pen.
I don't necessarily see it replacing the official company logo any time soon, and I don't really know yet what this says about the direction HP is heading in when it comes to its focus on a more premium product lineup, but for now at least I'm pretty impressed with this new look and feel, and I'm interested to see where they take it next.