Customer Ratings & Reviews
HP - Spectre x360 2-in-1 13.3" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 8GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive - Ash Silver
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Customer ratings & reviews
She's a rose gold beauty! Everything about this HP is slick and slim. I didnt read the instructions, instead I just dove in and had to laugh because I couldnt find the power button which is flush mounted on the back left side corner. So after turning it on and Cortana walking me thru setup, which included fingerprint security (If you want) I quickly logged into my WI-fi and went to Netflix to watch Spiderman 3. My subscription is for 4K and the screen on this computer did not let me down...AWESOME! The Bang & Olufsen speakers needless to say are phenomenal, at full 100% sound there is 0 degradation and yes its loud. I then downloaded Chrome as my browser which was quick and smooth web navigation on this powerhouse is no problem. The screen automatically rotates to whatever orientation you have it in, just like your cell. When you fold it it becomes a tablet which disengages the keyboard, it's now in touch screen or you can also use the included pen, which unfortunately can't be stored in the compter but does have a slot in the included case. With 1 USB port, 2 USB Type C ports, a Micro SD, the finger print reader and camera I'm still exploring all the extras this little dynamo has, and am very happy with it so far.
I would recommend this to a friend
Elegant, modern and powerfulPosted
First off, this laptop looks like something out of a James Bond film. It is extremely elegant, and even the box it came in was designed with character. This tells me that every detail of this laptop was intentional, and that the designers put forth a lot of effort in making a beautiful product. It even came with a high quality carrying portfolio. The keyboard has a rubbery feel to it that gives it great grip when typing. @@@@@@@@ I'm typing on it now and it feels great). The keys click nicely and sometimes you forget you're on a laptop. The HP Spectre is not only elegant, but also powerful and very practical. It acts both as a laptop and a tablet. The included stylus is very handy. It has two buttons which you can program, and the stylus uses one AAA battery. Also, depending on how much pressure you put on the pen, the line will be thin or thick, which gives the stylus even more usefulness with certain applications. The only drawback in my opinion is that the laptop doesn't have a stylus storage, but that's a small price to pay for what you get here. Speaking of drawbacks, the webcam is not great. It is your typical 2.1 mp webcam, and it doesn't do great in dim light (as most others, I suppose). The processor on this one is an 8th gen Core i7 and 8 gb RAM, so you can run multiple apps with no issues. Especially everyday tasks. 256gb solid-state as well. The highlight of this laptop however has got to be the sound!! Speakers by "Bang & Olufsen" give this 13" laptop the BEST SOUND I'VE EVER HEARD IN A LAPTOP THIS SMALL!! I'm not exaggerating, it is amazing. I couldn't believe the sound coming from these speakers. I was extremely impressed with it. As a bonus, the HP Spectre comes with a fingerprint reader as well as facial recognition software to make log in easy, depending on your taste. The fingerprint reader is small and unobtrusive so you barely even notice it. 1 USB and 2 USB-C included. The laptop is also very light and very thin, but with a very beautiful thin bezel display. This one is not 4k, but beautiful display nonetheless. Overall, I think HP did it right with this one. Whether using it as a laptop or as a tablet, the Spectre responds quickly and is elegant with every feature included. I highly recommend it!
I would recommend this to a friend
Almost perfect, great laptopPosted
The latest model of the Spectre x360 feels very polished overall. I was very impressed during my review with very few bad things to say. Lets explore. Unboxing: This is a treat. The outer box is simple brown packaging but the actual Spectre packaging is inside. That box is two tone and high quality. Upon opening everything feels very premium and well thought out. You will find documents, the laptop, a carrying case, the stylus (with battery) and the 65 watt adapter. The adapter is great as much of the cable is wrapped in fabric and feels durable. It charges via USB-C. Set up: Pretty standard Windows 10 setup here. The only changes worth noting are you will set up Windows Hello via facial recognition or via fingerprint initially. You can use both with further configuration after the initial setup. Use: Typing this review on the laptop, I am overall happy. The keys feels just right to type on but are a little offset to the left since the home, pg up, pg down and end keys are on the far right side. It takes some getting used to but is not a huge deal. The track-pad is wonderful. It feels high quality and is very precise. The touch screen is bright and responsive to touch. The screen is easy to move in different positions which is a pro or a con depending on how you look at it since it opens easily but will push back easily if you try to touch it in laptop mode. Design: It looks amazing. The ash silver model looks more brown and gold to me than ash silver. The gem cut is actually very practical and not just a pretty design. The power button is on the left corner which keeps you from accidentally pressing it. The right corner has a second USB C connector which keeps the charger out of the way. The screen is bezeless on the sides but has a large chin and forehead. My main problem with use is when it is in tablet mode. It is kind of hard to use as a tablet since the new gem cut design creates lots of rough edges. This makes it somewhat uncomfortable to hold in your hands as a tablet. Therefore, it is somewhat difficult to take notes on. The fingerprint reader is a nice touch but it sometimes takes a few tries. I seem to have better luck unlocking with the face recognition. Weight is not too heavy and can be help for long periods. Display: The color reproduction feels good enough and I tried to edit some photos on it with no issue. The blacks are a little bright which affects the overall contrast. It is a 1080p display but this is more than adequate for a 13 inch laptop. I couldn't find what % of sRGB it supports but colors seem vibrant enough for me. The display is bright and crisp. Battery: HP claims there should be close to 22 hours of batter life. I don't see that at all. I am getting more like eight hours or so (not timed, estimate) but that is way more than enough for me. It will easily last all day Performance: I was a little concerned with having 8gb of RAM vs 16 gb but in practical use, this is one zippy laptop! The 8th gen Core i7 is plenty fast for most of my needs including photo editing. It only has a Intel 620 GPU so simple gaming is ok but I wouldn't push it too hard. The SSD is extremely fast and I attached a screenshot of Crystaldiskmark and Geekbench to show performance. For the average user, this computer is more than fast enough, for a power user it should meet most of your needs. Audio: The speakers are great on this baby. This is the first convertible laptop I have had where you get great sound in both laptop mode and in tablet mode. The speakers fire on both sides of the keyboard section so no matter the orientation it will sound great. As for headphones, the output is clean and static free but it only supports 24bit 48000hz. For most people this is no issue but for some who listen to high res audio it might be a bit lacking. Connectivity: You will find a good number of ports here. There is a USB A 3.1 port of the left side, the right side has two thunderbolt USB C ports. Either can be used for charging. There is also a micro SD card slot. I tossed a 256 gb card in there for music storage and it works great. It is a cheap and easy way to effectively double your hard drive space. There is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a switch to turn off the web cam as well. Bluetooth 5 is present and works well as well as a Intel 9560 WiFi chip which works great via AC networks. In summary, this laptop is a head turner. It looks amazing, especially if you like gold. The laptop meets 90% of my needs and I am very happy with it. My only changes I would fix if able are better keyboard placement, higher res audio output, and a little more curve on the edges for tablet mode. These are minor gripes and this is a solid laptop.
I would recommend this to a friend
Powerful computer in a small packagePosted
Pros Light and powerful Thin Convertible to tablet, easel, or tent Bright screen Very good off angle viewing Feels more sturdy than previous generations Speakers are loud Fan rarely runs and is quiet Can last through a workday on battery for most Fast processor and hard drive Keyboard feels good and is responsive Trackpad is smooth most of the time Has both USB-A and USB-C/Thunderbolt Includes Windows Hello using cameras and fingerprint reader Windows Hello camera is near instant Uses USB-C charger Has hardware switch to disable camera Attractive design and finish Three levels of keyboard backlight Fast Wi-Fi Sturdy chassis with little flex Includes active stylus Includes laptop sleeve Cons Can run through battery quicker than expected in heavy use Mouse sometimes acts as if click lock is on when it's disabled Finish seems as if it will wear quickly Finish is a fingerprint magnet Gestures randomly stop working requiring restart Hinge moves too easily allowing screen to change angle Top and bottom screen bezels are massive Tablet mode is awkward with keyboard on the back Webcam is blurry except in bright rooms close up Speakers distort at high volume Windows Hello Camera sometimes fails requiring restart Myriad of HP programs are complicated and feels like bloatware Not long ago saying you had a Windows laptop was synonymous for a poor quality, poor battery life, heavy laptop. Thankfully for fans of Windows the competition keeps getting better. The HP Spectre X360 is the latest generation of HP's high-end convertible laptops Ultrabooks. Previous generations received good reviews but were marred by flimsy chassis and dim screen. Design The 2018 version of the Spectre X360 feels very sturdy with little flex. The screen takes a good amount of force to distort. The decorative grill at the base of the screen feels very sturdy and doesn't flex like as it would in previous generations. The edge is chamfered on the top and bottom with a cooper finish that HP likens to a gem. It gives more a sense of thinness and does have an attractive look. Long term durability from drops might be a concern with the force concentrated to a smaller edge but of course dropping a laptop often ends in damage. The back corners of the base have a 45-degree angle allowing access to the power button on one side, regardless of mode, and a USB-C charging port which is also accessible regardless of mode. The finish is called dark ash which is a fancy word for dark brown. The copper and dark brown colors compliment each other well although it lends itself to showing every fingerprint. A fingerprint scanner is at the bottom right of the keyboard and a Windows Hello camera is above the screen. For those concerned with privacy there is a hardware switch on the right edge of the base to disable the webcam Ports The left side has a single USB-A port. On the right is angled USB-C/Thunderport port intended for charging, an additional USB-C/Thunderbolt port, headphone jack, and microSD slot. Angling the charging USB port is a nice touch for those who are right handed using a mouse as it helps keep down the clutter. However; with every other port on the right side it might get a big cluttered if you are using a mouse on the right side too. Display The display is a 13" full HD display which one source reports as 650nits. Without a way to measure it's hard to say but the display can get very bright. There should be no problems seeing the screen even in brightly lit rooms and possible some outdoor use. Glare is present as the screen isn't anti-glare but overall it's manageable and allows more contrast. Off angle viewing is very good with minimal color shift for the class but glare does become much more evident. The FHD display is good for a more affordable price, battery life, and laptop use. If you have good eyes and are using it in tablet mode close up the pixels are detectable and text is less sharp but overall clarity is still acceptable. If there was any criticism of the display it would be the hinge and the huge bezels. It's very easy to open but the loose hinge can mean that the screen can change angle during use due to movements. It's a tradeoff as you wouldn't want to make it hard to open but you may find yourself periodically readjusting it. As for the bezels, it's hard to say HP's motivation on this but the bottom bezel is a massive 1" and the top is a solid 3/4". It'sn't a deal breaker but just feels excessive in 2018. Performance This laptop is surprisingly fast between the Core i7 and the, assumed, NVME SSD. CrystalDiskMark clocked in read speeds over 3000MBps and write speeds nearing 1600MBps. At no point did the laptop ever feel sluggish. In fact, it's very surprising how quickly it responds to most requests. Even during heavy usage, the fan rarely kicks on and is nearly silent. Heat is manageable, and the fan settings can be adjusted further if needed in the HP Command Center. Opening Word seems nearly instantaneous and using the integrated Windows Hello Webcam logs in so fast it might make you question if your computer was locked. The integrated fingerprint scanner is slower but that seems more to do with the sensor than the speed of the system. Battery life In the default settings in HP Command Center the system tries to dynamically figure out what performance works best for your needs. On this setting, it leans heavily towards performance, leading to about 7-8 hours of usage. If you change the settings to more battery efficient the system still feels very snappy during standard office use with the processor throttled down and fan usage is avoided at all costs. In this setting, the battery lasted much longer. On this mode it consumed approximately 1% every 10 minutes which could potentially mean battery life in the 15-16 hour range. Battery tests are highly subjective overall but unless you are a heavy power user this system should last you through a workday without a problem. Even if you do need a charge, the USB-C based charge means you can use a phone charger to top off. This is probably part of the reason the included carrying sleeve has no place for a charger. Keyboard and Trackpad For the size of the laptop, the keyboard is quite spacious and doesn't feel like a sacrifice. Key travel is very good and ends with a soft, distinct thump at the bottom. No hint of lag could be detected as even fast typing faithfully caught each keystroke. The movement feels more like a scissor key than a chicklet style. The keyboard is backlit with options for off, low, and high brightness. Key contrast is good with the white letters on the dark background and the backlight distinctly shines through the letters to light them up instead of just around the keys like some. The trackpad is a little less refined. It's very large as most newer laptops favor this design and is usually good. The movement is less natural than some other high end Windows laptops and periodically decides to act as if click lock is turned on causing you to drag items across the screen unintentionally. It seems HP has the sensitivity too high where it detects your finger above the trackpad when not actually on it. Hopefully HP will refine the sensitivity soon as the use is otherwise very good. This seems more of a need for a drive update as the system also stopped responding to gestures requiring a restart to fix. Thankfully restarts only take a few seconds so it's only a minor hassle. Webcam The webcam is thankfully at the top of the screen so no Skype sessions filming your nose. It works extremely fast for logging in with Windows Hello but, unsurprisingly isn't intended for taking photos. Skype video is a bit dark and blurry unless you are in a very bright room close to the screen. It's perfectly acceptable for its intended use. On one occasion Windows Hello stopped working until a quick restart so it seems some more driver refinement is still needed. Speakers The speakers are surprisingly loud. You can easily play music or dialog and hear it across the room. In fact, music at full volume close is uncomfortably loud. The speaker range is lacking in bass as are most thin devices in the category. At full volume the speakers begin to distort with highs becoming uncomfortable harsh. Fortunately, in most cases turning it up to max volume is unnecessary. At lower volumes the range is very respectable for such a device. Software HP has never known for being lean on the software front adding lots of bloat to their system. In this case the only third part application, outside the ones that come on every Windows 10 system, is McAfee trial. The rest of the included software are HP utilities. The number of utilities seems excessive and complicated but, in most cases, you will rarely need to access them. That said, some refinement and simplification of the myriad of included HP utilities could really improve the overall experience. Final thoughts Although tablet usage is a bit awkward with a keyboard on the back, thickness for a tablet, and large bezels the overall package still feels very high quality. There are certainly design compromises, but it seems HP understands most people use it as a laptop first and the least number of compromises are in that mode. Disregarding the convertible capabilities this is one compelling laptop. The extra modes are just a bonus. Some 13" laptops feel small in use, but HP has done a nice job making a small laptop feel large in use. If you are in the market for a Windows Ultrabook, the Spectre X360 2018 edition should be on your short list.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great, powerful convertiblePosted
There is no doubt about it, the HP Spectre series is one of the most prolific and well known ultrabooks/convertibles. This latest iteration brings not only a nice visual refresh, but also Intel's Whiskey Lake platform which replaces the previous Kaby Lake R. There are also a few key differences between this model and the previous which might make this the right choice for you. First of all, this model comes in a nice box that looks rather chunky compared to what you'd expect. Inside the box you'll find a sleeve designed for the Spectre that has a holder for the included pen. I'm excited that manufacturers are including niceties like this - and HP's sleeve is quite nice, with a simulated leather externally and soft interior. Speaking of the included pen, it appears to differ from previous models in that it doesn't use USB-C to recharge, but rather it's powered by a single slim AAAA battery. This is taking a cue from Microsoft whose Surface Pen is also powered by the same battery. I'm not sure if this was a cost saving measure or what, but it does seem like a bit of a regression. The pen itself is a n-trig unit with the standard two side buttons. There is no eraser here or other button. We do have pressure sensitivity, which seem to work well, however I'm no artist so I can't really weigh in on it other than through basic sketches. It doesn't appear to support tilt. Also inside the box you'll find the included USB-C 65w power brick. This power brick has a braided cable that feels quite durable and solid. Time will tell how it holds up (some braided cables snag and then unravel, but no doubt that HPs feels higher quality that most), but it's a welcome feature for me. The power brick does include a ground plug (3 prong outlet). Once you take the laptop out you'll be immediately hit with its color. The 'Dark Ash Silver' definitely falls somewhere between an ebony and dark brown with a trim color that's a dark gold color. The sides highlight this polished metal color, along with the hinges and HP logo (speaking of - HP that logo is macho - I say using my best Lego Batman voice). The material of choice here is gem-cut anodized aluminum, which means the finish should hold up reasonably well compared to painted chassis. The build quality is impeccable - with a solid feeling and rigidity that only comes from metal chassis. The sides play into the previous generation's hinge design (which has carried over) feature of jutting angles. Thost angles have been further extrapolated as corner cuts angling at the rear of the laptop. This offers up a unique design feature of having both the charging port and power buttons angled away. This keeps you from accidentally hitting the power button while on the other side keeps your power port from interfering with your mousing area or other port usage. Due to the various size issues that come into play with USB-C dongles, this is wonderful. Speaking of USB-C, you get the angled port that supports Thunderbolt 3, followed by a small pinhole for the charging LED, 3.5mm AHJ combo headset jack, another USB-C Thunderbolt port, a camera off switch, and finally a MicroSD card reader. The left side offers the power button and a USB-A 3.0 port, a welcome addition in such a thin machine which means plugging in a thumb drive doesn't require a dongle. Opening the laptop up you'll be greeted by a 13" IPS 1080p screen flanked by 2-3mm bezels. These thin bezels help maintain a very compact form factor: fitting in my Fossil man bag that otherwise could only hope to contain a 12" Macbook. Overall dimensions are: 12.16" x 8.58" x 0.57" at less than 3lbs. Of course the thin bezels on the side are paired with nearly 1" thick bezels on the top and bottom. It's clear that we've reached a point where 16:9 is no longer serving the design and engineering of convertibles well. Comparing this to something like the Surface lineup's 3:2 aspect ratio or even older 16:10 it seems obvious that there is opportunity here for HP and other manufacturers to start pushing towards aspects that can be not only more useful for convertibles, but also decrease these unsightly bezels. The keyboard found inside is generous in its travel and feels pretty good. Compared to an Apple butterfly keyboard, the travel is at least double. The keys feel more comfortable for longer typing sessions, and they are dead silent which is probably a boon to some. The keyboard is backlit in white, with two brightness settings (low and high). The font on the keyboard is oversized compared to previous versions. Below the keyboard is a oversized trackpad that stretches from the spacebar through over half of the right Alt key. This trackpad, like most recent Windows laptops, is excellent. You get a solid smooth surface and built in Windows gestures like three and four finger swipes. Flanking the trackpad on the right is the fingerprint reader which supports Windows Hello. Unlike the previous version of this convertible, the fingerprint reader is more conventional. The previous iteration placed this sensor on the side of the notebook. Some might not like this change, but frankly it's not a big deal, because just like the Surface lineup - the HP Spectre includes an IR camera they dub the HP Wide Vision FHD IR Camera. This enables Windows Hello facial recognition which is the shiz. Trust me, it's amazing, and you'll want to use it. Just like the iPhone X, Windows Hello w/ IR camera can log you in with your face. Microsoft was doing this years before Apple and it shows, as it flawlessly logs you in just by looking at your laptop. From a technical standpoint, big update is Intel's Whiskey lake platform. Besides conjuring up images of dark liquor, it offers several hardware mitigations for Meltdown and Spectre exploit variants (google if you don't know, it was a huge todo). It also brings the Intel 9560 WiFi and other platform enhancements. Other than that, it's not as big an update as Kaby Lake R, which it's closely patterned after. You get the i7 8665U, which offers 4 cores 8 threads at an astonishing 4.6GHz boost. Of course you need to be plugged in to get these crazy high boost clocks, but the HP chassis helps maintain boost clocks relatively well while maintaining a non-vacuum level fan noise. The 4.6GHz boost puts this half inch thick machine in good company. In Cinebench R15, the single-threaded score (184) comes within spitting distance of my overclocked 4.6Ghz 7820x desktop (195). The multithreaded score puts up a valiant fight against 95W desktop CPUs of last generation with it's score of 630. The score are much more consistent than what I've observed with my work laptop (a Surface Book 2), where concurrent runs of Cinebench maintain scores within a margin of error. It does come at the cost of living at the edge however, as temperatures of the package and CPU cores on the Spectre routinely can reach 100C (212F) when operating in High Performance mode. While this is within the specs of the operating temperatures of the CPU, it's something to consider. Like I said, the Spectre gets away with this without sounding like a vacuum, so that's a plus, and it never goes above the 100C mark during load, but yet maintains >4.0GHz clocks across all cores. Storage wise, you get a 256GB WDC SN720 SSD. This is an M.2 NGFF PCIe x4 drive which maxes out the PCIe 4 lane bus at over 3 GB/s, but writes come in at around half that (1.6 GB/s). This is definitely a drive that keeps up with other OEM drives (like the PM961 from Samsung), but is a cut lower than say the WD Black drives or Samsung Evo/Pro drives. Storage performance does hum along at a good clip, so it's hard to complain. Battery wise, I've no real complaints. Like most recent Windows laptops, HP claims a high number of hours, obviously with specific optimal conditions. Day to day battery life here is around the 8hr mark give or take depending on load. It's not bad for a thin and light laptop, but it's far from the 20hrs I've seen in some marketing material. Then again, realistically 8hrs on battery alone is pretty impressive considering the amount of processing power on tap. So what could be better? The screen: in both aspect ratio and brightness level. It's not horrible by any means, but it's not nearly as bright as what you'd find on an Apple or Microsoft premium machine. At least both the viewing angles are good, and the screen appears to not exhibit any nasty PWM (flickering of the backlight on lower brightness levels). The panel used here is shared between the Spectre Folio (referenced observation from a forum on tabletpcreview.com) and is a lower powered screen from AU Optronics called the AUO572D. If screens are your thing, you won't be impressed. However if you're already used to a 1080p screen at 13", this unit will be perfectly fine for you. In fact, 1080p is still my sweet spot here, as I can get away with 100% scaling in windows which still is more compatible than scaling with a higher resolution. Another item is sound. While the 4 Bang & Olufsen speakers found in the chassis can get loud, they cannot get deep. What you end up with is rather tinny sound, even if it's loud. It's hard to get too cranky about this is a chassis this small, but there are other manufacturers who can somehow get this to be a bit more balanced. The USB-C support for charging also needs work. Both the F.06 (shipping BIOS) and F.08 BIOS if I use an Apple USB-C charger, or any other USB-C charger the computer doesn't just reject it, it locks up cold. Perhaps a newer bios will fix these issues, otherwise you're tied to the included power brick and/or other HP accessories. The Spectre X360 13-ap is a great example of a wonderfully engineered computer that has evolved it's already superb design in the past couple of year.
I would recommend this to a friend