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HP - Spectre x360 2-in-1 13.3" Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Core i7 - 8GB Memory - 256GB Solid State Drive - Ash Silver-Front_Standard

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Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 90 reviews

  • 20%
94%
would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic High-Performance Laptop

    Posted
    optimummind
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 10 ContributorTop 10 Contributor

    ======= Summary ======= The HP Spectre x360 - with its fantastic design, build quality, ergonomics, bright display, performance, and long battery life - is an All-Around Winner~! This is the BEST laptop I’ve ever used. HP FTW~!! _______ Pro's: 1. Bright, crisp, & responsive 1080P touch-screen (1-Watt, 400-nits). 2. Relatively light (~2.9 lbs) and thin (~14mm) for a 360-degrees convertible laptop. 3. Tent and Tablet modes are useful and nice to have. 4. Pen support. 5. Excellent keyboard and touchpad. 6. Great design & excellent build materials and quality. 7. Good selection of ports - both USB Type C & USB Type A. No need for dongles~! 8. Excellent performance from the Intel Core i7, SSD drive, and 8GB of RAM. 9. SSD is upgradeable (NVME M.2). 10. Fantastic battery life. 11. Great cooling design = quiet operation. ________ Neutral: 1. Fingerprint magnet on this dark surface material. ________ Cons: 1. No Microsoft Precision Touchpad driver. But there is a workaround... ==== Design & Build Quality ==== The HP Spectre x360’s new Gem-Cut design language is sleek, modern-looking, unique, and very pleasing to my eyes. It reeks premiumness and feels great in the hands as well. It feels dense, high-quality, and solid as a tank. Love it~!! HP did an ingenious job by placing the power button on the top-left corner of the laptop base and the charging port on the top-right corner. Not only is this an excellent use of space, it is also very practical by avoiding clutter with other accessories and preventing accidental power-on and power-off. Brilliant~! Other thoughtful & smart design decisions include the user-facing speakers located right above the keyboard area as well as the fingerprint scanner located right below the arrow keys. As a result of its placement, any music and videos you watch and hear will sound louder, more detailed, and fuller. The fingerprint scanner worked very well and I was easily & quickly able to log-in to my Windows account. The touchscreen worked accurately and in a very responsive fashion allowing the switch to Tent or Tablet Mode to be seamless and frustration-free. The only thing I can complain about, and it is a small First-World complaint, is its tendency to easily show fingerprint smudges and marks. With that said, I have owned several darker laptops before in the past and I’m used to cleaning it up frequently. 10 out of 10~! ==== Display ==== The special Intel-developed 1-Watt 1080P display, which can still get as bright as 400 nits, is crisp, has great color accuracy and contrast, and is a pleasure to stare at. For peace of mind, it is good to know that HP is using the protective and durable Corning Gorilla Glass on it. Touch functionality worked flawlessly as did writing with the HP pen. 10 out of 10. ==== Speakers ==== The sound on this thin & light ultrabook from its quad-speaker configuration is great. Bass, of course, is weak but that is normal for a thin ultrabook. The intelligent placement of the speakers above the keyboard area results in sound that is direct-facing, loud, crisp, and more fuller-sounding compared to laptops that have their speakers underneath. 10 out of 10~! ==== Network & Connectivity Options ==== The excellent Intel Wireless-AC 9560 802.11AC Gigabit Wifi is inside the Spectre x360 and it performed very well in my home network. Also included in the Intel package is Bluetooth 5.0 which is forward-looking and up-to-date. I experienced no connectivity or connection speed issues. Everything was peachy. 10 out of 10~! ==== Ports ==== I absolutely LOVE not having to use a dongle on the x360 to plug in my USB flash drives~! My older HP Spectre 13 laptop from 2017 had no USB Type A ports and it has been a frustrating and annoying affair on a consistent basis. That’s why I chose the x360 this time around for its better port selection. With one USB Type A port, two USB Type C Thunderbolt ports (40Gbps), a headphone jack, and a microSD card reader, I’m set and satisfied. 10 out of 10~! ==== Performance ==== With an 8th-Gen Intel Core i7 Whiskey Lake quad-core CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a Western Digital SN720 NVME SSD, the x360 performed fantastically at everything I demanded of it - Chrome browsing with >25 tabs, photo & video editing with Cyberlink PowerDirector, and general multi-tasking. On Geekbench 4.3.3, the x360 scored 4775 Single-core and 12,789 Multi-core. On CrystalDiskMark 6.0.2, I got 3023.4 MB/s Sequential Read and 1615.8 MB/s Sequential Write. I only wish the storage size was bigger, like 512GB. I’m planning on upgrading to the new Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1TB NVME SSD in the near future. 10 out of 10. ==== Keyboard & TouchPad ==== Typing on the keyboard is a delightful and supremely pleasant experience. HP, very wisely, is NOT following the design decisions of Apple Macbooks & certain Dell XPS line of laptops and is instead using a very comfortable, responsive, and tactile keyboard mechanism with great key travel. As a result, the keys have good spring, great damping, and are very quiet in operation. I absolutely adore this keyboard. The same cannot be said, however, of the touchpad. HP, for some reason unknown to me, is STILL not using the excellent Microsoft Precision Touchpad drivers. Instead, HP is using Synaptics drivers which is vastly inferior in functionality and custom gesture support. So I did what I did with my older 2017 HP Spectre 13 laptop. After uninstalling the Synaptic touchpad driver from Device Manager, I manually installed the Microsoft Precision Touchpad driver from the Lenovo website. The specific driver version I used was 19.3.4.111 and it is for the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen6 laptop model. If you Google it, you should still be able to find that older driver. To prevent Windows Update from automatically updating the Lenovo Precision driver to the newest non-Precision HP Synaptics driver, I used the Microsoft “wushowhide.diagcab” utility to hide the Synaptics driver update. With the Precision Driver installed, I was back to creating my own custom three- and four-finger gestures and getting tremendous pleasure using the touchpad. HP seriously needs to terminate whatever agreement they have with Synaptics and start installing Microsoft Precision drivers in their Spectre laptop lines ASAP. 9 out of 10. ==== Battery Life ==== This is the best battery life I’ve ever experienced from any laptop I’ve owned & used throughout the years. I didn’t achieve the crazy 22-hour battery life that HP is marketing but got about 8 hours out of it with brightness set to 100%. Fantastic...Simply fantastic. 10 out of 10. ==== Software ==== The Spectre x360 came loaded with Windows 10 1803 which I promptly upgraded to 1809. There was the usual assortment of bloatware from both Microsoft and its third-party partners. I counted 10 third-party apps, 17 HP apps, and some Microsoft apps such as Xbox and Skype. Removing them, as is usual for Windows 10, is easy to do from Settings. I found some of HP’s apps to be genuinely useful such as the HP Support Assistant (firmware & driver updates), HP Audio Control (speaker sound effects & equalizer), and HP Command Center (setting laptop thermal profiles). 10 out of 10. ==== Upgradeability ==== The Spectre x360, being a thin & light ultrabook, doesn’t offer meaningful upgrade options except for the NVME SSD drive. So one needs to be thoughtful about their current and future computing needs and select the components wisely. With my particular model, I feel confidently fine with the Core i7 CPU with 8GB of RAM. I just need bigger storage down the line (at least 1TB SSD). 9 out of 10. ==== My Verdict ==== The HP Spectre x360 with its Gem-Cut design is an excellent laptop that gets almost everything right. Fantastic build materials and quality, great-looking design, slim & lightweight form-factor, superb keyboard, excellent touchscreen display with pen support, flexible viewing options (e.g., Tent Mode), and all-day battery life. The only subpar area is the lack of the Microsoft Precision Touchpad driver which, fortunately, can be “fixed” by installing the Lenovo Precision Touchpad driver. All in all, HP has crafted a fantastic and unique laptop that I thoroughly enjoy using. It is a very delightful machine.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Powerful computer in a small package

    Posted
    CraigB
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    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 is 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 is 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 is 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 is 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’s not 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 is 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 is 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 is 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

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Gorgeous and powerful 13" laptop

    Posted
    Kris1973
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Design (Faceted design, color): The new “faceted” design of the Spectre x360 this year is incredibly striking. I also really like the positions of the power button and the USB-C port on the “cut” corners. It makes the power button easy to find by touch and plugging the laptop in is a little less obtrusive. The whole design and feel of the laptop feels very high-end. The “Dark Ash Silver” itself is understated, but the copper accent on the facets is attention-getting. I like it, but I believe the “Poseidon Blue” looks a little more understated if that’s more your style. Keyboard/Touchpad: The keyboard is a joy to type on. The keys are responsive and the entire keyboard feels very sturdy. The key travel distance is just right (at least for my typing style) while still keeping the laptop acceptably thin and light. (I’m looking at you, Apple!) I’m writing this review on it and it makes me annoyed to have to go back to the keyboard on the MacBook Pro I use for work. The touchpad is practically perfect. It’s a nice size and the surface is pleasantly matte. My only complaint might be that the pressure necessary to register a physical click is a bit on the high side, but I usually tap rather than click so it’s not a dealbreaker. Display (1920x1080 - low power panel) The new low power - 1W 1920x1080 panel in this year’s model contributes to the “all-day and then some” battery life claims. It is wonderfully bright and clear. I was worried that I would miss the extra pixels compared to the MacBook Pro but I think 1920x1080 is the sweet spot between overly pixelated and a lot of extra work for the graphics card for no real benefit. I’m also very glad to have a touchscreen at my fingertips, so to speak. Audio I was blown away (almost literally) when the x360 booted up for the first time. The speakers are loud and clear. I don’t normally ask my laptop to make a lot of noise but a few tests with music and movies left me impressed. Ports (USB-C location) Two Thunderbolt 3.0 ports (USB-C 3.1) and a USB-A 3.1 are good if you like to have peripheral options without a dongle. A headphone jack and a Micro-SD card slot round out a pretty standard set of interfaces CPU/Performance (“Whiskey Lake”) The 8th Generation i7-8565U and on-chip Intel UHD Graphics 620 is more than powerful enough for everything I’ve thrown at it so far including 3D rendering (Daz3D), photo editing (Photoshop/Lightroom CC), very light gaming (Minecraft) and the standard web browsing, document editing and video watching. 8GB of RAM is fairly standard for a modern laptop and does the job. If you like to have a lot of programs running at once or like to dabble in running virtual machines on your laptop it might be worth seeking out one of the 16GB models but 8GB is roomy enough for most. Fingerprint reader Putting the fingerprint reader back on the top of the deck by the keyboard is a welcome change from the previous model’s use of a side-mounted fingerprint reader. I’ve been using it for a couple days now and it hasn’t let me down yet. Pen The pen (included non-tilt version) is where I encountered my first issue with the x360. It has a nice feel and initially worked very well on the screen for note taking, photo editing and sketching. Unfortunately it has stopped working after about a day’s use. I’m suspicious that the included AAAA battery has died, though I can’t be sure whether the battery or the pen is the problem. I will find out more when I can finally track down a new AAAA battery to attempt. Webcam kill switch This is a great feature for those of us who don’t really use a webcam for much and are fond of taping over the webcam for security reasons. The switch turns the webcam off, supposedly at the BIOS level, and removes some of the worry of having your webcam secretly activated (or joining a web conference from home office and having video of you in your bathrobe accidentally popping up for your coworkers). Battery life I’m not sure I believe the 22 hour battery life claims HP is making for this laptop for real world use, but I have yet to be able to kill the battery after a couple days of testing. Today I’m four hours off the charger with light web surfing and the battery is at 80%. Software As someone who bounces back and forth between Windows, MacOS and Linux as an occupational hazard, I’m not generally a big fan of Windows bloatware and the extra effort one has to put in to make things run smoothly on Windows. However, HP does a passable job of keeping the bloatware to a minimum and I think this is about as quickly as I’ve gone from pulling a Windows laptop out of the box and getting it set up the way I want it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Almost perfect, great laptop

    Posted
    psyclopps
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    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

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great, powerful convertible

    Posted
    aarondr
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    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 is 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 does not 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 is 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 is 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 have 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

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Fantastic, versatile laptop

    Posted
    SgtRock
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    This is the best looking laptop I've ever used. The box itself just looks sharp and expensive. The laptop itself is sleek and impressively small. At 2.6 lbs it's the lightest laptop I've ever used (though I'm sure there are lighter out there) even if it's not the smallest. The laptop boots very fast, thanks to the 500gb SSD drive. For a laptop this feels like ample storage (depending on your usage, of course) and is fairly standard. It can always be upgraded to a larger SSD, at somewhat of a hassle, or you can simply use micro-SD cards! This is a great option and one I'm not used to seeing on laptops. The computer and screen are gorgeous. The display looks great at normal HD settings. After looking over forums I've not tried to figure out how to get it to 4k as it appears there are some driver issues right now. This is a super-fast, super-responsive computer. Programs open right away, and I've experienced no "hangs" yet, even with multiple programs running. Out of curiousity I ran it through "Novabench" to see how it compares benchmark wise to other laptops. The majority of the computer is in the top 80-90% (memory, speed, cpu, etc). The only thing that really brought the score down was the lack of video card. The onboard processor is very limited--you'll probably want to look elsewhere for gaming. I've seen other reviewers mention external video card set-ups. This computer has the profile to work great with an external set-up if that's your preference. The inputs are terrific and more than what I'm used to from a light, modern laptop--there is not an ethernet port or HDMI, but that's standard for lightweight laptops anymore. It does include a USB-3 connector, which is hardly standard anymore and very nice to see. So many things still use USB that this is still a very necessary connection so it's nice not to have to use an adapter. It also includes two USB-C connectors (one is used to charge the battery when needed). My only gripe so far about this computer is the awkward placement of the charging connection--it's kind of at an angle between the back and side. I'm used to being able to charge from either the right or the left directly on the side. It causes the cord to stick out at a slightly strange angle. Not a big deal, but just a little odd. The laptop ran warm at first, but this seemed to mostly be due to initial set-up and updating. After the first few light sessions I updated the BIOS as well as some HP and Windows updates and haven't noticed it get any warmer than any other laptop I've used. The fan also kicks on fairly often depending on usage, but it's negligible sound (and again, much softer than older laptops I've used). I also liked that it has 5ghz connection capability. This is what I usually connect to, since that's frequently the less-used wifi connection anywhere I am. My internet speeds are great as long as there's even a semi-decent connection around. The pen that comes with it is easy and fun to use. I use Windows ink and have really enjoyed it. The screen in tablet mode is very responsive, and the resolution makes detailed artwork possible (not that I've done any to speak of yet--I've just mostly experimented with detailed doodles to test what kind of art can be done). I'm going to invest in a better art program and see how that goes, but with the screen resolution and processor speed I expect it will run as well as anything else. There is no real "bloatware" installed, so that's another plus. I replaced the McAfee right away with Bitdefender and Malwarebytes (both of which I already had subscriptions for), but McAfee is a decent program so feel free to use it if you need anti-virus software (and honestly Windows does a pretty good job of that itself these days--couple it with another free program here and there and you shouldn't need much of anything). If you're looking to replace a high-end work laptop (or drawing tablet) you can't go wrong with this one--just don't expect to do much gaming without further investments.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Powerful Computing in a To Go Package

    Posted
    Njuice
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    HP has really made a name for itself in the last few years for being a top of the line product when it comes to Windows Laptops. This HP Spectre x360 is no exception and really packs a punch! PROS: - The design is beautiful! I really wasn't sure of the angular edges but it really grew on me. It has virtually no bezel on the sides of the screen and overall is really compact and thin. It feels really easy to carry around too. - The ports are minimal but great. In an increasingly USB-C world I like how they still included one USB 3.0 port as well as a headphone jack. Just provides for better backwards compatibility while everything catches up. - Set-Up was a breeze, it doesn't have too much bloatware but any that does come with it you can easily uninstall. - The HD screen looks incredible and really pops while watching videos, the added Dolby Atmos support on videos (including Netflix) is a nice addition as well. Also when comparing 13" to 15" I think the 13" is very ideal for on the go and portability. - Typing on it is very smooth. The key's provide enough feedback to feel firm but are still low profile and comfortable. The Camera privacy switch is another well made addition. Also it has a fingerprint sensor for signing in and other features and it works quickly and effectively. - Finally, the pen provides great additional functionality in tablet mode. And if you aren't a big note taker, it can still come in hand for doing some designs or using as a stylus so you don't smudge the screen. CONS: - I can see the hinge of the laptop screen becoming a problem over time. It is very functional in laptop, tent, or tablet mode but I worry that over use could cause it to be flimsy as sometimes I notice the screen can womble when I carry or move it around in laptop mode. I know this is a difficult compromise to make for 2-in-1's as you don't want the hinge to be too tight or too loose. It's just something to consider with longevity but I could be wrong. - This is not a 4K screen model and that's okay, but I think at least HDR should be standard on new laptops as they are on most cell phones and tablets. - I wish the laptop had an easier way to carry the pen with it. Either magnets or some sort of storage or attachable component. It's just not as easily accessible as it should be. - There are no USB-C adapters that come in the box. It's just another purchase you will have to make if you want more ports or HDMI and ethernet access. BOTTOM LINE: HP's Latest Spectre x360 is another great achievement. It's fast, thin, and can do pretty much anything you need from a laptop. Immediately when you use this, it will be your go to do it all sidekick.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent value but poor reliability record

    Posted
    christiandiaz117
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This laptop's strongest selling point is by far the bang for your buck that it offers. No other product line has everything that this laptop offers at this price point. Elsewhere, you either get less features for the same price or the same features at a higher price. Such value proposition has a price though: This product line has a poor reliability record. Personally, my laptop is well built and has been pretty reliable so far. However, I have read a lot of horror stories about HP Spectre X360's having reliability problems right of the box. My recommendation here is to test EVERYTHING immediately after purchasing this laptop. This laptop is a GREAT purchase IF you get a well built, reliable one. When you unbox this laptop you get a decent outer box with a plastic briefcase handle. And a fancy inner box (which I suggest you keep). Inside you will find the laptop, a 65W USB-C charger, a basic stylus with an AAAA battery included and a leather sleeve. Style wise this laptop is very, very stylish and luxurious looking. HP describes it as a "gem cut dark ash silver with copper luxe". The gem cut part is easy to ascertain from looking at online photos. As for the color: Dark Ash Silver is a dark brown/gray with an anodized, sandblasted finish. Copper Luxe is chromed bronze with a brushed finish. Function wise, my review is as follows: In terms of 2 in 1 ultrabook functionality this laptop is very portable, the hinges strike a good balance between resistance offered and flexibility and the touchscreen is very sensitive and precise both with your fingers and with the included stylus. On the battery front with the default power plan it last roughly 10 hours of everyday use and takes roughly 2 hours to fully recharge. However, if you play games with this laptop battery duration plummets to around 3-4 hours. On the security front both the IR camera and the fingerprint sensor are easy to setup and use. The IR camera is faster than the fingerprint sensor. The webcam's resolution is best in class but has a noticeably grainy image. You do get a physical switch that turns it off COMPLETELY. That's great for privacy. The screen has amazing image despite being a FHD panel. It seems to be Windows HD Color compatible when on charger power only. The speakers have amazing sound. The 4 speaker arrangement does a good job at ensuring you always fully hear everything. No matter how you place the laptop. The keyboard feels great and has two backlit levels. Be warned that it isn't compatible with Alt codes right out of the box. The glassy touchpad also feels great. However the included drivers don't seem to fully make use of its multi-touch gesture capabilities. Both the Intel Core i-7 8565U processor and the Intel AC-9560 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth module are very powerful and future-proof. Nevertheless, due to the Intel UHD-620 GPU it can only do light gaming. It does light gaming quite well though. Windows 10 is surprisingly resource hungry when its comes to the included 256GB SSD and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. Fortunately, both are very, very fast during everyday use. On the available ports front it has few ports but the ones it has are quite potent: 2 Thunderbolt 3, 1 USB-A Gen 2, 1 microSD card reader and 1 headphone/microphone combo. Finally, regarding bloatware this laptop is neither bloatware free nor it is riddled with bloatware.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Premium Laptop

    Posted
    Josh76
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    This HP Spectre laptop is a beautiful machine that was thoughtfully designed to be used in any scenario. It comes in an elegant box and is packaged nicely with a pen and a USB-C charger. The packaging definitely stands out as opposed to cheaper laptops and would look great as a gift. The laptop comes with a Quickstart guide, which I, of course, ignored, so it took me a few minutes to find the power button. When I got it on, I went through the Windows 10 setup which was very easy. I have a MacBook Pro and a Chromebook and Windows takes a little longer to set up but it was not bad. This is my first laptop with facial recognition so I chose that option over the finger print reader...I may change my mind. The laptop has 2 USB-C ports which I love, all of my devices and peripherals work with USB-C and I like the ability to transfer data and power from the same port. It's also less clumsy than the old charger types. I wish HP made a more streamlined USB charger though, the one that came with this is pretty bulky but still an improvement over prior Windows devices. The battery life is incredible. HP says it gets 21 hours of use and I believe it. I have not gotten the battery down to zero yet after 4 days of use, pretty spectacular. One of my favorite features on this Spectre is the keyboard. Typing on this is an absolute joy and unlike any other laptop that I've ever used. It's comfortable to type on and I never hit the wrong button accidentally. The letters on the keys are big as well and the backlighting is perfect. The hot keys are perfect as well, everything I need is right there. The touch pad does not perform nearly as well as the keyboard. Gestures cannot be changed in Windows settings which is a downer. Microsoft Edge is supposed to be the best browser to use in Windows 10 but I just don't like it. Chrome and Firefox are far superior browsers. The downside to using Chrome though, is that a two-finger swipe does not go back and forth between web pages like it does in Edge. Major bummer, could be a Windows issue? The touchpad is also not always responsive to two finger taps to right click. The screen, while not 4k, is beautiful and everything looks crisp and colorful to me. The speakers are fantastic, nothing earth shattering, but really good for a laptop. Music and movies sound great at all volumes and there are plenty of EQ options as well. The laptop works really well in tablet mode as well. It is really light and sturdy and I've enjoyed using it in all sorts of modes whether I'm at my desk, on the sofa or in bed. The body is very sturdy in a nice dark metal and brownish/gold finish that looks really nice. This is a premium laptop in every way. Facial recognition is hit or miss, I may change to the fingerprint option soon, but when it works it's terrific and fast. Mine came with a pen, which is nice, I use the pen on my Surface to sign up new clients, but a magnet or some way to stick it to the laptop would have been ideal. There weren't really any annoying preinstalled programs on here which was nice as well, I think I only uninstalled a few. All in all, I am very happy with this Spectre laptop and look forward to using it for years to come.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Leader of the Pack!

    Posted
    rtbestbuy
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    Over the last couple of years, HP has completely rethought their laptop line. The Spectre 360, a premium convertible ultrabook, has seen incremental improvements over the last couple of years that have resulted in a true leader. I've been using this laptop daily for the last 10 days and feature for feature, I don't think there is anything that compares to the new HP Spectre x360 13" 2-in-1. First thing you notice out of the box is the beautiful, solid construction. There is nothing about this laptop that feels cheap or fragile. The next thing you notice is the weight, or lack thereof! At under about 2.7 lbs, it's easy to carry around all day. The multi-touch touchscreen is beautiful, bright and ultrasharp and protected by Gorilla Glass. It stretches edge to edge with no ugly plastic bezel. The keyboard has full size keys and is very usable. It is backlit with a couple of different levels of lighting, a nice touch. The battery life is absolutely phenomenal! My usual routine involves about five to six hours actively on the computer daily. With the Spectre 360, I would do my usual routine, just close the lid between sessions to sleep the cpu. At the end of the day, I still had over half a battery left! HP claims 14 hours of battery life and I don't doubt it. As an experiment, I went two days without recharging overnight, and made it through with about 15% battery to spare. I didn't think I would use the tablet mode much (a 13", 2.7 lb tablet? really?), but it was surprisingly useful. Window tablet mode actually works pretty well, although I haven't used the included pen much other than to try it out. However, for apps like Kindle and Flipbook, putting it into tablet mode and using the touchscreen interface worked very nicely. The display is a full HD (1920x0180) touchscreen. The display scaling came default set to 125%. Setting back to 100% allowed the same scaling as my desktop screen with lots of room for program windows. The display was complete usable and readable by me even with the 13" screen. Performance is definitely not an issue, with an eighth gen I7-8565U (4 cores, 8 threads) running up to 4Ghz. 8GB on board ram is more than enough for most uses, and the SSD (256GB) is very fast. One note however; as with almost all ultrabooks, the ram and disk are not user upgradeable. You should select the sizes that you feel you need without thinking you can upgrade later. The keyboard has a fingerprint reader built-in which can be used with Windows hello for login instead of a passphrase. There is also a full HD camera, which has excellent video for chatting, that can also be used for facial recognition for login. The camera has a power switch on the side of the chassis if you're paranoid about someone using it to see you. There are two USB-c connectors and either one can be used for charging the laptop, which is very convenient. Additonally, HP added a USB3.0-A connector for legacy (really most) usb devices rather than having to carry a usb-c to a converter cable. There is the ubiquitous mini-jack for audio and a slot for a micro-sd card rounds out the list of connectors. Bluetooth works very well with headphones, phone, speakers, and a couple other devices. The latest bluetooth version, 5.0, is supported, which enables multiple device connections at once and higher transfer speeds. All in all, I am really, really pleased with the new HP 360 Spectre 13 2-in-1 ultrabook and highly recommend it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great 2-in-1 Laptop with Stylus

    Posted
    mstanleynh
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network

    I've been searching for a small yet powerful and functional 2-in-1 laptop for a bit and I think the search is finally over. I recently received the HP Spectre X360 13" laptop and couldn't be happier. When it arrived, I wasn't sure if it was a piece of artwork being unboxed or a laptop...it's a little bit of both in my book! Included in the box is the laptop, stylus, carry sleeve and USB-C charging/power cord. At first glance, this laptop is absolutely amazing, it's super small and thin and has some really great beveled edges that make it like no other laptop I've owned. The Dark Ash Silver color and gold edges is really top-notch and distinctive. In hand, it feels small yet really well built and solid. It was shipped fully charged and ready to be turned on and set up. It took about 10 minutes for the initial setup. I've continued to fine tune things, but it's pretty much ready to go right out of the box. Windows 10 is fully installed along with Microsoft Office and a bunch of other useful apps. I used Windows Hello for setup vs. the fingerprint option. I love the ease of logging in with this option and was very easy to setup. With it's 8th generation Intel i7 processor and 8 GB of RAM, there's plenty under the hood to keep any type of user happy from a casual to "pro" user. For me, this may just end up being my "daily-driver" as it's been more than enough in terms of performance for everything I've thrown at it from work to Netflix streaming. The 13.3" touch screen is great, this was one of the biggest surprises to me. It remains relatively clean regardless of using is as a tablet and then switching back to laptop mode. The response and feel is very similar to any tablet, so no surprises there..other than a little lag when using the included stylus. Colors are bright and it rivals any HD TV I've watched recently. I find myself using it to watch movies on Netflix instead of using my HD TV at night. The 360º hinges allow the unit to be used as a laptop, tented or as a tablet. I've tended to use it as a tablet and laptop most often and have not had any issues with folding or unfolding the screen/hinges. The Bang & Olufsen speakers are pretty amazing considering the size of the laptop...I love not having to wear my headphones every time I need good audio output! I haven't had a chance to really put the stylus to use, but with limited use find it to be very serviceable..as mentioned early, there was a little lag on some apps. It's definitely something I want to learn to use more and get back to writing vs. constantly typing, so it's a great addition. Pros: - Overall build quality is very impressive, feels really sturdy in hand or on the road. - Touch screen provides beautiful output and functions as expected - Very powerful machine in a small package, has not let me down yet - Aesthetically this is one beautiful machine - Touch pad is a great size and supports a ton of gestures - Keyboard is solid with great tactile feedback Cons: - Little bit of lag with stylus on 3D app and others..nitpicking on this one - Some glare from under the keyboard when used on my lap at certain angles Overall this is my new favorite "machine" for doing everything from working from the road to watching Netflix at home. It will certainly replace my current laptop and tablet for the foreseeable future!

    I would recommend this to a friend