Games PC & Laptops

HP Spectre x360 13 (2019) Laptop Review: Best Consumer 2-in-1 – Tom’s Hardware

Should you’re on the lookout for a light-weight shopper 2-in-1, it’s exhausting to argue towards the HP Spectre x360 13-inch. Beginning at $1,zero29 (£999), the newest model of this tried-and-true convertible options epic battery life, strong efficiency and a modern new design with engaging tapered edges and an eye-popping Poseidon Blue shade. Whereas its base-level 1080p display could possibly be brighter, the Spectre x360 has a slew of useful options, together with a USB Sort-A port, a hardware webcam change and an lively stylus within the field.

Execs

  • Lengthy battery life
  • Engaging design
  • Light-weight
  • USB Sort-A port

Cons

  • Uninteresting, noisy webcam
  • Dim display for a premium system

Verdict

HP’s Spectre x360 13-inch provides a best-in-class mixture of favor, portability and efficiency.

Design

The brand new HP Spectre x360 13-inch and its 15-inch huge brother are the primary laptops I’ve ever seen which have hexagon shapes… nicely, kind of. At first look, these computer systems seem rectangular, however the higher left and proper sides of the chassis are chamfered into mini fifth and 6 sides, with the facility button dwelling on the left nook edge and the USB-C charging port on the suitable one.

These edges are polarizing; I like them lots as a result of they add a gorgeous, distinctive design factor and make it straightforward to really feel your approach to the facility button in the dead of night. Nevertheless, a few of my coworkers assume they’re pointless design thrives.

The remainder of the laptop computer’s look is certainly beautiful with an all-aluminum design that is available in two colour schemes: Ash Silver and Poseidon Blue. I examined an Ash Silver unit and famous that the phrase “silver” is just a little deceptive as a result of the lid and deck are extra of a darkish brown metallic with a shiny, copper-colored metallic on the hinges and the edges. Both method, it seems to be incredible. However the Poseidon Blue colour is much more engaging with a darkish delicate blue on the lid and deck to go together with a white gold-colored metallic across the sides and on the hinges. I’d undoubtedly get the Blue.

At 12.2 x eight.6 x zero.6 inches (309 x 218 x 15 mm) and simply 2.eight kilos (1.Three kg), the Spectre x360 13-inch is actually mild and compact. It’s notably smaller and lighter than the Lenovo Yoga C930 and thinner however zero.Three kilos heavier than the LG Gram 14 2-in-1. The Dell XPS 13 is zero.1 kilos lighter and zero.1 inches thinner, however understand that it isn’t a 2-in-1 and has no USB Sort-A ports.

Talking of ports, the Spectre x360 13-inch doesn’t have many, nevertheless it does present a USB Sort-A port, one thing that each one of its most important rivals lack. Along with the Sort-A port, which lives on the left aspect, there’s a microSD card slot, a Three.5mm headphone jack, a Thunderbolt Three port and a USB Sort-C port for charging.

HP Spectre x360 Specs

CPU

Intel Core i7-8565U
Graphics Intel UHD 620 (built-in)
Reminiscence 8GB DDR4-2400
SSD 256GB M.2 PCIe-NVMe
Show 13.Three-inch 1080p (1920×1080) IPS
Networking Intel Wi-fi-AC 9560, Bluetooth 5
Video Ports Thunderbolt Three
USB Ports 2x Thunderbolt Three / USB Sort-C Gen 2
1x USB Sort-A
Audio Quad audio system tuned by Bang & Olufsen
Digital camera FHD, IR webcam
Battery 61 Wh
Energy Adapter 65 W
Working System Home windows 10 House
Dimensions (WxDxH) 12.2 x eight.6 x zero.57 inches / 309.9 x 218.four x 14.5 mm 
Weight 2.9 kilos / 1.Three kg
Worth (as configured) $1,349 / £1,099

Productiveness Efficiency

With its Intel Core i7-8565U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, our assessment configuration of the HP Spectre x360 was greater than able to dealing with every part we threw at it with ease. Even once I had over a dozen tabs open and a 4K video streaming in one other window, I didn’t discover any lag.

On Geekbench four, an artificial benchmark that measures general efficiency, the Spectre scored a strong 14,935, comfortably above the 13,329 class common, just a little higher than the Lenovo Yoga C930 (Core i7-8550U CPU) and barely behind the XPS 13 (Core i7-8565U).

It took HP’s 2-in-1 a strong 1 minute and 34 seconds to match 65,000 names with their addresses in Excel. That’s about on par with the class common, however 24 seconds slower than the Dell XPS 13.

You possibly can crunch movies with the Spectre x360, however you’ll be ready some time. Once we used Handbrake to transcode a 12-minute, 4K video right down to 1080p, the method completed in 22 minutes and 30 seconds. That’s truly a bit faster than the class common (22:54), however the Yoga C930 was eight % faster, and the XPS 13 was 22 % quicker.

The 256GB SSD copied four.97 GB of information at a fee of 391.5 MBps, a fast velocity however a bit under the 557.9 MBps class common. The Dell XPS 13 was barely faster than the typical, whereas the Yoga C930 was a bit behind the Spectre x360.

With its built-in Intel UHD 620 graphics, the Spectre x360 isn’t match for critical gaming, however it may deal with informal titles and a few mild media creation. Once we fired up a recreation of Dust Three, a low-end racing recreation, the 2-in-1 managed a really playable body price of 56 frames per second (fps), 23 % lower than the class common and 36 % behind the XPS 13. Nevertheless, the Yoga C930 fared a lot worse at 37 fps.

The Spectre x360 scored 300 on 3DMark Hearth Strike Extremely, an artificial benchmark that measures graphics prowess. That’s lower than half the premium laptop computer class common, however about on par with the Yoga C930 and Dell XPS 13, each of which even have built-in graphics.

The Spectre x360 presents pretty constant efficiency over time. Once we ran Cinebench R15 10 occasions, the Spectre x360 acquired a mean rating of 497.eight with a mean CPU temperature of 85.eight levels Celsius (186.four levels Fahrenheit) and common clock velocity of two.four GHz. Excluding the primary run, which resulted in a rating of 596.eight, all different 9 situations have been shut to one another, starting from 480.9 to 490.2.

Show

The 13.Three-inch, 1920×1080 show on our evaluate unit was colourful, however not luminous sufficient. Once I watched a trailer for Shazam, some shades, just like the purple within the hero’s costume or the yellow in a lightning bolt, popped, however nothing is as vibrant correctly when you’ve got under common brightness.

The panel measured an unimpressive 287 nits of brightness on our mild meter, which is 35 nits under the class common and miles behind the Dell XPS 13’s mark of 357 nits with its 1080p display.

Nevertheless, our colorimeter confirmed what I noticed with my eyes because the Spectre’s panel reproduced a powerful 150 % of the sRGB shade gamut. That’s 27 % higher than the class common, 19 % above the XPS 13 and 50 % higher than Lenovo’s Yoga C930 with a 4K display.

Keyboard, Touchpad and Pen

The place keyboards for earlier Spectre x360s I examined had extraordinarily tactile, responsive feels, the present mannequin’s keys appear sturdy however slightly stiff. Their 1.four mm of journey isn’t ideally suited (above 1.5mm is nice, however uncommon on ultrabooks), however not horrible both. And the 70 grams of required actuation drive is regular. Nevertheless, I discovered myself bottoming out fairly a bit, which made my fingers really feel fatigued. Once I took the 10fastfingers.com typing check, I reached a price of 96 phrases per minute with a Three.6 % error price, each of that are inside my regular vary. 

In our exams, the four.7 x 2.Three-inch touchpad offered correct navigation across the desktop and responded shortly to all the usual Home windows multitouch gestures, together with pinch-to-zoom, three-finger swipe and four-finger swipe. Nevertheless, the laptop computer doesn’t use Microsoft’s Home windows Precision touchpad driver, as an alternative choosing a Synaptics driver.

The Spectre x360 13-inch comes with an lively stylus that has four,096 ranges of strain sensitivity (interpolated from 1,028 levels) and two customizable buttons. The pen provided a really correct, wealthy writing and drawing expertise. Once I used Home windows 10’s handwriting keyboard, my strokes registered precisely and instantly. And once I did some sketching in Recent Paint, strains have been thicker or thinner relying on how exhausting I pressed.

Whereas I want there was extra friction when urgent the tip towards the display and it might be good if there was a again eraser button like on the Microsoft Floor Pen, the Spectre offered a very good writing expertise. Contemplate that for Microsoft’s Floor Professional and Floor E-book, it’s a must to pay $100 additional for the pen.

Audio

The Spectre x360 is loud sufficient to fill a medium-sized room and correct sufficient to bop to. Once I performed AC/DC’s “Again in Black,” the drums have been just a bit tinny, however not annoyingly so, and the sound was clearly audible from the subsequent room over.

HP Audio Management provides you guide management over the equalizer and the power to decide on amongst film, music or voice profile. Once I turned up the treble, the guitar sounded richer and louder than the opposite devices. You may also toggle the Bang and Olufsen Expertise setting, which is on by default, however turning it off made the music sound a bit hole.

Upgradeability

Simply overlook about upgrading the HP Spectre x360 13-inch. The screws on the underside are hidden beneath the glued-on rubber ft. We don’t know if the RAM or storage are soldered in, however to be able to discover out, we’d have needed to damage the ft, rendering the laptop computer wobbly.

Battery Life

The HP Spectre x360 can final all day lengthy on a cost after which some. On our battery check, which includes steady net browsing, video streaming and operating OpenGL benchmarks at 150 nits of brightness, the Spectre endured for a powerful 12 hours and seven minutes, about four hours longer than the typical premium laptop computer. Dell’s XPS 13 with a 1080p, non-touch display lasted a barely longer 12 hours and 22 minutes, however let’s remember that contact screens often eat much more energy.

Webcam

The built-in 1080p webcam captures photographs that are unimpressive at greatest. A shot of my face had a ton of visible noise, and colours, such because the blue stripes in my shirt and my pores and skin tone, have been fairly inaccurate. No less than the image was pretty brilliant.

The webcam additionally has an infrared sensor for doing Home windows Hey face detection. However in the event you’d choose to only use a finger, there’s additionally a fingerprint reader on the deck.

In case you’re apprehensive about somebody hacking into the pc and taking management of the webcam, you possibly can flip a hardware change on the appropriate aspect that utterly disables the sensor and even removes it from the system supervisor.

Software program and Guarantee

HP provides a number of first-party utilities, a few of that are helpful and a few of which aren’t. HP Command Middle enables you to decide a thermal profile that balances in favor of efficiency, quiet or coolness. HP Audio Change enables you to select which gadget to ship sound to, which is one thing you can additionally do in Home windows settings.

HP Jumpstart, which seems as a big tile on the Begin menu, is a shiny promotion for downloading totally different paid or trialware apps, together with Workplace 365 and McAfee Safety.

Along with the McAfee Safety middle, there’s the usual dumpster filled with free-to-play video games, together with Sweet Crush Saga and Sweet Crush Buddies Saga, that Microsoft shovels onto each Home windows 10 machine. You’ll additionally discover the Netflix app, simply in case you’re a subscriber and didn’t understand that you might simply obtain it your self in a matter of seconds.

HP backs the Spectre x360 with a regular one-year guarantee on elements and labor.

Warmth

The HP Spectre x360 stayed fairly cool all through our anecdotal use, however the backside floor received somewhat heat throughout our warmth check. After streaming a video for 15 minutes, the keyboard measured an inexpensive 30.four levels Celsius (86 levels Fahrenheit), and the touchpad clocked in at 29.1 levels Celsius (84.four levels Fahrenheit). The underside hit a toasty 38.7 levels Celsius (101.7 levels Fahrenheit).

Configuration Choices

Our $1,349 evaluation configuration (on sale for $1,199 at Greatest Purchase at publish time) of the HP Spectre x360 got here with a Core i7-8565U, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1080p show. If you purchase instantly from HP.com, you’ll be able to select between a 1080p and 4K show, decide eight or 16GB of RAM, determine between a Core i5 and Core i7 CPU and go for as much as 2TB of storage.

Relying on the place you purchase from and what configuration you select, costs vary from about $1,zero29 (£999) to $2,399 (£1,799). You will get the laptop computer in your selection of Poseideon Blue or Ash Silver. Whereas each are engaging, I extremely advocate the previous.

Backside Line

For those who’re purchasing for a premium laptop computer with a concentrate on portability and battery life, the HP Spectre x360 must be close to the highest of your listing. Even when you don’t really feel such as you want a 2-in-1, this laptop computer competes very favorably towards main clamshells, just like the Dell XPS 13, and, when you get the Poseidon Blue shade, you’ll have a system that appears nearly as good because it performs.

It’s not good: a premium system like this could offer you greater than 300 nits of brightness even on the bottom mannequin panel, and the keyboard is rather less snappier in comparison with prior fashions reviewed. However the Spectre x360 13-inch is among the greatest light-weight laptops you will get and the only option for shoppers who need a light-weight system with a heavy dose of favor.

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Photograph Credit: Tom’s Hardware

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