Having released the first generation of the HP Spectre x360 in early 2019, HP has come back to give users a new and improved generation, one that is lighter and has two times the performance of its predecessor.
Unboxing the 13-inch Spectre x360, it is clear that the design remained very much premium. It’s smooth yet diamond-cut exterior made for an extremely elegant look and I couldn’t help but hope that its performance would live up to its appearance.
Opening up the screen, all the components of the new generation Spectre x360 seemed to have been pushed closer together. The frame was smaller, in fact, 13% smaller according to HP, and the layout seemed cosier in general. This kind of layout is what you expect from a two-in-one ultrabook.
Technically speaking, the new generation should be performing significantly better than the early 2019 models. Two times better performance rate is not a small upgrade. In reality, the difference turned out to be not exactly revolutionary.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t good. On the contrary, all basic actions are smooth and rapid, and browsing the web, switching between tabs or multi-tasking is seamless. A large part of this can be attributed to Intel Core i7 10th Gen and Iris Plus.
HP’s first 4K display ultrabook does not disappoint. Images are sharp and crisp and with the option of 400 nits and the addition of a 30% wider colour range, the colours are vibrant to the point of almost popping out the screen. I found myself staring at the default screensaver (Shek O Beach, Hong Kong), impressed by each and every element of the image; perfectly balanced in harmony.
Visually speaking, it’s a treat to look at. And that’s not just for photos, but videos as well. If you’re watching Netflix or YouTube videos you’ll be experiencing high-quality smooth playback the whole way through.
The battery life has also been improved. Personally, I’m easily getting a whole day’s worth of use from it, but of course, this depends on the settings you’re using. If you’re at maximum performance and full brightness, it’s likely you’ll have less using time than if you were to be at “Better performance”, “Better battery” and obviously “Battery saver”.
Even if it does lose power, thanks to the fast charger, you can get from zero to 50% in around 30 minutes. Ideal for when you’re travelling.
The keyboard is quite big for an ultrabook allowing decent key travel and a generally sound typing experience. I really liked the feeling of typing on the keys as they’re smooth and not at all rigid. They almost sink in softly without delaying any typing actions.
The Microsoft Precision Trackpad is an effective addition to the setup. It’s smooth and your fingers never get caught while navigating around no matter how sweaty your hands get. But, in some instances, while typing, I accidentally hit the trackpad consequently muddling up a sentence further up the page without me even noticing.
Being a convertible, the display transforms itself into a more than capable tablet. For when you want a more immersive watching, browsing or gaming experience, tablet mode is a good option. The performance doesn’t suffer in any way and it’s quite fun to use.
The smart features
The additions of the touch sensor to unlock your laptop is not new but still is extremely handy for fast, secure access. The new additions, though, in the Webcam Kill Switch and mic muter options ensure users feel safe while using the Spectre x360.
Cortana, as usual, is still helpful as always and smarter than ever. Just say “Hey Cortana” or click on the little circle at the bottom and ask away.
There’s a lot that I like about HP’s new generation of the Spectre x360 and very little that I dislike. Its performance is great for those who would use it for document-writing, web-browsing and video-watching, as I did, but poor for the hardcore gamers. The display is exquisite and it’s a handy piece of technology to have with you while you’re on-the-go.
What I didn’t like was its tendency to heat up when put under stress, although in its defence it reacted quickly and calmed down. There were also times when my typing would be disrupted due to accidental contact with the trackpad. Lastly, even though the new Spectre x360 only weighs 1.3 kg it still feels a little heavy for an ultrabook of that size, but this is only a minor issue.
All in all, the HP Spectre x360 is a great product. You’ll need to pay quite a bit to get it, but if you’re looking for a simple yet impressive two-in-one 4K display ultrabook…look no further.
Buy it for $2999