HP Spectre X360 13: Flexibility and Speed gives HP Spectre an edge over its peers

HP Spectre X360 13

The HP Spectre x360 13 is a premium convertible 2-in-one, it’s smaller in size- but amazing in speed and long battery life. It also has a great HD display screen, attractive in design and a stable keyboard. The price for this machine is attractive, but it’s in no way inferior in power and general functionality of a good portable device. So it’s right to say that HP’s Spectre x360 seems to have sacrificed the processing speed for long battery life. Again it heats up a little bit, but which is a minor impediment. With this in mind, we flung its door open and took a peek to see how its anatomy is constituted.

The Spectre x360 13 comes with the latest quad-core eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor. The processor has been in use in many notebooks of choice towards the end of 2017. The CPU is a high-end processing powerhouse. It’s famed for exceptional performance and power sipping ability, especially for lighter productivity tasks. This mobile CPU has seen yet again the dominance of the market by the eighth generation. These, as well as the faster Yoga 920, completely makes minced meat of the seventh-generation systems like the Asus Zen Book Flip S.

HP Spectre X360 13 At a glance

The strength

  • Amazing processing speed with the 8th gen. Processor
  • Gorgeous built
  • Stable keyboard
  • Cheaper and lighter

The Weakness

  • Hot’s up a little
  • The stylus less sensitive compared to other two in ones

The specs

Our review team came back with the following specifications

  • Screen 13.3-inch 1,920×1, 080 resolutions
  • PC CPU 1.8 GHz Intel Core i7-8550U
  • PC Memory 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz
  • Graphics 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Storage 256GB SSD, micro SD slot
  • Ports 2 x USB-C/Thunderbolt, 1 x USB 3.1 Type A, 1 x combo audio
  • Networking 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Operating system Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
  • Weight 2.8 lb/1.3kg

The cost

The HP Spectre x360 13 comes with

-Core i7-8550U

-13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 × 1,080 or 166 PPI) display

– 8GB of RAM, and 256GB solid-state disk (SSD)

It’s priced at $1,280, but at a discounted amount of $ 1,080, including the more advanced HP Tilt active pen. For the Core i5-8250U model, you can save an extra $100. If it’s upgraded to 16GB of RAM, a massive 2TB SSD, a 4K UHD display (3,840 x 2,160 or 331 PPI), HP Tilt pen, 1TB storage and it goes for £1,700. It comes with the Active Pen, but it supports the newer Tilt Pen if you want to upgrade for a further £80. But with all this, is the machine anywhere near the altar of 2-in-ones convertibles? A bit of digging in towards this end will suffice.

The system architecture

With a reduction in weight, from 2.85 to 2.78 pounds and a further 0.54 of thickness from the HP Spectre X360 13, makes it the ideal machine regarding portability. Though not many changes were done on the structure of the Spectre x360, the bezels were also reduced by about a fraction of a millimeter.

HP managed to retain some functionality from the previous model. These are the Biometric mechanisms which are the infra-red cameras and the facial recognition systems. This hardware is supported by the windows 10 Hello software. The HP Spectre X360 13also comes with a slim fingerprint reader. But finding it on the machine summons a bit of getting used to which is quite annoying at times.

HP Spectre X360 13 Display

The HP Spectre X360 13 display has three options 13.3-inch Full HD display, a Full HD display with the similar HP Sure View privacy screen which first came in the Elite Book x360 G2, or 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160 or 331 PPI) display. Most premium laptops use Full HD. The Spectre x360 13’s display is excellent. Brightness is average at 301 nits, which is bright enough to blind off some competitors in the convertibles market, but the Yoga 920 has a better showing in this regard. The Spectre x360 did have significantly better contrast than the Yoga 730, however. Concerning coloring, the colors are also average when you check both Adobe RGB and RGB color gamut. Accuracy was lower compared to the competition. Again, the previous generation is much stronger, as was the Yoga 920 and laptops like the Dell XPS 15 and MacBook Pro. Meanwhile, the Yoga 720 was a bit weaker, placing the Spectre x360 13 toward the middle of the pack. HP didn’t explain the slight drop in quality.

The Spectre x360’s battery life is long lasting, even with heavy tasks. It can last up to about 9 hours, which is average but still inferior to other 2-in one’s convertibles on the market- a good example being the yoga 920

HP Spectre X360 13 Keyboard

The Spectre x360 keys are shallow, and they offer some resistance but which is a bit better than the MacBook which has smaller keys and generally very uncomfortable to type upon, especially for a more extended period. The Touchpad is placed to the left to accommodate the main QWERTY layout. The size is too wide and too short from the top and the bottom. HP could have done better than to retain the Synaptic software on Pc’s instead reserving the buttery Windows Precision drivers for their enterprise-focused Elite books; because of this, you lose the smoother multi-touch gestures and interactions.

Interfacing

The earlier model had so many ports on its system architecture. It had a full-size HDMI, three USB A 3.0 type ports, and also Display duty ports. But the Spectre x360 is very economical with ports on its super slim structure. With the introduction of the USB –C Thunderbolt 3, it meant that several ports had to be declared redundant by the HP team. The ports that found themselves at the long end of the stick are the HDMI and other Display duty ports. The USB-C ports have 10Gbps data transfer rates. You get two Thunderbolt 3 ports that take over for HDMI and Display Port duties. Also on the chopping board of HP HP Spectre X360 13 is the Integrated SD card reader. But there is one survivor though – only one single USB-A type port which can transfer data at the rate of 5GBPS.

The addition of a new micro-SD card reader to support is a welcome development for this is port is typically used to transfer data from external devices to the computer which could be anything from steal pictures to videos. The Spectre x360 13’s connectivity is paired well with the Yoga 920 regarding USB but outdoes it by including an SD slot. That’s at least one you won’t need on the Spectre x360.

Wireless connectivity includes 2×2 MU-MIMO WI-Fi as well as Bluetooth 4.2. Overall, connectivity is relatively meager regarding the sheer number of ports, but the dual Thunderbolt 3 USB-C connections are high performance and future proof. If nothing else, the HP Spectre X360 13 outshines the single USB-C port found on the Yoga 720 and 12-inch MacBook.

Digital Pen

As we know, the 2 –in –one convertible usually has two types of Displays – the Touch Display and the regular kind of Display. The Touch Display usually is quite responsive, meaning it should provide the right amount of friction to function. The HP’S stylus on the Spectre x360 delivers 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is out of the league concerning sensitivity with other Active pens like the one on say Yoga 920 and Surface Pro which have pressure sensitivity levels of 4,096. The creatives will find it a bit tough using the stylus because it might not provide the creativity in a more detailed form to achieve a creative edge when doing their design on the Spectre x360.

Unlike on other 2-in-ones where the pen is attached to the main machine either magnetically or through an attachment by a plastic holster, like the stylus on the yoga 920, the stylus on Spectre x360 does not have a provision for attaching it to the main chassis of the notebook. This is not commendable because the stylus is vulnerable to getting lost or damages. The stylus has a button and gyroscope that lets it function as a sort of laser pointer, that assists in the interfacing with Touch Display. Of note also is that HP included a rechargeable battery in the stylus, the stylus is normally charged through a USB –C charging port that is interfaced through pulling on the tail butt part where the eraser is located.

Audio

The speakers installed on the HP Spectre X360 13 are a set of Audio duties are performed by a set Bang & Olufsen which are located below the Display and along the keyboard deck. They are audible enough for a bigger room with an almost sense of audio clarity. When watching a movie or just happening on your favorite jams, there is virtually a separation of the tweeter, and midrange- but there is almost a marriage of all the sounds into one when they hit the airwaves. It is great to listen to it, and the collaborative effort between HP and Bang & Olufsen seem to have paid off.

Warranty information

Service is always void for all physical damages. HP offers a standard one-year parts warranty for the Spectre x360. Other notebook manufacturers usually replicate this warranty across the board, but terms and conditions apply in each case.

The competition

The 2-in-ones convertible notebook is a crowded marketplace with very stiff competition as always. This in effect has put pressure on the PC manufacturers to up their game to outfox each other, maintain a niche or throw themselves in there with the wolfs literary. Companies like HP have manufactured notebooks that have brought the stiffest competition on the laptop market, what of with brands like the HP Spectrex360 13 – which is one of the podium holders in the portable Pc arena. Others in this category are Apple mac book pro 13, Samsung Chrome pro- to scratch the surface just a little bit. However, the Spectre x360 has a smaller battery, but it still matches the yoga 920 strength for strength. The XPS 13 2-in-1 go head to head in pricing with the Yoga 920, at $1,350 for a Core i7-7Y75, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD. It is much smaller in size than the Yoga 920 and also inferior to it in performance.

The verdict

The Spectre x360 incorporates the latest technology to make it a premier convertible machine. This includes the eight- gen-core-i-processor which gives it speed and processing stability. The price is affordable which does not make it low in quality. But as usual, everything that is good must have its flaws and the Spectre x360 is not immune to this fact. First, the Spectre x360 is prone to heating up.

Bottom line

The Spectre x360 is a beautiful convertible 2-in-one laptop that is stylish in design and with a brilliant performance. The display is equipped with safe screen privacy and convenient finger print scanner. With an attractive price tag makes the Spectre x360 13 a budget machine. It has an attractive color, though HP should have done more with the brightness, which in my opinion is less than impressive. Overall, this machine is worth every penny that you spend on it, so go out there and have a look at it- it’s a great machine.

 

 

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