Recently HP has refurbished its Spectre series, which is considered as its finest ranges of laptops. The latest addition, Spectre x360 2-in-1 is one of the most popular ones in the series. In this review, we will be checking out the 13-inch version.
The device placed on the review table is the 13-ap0101tu, which is among the more advanced Spectre models. It is built upon an 8th Gen Core i7 CPU, and equipped with an abundant storage and RAM. The price justifies its position as the premium most HP laptop, with the reviewed model costing Rs. 1,50,000.
HP Spectre x360 13 Design:
HP has acquired a reputation of coming out with an enhanced design with each of their new laptops. The Spectre x360 13 carries a beautifully defined design with its aggressive angles giving it a slim look. It comes in a sharp Dark Ash Silver colour, with its logo and edges enhanced in bronze. It is a lightweight device at 1.32 kg and 14.5mm thickness.
The all-aluminium chassis of the HP Spectre x360 13 feels incredibly sturdy. We tried testing the strength by applying some force, but thankfully the device did not show any bend. The backlit power button has been placed on the left corner. One of the USB Type-C ports is put on the right corner, while the other one is placed on the right side.
As a 2-in-1 laptop, the Spectre x360 can nicely rotate into tablet. A full-sized USB 3.1 Gen2 port is present on the left side. All the USB ports support HP’s Sleep and Charge feature to charge the devices even when the device is off. Also available is a 3.5mm headphone and microphone combo socket, along with a microSD card slot.
We liked the well-spaced out placement of the keys on the laptop’s keyboard. The keys are admirably smooth and quiet, and so is the even spread of the backlight across the length. A fingerprint sensor is present too for Windows Hello authentication. Four Bang & Olufsen speakers are provided, two above the keyboard, and the other two at the bottom.
HP Spectre x360 13 Display:
The laptop features a 13.3 inches display with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT protection, which provides the screen with a glossy finish. The full-HD display has a 10-finger touch input support, a resolution of 1920×1080, and a considerably high 120Hz refresh rate for a smooth feel. We immensely liked the richness of colors and the wide viewing angles on its IPS panel.
HP’s Sure View is surely one of the defining features of HP Spectre x360 13. A polariser film is turned on to cover the screen, narrowing down the side viewing angles. Through this feature, the company puts the viewer’s privacy into focus, protecting the viewed content from gaze at a public place.
HP Spectre x360 13 Specifications:
There are many Spectre x360 13 configurations available in India, starting from the Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage variant. However, the reviewed model 13-ap0101tu comes with an Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, supported by integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics.
The laptop has an integrated accelerometer and gyroscope to automatically adjust the display orientation as per the usage. Also present is a Wi-Fi 802.11ac with 2×2 MIMO antennas and Bluetooth 5. The device is equipped with a compact 65W Type-C power adapter, with an option to charge using a standard Type-C phone charger too.
The laptop is packed with the full version of Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition, along with a trial version of McAfee LiveSafe and a few other apps from the Windows store. It also comes with HP’s preinstalled utilities like Command Center and Support Assistant to manage power profiles and keeping drivers up to date.
HP Spectre x360 13 Features:
The laptop felt quiet and smooth while doing routine chores like editing documents within a Web browser and some Bluetooth music streaming. While using the device placed on our laps, the bottom rear portion felt a little warm but not too uncomfortable.
One of the highlights of HP Spectre x360 13 is its portability due to its low weight. It looks premium and exquisite. The dual-hinge offers plenty of flexibility, and the lid folds all the way back to convert into the tablet mode. The device however felt quite thick as a tablet mode. We wished the Windows OS could have better touch-enabled like Android and iOS. It though felt adequate for watching a video or use social and chat apps.
One advantage of the thick bezels on the top and bottom of the screen is, that the laptop feels steady while holding the tablet vertically for browsing the Web or reading a book. It is also equipped with a stylus for sketching and drawing. The stylus is run by an AAAA battery.
The webcam has the capability to shoot full-HD videos with an excellent quality, but with a barely satisfying indoor ambient lighting. The laptop carries a privacy protecting physical kill-switch, which disables the camera at hardware level. We did notice at times that apps such as the default camera app failed to recognise the Webcam after we had disabled and re-enabled it. We had to relaunch the app to get it to work.
The four speakers provide an excellent audio quality, with robust volume and sharp vocals. Audio felt loud and clear in all modes, even without much of a bass support. A physical volume rocker is missed as we had to manage it with the on-screen controls in the tablet mode.
HP Spectre x360 13 Performance:
Benchmark performance is excellent, for a U-series Intel CPU. We got a score of 4,007 points in PCMark 10, and 1195 in the 3DMark Fire Strike. The time taken for compressing a 3GB+ folder was an adequate 3 minutes 45 seconds. We were happy with getting Gigabit speeds for sequential and random read bandwidth in SiSoft Sandra, and the equivalent write speeds satisfied us at 500MBps.
As per the company, the laptop delivers a 20+ hours of runtime on one charge. However, a normal day-to-day usage lasted around an appreciable six hours. We tried putting together a usage consisting watching online videos, browsing on Chrome, and streaming music over Bluetooth, all with the keyboard backlight turned on. Here, we were able to use the device for nearly eight hours in a battery saving mode. In the intense Battery Eater Pro test, with the battery profile set to ‘Balanced’, the laptop ran for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The HP Spectre x360 13-ap0101tu is a powerful 2-in-1 with a premium design and very god construction quality. It is lightweight and very comfortable to use. A good selection of ports, a sensitive touchscreen with a new in-built privacy feature, a convenient keyboard, and excellent audio are among its pros.
Among the cons, the hevy top and bottom bezels could have been trimmed for an edge-to-edge display. Another is the absence of the volume rocker when using the 2-in-1 as a tablet. And the trackpad could be slimmer to make it easier to reach the right trackpad button area.
The reviewed model feels very desirable at its cost, which is more than acceptable taking into account its premium design, features and performance. Not only it looks the part, it backs its design with an equally efficient performance. Just an ideal and premium convertible work machine for professionals on the move.