HP Spectre x360 13 (2019) review
The new Spectre x360 is nicknamed the “gem-cut” model, and for a good reason.
A nice sexy model.
photo by pcmag.com
HP Spectre x360 was undeniably an example of a good 2-in-1 convertible laptop. But HP decided to surprise us with a newer version of their ultrabook. Some say it is better, much better. Well, we’ll see.
2019 version stands out first of all with its design. Inspired by gems, the laptop is built with many facets and angles that reflect light giving an impression of a precious stone. The edges, the chassis, the speakers – all is angled and cut. The edges of the device are colored gold and silver that makes the laptop look even more gem-like.
The metal of the sides is made to match with both of the possible color schemes: Dark Ash Silver, which we know from previous HP devices, and a new Poseidon Blue – a deep calm blue color. The overall impression of the laptop is as of a solid, well-designed device. But there is a question: for whom is this design? For a business laptop it’s too pretentious. For an item of status (hello, Apple!) it is not good enough. But, as they say, tastes differ…
The cuts on the edges, besides esthetic, also have a practical function. The power button is now placed on a little notch on the back edge of the chassis. The same place on the right is taken by a Thunderbolt 3 port which you can use to charge the laptop. Such placing is actually a very well-thought decision. The power button is within reach without a chance of accidentally pressing it. And the USB-C lets you charge your device without the cable sticking to the side and preventing the tablet-mode usage. God bless the person who thought of that! Altogether Spectre has two USB-C Thunderbolt 3, one USB 3 Type A, a micro SD card slot, and an audio combo jack. There could be more, like an HDMI port for example, but we have what we have.
Another change was made regarding its size – Spectre x360 is 0.9 mm thicker than the 2018 model, but it is still rather light – 1.32 kg for a 13-inch model. However, that almost unnoticeable change results in improved thermal performance.
Interesting are a few security features HP added to their Spectre. They claim to have taken all the precautions to protect your device from hacking. On the side one can find a switch which shuts off the webcam. HP points out that this is a hardware button, which equals to plugging a webcam off the computer. So if you want to make sure nobody hacks your camera, you can now do it on turning off it completely. Also, the dim screen, which hides what’s on your monitor from others, was improved and made more comfortable. But who ever used even the earlier version?
What is really impressive about this laptop is the battery. While a web-browsing test, the laptop lasted for almost 13 hours and up to 17 on a video playback test. Of course, using the CPU on full performance cuts the result to 5 hours, which is what to expect. However, for everyday usage with mixed activities it should serve you something like 10 hours, so you will have plenty of time to write a report, scroll your Facebook feed and watch some porn.
The insides of the laptop are pretty variable, which means the more you pay, the better version you get. The cheapest is the $1200 option of a 13-inch device with Intel Core i5-8265U with 8GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD. If you wish, that can be upgraded to Intel Core i7-8565U with 16GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD for $2240. The CPU can be used in four modes available in HP Command Center app: HP Recommended, Performance, Comfort, and Quiet. Although in the performance mode Spectre shows itself very well in terms of running heavy apps, it is not a thing to play on. The laptop is equipped with Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics making no promise to be a good gaming device.
But what it promises is to be a reliable business laptop. With its productivity and battery life, it can be utilized by those who spend a lot of time traveling and depend on their laptop. And who won’t be scared by its show-off design. With about 10 hours on a single charge, it can serve a full working day. As a tablet it is a good, but not excellent, solution for artists and creators. The Spectre comes with an HP pen, but the touchpad still doesn’t support Microsoft’s Precision, which makes work with it not as sensible. Additionally, there is also an HP tilt pen, if the original one is not enough.
To sum up, HP Spectre x360 seems to be a great device worth the money. With an average of $1500, you can get a trusty beast that will cover all your needs apart gaming. The components used ensure the laptop to be used for years. One can even say, that among 2-in-1 convertible solutions Spectre is the best option you can currently find on the market.