If you want a powerful laptop with premium features but prioritize portability, then the 2019 HP Spectre X360 is the one for you. It literally sets the benchmark for laptop build quality, has an amazing battery life and weighing at just 1.32kg, is easy to carry around. How do the rest of its specs stack up? Let’s have a look.
In my opinion, the Spectre is one of best-looking laptops out there. I love the two-tone color scheme, my favorite combination being Poisedon blue with gold accents. You can get one with black as gold as well, though that won’t look as special. The rest of the design is also a sight to behold. The chassis is made from aluminum, which helps keep the heft down.
The aluminum also plays an important role in the overall look and feel of the Spectre. The edges are beautifully chamfered and you get this unique angular design. The edges are cut rather than round which does make it look unique. The laptop also feels premium to touch and hold, which is always a plus point. The lid can fold all the way back for you to use it as a tablet as well.
The inside is nicely laid out. You get a standard backlit keyboard with keys that have a good travel to them. It is to note that the Spectre does not come with a number-pad with the keyboard, which is a common exclusion on 13″ laptops. Below the keyboard are the trackpad and the fingerprint scanner. The trackpad is unique in the sense that it is rectangular rather than squared off. This was probably done due to the lack of space down there.
As we move to the back, you can’t help but appreciate the simplicity of the Spectre’s design. The lid has a matte finish and only has the Spectre specific HP logo. That’s it. Unlike the Lenovo Legion, I reviewed earlier, the logo is completely centered. Needless to say, it won’t be triggering your OCD anytime soon.
If I had a word for the performance of the Spectre X360, it would be “effortless”. It comes with two CPU options. You can get the 8th Gen Intel Core i5 8565U, which is pretty good. However, if you step up, you can get the Intel Core i7 8565U, which is a beast and also 8th Gen. As you can see from the benchmarks above, the Core i7 8565U completely dominates this laptop class, standing at the top.
Unfortunately, the option to get the NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1050 Ti, is not available with the 13″ Spectre. You can, however, get it with the 15″ variant but that compromises on portability. Though, if you’re not interested in 4K video rendering or gaming then the good news is that you’ll do just fine without it.
The RAM is a bit of a disappointment. As a base, you get 8 GB but it can only be expanded to 16GB. You can only configure it before buying as all the internal components are soldered onto the motherboard. As far as storage is concerned, you get 3 options. They happen to be 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB of PCIe® NVMe™ SSD storage respectively. There is no option for HDD.
The Spectre X360, that we’re talking about today, comes with a 13″ IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit touchscreen with Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™. Additionally, you get 2 resolution options: FHD (1080p) or 4K (2160p). If you ask me, the FHD may be the way to go since at 13 inches you really won’t be able to tell them apart. Secondly, if you’re not a serious user then you won’t need 4K anyway.
Lastly, the battery. Something where the Spectre x360 really blows the competition out of the water. On normal use, it has been tested to last 16 hours. Yes, you read that right. 16 hours of continuous use is what this battery needs to drain itself, which is truly remarkable. It is to note, however, that this figure is true for the FHD screen variant of the Spectre. The one with the 4K display won’t last as long.
HP seems to get the bare minimum done when it comes to ports. The Spectre comes with 2 Thunderbolt-3 ports on the side. Thankfully, the Spectre also gets the 3.5mm headphone jack along with a MicroSD card slot. You also get a USB 3.0 Type-A for all your conventional needs. The x360 doesn’t come with an HDMI port but you do get a USB-C to HDMI adapter to cater to that.
Price & Verdict
Judging from all the specs I’ve mentioned, you may have guessed that the Spectre X360 certainly doesn’t come in cheap. It starts at around $1550 with just the base specs. Go all out and you may have to cough up $1800, which may be a bit too much. It’s competitor, the Dell XPS 13 is also in the same price range but isn’t as sophisticated. The recommended sweet spot lies somewhere in between. Get the FHD screen with the i7 processor and 512Gb storage, and it’ll cost you $1400, which is still costly but worth it.