Pros / It’s light and can be used as a tablet or laptop.
Cons / The 4K screen isn’t very bright.
Verdict / This sleek Transformer of a laptop can handle all your computer needs at home, work or while you’re running errands.
The HP Spectre X360 is a laptop the whole family can use at home or on the go. Whether your college student forgot their laptop in their dorm and needs to build a class presentation or your toddler just wants to play games, this convertible laptop is the perfect computer to have around your house.
The versatile 15-inch display has 4K resolution hugged by dark, curved edges. Our tests show it only puts out about 247 nits of light though, slightly below the category average. We weren't too upset about this because it doubles as a touchscreen with very accurate tracking. You can use the Active Stylus to avoid smudging up the smooth display. Anecdotally, we did notice a little delay while using the stylus in Microsoft Paint, though we like that it’s rechargeable so you don't have to hunt for batteries.
This laptop weighs 4.2 pounds, which is about midrange among home computers we tested – heavier than the Dell XPS 13 9370 but lighter than the Acer Aspire E 15. It’s much, much lighter than the desktop models we tested that aren't really built with portability in mind.
While we're talking about the outside of the laptop, let's get straight to the form factor. This computer’s hinges mean you can flip the screen a full 360 degrees, effectively turning it into a tablet. The same computer you sit at to check social media and file your taxes can be turned into a little tablet for even the youngest of your children to play games on. The keyboard has shallow key travel, though we’ve used much worse keypads on other laptops. The 5.5 x 2.5-inch touchpad was nice though and had accurate tracking. And like you would probably imagine, the ports are on the side of the computer including HDMI, USB and Thunderbolt 3 slots.
There are a couple of things we didn’t love about this laptop. We got a reading of 102 degrees Fahrenheit from the underside of the computer in our tests and a 95-degree reading from the keyboard, so you might end up with some toasted fingertips. The touchpad, however, did stay at a reasonable 88 degrees. The other thing that didn’t really impress us is the 2-megapixel webcam. It works but it doesn’t look great.
Inside, you get an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U processor which powers this machine smoothly. It also has 16GB of RAM, so even when we multitasked with several apps and browser tabs the performance didn't suffer. It even got a 12,656 on the GeekBench 4 general performance benchmark. If you're not sure what that means, just know it's better than the average. This laptop even matched 20,000 names to addresses in 3 minutes and 25 seconds in our OpenOffice test, which is substantially shorter than the average of more than 4 minutes. The Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card also means you or your family can play games without any hiccups.
All of this is for naught if you're constantly tethered to an outlet, but you don't need to worry about that with the HP Spectre X360. In our tests we got 8 hours and 41 minutes from one charge, so you should be good if you need to use it over the course of a work day or leave it at home with kids who can't find the charging cord. You can't customize much internally when it comes to the configuration of this laptop, though the entry-level model has less memory and a different graphics card for less money.