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HP Spectre x360 review

The HP Spectre x360 carries a hefty price tag, but for your money you get a powerful, lightweight 2-in-1 laptop.

HP Spectre x360 review
(Image: © HP)

Our Verdict

The HP Spectre x360 is a powerhouse of a 2-in-1 laptop, with fantastic performance and a great touchscreen. It looks great too and barely weighs more than a kilo. Just bear in mind the price tag is hefty thanks to such good looks, and the tablet addition.

For

  • Great performance
  • Excellent display
  • Highly portable

Against

  • Runs a little hot
  • Battery life isn't that great

The HP Spectre x360 might be just what you need, if you're in the market for one of the best laptops in the business, and need something super lightweight, practical, and fantastic-looking. It offers impressive performance for all work related tasks, has some useful security features, and looks great too. 

Having recently enjoyed a refresh, it's a high-end 2-in-1 convertible laptop that's sure to impress the majority of users thanks to its huge range of configurable options. It might not be good for game performance, and its battery life might be a little average, but owners have found it to be potentially the best laptop HP has made yet thanks to being quite the workhorse elsewhere. Expect to pay for the privilege though, with base prices starting at $729.99, and soon ramping up to $1,299.99 or more. The highest spec out there costs an eye-watering $2,000+, depending on the configuration you choose.

HP Spectre x360 review: Design

Tech Specs

CPU:  8th Gen Intel Core i5 up to 10th Gen i7
Memory: 8 or 16GB LPDDR4
Storage: 256 or 512GB SSD
Display: 13.3 FHD (1920 x 1080) or 4K
Graphics:  Intel UHD Graphics 620, Intel Iris Plus Graphics, or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
Ports:
2 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, 1 x USB 3.1 A, Audio out, DisplayPort 1.4
Dimensions:
12.04" x 7.66" x 0.67"
Weight:
Starting at 2.86 lbs
Operating System:  
Windows 10

  • Very lightweight
  • Super stylish

No one wants a heavy laptop or an ugly one. After all, you're taking it out and about with you. The HP Spectre x360 looks gorgeous thanks to a choice of different color schemes depending on the configuration you pick. These include Dark Ash Silver, Poseidon Blue, Natural Silver, and Nightfall Black. On a more practical level, whichever color you choose, the HP Spectre x360 has a brushed metal style finish so it exudes a robust yet stylish quality. There's barely a bezel to contend with here either, making it look all the more glamorous. 

Whichever screen you choose looks pretty good. Depending on your budget, you can enjoy a 13.3-inch WLED backlit screen or go all the way up to a remarkable-looking 4K AMOLED display. There is also a 15-inch version of the HP Spectre x360 if you want a bigger screen, though this runs into competition from the Dell XPS 15 2-in-1. The screen appears particularly gorgeous when you switch to tablet mode with the touchscreen proving highly responsive. That responsiveness is even better when you use the bundled in HP Active Pen stylus. 

Best of all? The HP Spectre x360 is sturdy yet lightweight. It only weighs just over a kilo and can easily be held in one hand if need be. 

The only downside to be seen with the HP Spectre x360 is when it comes to cooling. It runs hot because it only utilizes two small fans. In exchange, you get a very quiet sounding laptop, but it does mean that if you're conducting something like video editing on your lap, the temperature does get rather uncomfortably warm. 

HP Spectre x360

(Image credit: HP)

Connectivity wise, the HP Spectre x360 finds room for two Thunderbolt 3 enabled USB-C ports and 1 USB-A port. The latter works in a fancy manner, springing out from the laptop as and when you need it, ensuring the laptop remains thin the rest of the time. There's a headphone jack and microSD card reader too. 

Unusually, the HP Spectre x360 also bundles in some key privacy features that are great for those worried about keeping their data secure. Besides Windows Hello functionality which has become commonplace with many laptops (allowing for users to log in via face recognition), there's also a physical kill switch for the webcam, along with a fingerprint scanner. 

HP Spectre x360 review: Performance

  • Perfect for everyday work
  • Strong video rendering performance

The HP Spectre x360's recent refresh has meant that even the base spec packs a fair amount of oomph for the price. At its most basic, it offers an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor along with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. The basic spec also includes Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated graphics with that upgraded to Intel Iris Plus graphics for higher models. It's best to skip past graphical performance. The HP Spectre x360 isn't for gaming, but it happily copes with everything else you throw at it. If you want a gaming machine, check out the Alienware m-15.

You can easily have a dozen or more browser tabs open, while playing numerous videos in the background, on top of having many word processor windows open too. The HP Spectre x360 has multi-tasking in mind, so you won’t feel slowed down or notice any issues either. 

HP Spectre x360

(Image credit: HP)

Understandably, it makes sense to buy the best spec you can afford. The HP Spectre x360's 10th Gen Intel CPUs are a good bet, along with 16GB of RAM. That's when you see the HP Spectre x360 run at its smoothest, easily coping with everyday work tasks but also able to cope with rendering and video encoding too. 

Some users have complained about the system containing too much bloatware and unnecessary software on first install, but you can choose to remove most of these, and it doesn’t impact on performance by any great amount. 

HP Spectre x360 review: Battery Life

  • Average battery life
  • No separate AC power connection

The HP Spectre x360 is full of great features and powerful performance, but it does falter a little in one area - battery life. It's fine. Just plain old fine. For average work day use, it'll last about 10 hours. However, once you start doing anything heavy duty like video editing or recording, then that battery plummets to about 4 hours which isn't really good enough for this kind of price point, even if it's not entirely unexpected. 

HP Spectre x360

(Image credit: HP)

On the plus side, it recharges quickly thanks to its USB-C connector. Recharging to 100% only takes about an hour which is a massive help when you're on the move. Don't expect a separate AC power adapter though, meaning you'll be one USB port down during that hour. 

HP Spectre x360 review: Value for money

The HP Spectre x360 isn't cheap. It's distinctly high-end in both performance and price. That doesn't make it poor value for money though. Instead, it's a powerhouse of a laptop that can easily replace your desktop while still being super lightweight and easy to take around with you. Being able to switch to Windows 10's Tablet Mode is icing on the cake. 

Having said that, it does depend what you're looking for in a laptop. If you're not interested in having a touchscreen laptop then something like the Razer Blade Stealth 13 is the same kind of price but offers better gaming performance, albeit in a chunkier size. It's worth considering before you place the money down here, but when it comes to a laptop for a professional, we rather like the HP Spectre x360. 

Should I buy the HP Spectre x360?

Like with any major purpose, you need to know what you want from a product. Want a super lightweight and thin laptop that also packs plenty of punch where it counts? The HP Spectre x360 is for you. However, you really need to also want the option of a touchscreen tablet for it to be worth the asking price. Otherwise, there are better priced ultra-thin laptops out there like the Dell XPS 13 series. Still, when it comes to being a powerful 2-in-1 laptop, you can't really go wrong with the HP Spectre x360. It's beautiful, powerful, and super practical.