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03 July 2019

HP Spectre X360 Review: The Spectre reinvented

Highlights

Chic-design

Excellent battery backup

Great performance

Hewlett Packard introduced a magnificent laptop named the Spectre a couple of years back and grabbed some instant eyeballs with its razor sharp design and top notch performance. And thus started the line of Spectre products from the American multinational company latest among which is the HP Spectre X360 2019 version. Now, this laptop is a redesign and an upgrade over its namesake from last year and the company promises is worth every penny spent on it. I received the laptop and used it extensively for over two weeks as my daily driver and here’s my review of the HP Spectre X360.

Design of the HP Spectre X360

The new edition of the HP Spectre X360 has an evolved design compared to the last year’s edition and is slightly larger in proportions as well. Compared to the rounded edges of the previous year’s design the HP Spectre X360 2019 uses a hexagon inspired design element into the whole thing, which is certainly more zingy. The top left and right corners of the new HP Spectre X360 have diagonal cuts and the power button is housed on the left one while the right one houses a USB-C port. The keyboard on its part has been redesigned as well and is now more streamlined with the speaker grille housing the new Bang & Olufsen speakers right above it.

One of the things that I have always believed made sense on laptops are fingerprint sensors and the HP Spectre X360 has one right below the keyboard which help sign in to Windows in a jiffy. Like most laptops, the touchpad is located centrally below the keyboard and although seems fine initially, does seem a little glitchy from time to time. Sometimes it had difficulty recognizing a tough if the finger touched at an angle.

The left hand panel of the HP Spectre X360 houses the full-size USB-A 3.1 port which seems like a practical addition from the company, since most devices don’t yet feature USB-C plugs yet. While the right hand panel of the device comes with two USB-C ports. Besides these there is also a 3.5mm port for audio output, a microSD port and what can be called another practical addition, a switch to disable the webcam.

The 360 in the HP Spectre X360 stands for the ability to rotate the display of the device 360 degrees in order to transform it into a tablet. This mode is effective with the excellent quality touchscreen and the stylus that comes with the device. The display on the device has been topped off compared to last year and the laptop features a 1080p 13.3-inch display that comes with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT which ensures that displays that are touched frequently are protected from scratches.

The quality of the images on the display are crisp and the viewing angles are great due to the use of In-Plane Switching or the IPS technology. Again, what can be called a thoughtful addition to the laptop HP has bundled the HP Spectre X360 with its trademark Sure View Technology which when turned on reduces the ability for others to peep into your screen and only the person looking directly at the display will be able to make out anything that is going on.

The HP Active Pen Stylus that comes bundled with the device is built just as sturdily as the main laptop and resembles a pen in almost all aspects. The stylus functions well with the laptop and does not miss any touches on the display. And it is to be noted that HP is the only company that is offering a stylus that comes bundled with the laptop at this price range.

Performance

With an Intel Core i7-8565U processor, 8GB RAM and Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics, the HP Spectre X360 can handle any day to day job that can be thrown at it. There is no snag at all in terms of the different applications that it can handle, but it was a little too much of me to expect it to play games, and I did install Dota 2 and Counter Strike Global Offensive on it, alas it struggled to play those satisfactorily. But that is not the point of the laptop at all, it handles all the work that anyone would have in office, school as well as a designer goes. It runs editing software perfectly without any issues at all.

Photo and video editing are jobs that it can handle well, and the screen is bright and vibrant enough to replicate some really vibrant shades of subtle colors. It is an excellent media player with a great display which is well complemented by the Bang & Olufsen speakers that produce loud and clear audio. I tried my best with the HP Active Pen Stylus and it did its best to produce what my mediocre drawing skills could conjure.

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But what can really be called the biggest positive of the laptop is the stellar battery backup that it provided. Considering the thin form factor of the laptop one would always expect that company to cut down on the battery capacity of it, but not the HP Spectre X360. This laptop with a full charge, easily lasted me a whole work day of 9-hours and then played a whole movie before going critical with the battery backup.

Verdict

The HP Spectre X360 is an excellent laptop which really justifies its pricing when one looks at all the pros that it comes with. It has a chic-design, excellent battery backup, great performance and really portable. But for those that don’t need the touchscreen and the stylus, they would be better served with a less costly laptop. As for those that have already bought the previous version that came out last year, the HP Spectre X360 would not be a pragmatic upgrade. But those that need a daily driver laptop to last long hours and have design needs, the HP Spectre X360 is the perfect choice and few other laptops are offering what this is at this price range.