HP Spectre x360 14 Review: The Best Windows 2-in-1 Laptop

Once an edgy various to stuffier laptops just like the Lenovo ThinkPad line, the HP Spectre x360 collection has settled into a way more company groove of late. Back within the late 2010s, Spectres appeared like props from Tron, with sharp edges, reduce corners, and gold trim on some fashions, for Pete’s sake.

Alas, these days are over, and whereas the Spectre x360 remains to be a top-shelf ultralight Windows laptop computer, it has traded in model for consistency. All-gentle, OSHA-friendly curves clad in company black, silver, and blue give the sense that the Spectre didn’t promote out, however moderately purchased in.

The 2024 rendition of the Spectre x360 sticks carefully to the design of the 2023 mannequin, all constructed round showcasing the “360” portion of the title. A pair of hinges permits the display to fold again 180 levels, changing the laptop computer right into a 14-inch pill. A fingertip works on the display, as does the stylus included within the field, and the rechargeable lively pen snaps magnetically to the aspect of the chassis when not in use.

Laptop folded outward like a tablet with a digital pen  in front. Screen has abstract background and menu in the center.

Photograph: HP

As with most new machines hitting the market this season, the key improve right here is the introduction of the AI-infused Intel Core Ultra CPU—on this occasion, the Ultra 7 155H mannequin, backed up by a beefy 32 GB of RAM and a 2-TB strong state drive. The unit is a bit gentle on ports, with two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports (one used for charging) and a single USB-A port partially coated by a clumsy and pointless spring-loaded, flip-out panel.

Sure sufficient, there’s ample energy in these specs, and the Spectre x360 turned in one of the best efficiency I’ve seen so far on normal enterprise apps—by a wholesome margin of 20 p.c or extra versus different Core Ultra laptops on many exams. It was about par for the course on graphics apps, although no slouch on this division both. Despite enhancements within the Core Ultra’s built-in GPU, you’ll nonetheless must improve to a laptop computer with a discrete graphics processor if you wish to undertake important gaming or rendering actions. On AI duties, the Spectre fell only a hair shy of the excessive mark set by the MSI Prestige 13 AI Evo in my prior testing.

Size and weight are fantastic, though the unit is heavier than the equally sized Lenovo X1 Carbon, with 19 millimeters of thickness and a 2.4-pound weight. That’s not dangerous contemplating the inclusion of a touchscreen and the 360-degree hinge. The additional weight might also replicate a barely bigger battery. My testing (with a YouTube video playback at full brightness) achieved 10.5 hours of operating time—considerably higher than different Core Ultra laptops I’ve examined so far.

2 side views of a thin black laptop while closed

Photograph: HP

The OLED display is dazzlingly vivid, which is true in keeping with the remainder of the market right now. The audio system on the unit are additionally glorious, with top-firing tweeters and two front-firing woofers, improved by a formidable cooling system that hardly noticed the super-silent fan kicking in in any respect.

My solely actual grievance is a reasonably delicate one. While the Spectre’s keyboard is ok, the haptic touchpad may be erratic, lacking faucets and clicks, relying on the place you hit it. I don’t know whether or not it is a easy person error because of freakishly lengthy fingers, nevertheless it’s a problem I’ve had with varied Spectres for years. It has arguably improved a bit with the brand new touchpad, nevertheless it’s nonetheless a thorny drawback that created a minor headache for me throughout prolonged use.

Pricing is difficult, as the precise specification I used to be despatched isn’t available. You can get a detailed model for $1,400 on HP.com with 16 GB of RAM, however in the event you configure it on HP’s web site, you will provide you with a worth of round $1,850. Even on the larger worth, I’d say the distinctive efficiency, battery life, and value choices advantage the outlay.

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