The Good The HP Specter x360 13 is one of the best ultraportable two-in-one options available with many component options, including three display options, many privacy and security features, and battery life. HP includes a laptop sleeve and a full size active pen.
The Bad Premium laptops come with premium prices. The low power display is too dim for outdoor use.
The Bottom Line Stylish, thoughtful design, excellent component options and long battery life make the HP Specter x360 13 one of the best, one-of-a-kind, premium portable premiums.
It rarely happens that the laptop I tested made me feel underexposed while using it. In fact, I’m turning it back. I never felt underdeveloped while using the laptop until I started using HP Specter ($ 600 on Amazon) x360.
This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the HP two-in-one award still made me feel like I needed to fit while I was working, or at least that I should tighten my shirt. Wrapped in metal with carved precious edges (unlike fully leather Specter Folio ), The 13.3-inch convertible weighs less than 3 pounds (1.3 kg) and is only 14.5 mm thick, so it barely registers that it is in your bag.
In addition to looking good, the design also improves usability and productivity, along with its competition, as Lenovo Yoga C930 , Samsung Notebook 9 Pro and LG Gram 14 2-in-1 . They still beat them in our battery life test, but they lasted more than 13 hours.
However, being a premium laptop is a bit expensive starting at $ 1,150 and my review configuration is $ 1,350. This price includes a soft leather sleeve and an active pen for drawing and writing on screen. In the UK, prices for a 13-inch x360 start at £ 1,200 and in Australia – from $ 2,500. But if you need a long battery life and want it in a small, lightweight, two-in-one design and appreciate stylish and functional design, the HP Specter x360 impresses with all this (and you don’t need to wear a suit to use it).
HP Specter x360 13-ap0013dx
|HP Spectre x360 13-ap0013dx|
|Price as reviewed||$1,350|
|Display size/resolution||13.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080 touch display|
|CPU||1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U|
|PC Memory||8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz|
|Graphics||128MB Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Networking||802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 5.0|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home (64-bit)|
Design with purpose
Although angular edges carved with precious stones help stand out from other premium ultraportables, the design is not just for looks. Cutting corners on the back are a power button and one of its two Thunderbolt 3. Ports, as they are angled, allow you to charge the x360 with a compact wicker USB-C power adapter, without disturbing the cord. And the position of the power button in the left corner makes it easy to find without looking, and easy to avoid accidentally tapping on your tablet. The button is also available regardless of the location of the display.
On the right side, along with the microSD card slot, headphone / microphone jack, and second Thunderbolt 3 port, you’ll find a switch to destroy the webcam, so you don’t need a Post-it note to keep the camera private. However, it does not cut your microphones. This should be done separately in the Windows 10 microphone privacy settings. For added privacy and security, there is a fingerprint reader and an IR webcam for accessing face recognition using Windows Hello (although on my x360 this seemed to be off).
As for the display, HP offers three options, starting with the one I tested, a low-power 1,920×1,080 panel with resolution. There is also a 1,920×1,080 display with HP Sure View technology that whitens the screen at the touch of a button, dimming what is on it for those not sitting directly in front of it. But if you just need to get the most pixels for your 13.3-inch display, HP will sell you a UKD 4K (3,840×2,160) touch screen.
The full low-power HD display provides good color and contrast, though it is not particularly bright. If you work outdoors, you probably often try to increase the brightness, but this is great for battery life, judging by the results of our tests. If you work in a crowded office or your desk is a regular seat tray, I recommend getting a Sure View display. Personally, I would miss the 4K in favor of longer battery life and privacy, but it’s nice to have options as well.
The keyboard is spacious and has large, easy-to-read tags. The keys do not travel very much, which is not surprising, considering how small the keyboard pad is. The keypad backlight has two levels of brightness and automatically shuts off after about 30 seconds of inactivity and requires a keystroke to wake it up. The touchpad is a comfortable size given the space HP has had to work with and the performance is smooth and responsive.
Above the keyboard is a “micro-drilled speaker grill” that adds to the laptop’s stylish design while apparently enhancing sound from the Bang & Olufsen-tuned speaker system. They sound fine, but nothing special.
It just went on
If there’s anything we’ve learned in the last few months, it’s that ultraportable premiums are the way to go if you need extreme battery life. One by one, he visited our lab and spent more than 12 hours on our video battery test. The Specter x360 exploded right behind them all, landing at 1pm 18 minutes.
Specter components focus on average home and office use, such as word processing, web browsing, and email, but with enough muscle to push more complex work, assuming it’s not too intense graphics. (You can go up to Spectre x360 15 if graphics performance matters.)
I checked the configuration without getting confused with the dozens of tabs opened in Google Chrome while other applications were running in the background. Current video and music are also no problem. And it will handle day-to-day photo and video editing breathlessly, though for large images and high-resolution videos, you want something with discrete graphics .
Cool little two-in-one laptop
The current crop of premium ultraportable two-in-one is impressive. My best choice is theLenovo Yoga C930in this category, but the HP Specter x360 is a close second with a gap between them. HP is a bit smaller, has better battery life and a full sized active handle. The C930 has a larger screen, a slightly more comfortable keyboard, better audio, and a handle stored in its case. And instead of cutting the webcam electronically, Lenovo has a physical shutter that blocks it. It’s basically a coin.
Also read: Lenovo Yoga C930 vs LG Gram 2-in-1 2019: Which Laptop Should You Buy?
35 best battery life laptops
|HP Spectre x360 13||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,666MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|LG Gram 14||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,400MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 512GB SSD|
|Samsung Notebook 9 Pro||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|Lenovo Yoga C930||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 12GB DDR4 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD|
|Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018)||Apple MacOS Mojave 10.14; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 1,536MB Intel UHD Graphics 617; 256GB SSD|