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HP Spectre X360 Review: Always-Connected Premium Business Laptop
Hewlett-Packard or HP is one of the oldest PC makers in the world. The company has several years of experience backing it up in making computers that are relevant to a specific period.
- Premium design
- Excellent battery life
- Good keyboard
- Slightly expensive
HP makes laptops of various lineups for regular users, gamers, and business users. The HP Spectre line of laptops can be deemed as a flagship offering, and machines from this series come with the premium design and latest hardware capabilities. I have been testing the latest iteration of the HP Spectre X360 for the last few weeks, and here is our detailed review.
The model that I tested is the high-end variant with the 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with the Intel Iris Plus Graphics. Besides, it also offers 16GB RAM, and 512GB NVMe SSD based storage solution, which retails for Rs. 164,999. The review unit was sent by Intel India hence, the review will be focused on the CPU and the GPU capabilities of this laptop.
HP Spectre X360 Specifications
- CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7 1065G7 Quad-Core
- GPU: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- RAM: 16GB LPDDR4X
- Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD storage
- Display: 13.3-inch FHD Corning Gorilla Glass
- Battery: 56Wh with fast charging support
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE
- Ports: USB-A, USB Type-C, Thunderbolt 4, USB3.2, microSD
- Weight: 1.3KG
HP Spectre X360 Design: Light Years Ahead
One of the USPs of the HP Spectre X360 series of laptops is their design and the latest iteration is no less than an engineering marvel. The laptop comes with a two-tone (gold and grey) finish, which gives this laptop a premium look and feel. The laptop weighs 1.3KG, and it also comes with a faux leather pouch and a stylus, making it a versatile machine.
I have been a MacBook user, and if there is a laptop that can match its build quality, then it is definitely the HP Spectre X360. It comes with a full-metal aluminum unibody design, which makes the laptop light-weight and sturdy at the same time.
Even the thickest part on the HP Spectre X360 is thinner than a USB-A port, and that hasn't stopped HP from including a full-sized USB-A port. Besides, the laptop has two USB Type-C ports, and either of them can be used to charge or even to connect this machine to an external monitor.
The Spectre X360 also has a microSD card slot and a nano-SIM card slot (more on this in connectivity). As a security feature, the laptop also offers a fingerprint sensor, which is fast and accurate. As one could expect by looking at the name, the display on the Spectre X360 is rotatable up to 360 degrees, allowing this laptop to be used as a full-fledged tablet.
The hinge mechanism that supports 360-degree rotation is extremely smooth, and the screen can be used at almost any angle. Want a laptop that looks premium without compromising on the features, then HP Spectre X360 is one of the must consider machines in the entire world.
HP Spectre X360 Display: Gorgeous Touch Screen
Specs-wise, there is another model of the HP Spectre X360, which costs Rs. 20,000 more and offers a 4K AMOLED display. This review unit comes with a 1080p 13.3-inch IPS LCD screen with touch support. The display looks vibrant, and due to the smaller screen size, it offers higher pixel density, when compared to most laptops with either 14-inch or 15-inch screen.
This is an anti-reflective screen with thin bezels across all four sides. Not just that, this laptop also has the smallest web camera that I have seen on any laptop. There is also a physical camera kill switch, which can ensure that no app/service can use the camera without the user's permission.
From binging shows on Netflix to working on my next presentation for the online team meeting, I just fell in love with the color-accuracy and the ample amount of brightness that the HP Spectre X360 offers. When used in the tent mode, it almost felt like a tablet rather than a full-blown tablet with a high-performance Intel CPU.
One advantage of the HP Spectre X360 with a 1080p panel over the 4K display is the battery life. Due to the lower resolution screen, the 1080p model will yield better battery life. However, the 4K display model does offer a better movie-watching experience, which comes at the cost of battery life.
HP Spectre X360 Display: Keyboard And Trackpad
Considering the fact that the HP Spectre X360 is a thin-and-light notebook, it surprisingly has a great keyboard with a backlight. The keys offer a lot of key travel, and they feel great to type for an extended period of time.
If you are a keyboard warrior, then the HP Spectre X360 is an excellent choice. It has big square keys that feel a lot like a gaming machine, and the trackpad is no slouch either. It offers great tracking and supports multi-finger gestures, and one can easily use this laptop without an external mouse for regular usage.
HP Spectre X360 Connectivity: Future-Ready Always-Connected Laptop
In terms of connectivity, the HP Spectre X360 offers the best possible networking solutions from Intel. The laptop offers Bluetooth 5 and tri-band (WiFi6, 5GHz, and 2.4GHz) WiFi connectivity, powered by the Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (2x2) network card.
The device was always connected to the Logitech MX Master 3 wireless mouse via Bluetooth with active Wi-Fi connectivity. Though I was not able to test the Wi-Fi6 capabilities, I had no issues with my 5GHz and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi channels, and I was able to achieve the full 50Mbps speed offered by the ISP.
Then comes the LTE connectivity, the HP Spectre X360 is one of the few always-connected laptops based on the Intel platform. It uses the Intel XMM 7560 LTE, which in theory should offer a peak download speed of 150Mbps.
I used my Jio 4G SIM card with the HP Spectre X360 and got better download speeds on the Spectre when compared to the iPhone 11 and the Oppo Find X2. The laptop also offers a smart option, where it automatically latches to the LTE network if it fails to connect to a Wi-Fi network.
Given the present scenario and frequent power cuts in Bengaluru, the HP Spectre X360 was sort of a savior for me, where the laptop would automatically connect to the mobile network as soon as the Wi-Fi gets disconnected due to a power outage or some issue with the ISP.
Given cheap LTE data plans in India, one can just take a SIM card from their preferred cellular provider with a one-year recharge plan (likely to cost around Rs. 2,500), and forget about it, voila there comes an always-connected laptop, and it could be a life-saver for constant travelers.
This is also an important feature for those, who carry sensitive documents and don't want to connect to third-party networks. This means one will always have internet connectivity, that too without carrying any dongle.
If you are someone who hates to connect your laptop to a mobile hotspot or a hotel network, then the HP Spectre X360 is the solution. The laptop has a single physical nano-SIM card slot and it also supports dual SIM in select markets, and to use the same one has to configure an e-SIM.
HP Spectre X360 CPU Performance: Intel Inside
The HP Spectre X360 is powered by the Intel Core i7-1065G7 quad-core eight-thread processor with 8MB L3 cache. This is one of the first high-performance CPUs from Intel based on the 10nm fabrication. It comes with a 15W TDP, which can be configured down to 12W to get better battery life or to 25W to get better performance.
The processor offers a base clock speed of 1.3GHz and these cores can go up to 3.9GHz with Max Turbo Frequency technology under heavy loads. Even with the lower base CPU clock speeds. On Geekbench 5, the laptop posted 980 points on single-core and 2830 points on multi-core CPU performance.
Similarly, on Cinebench R20 the laptop logged 1640 points, which speaks about the multi-tasking performance of this machine. While running these benchmarks repeatedly, the middle frame of the laptop got slightly warm and the fans started spinning at a faster rate. The temperature came down within the few minutes post the benchmark run.
For the asking price, the HP Spectre X360 is definitely not the best performing laptop as it is not designed to be one. This laptop is made to offer balanced performance with good battery life in a thin and light form factor, and the device does the same without breaking a sweat.
HP Spectre X360 GPU Performance: You Can Game
The HP Spectre X360 GPU offers Intel's Iris Plus Graphics with a base clock speed of 300 MHz, and a max dynamic frequency of 1000MHz. We were able to play GTA: V with the graphics set to medium at 1080p resolution on this laptop with an average frame rate of 30fps.
Even without connecting to the power adapter, the laptop offered similar gaming performance. The built-in graphics on the HP Spectre X360 GPU is tuned to handle office tasks like processing a large excel sheet and for light graphics or image rendering. If you are a hard-core gamer, then there are a lot of laptops that cost less than the Spectre with better graphics performance.
With those options, one has to make a compromise on battery life, form factor, and connectivity for sure. The next generation HP Spectre X360 with the 11th Gen Tiger Lake processor with Intel Xe graphics should significantly improve the gaming performance without affecting the battery life, so looking forward to that.
HP Spectre X360 GPU Battery Life: All-Day Battery Guaranteed
Given how thin the HP Spectre X360 is, it comes with a 60Wh battery, which is bigger than some of the gaming laptops that I recently reviewed. The company claims that the Spectre X360 can offer all-day battery life (without mentioning how many hours), and in my usage, I found out that the laptop can easily last for six to seven hours on a single charge.
It comes with a 65W USB Type-C charger, which can charge the laptop from 0 to 50 percent in 30 minutes. Similarly, I was also able to charge the Oppo Find X2 with that charger, however, the other way around was not possible, even though the Oppo Find X2 also comes with a 65W charger due to the difference in the current and voltage values.
I used the HP Spectre as my daily driver for more than three weeks, and it consistently offered good battery life every single day. An average office going person is likely to use this laptop a little less than me, so one should be able to easily squeeze out 8 hours of battery life on a single charge.
HP Spectre X360: For Pro Business Users
The HP Spectre X360 is a sort of testament to what a modern laptop can do even with a thin and light form factor. There are a lot of laptops out there that costs less than the Spectre X360 with better internals, CPUs, and GPUs with higher TDP, which will translate to better performance.
Given the HP Spectre X360 is a 15W CPU laptop, it offers best-in-class performance, and features like LTE connectivity, touch screen, and premium design are like a cherry on top. This is definitely for the white-collared professionals, who can spend a little more to get a machine that feels premium and can also last longer.