Hewlett Packard has succeeded in making one of the best high-end 2-in-1 laptops around. Cutting-edge battery, extra innovative security features, and brilliant design are some of the outstanding attributes of the HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2019).

 PROS

  • Good performance
  • Smart, stylish design
  • Very long battery life

 CONS

  • Mediocre touchpad
  • Display could be better
  • Large top and bottom bezels
  • Pricey

HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2019) Specifications

Display 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 touch display
CPU 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U
8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U
Operating System Windows 10 Home (64-bit)
RAM 8GB, 16 GB
Hard drive PCIe NVMe SSD
256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Battery 61Wh
Graphics 128MB Intel UHD 620
Camera FHD, IR webcam
Ports Two Thunderbolt 3
Two USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2
USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 2
Micro SD card
3.5mm headphone jack
Size 12.2 x 8.6 x 0.57 inches  (309.9 x 218.4 x 14.5 mm)
Weight 2.9 pounds (1.32 kg)
Networking 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; Bluetooth 5.0

Design

hp spectre x360 review

  • 12.2 x 8.6 x 0.57 inches 
  • 2.9 pounds (1.32 kg)
  • Two Thunderbolt 3
    Two USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2
    USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 2
    Micro SD card
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

The Spectre x360’s aluminium chassis is easily noticeable because of its chamfered edges. The curved edges make it unique and give it a stylish look.  HP ships the Spectre x360 in two colour variants: Poseidon Blue and Ash Silver. The 2-in-1 is available in either 13-inch or 15-inch.

The 13-inch model weighs in at 2.9 pounds (1.32kg) and feels quite light mostly because of  the even weight distribution of the laptop. This 13-inch version is slightly heavier than the previous which weighs 2.85 pounds (1.29kg).

hp spectre x360 review

You get a stylus for writing and drawing when you buy this machine. Disappointingly, there is no slot built into the laptop for storing the pen after use. This isn’t a dealbreaker. However, some manufacturers like Lenovo provide a pen slot which serves dual purposes: storing and charging, as implemented in Yoga C930.

A padded leather sleeve is also shipped with the laptop.

 

The stylish design of the HP Spectre x360 isn’t just for fancy. Every design detail is sensible and bears useful utility.

 

One design feature HP has changed is the position of the power button. It is now on the left chamfered edge at the back.

hp spectre x360 review

This makes sense given that in most 2-in-1s, it is easy to accidentally hit the power button when used as a tablet. Again, with this brilliant design tweak, you can access the power button easily irrespective of the panel position.

The fingerprint scanner which was on the right notch in the previous model, has been moved to the keyboard area. Its new position will make it difficult to access when the device is used in tablet mode. Above the keyboard is a speaker grill.

The x360 has an IR webcam for logging in with Windows Halo.

hp spectre x360 review

The HP Spectre x360 has a good array of ports. On the right sits a slide switch – which is somewhat hidden – for disabling the webcam, a 3.5 mm headphone/mic jack, two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, and a microSD card slot. The slide switch does not disable the microphone. Thankfully, the left edge holds a single USB-A port, and a power button (as mentioned earlier).

If you prefer a physical shutter for blocking the webcam, then get Lenovo C930.

Display

hp spectre x360 review

  • 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 touch display

There are three display versions: a 3840 x 2160 4K UHD touchscreen, a 1920 x 1080 low power model and 1920 x 1080 display with Sure View technology. The 13-inch, 1920 x 1080 display is colourful, but only just.The 4K model has a better display, but it consumes more power.

The Sure View privacy technology prevents someone near you from viewing the content on your screen by giving the display a whitish colour. The person close to you sees only this white layer. Sure View can be activated by pressing the F1 key.This is another area where the Spectre x360 shines.

 

The low power display of the x360 gives decent colours, however, these colours are not very bright.

 

Most brands are churning out laptops with thin screen bezels. Sadly, the Spectre x360’s bezels aren’t that thin. The top and bottom display bezels are thick, however, these bezels are not as thick as those on the 2018 model.

HP Spectre x360 review

Every laptop has one or two flaws. A major complaint from most HP Spectre x360 users is the display brightness. At peak brightness of 285 nits, this display is not good enough for use outdoors. It is a shame, although, we know that some laptops in the same league like Lenovo Yoga C930 (273 nits) have worse peak brightness.

Performance

hp spectre x360 review

  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8565U  
  • 8GB, 16GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB

It is shipped with Intel Core i7-8565U CPU with 8GB of RAM. There is also a cheaper version with Core i5.

The 13-inch spectre x360’s CPU is best suited for light jobs and less power-hugging tasks. It can handle web browsing, media consumption and word processing with ease.  Light Photo and video editIng tasks can be done on the 13-inch model. However, the 15-inch model handles graphics-oriented applications better.

You may notice some lag when you play graphics-hugging games on the 13-inch model. This is expected because the Spectre x360 is not your typical gaming laptop. Moreover, inside it you will find the normal Intel UHD 620 integrated graphics.

 

Be warned that the Spectre x360’s fingerprint scanner stumbles quite often and is slow.

 

To handle cooling, HP has included two small fans instead of the traditional single large option. We love the additional fan. Go to the HP Command Centre, if you like to play around with the laptop’s power settings which affect the heat and fan performance.

Be warned that the Spectre x360’s fingerprint scanner stumbles quite often and is slow.

Overall, the Spectre x360’s performance is OK, but not outstanding.

 

Keyboard and Touchpad

hp spectre x360 review

  • Backlit keyboard 

The keyboard on the HP Spectre x360 should be near the top of the list of the best laptop keyboards, on the other hand, the touchpad should be near the top of the list of the worst laptop touchpads. That’s just the truth.

The keys are backlit, with good travel. The keyboard’s backlight brightness can be adjusted. It goes off if you do not use the keyboard after 30 seconds. With their chiclet-style keyboard, typing is a lot comfier.

hp spectre x360 review

The Spectre x360’s wide touchpad (4.7 x 2.3-inch) is really a bit of a letdown. Try the three-finger swipe and you would be disappointed. Some Windows multitouch gestures like pinch-to-zoom work fine, however.

HP still uses Synaptic drivers for its touchpads, instead of Windows Precision drivers, even when most premium laptop powerhouses have since adopted advanced touchpad technology. Apple, for instance, now uses the very responsive Taptic Engine technology for its touchpads, and the difference in performance is clear.

hp spectre x360 review

The touch display is good.

Audio

hp spectre x360 review

The Spectre x360’s Bang & Olufsen-powered speakers lack class-leading audio, but still manage to deliver clear sound – enough to fill a room with the right balance of bass.

The preinstalled Audio Control app allows you to adjust the equalizer to suit your sound needs.

Battery Life

Hp spectre x360 review

  • 61Wh battery

HP advertises 22.5 hours of battery life. In real-life use, the battery does not live up to what is advertised. That said, you only get roughly 13 hours per charge.

The Spectre x360 remains number one, when it comes to battery life – and this is where it truly trumps the competition, including Apple’s MacBooks.

It’s little wonder that HP highlights this feature (more than any other) as one of the laptop’s key selling points. HP has packed in a substantial 61Wh of battery capacity into the Spectre x360.

Software and Warranty

hp spectre x360 review

  • Windows 10 Home

The Spectre x360 comes with an array of apps and some Windows 10 bloatware as well. You will find LinkedIn, Netflix, and diagnostics apps like HP support assistant. Other noteworthy apps include the HP Audio Switch, HP Command Centre, and HP Jumpstart.

The performance of the stylus’ two buttons can be tweaked with the help of Pen Control app. The stylus works great.

As for warranty, you get what most brands offer: a 1-year warranty.

Bottom Line

If all you need is a lightweight 2-in-1 with good performance, beautiful design, and a very, very good battery life, we can’t help but recommend the HP Spectre x360. It is well worth the money.