HP’s Spectre x360 13 has been our admired convertible 2-in-1 for a while, demography the award-winning in our “Best 2-in-1s” annual as the best for anthology use. The astern 2016 archetypal offered the best aggregate of performance, arrangement life, affectation quality, and price, and the aboriginal 2017 brace added in alive pen abutment and a new Dark Ash Silver with Copper accents blush scheme. Now, ancillary with Intel’s accession of its eighth-generation Core processors, HP has alive the band already again. Our HP Spectre x360 13 analysis looks at the latest archetypal to see if it maintains its appropriate abode in our hearts.
Our analysis assemblage was able with a Core i7-8550U, 13.3-inch Abounding HD (1,920 x 1,080 or 166 PPI) display, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB solid-state deejay (SSD). It’s priced at $1,250, including the alive pen and the Natural Silver blush scheme. Meanwhile, you can additionally accept the Core i5-8250U archetypal to save an added $100. Back maxed out, the Spectre x360 13 costs $1,820 for the aforementioned CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, a 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160 or 331 PPI), and either the Dark Ash Silver or aboriginal Pale Rose Gold blush scheme.
With the college configurations, these prices breach the Spectre x360 13 into aberrant anthology territory. The catechism is, did HP broil in abundant improvements to accumulate the apparatus at the top of the bunch?
HP didn’t change abundant in the Spectre x360 13’s structural design, atom off aloof a sliver of arrangement (to 0.54 inches) and abbreviation the weight from 2.85 pounds to 2.78 pounds. The bezels were additionally attenuated out a atom of a millimeter to attempt with the attenuate bezels and baby brand of laptops like the Dell XPS 13. While it doesn’t absolutely exhausted it, the Spectre x360 does deride its adenoids at the XPS 13 by befitting the webcam aloft the affectation breadth it belongs.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
Overall, that makes the new architecture one of the thinnest and lightest convertible 2-in-1s, aloof a bit added petit than the 13.3-inch Lenovo Yoga 720 (0.60 inches and 2.9 pounds). The hardly added 13.9-inch Lenovo Yoga 920 is aloof a beard thinner at 0.50 inches, but it’s additionally a bit added at 3.09 pounds. And afresh the Asus ZenBook Flip S beats them all at 0.43 inches and 2.42 pounds.
Making article thinner sometimes after-effects in a bit beneath structural rigidity, and that’s the case with the Spectre x360 13. It’s actual well-built, with aught creakiness and a rock-solid keyboard deck, but the lid and basal accord aloof the aboriginal bit beneath pressure. It’s not abundant to annual affair about the machine’s longevity, but it additionally doesn’t avowal the tank-like acerbity of the Yoga 920.
The Spectre x360 13 zips through accustomed tasks with ease.
One breadth area the Spectre x360 13 does bout the Yoga 920 is in the hinge. While HP’s adaptation doesn’t acquire the arduous automated adorableness of Lenovo’s watchband hinge, it’s about aloof as bland and it holds the affectation aloof as durably in the adopted area — in whatever mode, be it clamshell, media, presentation, or tablet.
Aesthetically, the Spectre x360 13 additionally accustomed a bit of a makeover. Best noticeably, the rear edges accept been diamond-cut, accouterment some angles that bolt the ablaze bigger than the antecedent model’s angled edges. Afresh discharge beneath the affectation has additionally been streamlined, giving it a affected look. These are attenuate change, but the aftereffect is a beauteous anthology that stands out after actuality boastful — unless you aces the arrant Pale Rose Gold blush scheme.
Connectivity charcoal agnate to the antecedent model, with a distinct USB-A 3.1 anchorage and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support. The closing agency that the Spectre x360 13 can affix to alien GPU enclosures to accommodate for added able gaming options, forth with the adeptness to affix to a greater arrangement of monitors and accelerated peripherals. Either USB-C anchorage can be acclimated to ability the anthology via the included charger.
HP additionally added in a new micro-SD agenda clairvoyant to abutment the needs of photographers and videographers, and of advance the accepted 3.5mm audio jack is on hand. The Spectre x360 13’s connectivity is akin able-bodied with the Yoga 920 in agreement of USB, but outdoes it by including an SD slot. That’s at atomic one dongle you won’t charge on the Spectre x360.
Wireless connectivity includes 2×2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. Overall, connectivity is about bare in agreement of the arduous cardinal of ports, but the bifold Thunderbolt 3 USB-C access are aerial achievement and futureproof. If annihilation else, the Spectre x360 shines compared to the distinct USB-C anchorage begin on the Yoga 720 and 12-inch MacBook.
Today, this akin of connectivity is to be accepted on thinner machines; ironically, dispatch bottomward to thicker annual notebooks can aftereffect in a added able-bodied set of ports.
The Spectre x360 13 retains the mostly accomplished ascribe options of the antecedent model, with abandoned a few updates. The keyboard charcoal unchanged, application the aforementioned accomplished key travel, adequate bottoming action, and all-embracing snappiness. The Yoga 920 and 720 accept agnate keyboards, and they’re fine. However, we begin the Spectre x360 13’s keyboard to be alike added concrete and precise, which should serve the fast blow typists a bit better. It’s additionally analogously backlit, but it abandoned has one accurateness setting.
The Spectre x360 13 retains the mostly accomplished keyboard of the antecedent model.
The touchpad is additionally unchanged, alms a analytic sized avant-garde architecture that matches the display’s 16:9 aspect ratio. Unfortunately, it continues to advance Synaptic drivers rather than befitting to the Microsoft Precision Touchpad protocol, which offers bigger admiration on machines like the Dell XPS 13 and Microsoft Surface Book 2. As such, the Spectre x360 13’s touchpad is aloof okay, with activity abutment that was advantageous but not as acknowledging as it could accept been.
The blow display, on the added hand, was absolutely acknowledging during our testing and provided aloof the appropriate bulk of friction. Blow is the adopted adjustment of ascribe back application the Spectre x360 as HP’s stylus isn’t absolutely as acute as you’d hope.
The adapted “active pen” provides 1,024 levels of burden sensitivity, which isn’t terrible, but doesn’t absolutely admeasurement up to the 4,096 levels on activity by the Yoga 920 and Surface Pro. It feels accomplished for abyssal about the UI and demography notes, but ability not accommodate the affectionate of detail bare for added artistic endeavors. In addition, there’s no way to attach the pen to the notebook, which is an aggravation and makes accident the pen that abundant added probable. You’ll accept to advantage the pen holder in the included accustomed case to accumulate your pen handy.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
On the additional side, the alive pen adds a cardinal of new appearance that helped us discount some of its problems. HP added in angle support, a customizable button, an eraser, and a gyroscope that lets it activity as a array of “laser pointer” for presentations. All are acceptable additions to a pen that was a bit basic. Interestingly, HP additionally engineered in a rechargeable battery, with a USB-C charging anchorage that’s attainable by affairs up on the eraser portion.
Windows 10 Hello abutment is provided by two biometric mechanisms. The bittersweet cameras and facial acceptance are brought over from the antecedent model, and HP additionally added in a actual abbreviate fingerprint clairvoyant forth the appropriate side. We begin both methods fast and accurate.
Our analysis assemblage was able with a 13.3-inch Abounding HD display, which was one of three options. You can additionally accept a Abounding HD affectation with the aforementioned HP Sure View aloofness awning aboriginal alien in the EliteBook x360 G2, or a 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160 or 331 PPI) display. Abounding HD is the baseline for aberrant notebooks today, and so it’s acceptable to see some added avant-garde options on offer.
According to our colorimeter, the Spectre x360 13’s affectation is absolutely average. Accurateness was acceptable at 301 nits, which is able abundant to outshine all but the brightest ambient lighting. Adverse was characterless for today’s aberrant notebooks, however, at 770:1 at abounding brightness. Strangely, the antecedent generation’s Abounding HD affectation managed a stronger 910:1 adverse ratio, compared to the 880:1 of Yoga 920 and the 600:1 of Yoga 720.
Colors were additionally average, at 71 percent of AdobeRGB and 94 percent of sRGB, with a blush accurateness of 2.91 (less than 1.0 is advised excellent). Again, the antecedent bearing was abundant stronger at 75 percent and 99 percent, respectively, and with a abundant bigger 1.44 accurateness score. The Yoga 920 was afresh a bit stronger and the Yoga 720 was a bit weaker, agreement the Spectre x360 13 appropriate in the boilerplate of the pack. HP hasn’t provided an annual for the slight bead in quality, but we noticed boilerplate achievement out of the company’s best of affectation on the Spectre 13 a well.
In abstract testing, the Spectre x360 13 affectation was a bigger acquaintance afresh these colorimeter after-effects would announce — at atomic in assertive situations. General abundance tasks and web browsing were both actual good, with solid argument on white backgrounds and acceptable abundant colors. Video, on the added hand, was darker than it should be, acceptable acknowledgment to a about poor gamma of 2.6.
Audio duties are performed by a set of Bang & Olufsen speakers alive forth the keyboard accouter beneath the display. We begin aggregate to be abundantly loud for a average sized allowance with a hasty bulk of clarity.
There’s alike some stereo separation, mostly credible back watching movies and accouterment a bigger faculty of breadth the activity is accident on-screen. Music is accomplished for the accidental listen, with appropriate midrange and highs but the accepted anemic bass.
The Spectre x360 13 is able with the latest quad-core eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8550U processor that’s assuming up in a cardinal of alive machines against the end of 2017. It’s an accomplished adaptable CPU that promises abundant high-end achievement and power-sipping ability for lighter abundance tasks.
Once again, eighth-generation dominates. The Spectre x360 13 denticulate a actual advancing 4,882 in the Geekbench 4 single-core analysis and 14,135 in the multi-core test. That compares to the actual quick Yoga 920 at 4,683 and 14,566 respectively. The array obliterate seventh-generation systems, including the Asus ZenBook Flip S that denticulate 4,142 and 8,158 respectively.
In the added ambitious Handbrake test, which encodes a 420MB video to H.265 and stresses the CPU for a best timeframe, the Spectre x360 13 took a advancing 723 abnormal to complete the process. The Yoga 920 was faster at 613 seconds, while the antecedent bearing Spectre x360 with its Core i7-7500U took 1,095 abnormal to complete the test. Note that the Dell XPS 13, which additionally utilizes the aforementioned CPU, took appreciably best than added eighth-generation machines at 913 seconds.
At 2.78 pounds, the Spectre x360 justifies application it in book mode.
HP additionally engineered an adapted cooling arrangement that uses an bittersweet sensor to admeasurement the anatomy temperature and attune the admirers to accumulate things acknowledgment to the touch. The arrangement worked, with the anatomy never accepting uncomfortably hot, but it additionally resulted in the admirers spinning up during our testing.
The newest Spectre x360 13 is an abundantly quick apparatus for the kinds of abundance tasks about requested of a convertible 2-in-1, and it has some allowance for added avant-garde tasks like video editing. The eighth-generation CPUs advance machines into altered a altered chic of achievement entirely, and the Spectre x360 13 makes acceptable use of added horsepower.
HP called a Lite-On CA1 PCIe SSD for the alive Spectre x360 13. We haven’t apparent that drive installed in any of our analysis units, and so we were attractive advanced to seeing how it performs.
As it turns out, the drive performs appealing well. In the CrystalDiskMark benchmark, the Spectre x360 13 denticulate 1,769 megabytes per additional (MB/s) in the address analysis and 998 MB/s in the apprehend test. That’s a able annual compared to the Yoga 920’s 1,147 MB/s and 1,172 MB/s respectively, but it’s absolutely a ambit abaft the last-generation Yoga 720’s 2,060 MBs and 1,209 MB/s. The antecedent Spectre x360 bearing acclimated a slower SSD that abandoned managed 1,202 MB/s apprehend and 583 MB/s write, so we’re accepting a aces amend in that regard.
In our real-world use, the Spectre x360 13’s SSD performed aloof as able-bodied as these would numbers indicate. The apparatus booted quickly, opened apps and files after delay, and about aerated through every assignment we asked of it. Accumulator achievement is a absolute strength.
Intel’s eighth-generation CPUs accommodate some absolute achievement increases, but not for gaming. The chip Intel UHD 620 cartoon got a slight name change, but its capabilities abide the same.
Unsurprisingly, the Spectre x360 13 denticulate as accepted in the 3DMark gaming benchmarks. The Fire Strike annual of 1,034 is appropriate breadth we expected, and is at the aerial end compared with every added apparatus application the aforementioned akin of GPU.
We went advanced and activated Civilization VI at Abounding HD and average and ultra cartoon settings, and the Spectre x360 13 accomplished 12 frames per additional (FPS) and 7 FPS, respectively. Those scores, too, are aural a anatomy or so of the competition. Simply put, you’ll appetite to buy a altered apparatus if your ambition is arena annihilation added than accidental amateur — with the Surface Book 2 being the best (and best expensive) 2-in-1 advantage for gaming.
Our analysis unit’s Abounding HD affectation is a bigger best for anyone who wants a appropriate examination acquaintance and bigger arrangement activity than a 4K UHD affectation would provide. The able eighth-generation processor accumulated with a about ample 63 watt-hour arrangement gave us achievement for some austere longevity.
The anthology didn’t disappoint. First, in our best advancing arrangement test, the Basemark web criterion that stresses the CPU and GPU, the Spectre x360 13 lasted a able four hours and 14 minutes, which beats out the three hours and 23 annual managed by the Yoga 920. The Spectre x360 13’s business-oriented sibling, the EliteBook x360 G2 with a Core i7-7600U, managed four hours and 48 minutes.
Stepping up to our web browsing analysis that loops through a alternation of accepted web pages, the Spectre x360 13 captivated out for a actual advancing eight hours and 25 minutes, about analogous the EliteBook x360 G2 but falling abbreviate of the antecedent Spectre x360 13 generation’s nine hours and 18 annual of longevity. As we can see, the eighth-generation Core i7 processor starts to appearance off its ability as the CPU amount drops.
Accordingly, the Spectre x360 13 performed decidedly able-bodied in our video playback analysis that runs an Avengers bivouac until the arrangement runs out. Here, the HP lasted for a actual able 14 hours and 18 minutes, assault out the Yoga 920 and alarming abroad the blow of the allegory group. Of all the machines we’ve tested, abandoned the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon (14 and a bisected hours) and the best Surface Book 2 (over 20 and a bisected hours) accept lasted longer.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends
At a ablaze 2.78 pounds and with some solid abundance arrangement life, the Spectre x360 13 is a awful carriageable machine. Toss it into your haversack and arch out for the day, and you’re acceptable to get a solid eight hours — or added — of advantageous assignment done after annoying about accustomed about a charger. Alike if you accent the CPU, you’ll be able to get some absolute assignment done application the arrangement alone.
HP bundles its archetypal abutment apps on the Spectre x360 13, and the accepted Windows 10 apps are forth for the ride as well. Otherwise, abandoned a McAfee balloon and a Dropbox advance are installed as accidental software, and we can absolve the Dropbox accession for the 30GB of chargeless accumulator you’ll get for a year if you articulation to your Dropbox annual (or actualize a new one).
HP covers the Spectre x360 13 with a accepted one-year genitalia and activity warranty. As always, we’d like to see aberrant notebooks activity best coverage.
The astern 2017 brace of the HP Spectre x360 13 manages to decidedly advance achievement and arrangement activity while application the machine’s abundant looks and solid body quality. Add in an bigger alive pen, the aforementioned accomplished keyboard, and some Windows 10 Hello flexibility, and the convertible 2-in-1 maintains its abode as our admired anthology that can act as a book in a pinch.
Is there a bigger alternative?
The best absolute allegory to the Spectre x360 13 is the Yoga 720 13, which offers the aforementioned 13.3-inch affectation in either Abounding HD or 4K UHD options. We haven’t activated the actual latest adaptation yet, but it’s accessible to accept that it acceptable allowances from eighth-generation CPUs in a agnate way, but doesn’t affection the aforementioned failing architecture or abundant arrangement activity as the Spectre x360.
Another acceptable advantage is to footfall up to the hardly beyond 13.9-inch Lenovo Yoga 920. That apparatus accustomed its own alive architecture over the antecedent Yoga 910, and we begin it to be one of the best solidly-built convertible 2-in-1s around. It’s hardly added big-ticket at $1,330 for a Core i7-8550U, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, and Abounding HD display, and it’s cher at $2,000 for the highest-end agreement with a Core i7-8550U, 16GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and 4K UHD display. Achievement is hardly bigger than on the Spectre x360 13, but arrangement activity isn’t absolutely as good.
Finally, you could accept to forgoe the 2-in-1 anatomy agency and achieve on a acceptable clamshell anthology instead. In that case, we’d acclaim the latest Dell XPS 13, which is provides conceivably the best aggregate of size, body quality, and achievement in the 13.3-inch anthology class. It’s commonly hardly added big-ticket at $1,400 for a agnate configuration, but additionally offers an affordable $800 entry-level model.
How continued will it last?
The Spectre x360 13 is congenital able-bodied abundant to arm-twist aplomb in its longevity, and it sports a avant-garde attending that won’t become anachronous anytime soon. Its use of eighth-generation CPUs agency it’s activity to accomplish able-bodied into the accountable future, and it enjoys the best future-proof connectivity accessible today.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The HP Spectre x360 13 is a abundant attractive and able-bodied convertible 2-in-1 in the actual adequate 13.3-inch size. It’s accessible to backpack about and attenuate abundant to be advantageous as a tablet, and its accomplished performance, abundant arrangement life, and abrupt keyboard makes for a actual affable and advantageous workday.
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