HP’s flagship laptop, the Spectre 13 x360, looks like a million dollars and is powered by Intel’s quad-core, eighth-generation processor. So, is it the perfect convertible laptop in the market? Let’s find out.
I have to admit when I opened the box, I was slightly taken aback by the new HP Spectre 13 x360’s bling black colour with chiselled copper finish frame. As it’s a premium convertible laptop, HP also decided to give the 180-degree hinges a copper finish. Thanks to these hinges, this sleek laptop offers four modes — standard laptop mode, tablet mode, tent formation for presentations and stand mode. The display is brought to the forefront, which is ideal for streaming content and video. This ultraportable laptop certainly makes a style statement with its design and metal build quality. But the question that arises then is this – is it just a laptop that oozes snob value and lacks substance? Well, that’s what we are going to find out.
Let’s get straight to the point. The Spectre x360’s biggest upgrade and stand out feature is Intel’s 8th Generation Core i7-8550U, which ensures a no-holds-barred performance. This processor actually offers a 30% boost when compared to the 7th generation chip and has extra juice, as the new processor has four cores rather than two. It also has an increased speed of up to 4GHz.
To ensure that the Spectre x360 runs efficiently and smoothly at faster speeds, it is paired with a mammoth 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD storage – a much faster and reliable alternative than the traditional hard disk drive. We put it to a test by multi-tasking on more than fifteen windows, listening to music, watching Netlifx and checking some social media updates, and still not once did we feel that the laptop was struggling to keep pace with our ever-demanding wishes. Like most ultra-light laptops, the Spectre x360’s kryptonite is gaming, as it comes with a fairly basic integrated graphics hardware – the Intel HD 620 GPU. It can handle games like Mindcraft, but if you take it to the next level with Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto, the heavy graphics stresses out the processor.
The Spectre x360 is a flagship model, therefore, HP has gone the whole nine yards by giving the 13.3-inch display a slim 3.95mm bezel on the left and right side, while the top and the bottom have thicker panels. It mightn’t look as sleek as the Dell XPS 13 or the Apple MacBooks, but it’s still very much up there. It’s 4K display panel provides vibrant colours that can be viewed clearly from different angles. The only grouse we had was with the Corning Gorilla Glass touchscreen, which, even though is a handy protective layer, makes the screen very reflective.
HP has added the Sure View feature, taken from their EliteBook, which shields the screen from prying eyes. With a push of a button, the screen appears to be washed out for anyone who tries to view it from more than 30 – 40 degrees. It is a very smart feature, especially when you’re working at a public place – you can never be too sure who is keeping an eye on you when you’re typing your password.
Keyboard and connectivity
We love the Spectre’s slim keys. They are perfectly spaced for precise usage, which makes the typing experience flawless. The Chiclet keyboard is extremely user-friendly. HP has designed a sidebar on the right hand to fit commands like page up and down keys.
The Spectre also comes with a big touchpad, which is very responsive and works well. We never had any trouble using it. The touchpad doesn’t have any physical buttons, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the options of right and left clicks – HP has smartly integrated the buttons in the lower part of the touchpad.
When it comes to connectivity, the Spectre has only one full-sized USB 3.1 port on the left, along with the power button and a 3.5mm jack. On the right side, there are two Thunderbolt 3.0 USB-C ports, volume controller and a fingerprint scanner. For security purposes, the laptop comes with both facial recognition as well as a fingerprint scanner. It also comes with a microSD slot.
The Spectre pushes the envelope with its digital pen, which allows you write down notes, write in Sticky Notes or digital Post-it. The Windows Ink gives you the option to draw images or write captions on photos, pinpoint your location on a map or draw your routes and even edit PDFs. The Spectre can be a very handy tool for work.
The style is modern, clean and makes full use of aluminium. The unibody construction feels strong and dependable, plus the matte finish looks fantastic and resists fingerprints. The glossy black glass surrounding the display complements it quite well.
If looks could kill, then it certainly would be an expensive buy, and, perhaps, that’s the reason why the HP Spectre x360 cost ₹1.60 lakh. Apart from its distinguished rich look, it backs itself with a very fast and potent processor, a battery that promises to offer more than 10 hours of work time and, of course, the Sure View feature for a private viewing of the screen. Yes, it is very expensive, but then with so many features, it’s bound to be.
• Matt black colour with copper finishing, fast processor and user-friendly keyboard
• 4K display consumes battery power and the price, of course.