HP Spectre x360 PC: Perfect For Mobile Workers
The most superb design, lightweight, keyboard and touchpad excellent, impeccable full HD touch screen, a sound system above average, performance and autonomy at the top.
Cheaper, faster, lighter, with more battery life and more features than a 13-inch MacBook Pro, the HP spectre x360 13 (ae001nf) continues to impress. Especially since it also has many advantages over its rivals under Windows with its 360 ° hinge which allows to orient the screen in “tent” position or to turn it completely to work in tablet mode with a stylus (optional). And this new model released late 2017 retains the superb design of its predecessors while improving the basics.
Thanks to the new 8th generation Core i processor, battery life increases to just over 13 hours. The chip also goes from 2 to 4 cores, which has a significant impact on performance compared to older models. Of course, other competing machines have also integrated this new Core i. This is the case for example just as excellent Yoga 920 Lenovo slightly ahead of the Spectrum x360 for performance but not for autonomy.
The price is quite reasonable considering what the machine offers. HP offers a more comfortable configuration with Core i7-8550U, 16 GB of memory and 512 GB of SSD. The machine is available in ash or natural silver finish.
HP has made some welcome changes to this new release. The vent on the left side has been removed, leaving more room for an enlarged power button with a better visible LED indicator and a microSD card reader. On the right edge, the manufacturer has added a fingerprint reader compatible Windows Hello, which is a location for the less curious, especially as it is flush with the chassis which makes it difficult to find it blind. . And if we fumble too often, Windows Hello decides that you have made the quota of attempts and switches to the pin code. So you have to look where the player is before you press, which is boring.
We have a mixed opinion about the Tilt stylus. Like many models, it only works with applications based on the Microsoft Pen API, which means that it can not be used with all the software that we usually use. It is equipped with a rechargeable battery via an integrated USB-C port. But unfortunately, we were unable to load it from the USB-C Spectrum x360 and we had to go through the charger of our phone. As for its sensitivity to inclination (detection of pressure for shading at different angles), it is necessary to press hard enough on the mine so that it is taken into account, which does not make very natural use.
As for HP’s marketing speech, which speaks of a “sensation identical to that of the pen inclined on paper”, let’s say that this is not really the case. It goes for taking notes, but as on all convertible PCs with glossy screens subject to glare, the feeling of attachment is quite slippery.
Fortunately, the good things have not changed. We find the excellent keyboard, well arranged and pleasant to the touch, which does not demerit for a few game sessions on GeForce Now. Connectivity is neat with 2 USB-C / Thunderbolt ports, 1 USB 3.1 port and 1 combined headphone / microphone jack. The spectre x360 comes with a carrying case that includes a pen sleeve.
The 13-inch format makes use in tablet mode a little more comfortable than larger models. The hinge offers good firmness whatever the position. The sound is rather powerful. The touchpad is responsive and pleasant.
A Test on The Battlefield
We were able to test the spectre x360 in ideal conditions by taking it with us to cover the CES 2018. Seven days to write text, process images and run from stand to stand. He did it perfectly, running Lightroom Classic CC to edit images taken with a Sony A7 more smoothly than we expected. The screen is suitable for image processing, at least as long as the color accuracy and clipping of the tonal range seem acceptable to you.
Although it is not particularly reinforced, the Spectrum has very well supported to be lugged everywhere and even survived two falls. On the other hand, he tended to heat on our knees, like his predecessor. A phenomenon may be accentuated by the removal of the left vent and a diffusion of heat which seemed to us to radiate further towards the bottom of the frame.
Side autonomy is happiness: 13 hours to our endurance test. The new 8th generation Intel Core processors are more energy efficient and the result is convincing. But HP uses relatively slow RAM, which explains the difference in performance compared to Yoga 920 on the test benches. However, it is unlikely that you will notice it in everyday use.
The spectre x360 is a machine at the top for nomadic workers, thanks to its convertible format and excellent battery life. The stylus is fine for taking notes and other brief tasks, but not for drawing or writing for a long time