The HP Spectre x360 15 is Stunning! We Take a Look

29th January 2021
HP Spectre x360 2020

HP’s new x360 is a beautiful piece of kit, available in 13-inch, 14-inch and 15-inch, here we take a look at the 15-inch version.

The HP Spectre x360 fresh for 2020 boast 4K visuals, dedicated graphics and a flexible design making it well suited for creative tasks, kicking back with a movie, or even a bit of light gaming, but with the £2K price tag it’s not cheap. So is it actually worth that cash? Well, we’ve taken a look to see.

It’s most definitely an attractive machine. We love the angular finish around the edges and the patterned grill inside, and it’s chunky hinges. They all come together very nicely for some pleasing aesthetics.

Weighing in at a touch under two kilos, the HP Spectre x360 15, certainly can’t be described as a featherweight, but for a 15 inch, it’s surprisingly compact and quite slender. And considering that slim build, the connectivity is pretty good. You’ve got a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports sat alongside one another over on the right with display port support. And you’ve also got an HDMI port for hooking up external screens and a full-size Type-A USB port for other peripherals.

HP Spectre front view

When it comes to the keyboard, love all the firm design and also the travel when you hit the keys, which gives you good feedback for touch typing. There is also some solid two-stage backlighting, which means you can work in low light. We also like that there’s an led on the sound and mic mute buttons as well, which is handy in these Zoom heavy days. A couple of niggles though, first is the lack of space in between the main keyboard and the numeric pad, and second, HP has crushed the return key into a single row, all of which means you’re more likely to hit the wrong keys until you get used to the layout, but those grumbles aside, it is a good keyboard and you get a good-sized touchpad, which is pleasingly spacious.

You can almost forget about that touchpad because you’ve got full touchscreen controls on the HP Spectre x360 as well. The 360-degree hinges, meaning you can bend the screen all the way back and turn it into a tablet. If you want to use it to sketch, you get a stylus pen bundled in the box with the Spectre x360, so you can get started straight away.

When logging in to the x360, you’ve got a couple of Windows Hello options. The first is face recognition, which is nice and swift, even in quite a dark environment. If, for some reason, you can’t use face recognition e.g. you’re out and about and you have a face mask on, it’s not a problem as you also have fingerprint sensor action as well, so it’s great to have both options for flexibility.

As for the 15.6-inch display on the Spectre x360 15, it pretty much entirely fills the inside of the lid, there’s very little wasted space. It’s also coated with Gorilla glass as well for extra durability. You’ve got a 4K resolution by default, so it’s perfect for creative tasks such as photo or video editing, as well as a bit of gaming, those visuals are beautifully crisp and packed with finer detail. It’s an AMOLED panel and you really feel the benefit of that with the impressively accurate colour reproduction. We’re talking full coverage of the sRGB gamut and a whopping 96% of the Adobe RGB accurately rendered here, and the contrast is also strong. On top brightness you’ll get 450 nits of power, so combined with the anti-reflective display, you shouldn’t have issues when using the Spectre x360 outdoors

No issues when it comes to the sound either, you’ve got some Bang & Olufsen audio tech inside with a big speaker grille that stretches across the top end of the keyboard, and there are also a couple of speakers housed down beneath the keyboard too, so you get quite full-bodied sound. The clarity is fantastic, so really good for enjoying a movie. The only issue is that it’s not exactly the loudest on that top volume, but it’s just about powerful enough for enjoying a bit of Netflix.

As far as the camera tech goes, you’ve got a 720P webcam housed in a tiny bezel right above the screen, which does the job for your Zoom calls etc. the quality can be a little bit grainy in a low-light environment, but as long as you’ve got some reasonable light it will definitely pick you up in plenty of detail and the internal mic quality is good, you’ll have no troubles making yourself understood.

HP has absolutely nailed it on the privacy side of things, as well as an attention-grabbing led right alongside the camera, that lights up whenever it’s in use and some app is sneakily trying to use it in the background. You’ve got that mic mute button if you don’t want anyone to hear what’s going on, and you’ve also got a camera kill switch on the right-hand side as well, just a quick flick of that and the camera is completely disconnected.

One the performance side you’ve got Intel’s 10th Generation Core i7 10750H chips backed by a generous 16GB of Ram, certainly more than enough for most everyday tasks. The Spectre x360 occasionally took a little while to boot up and for any benchmark fans out there, City Bench returned a score of 2,117, not world-beating but it does the job.

A dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1650Ti GPU handles the visuals, and this does the job perfectly well for creative tasks like video editing, and it can even handle a slice of gaming and on the side as well. Definitely don’t go too wild though, because the latest memory guzzling games like Doom Eternal run like a tortoise, even on the really low detail settings, so you’ll definitely want to stick to the less demanding fair. Older titles, such as Strange Brigade, run just fine on medium detail.

If you want proper power, then you probably want to look at the likes of Dell’s XPS laptops or some proper gaming machines. The main problem here seems to lie in the cooling system, the HP Spectre x360 does have two fairly wide vents running down both edges of the machine so that hot air can escape, but you’ve got some fairly big components packed into a really tight space because of that slender build.

It’s certainly speedy enough for all your internet needs too if you’ve got WiFi 6 router the good news is the HP Spectre x360 is fully compatible and the storage is just as fast as well. There’s a 1TB SSD packed inside, it turns out write speeds of 3 gigabits per second and read speeds just over that. There’s even a micro SD memory card reader as well, so you can quickly transfer files or just boost that storage when you need to.

If you’re looking for a flexible, great looking creative device, that’s just as good for entertainment as it is for hard work, you can’t go far wrong with the Spectre x360 from HP.

The new 2020 x360 will soon be available on our website, in the meantime, the 2019 version is available to lease now at £11.45 per week, with our full 3-year no quibble warranty. If you’d like to find out more about leasing HP laptops, get in touch with our knowledgeable team on 020 7111 1643 or email sales@hardsoft.co.uk