In recent memory, HP has really impressed when it comes to the build, look and finish of their high-end laptops. I was absolutely enamoured when the company unveiled the then world’s thinnest Spectre 13 and now they’re continuing that trend with the gorgeous update to the Spectre x360.
As far as looks go, the new Spectre x360 isn’t all that different. This new late 2016 model still comes with the gorgeous all-metal body and robust feel only this time it’s thinner and more streamlined than the last.
It’s also featuring HP’s brand new premium logo (that started with the Spectre 13) that I affectionately call the BP logo, to let people know that this laptop sits on top of HP’s premium ultrabook food chain. However, that thinness comes with some sacrifices — and as with all thin laptops, that sacrifice is its ports.
On the new Spectre x360, you only get one USB Type-A 3.1 Gen 1 port and two USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 2 ports that support Thunderbolt 3. Oh, and you also get a headphone/microphone combo jack so at least you won’t fall that far into dongle life.
But for that, you get a device that’s 13% lighter and over 2mm thinner (13.8mm) than its predecessor. It’s also got a smaller footprint thanks to a narrow bezel display. Unfortunately, that display is still capped at a 13.3-inch Full HD panel. I would have honestly loved to see a 2K screen, but this one does look pretty decent with some reasonable viewing angles.
That said, I think HP’s Spectre x360 has a nice keyboard. It’s not the best one I’ve typed on, but it’s comfortable, well spaced, with nice tactility and rather wobble-free keys. My biggest complaint is with HP’s choice of arrow key layout. Instead of having full up and down arrow keys, they went with half-sized keys paired with full-sized left and right ones.
This new Spectre x360 also comes with Bang & Olufsen speakers that are placed at the top of the keyboard near the laptop’s hinge. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to test them.
But there’s no running away from how nice the laptop feels. The machined aluminium body just oozes quality while the hinge feels very nice to flip open. However, while it has a nice smooth swivel when it’s already open, getting the laptop to flip open from its closed clamshell is a little bit of a struggle. Metal isn’t the grippiest substance and the magnets holding the lid shut are rather strong. It’s certainly not a one-finger-open device.
As far as specs go, there are two different models: A Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U and a Kaby Lake Core i7-7500U. Memory caps out at 8GB of RAM for both devices, while you get 256GB of PCIe M.2 SSD storage.
Perhaps one of the more impressive on-paper specs is the 15-hour battery life from the 57.8W cell. This battery also supports HP’s Fast Charge technology that’ll give you up to 90% of charge in just 90 minutes.
I won’t deny that I love the way the laptop looks. I also love the build and how robust the device is. For my typing needs, I’d be OK with its keyboard too. However, I’m not that big a fan of the port selection. I would love an HDMI port, or another USB Type-A port so it’ll fit seamlessly into my dock in the office. But, like many other manufacturers, HP has abandoned most of that in the pursuit of a more compact form-factor, which I suppose is good since the world’s moving to USB Type-C anyway.
Still, I have to say that it’s not the most inconvenient port selection in the world because you still get one Type A and two Thunderbolt 3 Type C ports. It’s also reasonably powerful with a Core i7 paired with 8GB of RAM. It’s a shame HP didn’t include a model with a 2K screen. But I suppose the trade-off is that awesome 15-hour battery life.
HP’s Spectre x360 will be priced at RM5,199 for the Core i5 model and RM5,999 for the Core i7 model. Both devices are currently available for purchase at HP retailers nationwide.