2 July 2021

REVIEW: HP Spectre x360

Power on your lap

If high-end, powerful laptops snag your attention, read on. We've just spent a couple of weeks with a new powerhouse from HP and are here to tell the tale. We review the HP Spectre x360.

We've reviewed a few HP laptops over the years, and have always been impressed. They're known for making mostly business Windows machines, and the chances are you use a HP laptop or desktop at work. However, from experience, whenever HP throw a '360' into the name of their latest laptop, things start to get more interesting. The HP Spectre x360 is no exception.

What you have here is a powerful Windows laptop, with a 15 inch diagonal touchscreen, that can fold right the way over. This means the screen can fold fully back, letting you use it like a (admittedly bulky) tablet. That extra functionality is further helped by the inclusion of a HP Tilt Pen, a versatile, rechargeable stylus to aid in your creative outpourings.

The good news is that even if something disastrous happened to the fully folding laptop screen you can get only the screen replaced for this model. This means you won’t need to pay out for an entirely new laptop, which at costs at £1949.99 will save you a whole heap of money. 

Before we tackle the internals, we have to mention the looks. Christ, the HP Spectre x360 looks great. We adore the angled, sci-fi design, and the black/bronze colouring. The cut-out where the screen meets the keyboard is a lovely feature, and those angled edges actually have use - the power button on the left, and a second USB-C port on the right.

There is a full-sized qwerty keyboard on the deck, complete with a number pad, making for a spacious, comfortable typing experience. There is a biometric fingerprint sensor for quick logins, a dedicated 'off' switch to kill the camera for privacy (but more on that later), and a 4K AMOLED display that wowed us from minute one.

Inside, HP have crammed into the Spectre x360 16 GB of RAM, 1TB of SSD storage, and an Intel Core i7 processor. It runs damn quick, especially with Windows battery configuration set to highest performance. We were running notoriously power-hungry Adobe After Effects on the machine for some time, and we never experienced any significant lagging or crashes. So, obviously, for day-to-day functions like web browsing and streaming, it works without effort.

Gaming was also a no-hassle event, as the HP Spectre x360 comes packing a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card which, combined with that glorious display, made for a smooth experience. You're also covered in connectivity, with two USB-C ports, a SuperSpeed USB type A port, HDMI-out, and even a good ol' headphone port.

But... there was one part of the HP Spectre x360 that left us feeling somewhat disappointed. After the last year of working almost entirely via video calls, we all know how important a decent webcam is. Unfortunately the Spectre x360's isn't. Maxing out at 720p, we found the image quality was always poor, even in favourable lighting. Yes, we appreciate the switch to turn it off, but would have preferred at least a 1080p sensor and some better processing software. For calls while using it, we had to plug in an external cam (the Logitech StreamCam, reviewed here, in fact), which seemed madness considering the specs and price of the laptop.

And about price. At time of publishing the HP Spectre x360 will dent your back account to the amount of £1949.99. Yep, this is a two-grand laptop. We can certainly see why HP would have to charge that, and certainly the performance when pushed was great. It feels like a high-powered desktop computer condensed into a uniquely folding mobile device, but is that enough to justify a purchase?

If you feel like the folding touchscreen, connected to a powerful processor, would aid in your creative or gaming endeavours, do it. With a robust feel and HP's usual level of on-going customer service, this could be your next laptop.


Visit store.hp.com

© The Test Pit

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Site Layout Designed by pipdig