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HP Spectre x360

Andrew Williams



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HP Spectre x360
  • HP Spectre x360
  • HP Spectre x360
  • HP Spectre x360
  • HP Spectre x360
  • HP Spectre x360
  • HP Spectre x360
  • HP Spectre x360
  • HP Spectre x360


Hands on with the HP Spectre x360

The HP Spectre x360 is a slim and light laptop designed for extreme portability. Not only does the hinge let the screen flip all the way around for easy propping-up or use when there’s not much room, it’s also very light and has fantastic battery life.

It’s an HP take on the MacBook Air, and will cost you around £849 when it goes on sale from March 2015 in the UK.

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HP Spectre x360 – Design

Aluminium has become virtually the default material for any laptop that wants to seem high-end or expensive, and the HP is made entirely out of the stuff.

The design is pretty inoffensive, with few flashy bits to loudly announce how different it is from a MacBook Air. It’s all-silver, to show off that all-metal style.

What I find much more important – when, let’s face it, it’s not going to challenge Apple on looks – is portability and weight. At 1.49kg the HP Spectre x360 is extremely light, but has the feeling of hard density that we like to get in an Ultrabook.

The main event, though, is the hinge. It’s a clever geared design that lets it flip smoothly around 360 degrees, letting the screen and keyboard sit back to back. I’m not a huge believer in the idea of turning a laptop into an iPad – no-one wants a tablet with a keyboard on the back – but to prop the thing up to watch a film on a small work surface it makes a lot of sense.

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The HP Spectre x360 hinge’s special skills are completely invisible too. It doesn’t stick out from the back of the laptop, letting you forget the feature’s even there until you need it.

One part that makes the HP Spectre x360 look a bit, well, odd is the ultra-wide trackpad. It’s roughly twice the width of a standard pad, designed to make multi-touch gestures feel all the more natural, not to mention just providing more space.

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The version of the HP Spectre x360 we got to see, and the one that’ll probably be most common, has a 13-inch 1080p IPS screen. As usual, this means it has a pretty reflective surface, but image quality looked good, with no sign of colour undersaturation you tend to get with cheaper laptops.

Feeling flush? Some top-end configurations of the HP Spectre x360 have a QHD display, getting you MacBook Pro Retina-style sharpness. We’ll have to wait to see how common this model is, though.

I also got a peek at the HP Spectre x360’s insides. It’s virtually all-battery, getting the little laptop a pretty great 12-hour battery life if you go easy on it. If you needed any more convincing that this is the HP take on the MacBook Air, this is it.

HP Spectre x360 – Specs and Connectivity

Such a slim design doesn’t come without the off compromise, of course. The HP Spectre x360 doesn’t get an Ethernet port, but does have three USBs, HDMI, SD and a Mini DisplayPort socket. It’s designed largely to rely on Wi-Fi rather than a wired connection, but it’ll have no trouble outputting to a monitor and – also importantly – connecting a mouse, keyboard and third USB device without needing a hub.

It doesn’t look as though we’ll get a mobile internet 3G/4G model.

Other traits of a high-end are here in the HP Spectre x360, though. The keyboard is backlit and has has a pleasant blue glow to it. As with any 13-inch or larger laptop worth its salt, the keys are full-size and we were told have 1.5mm action. To press, they feel like just about any higher-end Ultrabook chiclet keyboard. Travel is naturally somewhat limited, but the feedback is nice and definite.

The core spec will change quite a bit depending on model, but even the starting-price £849 HP Spectre X360 uses an Intel Core i5 chipset, rather than the entry-level i3 – not that we’d expect any less at the price. Storage is naturally provided by an SSD, with up to 512GB available.

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Early Verdict

The HP Spectre x360 has everything we look for in an ultraportable laptop. Light weight? Check. Thin? Certainly. Great battery life? Absolutely.

Its most eye-catching feature, that ultra-flexible hinge, is just sprinkling on the top. Are it and the ultra-wide trackpad enough to lure you away from a MacBook Air? Either way, with several big names dropping out of the laptop market altogether, its good to get some new blood in this competition for 2015.

Kulti Vator

March 3, 2015, 1:58 pm

Interesting... can you comment on whether the screen is touch-enabled? Also, will this use one of the Intel 4000 / 5000 series graphics chipsets, or something else?


March 3, 2015, 4:58 pm

Looks a bit tacky. I'd rather wait for the retina MBA, which must be inbound imminently. it'll hold its value much better.


March 3, 2015, 5:40 pm

Looks nice but why such tiny cursor keys? It's trend that manufacturers ought not continue.

Brian O'Neill

March 3, 2015, 5:58 pm

Looks good but as a dell xps 12 owner I very seldom ever flip the screen around. But touchscreen is really useful.

Erik Mörner

March 4, 2015, 6:59 am

It is touch-enabled, according to hp.com


March 4, 2015, 3:11 pm

Buy a surface pro 3.

Kulti Vator

March 4, 2015, 5:05 pm

Thanks Erik...

...also, for anyone interested, it appears to be using the Intel 5500 chipset for graphics.

Kulti Vator

March 4, 2015, 5:10 pm

MS will more than likely announce the Surface 4 Pro in the April / May timeframe - so the clever money sits tight.

Manish Bhatia

March 28, 2015, 2:24 pm

As a Dell XPS 11 owner, I flip the screen all the time. The plus part of that capacitative keyboard that sucks to type on.


April 9, 2015, 4:35 pm

as a yoga 11 owner, i almost never flip the screen. but i absolutely love to have the freedom, as it's way easier to present something with it or just play around.
the convertability is a feature that can be included without any real compromise, so i think it should be as common as a touchscreen, especially because those are pretty useless without tablet functionality.


April 9, 2015, 4:36 pm

would be dumb to have a tablet mode without touch, wouldn't it?

Kulti Vator

April 9, 2015, 7:40 pm

At the time the question was raised (a month or more ago), there was little info about this device - and HP were promoting the fancy hinge as a great way to share content with a group! No mention of a tablet mode and I don't believe we had many images to look at back then either.

Jon Souter

April 9, 2015, 7:47 pm

'Dumb' says a person whose education clearly didn't include the importance of capital letters at the start of each new sentence ;-)


April 15, 2015, 10:25 pm

they're not important.

Tarun Ambwani

July 6, 2015, 7:19 pm

Bought the HP Spectre x360 core i7 8GB ram 512 SSD .. a week back. Just thought of posting this feedback for other prospective buyers. On the looks part the laptop does 5/5 absolutely refined and stunning. On weight @~1.5kg its just a tad heavier than I would like. On battery so far no compliants. On SSD speed superb. On browsing experience great. On keyboard not that good - the keys are not that soft and rather punchy. I am typing on it right now and usually end up making atleast one typo per sentence -- maybe I still need time to get used to it but nonetheless its not the best keyboard you can get. The touchpad is ok nothing great. The display - is very reflective. If you are watching anything on the screen especially a movie or something with a dark background you can see your reflection in it. The other thing is that the brightness level somehow should have more room on the increase side. The audio in terms of clarity good but not that good in terms of overall loudness. In a nutshell - the overall user experience is 3/5. Although not what I would expect from such a high end high priced laptop -- its still worth having this beauty. You can get the same config on Dell inspiron 7000 series and a better keyboard at 60% of the price of this laptop -- still it wont appeal to your senses the way this one does. Hope this helps.


December 27, 2015, 12:15 pm

I got this laptop and I must say it's really cool. The design with it's all aluminum chassis, keys and lid makes it premium looking and feel. Battery life is an improvement from my previous laptops. I don't understand why people complain it being heavy at 3lbs. Multiple ports is a godsend and when you put in an SD card it's almost flushed with the body (not sticking out). I got the 4101dx model with 256gb SSD and i7 5th generation


May 26, 2016, 10:29 am

Beware, build quality issues with the Spectre x360 are normal apparently.

I purchased the 4109na version of this laptop because it has excellent specifications. Unfortunately, it started to emit a strange electrical sputtering sound from the keyboard over the CPU area. The sound was very faint, but noticeable in a quiet room. It's not the fan because it's constant from the start even when the machine is cold. I sent it back to HP twice to fix the issue and they sent it back to me stating it is normal and within specification - in other words, it makes a faint, but constant noise as normal. I wasn't happy because I know that solid state devices (excluding the fan) do not make any noise at all. HP refused to refund the product because I had owned it for 6 weeks longer than the prescribed one month return period. They refused to change any of the components either to see if that might have made a difference and told me there was nothing they could do.

I asked HP to confirm if it was normal for HP products to make strange electrical noises as part of their specification, but they refused to comment on this. The (outsourced) repairer however, did confirm that it makes a faint noise and compared it to another machine of the same specification confirming that the noise was the same indicating that this is normal.

To put into context, imagine if your iPad or MacBook Pro made faint, but constant electrical sputtering noises from the CPU area. You would automatically think that your machine was defective. The Apple build quality is very high and this would never be acceptable. HP are essentially saying this noise is acceptable.

Nice specifications, nice-looking machine, but beware of the build quality. HP have never really had a great reputation for build quality and I suppose this proves it. I naively thought they might have improved over the years, but I was wrong. Do your research first. I'm now stuck with this machine and HP have dug their heals in by refusing to acknowledge they might have build quality issues. They continue to quote 'it is within specification'.


October 8, 2016, 6:46 pm

I am going to ave a HP Spectre x360 13" Intel i7 256GB Convertible. How do i know it dose comes with any Windows. There was not given any description on it. Any suggestion or guess?
How do I find the compatible battery for it? What dose 4031nd and 4040nd stand for?

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