HP Spectre x360: Premium Hybrid with 12-Hour Battery
Now this is a classy convertible. The HP Spectre x360 is the company's latest bendable notebook, featuring four use modes and a slick aluminum design that might even make a few MacBook Air diehards raise an eyebrow. I spent some hands-on time with the upcoming hybrid (available now starting at $899), and am mostly impressed so far by its attractive, foldable build.
Design and Display
Everything about the Spectre x360's design oozes "premium," from its thin, brushed-metal edges to the subtle Hewlett-Packard logo strewn across its smooth CNC aluminum lid. As its name suggests, the notebook touts a 360-degree rotating hinge that allows it to be used in laptop, tablet, stand and display modes.
While some convertibles have an unsightly amount of bulk at the bottom, the x360 uses unique spiral gears in order to stay equally slim in each use mode. The notebook's 12.8 x 8.6 x 0.6-inch profile is certainly easy on the eyes, though I found it a bit heavy at 3.26 pounds.
While the Spectre x360 transitioned smoothly between its four modes, I didn't love that I felt the notebook's keys on my fingertips when using it in tablet mode (Lenovo's ThinkPad Yoga automatically retracts its keys when being used as a tablet.) When in laptop mode, the notebook's island keys deliver decent feedback, and are complemented by a rectangular, extra-wide touchpad.
The Spectre x360's 13-inch, full HD display looks satisfyingly crisp and colorful. From the purple and blue pattern on the desktop's default background to a 1080p trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, the notebook offered vibrant colors and plenty of detail.
Specs and Battery Life
The HP Spectre x360 starts at $899, featuring an Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GM of RAM, a 128GB SSD and a a full HD touch display. A $1,149 config packs a beefier Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, while a $1,399 mode adds a quad HD display andl ups the storage to 512GB.
The new convertible packs a 56-Whr battery, which HP says will offer up to 12.5 hours of battery life.
The HP Spectre x360 is one of the company's slickest notebooks yet, and could find a niche with business users who want the versatility of a bendable hybrid within a premium, durable design. We look forward to seeing how the x360's dynamic design and potentially epic battery life hold up in our full review.