HP Spectre 13 X2 Hands-on: First Fanless Haswell Detachable Ultrabook

You'll never hear HP's new Spectre 13 X2 coming. That's because this Windows 8 laptop-tablet hybrid is the first to pack an Intel Haswell processor into a completely fanless chassis. The lack of a fan means the $1,099 Spectre 13 X2 will also be the thinnest and lightest hybrid HP has ever released when it hits store shelves on Oct. 16.

We spent some hands-on time with the Spectre 13 X2 during HP's fall showcase and were intrigued with what this 2-in-1 machine has to offer. Beyond its fanless design, the 13 X2 features an all-aluminum chassis that looks good and weighs just 4.5 pounds in laptop mode. Apart, the tablet and keyboard weigh a little more than 2 pounds each.

MORE: Top 8 Windows Tablet-Laptop Hybrids

HP has equipped the Spectre 13 X2 with one of its 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080p Radiance displays. During our short time with the hybrid, colors looked vibrant and text appeared sharp. Above the X2’s display, you’ll find one of HP’s TrueVision HD webcams. Company reps told us HP chose not to include a rear camera, because consumers are unlikely to use one on a 13-inch slate.

Inside, the Spectre 13 X2 rocks either an Intel Core i3 or Core i5 Haswell processor and 4GB to 8GB of RAM. Storage options include a 64GB or 128GB SSD. HP told us that you can expected up to 7 hours and 30 minutes of battery life from the Spectre 13 X2 in tablet mode and about 10 hours in laptop mode, thanks to the additional battery in the keyboard dock.

Our one gripe with the 13 X2 is that its power button and volume rocker are completely flush with the slate’s rear panel. The buttons also don’t feel very different from the rest of the back, making them difficult to find by touch alone. 

The Spectre 13 X2 looks to be a solid entry into the high-end Windows 8 hybrid market. But we’ll find out for sure when we bring you our full review. 

Daniel P. Howley
LAPTOP Senior Writer
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.