Laptop Mag Verdict
The HP Spectre x360 sports a 4K OLED display, strong performance and a lightning-fast SSD packed into a svelte design, but the battery life takes a hit.
Elegant design with small footprint
Vivid 4K OLED display
Short battery life
Ton of bloatware
Why you can trust Laptop Mag
The HP Spectre x360 is back — smaller and prettier than ever. For $1,799, you get strong performance combined with a lightning-fast SSD, a vivid 13.3-inch 4K OLED display and a comfortable keyboard, all packed in the Spectre's gorgeous signature design.
CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7
GPU: Intel Iris Plus
Storage: 1TB SSD
Display: 13.3-inch 4K OLED
Size: 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 2.6 pounds
However, all that greatness is not without faults — the biggest being short battery life. There's also the terrible webcam and a ton of bloatware, but that's par for the course with HP laptops.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) price and configuration options
The HP Spectre x360 I tested costs $1,799 and comes with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD with 32GB of Intel Optane memory and a 4K OLED display.
You can pick up the base model for $1,319, which will drop you to 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 1080p display. Or, if you have the money, you can go all-out and get our review model with a 2TB SSD for $1,959.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) design
The Spectre x360 is back in its gorgeous Nightfall Black overcoat tucked around its thin aluminum chassis and tantalizing diamond-cut copper luxe accents. Its sliced corners and curvy hinges add to its elegant body. The hood is home to the premium version of the HP logo (this logo should just be standard — it looks much better than the original).
Opening HP's crown jewel reveals the best change made to the new model: thinner bezels. From the top, bottom and sides, each bezel has been cut down to size, which not only creates a much more seamless viewing experience, but gives the Spectre x360 a smaller footprint. And you know what? It still has a webcam on the top bezel. Meanwhile, the deck features an edge-to-edge keyboard with white backlighting that looks divine.
Of course, as the x360 moniker suggests, the laptop can do all sorts of flips and tricks. And since it's so light, it's also easy to transform the laptop into tent or tablet mode.
At 2.6 pounds and 12.1 x 7.7 x 0.7 inches, the Spectre x360 is impressively light for a 13-inch laptop. The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (2019) (2.9 pounds, 11.7 x 8.2 x 0.3~0.5 inches), the MacBook Pro 13-inch (2019) (3 pounds, 12 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches) and the Lenovo Yoga C940 (3 pounds, 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches) were all heavier, but still thinner than the Spectre x360.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) ports
You're not going to get that many ports on the Spectre x360, but it is decidedly more than a MacBook Air's.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) display
OLED displays are finally breaking out into 13-inch laptops and the HP Spectre x360 is among the first to get one. The Spectre x360's 13.3-inch, 3840 x 2160 OLED display is feverishly colorful and bright enough to replace the sun at the crack of dawn.
In the Jungle Cruise trailer, the exotic pink flowers that bloomed on the mystical tree jumped off the screen as if I was standing right there in the river. Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt huddled around a campfire at night, but I could see the details in the bushes behind them. The detailed panel highlighted the threads in Johnson's slick captain's hat. However, since the display is rather glossy, I could see myself in the display.
According to our colorimeter, the HP Spectre x360's display straight-up killed it on color, nailing 218% of the sRGB color gamut, which is nearly 100% more than the premium laptop average (123%). Meanwhile, the XPS 13 2-in-1 (113%), the MacBook Pro (163%) and the Yoga C940 (139%) couldn't even get close.
At 414 nits, the Spectre x360 slid past the brightness category average (357 nits), but it has some real competition. It overcame the Yoga C940 (394 nits), but the XPS 13 2-in-1 (516 nits) and the MacBook Pro (441 nits) have brighter panels.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) keyboard, touchpad and touch screen
Each key on the Spectre x360 is surprisingly clicky and offers decent travel, but you can't fully rest your palms on the deck due to the laptop's small size. However, the Spectre x360's keyboard still provides a comfortable typing experience.
I managed 70 words per minute on the 10FastFingers.com typing test, which matches my current average. While the keys are bouncy, I would have hit a faster time if there was more room on the deck for my hands — it's definitely something you have to get used to.
The touch-screen display is responsive, and I had few problems drawing a creepy-looking version of my puppy, Yuki. However, the panel's texture is a bit sticky, so my fingers didn't exactly glide smoothly across the screen.
The 4.3 x 2.1-inch touchpad is smooth to the touch, sports a decent size and offers a meaty click. Combine that with Windows 10 Precision drivers that swiftly respond to three-finger tabbing and two-finger scrolling, and you have a solid touchpad.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) audio
I have mixed feelings about Spectre x360's bottom-firing speakers. On one hand, they're decently loud and offer solid mids and highs, but on the other, the bass isn't good. The techno beats that open Sukima Switch's "Golden Time Lover" were muffled and shallow — it almost sounded like I was listening to a different song. And while the following vocals were bright and clear, the drums didn't have enough oomph. Even the cymbals lacked the proper depth.
The Bang & Olufsen Audio Control app is bare-bones and didn't help get the sound to where it needed to be. However, it's packed with multiple presets, like Music, Movie and Voice, as well as a full equalizer, so I'm sure an audiophile could tinker with the settings to perfect the audio.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) performance
Armed with an Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor and 16GB of RAM, the Spectre x360 tore through 40 Google Chrome tabs and five 1080p YouTube videos without flinching while Spotify blasted in the background.
On the Geekbench 4.3 overall performance test, the Spectre x360 scored 18,360, climbing over the average premium laptop (16,669). With the same CPU, the XPS 13 2-in-1 (19,225) and the Yoga C940 (18,709) did slightly better, but the Spectre managed to surpass the MacBook Pro's 8th Gen Core i5 CPU (17,366).
The Spectre x360 transcoded a 4K video to 1080p in 20 minutes and 55 seconds, which is more than a minute slower than the category average (19:40). The XPS 13 2-in-1 (24:49) didn't do any better and the Yoga C940 (20:18) just slid by the Spectre while the MacBook Pro excelled (14:42).
HP's 1TB SSD is a force to be reckoned with. It copied 4.97GB of data in just 5 seconds, which equates to a transfer rate of 1,018 megabytes per second and crushes the 622 MBps premium laptop average. The 512GB SSD in the XPS 13 2-in-1 and the Yoga C940 hit 463 MBps and 1,018 MBps, respectively, putting the XPS behind the Yoga and right up with the Spectre.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) graphics
Toting an Intel Iris Plus Graphics chip, the Spectre x360 managed 46 frames per second (fps) on the Dirt 3 benchmark (Medium, 1080p), which didn't get past the 60-fps premium laptop average. With the same GPU, the XPS 13 2-in-1 (47 fps) and the Yoga C940 (55 fps) did slightly better but still couldn't catch up to the average.
When it came to synthetic benchmarks like 3DMark Fire Strike, the Spectre x360 scored 2,729, which landed close to the Yoga C940 (2,777), but both fell short of the category average (5,737).
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) battery life
Even for a laptop with 4K display, the Spectre x360's battery life is dismal. The Spectre x360 continuously surfed the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, and the battery died after 6 hours and 31 minutes, which pales in comparison to the 8:47 premium laptop average. With a bigger 15.6-inch, 4K OLED display and packed with a discrete GPU, the Dell XPS 15 saw 8:07.
With a 1080p screen, the XPS 13 2-in-1 hit 10:57, but with a higher-res display, the MacBook Pro landed at 10:48. Meanwhile, the 4K Yoga C940 got 7:27, so there's no good reason why the Spectre x360's battery is as short as it is.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) webcam
While the webcam is right where it should be, it's still not good — at all.
The test shot I took was so blotchy that I couldn't see any sharp details on my face. Even the black color of my shirt had tints of red in it because of the discoloration. And the windows behind me were completely blown out due to the poor contrast.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) heat
The Spectre x360 has an aluminum chassis, so it gets a little hot under the hood. After it streamed a 1080p video for 15 minutes, the underside of the laptop hit 103 degrees Fahrenheit, climbing above our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and touchpad measured 94 degrees and 86 degrees, respectively. The hottest the machine got was 110 degrees on the underside, just above the vents.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, OLED) software and warranty
The Spectre x360 is packed with a ton of HP's proprietary software — no joke. The list is as follows:
There's the HP Command Center (adjusts the fan usage to boost performance), HP Display Control (adjusts display color temperature), HP Audio Switch (controls input and output audio selections), HP Documentation (links to the laptop's manual), HP JumpStarts (gives a tutorial for Windows 10), HP PC Hardware Diagnostics Windows (runs system tests and component tests), HP Pen Control (assigns actions to pen buttons), HP Privacy Settings (controls what information HP can access from your PC), HP Smart (connects to a printer), HP Support Assistant (displays warranty, offers fixes and diagnostics) and HP System Event Utility (displays system specs).
Now, add to that headache-inducing graph some Windows 10 bloatware, such as Candy Crush Friends Saga, Farm Heroes Saga and Disney Magic Kingdoms.
The HP Spectre x360 will dazzle you with its vibrant 4K OLED panel and its smaller footprint. Top that off with powerful performance, a superfast SSD and a comfortable keyboard, all for $1,799. However, where the Spectre x360 stumbles is battery life — but as we've seen with other premium laptops, having a 4K display is no excuse for poor endurance.
If you're looking for a laptop with a high-resolution screen and better battery life, we recommend taking a look at the Lenovo Yoga C940, which has a bright and colorful 4K display and longer battery life, all for a cheaper price of $1,599.
But overall, it's tough to beat the Spectre x360's excellent form factor and feverishly colorful screen.
HP Spectre x360 (13-inch) Specs
|Intel Core i7-8550U CPU
|Intel HD Graphics 620
|Hard Drive Size
|Hard Drive Type
|M2 PCIe NVMe MLC SSD
|Highest Available Resolution
|1920 x 1080
|Windows 10 Home
|Ports (excluding USB)
|Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1
|12 x 8.6 x 0.5 inches
|4.7 x 2.4 inches
|Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi
Rami Tabari is an Editor for Laptop Mag. He reviews every shape and form of a laptop as well as all sorts of cool tech. You can find him sitting at his desk surrounded by a hoarder's dream of laptops, and when he navigates his way out to civilization, you can catch him watching really bad anime or playing some kind of painfully difficult game. He’s the best at every game and he just doesn’t lose. That’s why you’ll occasionally catch his byline attached to the latest Souls-like challenge.
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