HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) review: Now we’re talking

The HP Spectre x360 16 is still the 16-inch 2-in-1 laptop to beat, but it could use a bit more power

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022)
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The HP Spectre x360 16 is a stylishly compact 16-inch 2-in-1 laptop that boasts a dazzling OLED display, but its 12th Gen Intel update only brings a middling improvement to performance.

Pros

  • +

    Stunning 16-inch OLED touch screen

  • +

    Comfortable keyboard

  • +

    Ample battery life

  • +

    Great audio

  • +

    Solid performance…

Cons

  • -

    …but could be better

  • -

    Too heavy for tablet mode

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HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) Specs

Price: $1,649 (starting), $2,129 (as tested)
CPU: Intel Core i7-1260P
GPU: Intel Arc A370M /  Intel Iris Xe
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Storage: 1TB PCIe NVMe TLC M.2 SSD
Display: 16-inch UHD+ (3840 x 2400) OLED touch display
Size: 14.09 x 9.6 x 0.7 inches
Weight: 4.1 pounds 

It was only recently that I reviewed the HP Spectre x360 16, the company’s giant take on the popular Spectre x360 lineup. I was dazzled by its 16-inch OLED touchscreen, stylishly compact design, great Bang & Olufsen audio, and comfortable keyboard — but I couldn’t say the same about its performance.

Why? Well, it was sporting an 11th Gen Intel CPU in a world where 12th Gen Intel processors run rampant. It was hardly the Spectre x360 16’s fault, as it was just a little behind on the times. HP knew it could do better, though, so decided to show me what its latest model could do. Oh, and it even threw in its handy HP Rechargeable Tilt Pen stylus for good measure.

And so, I have a fresh HP Spectre x360 16 to review. Same impeccable design, same triumphant touch display, same booming audio, same everything. But this time, it boasts an Intel Core i7-1260P CPU and a 1TB SSD. The results? Fantastic, but its performance gains still don’t quite match the top-end notebooks we’ve seen this year.

Regardless of its middling performance improvements, the HP Spectre x360 16 is still one of the best HP laptops to get, and if you prefer a convertible laptop with considerable width, then it’s one of the best 2-in-1 laptops to grab. 

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) price and configurations

The HP Spectre x360 16 we reviewed is priced at $2,129 on HP’s listing page (opens in new tab). This model comes with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, Intel Arc A370M graphics, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 16-inch UHD+ (3840 x 2400) OLED touch display. It’s a pricey configuration, but it comes packed with high-standard specs. It also includes HP’s Rechargeable Tilt Pen stylus. Currently, you can get $500 off, making it just $1,629. 

(Image credit: Future)

The base model comes in at a more enticing $1,649 and is currently $1,149 thanks to a $500 discount at HP (opens in new tab). This Spectre x360 16 comes with an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU, Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, and a 16-inch 3K+ (3072 x 1920) touch display.

There’s no doubt that this is a pricey laptop, but comparing it to other 16-inch laptops like the Asus ROG Flow X16 (from $2,000, £2,799 with RTX 3070) and the Huawei MateBook X Pro (£1,799) shows that it isn’t as costly, especially with those discounts. 

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) design

When it comes to sleek, premium-looking laptops, the Dell XPS 13 Plus or 14-inch MacBook Pro are the cream of the crop. Personally, I think the HP Spectre x360 lineup takes the cake with a design that radiates luxury.

The Spectre x360 16 comes in a cool Nocturne Blue with elegant cerulean hues outlining (and defining) the laptop. There’s also a Nightfall Black aluminum chassis with “pale brass” trims around the edges of the deck, lid, touchpad, and hinges (but let’s be real; those outlines are an alluring gold). I adore the Nightfall color option, which offers the slightest hint of a dark-violet hue as a step up from your classic black. 

(Image credit: Future)

Throw in the gem-cut edges on the base and lid, a stylish HP logo emblazoned at the center, and the smooth-feeling rounded edges at the top ends of the notebook, and you have yourself quite the stunner. And that’s not even mentioning the thin-bezel display around that eye-catching screen.

The x360 16, obviously, has more space to play with, meaning it doesn’t look as clean-cut as its smaller siblings like the x360 14. That doesn’t take away from its style though, as its subtle accents of high-quality design can be seen and felt throughout the laptop.

(Image credit: Future)

I wouldn’t say its display is quite “edge-to-edge” like the x360 14 or Dell’s XPS 13 lineup, but it's still thin enough to wow onlookers — especially when it seamlessly transforms into tablet and tent modes. The 360-degree hinge is sturdy as it is sleek, and I had no problems bending it to any angle I needed — no nail-biting wobbling in sight.

One dimension this model adds is the Rechargeable 2.0 MPP Tilt Pen that’s conveniently placed magnetically along the right side of the lid. It grips on firmly and reminds me of someone putting a pen behind their ear. It just looks neat, but it shouldn’t be kept here when being transported. It’s not the best place to store the stylus when traveling, as it can easily be moved and fall off. But the laptop also comes with a laptop sleeve, making that the best place to keep it.

(Image credit: Future)

As thin and portable as the x360 16 looks, it isn’t the 2-in-1 laptop that can be manipulated to your needs as easily. That’s due to its size and weight. It sports dimensions of 14.09 x 9.6 x 0.7 inches and weighs 4.1 pounds. Compared to the Huawei MateBook X Pro (12.2 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches, 2.9 pounds), the x360 16 isn’t a notebook that can be simply thrown into a laptop bag. It has an edge over the Asus ROG Flow X16 (14 x 9.6 x 0.8 inches, 4.63 pounds), but I’d prefer to have this laptop as a device I’d mainly use at home, whether that be working on a desk or streaming content on a kitchen counter while I cook.

All in all, however, HP crafted a striking 16-inch laptop that will turn heads, even if its 2-in-1 design is a little too cumbersome. 

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) ports

HP packed quite a few ports into the Spectre x360 16, and despite being 0.7 inches thin, there’s a high-speed, drop-jaw USB-A port fitted into the side. While some ports, like the 3.5mm headphone jack and Thunderbolt 4 port are seemingly placed strangely at the cut corners of the laptop, it surprisingly all looks great when plugged in. 

(Image credit: Future)

On the left, there’s a SuperSpeed USB Type-A port with 10Gbps transfer speeds, an HDMI 2.0b slot, and (thankfully) a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack at the corner.

The other side boasts two Thunderbolt 4 ports with USB4 Type-C connectivity (that means 40Gbps transfer speeds, Power Delivery, and DisplayPort 1.4 support), a slot for the power adapter, and even a microSD card reader.

Plus, you’re getting Intel Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, although Wi-Fi 6E would have been a better option. I would have also liked to have seen a Gigabit Ethernet port for fast, wired internet connectivity.

There’s plenty to work with, but if you’re after even more ports, check out the best docking stations to expand your connectivity needs. 

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) display

You can’t go wrong with a 16-inch, UHD+ (3840 x 2400) OLED display with a 16:9 aspect ratio. I’m glad it’s a touch screen, too, as the bright, vivid colors and crisp details of the Spectre x360 16’s OLED panel made me reach out a tap on everything I viewed.

From watching YouTube videos to scrolling through websites, the 91% screen-to-body ratio on the “edge-to-edge” glass display made everything on screen emit clear, super-smooth images. Add the anti-reflection Corning Gorilla Glass, and there’s little chance of anyone squinting to see small text or dark content. That way-too-dark House of the Dragon episode (if you know, you know) pushes the limits of how much you can see, but that’s not the fault of the x360 16. 

(Image credit: Future)

When watching Cyberpunk: Edgerunners’ bonkers animation in full swing during the final blowout between a Chrome-stuffed David and Night City “boogeyman” Adam Smasher, the first small detail I kept replaying was when David satisfyingly squished Faraday with his gravity-powered mech suit. The pool of blood spilling out of the severed leg in the air showed off the x360 16’s red-rendering prowess as the subtle, ruby-esque hues caught my eye, even on Faraday’s bold, red suit.

David going full cyber-psycho when using the Sandevistan to “delta” out of there really showed off the OLED panel’s capabilities. The spectrum of blue and green spilled through the display with the smooth after-images of David (and then, frighteningly, Adam Smasher) beautifully shown off.

(Image credit: Future)

HP’s claimed 100% DCI-P3 color-gamut coverage and 400 nits of brightness are evident in what I watched, and the display is even easy on the eyes with the Low Blue Light support. HP even includes a Display Control for users to switch between different modes based on the content you’re viewing, from web-optimized sRGB to Adobe RGB when editing images in Photoshop or other applications. Plus, there’s an Auto Color option that will do the work for you.

Top marks on the display, HP. 

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) audio

Audio is another highlight of the Spectre x360 16, thanks to support from Bang & Olufsen. Loud, booming, and crisp, the quad-speakers are a step up from the usual stereo speakers manufacturers throw in just to have sound.

As an example, the audio matched the quality on screen when watching Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. The haunting build-up of David’s gravitational powers are a treat, and the melancholic background tune of “I Really Want to Stay At Your House” by Rosa Walton beautifully mixes in with the explosive mayhem happening. 

(Image credit: Future)

Turning to more four-on-the-floor House tunes, I cranked up the volume on Fred Again’s “Jungle” and was engulfed with the need to bop along with the beat. The vocalist’s repetitive lyrics were harmonious with the initial fout-beat tempo, ramping up to a blast of heavy thumps alongside a resounding techno tune balancing out the clash of different mixes.

While great for both music and shows, there’s also a handy 3.5mm jack so you can keep the sound to yourself.  

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) keyboard, touchpad, and stylus

Like the Chiclet-style keyboard found on other Spectre laptops, the x360 16’s keyboard is simplicity at its finest; it’s easy to type on and comfortable to use. 

(Image credit: Future)

The “all-in-one” keyboard offers a bunch of features at your fingertips, including the mute and webcam shutter keys along with the fingerprint scanner key that replaces the right-side “Ctrl” key (not something I ever use, anyway). With the 1.5mm key travel distance and silent, satisfying actuation point, it’s a joy to type away on. Keys are bouncy and snappy.

Thanks to the small key travel distance, I achieved 75 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, which beats my average of 70 wpm (pathetic, I know). Any keyboard that makes me type faster is a win in my book.

(Image credit: Future)

As for the touchpad, it’s premium to the touch with each click feeling satisfyingly solid while being easy to glide my finger on. It also supports multi-touch gesture that allows me to whizz through apps with three or four fingers.

(Image credit: Future)

HP throws in the Rechargeable 2.0 MPP Tilt Pen with your purchase of the laptop. Like always, it's pretty standard stuff here; the pen has two reprogrammable buttons, it supports tilt for line variation, and gets 30 hours of battery life after which you can recharge it via a hidden USB-C port on the side. It’s a great addition to have, especially if you can make the most out of it in tablet mode. 

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) performance

Equipped with an Intel Core i7-1260P CPU, Intel Arc A370M graphics, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, this HP Spectre x360 16 packs a wallop compared to the last configuration we recently reviewed (Intel Core i7-11390H CPU, 512GB SSD). That said, while the improvements are notable during benchmark tests, they aren’t significant enough to compete with the top contenders.

Regardless, the Spectre x360 16 we reviewed showed no signs of slowing no matter how much I threw at it in my daily working day. That means easily loading up 50 Google Chrome tabs and five 1080p YouTube videos — no sweat. This was reflected when we put it through the benchmark ringer, too. 

(Image credit: Future)

On the Geekbench 5 overall performance test, the Spectre x360 16 scored a multi-core score of 6,920. That’s nearly double what the 11th Gen Intel i7 model reached (3,556), and surpasses the premium laptop average (5,956). However, the Huawei MateBook X Pro (11,142, Intel Core i7-1260P) showed off the 12th Gen Intel CPU’s true might, while the Asus ROG Flow X16 (9,570, AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS) even gave the Spectre a run for its money. It couldn’t hold a candle to the MacBook Pro 14 (12,477, M1 Pro) either.

The Spectre x360 took 12 minutes and 24 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p on our HandBrake benchmark. That’s way better than the disappointing 18 minutes and 31 seconds the last model took, and that finally beat the category average (13:27). Still, when compared to the Flow X16 (5:48), MateBook X Pro (8:33), and MacBook Pro 14 (4:51), it didn’t stand a chance.

(Image credit: Future)

With the 1TB SSD in this HP Spectre x360 16 review unit, it clocked in at an impressive 2,481 megabytes-per-second transfer rate. Again, that’s miles ahead of the 512GB SSD on the 11th Gen Intel model (1,339 MBps).  On average, premium laptops clock in at 825 MBps, so the x360 16 did a stellar job. The MateBook X Pro achieved a stellar 1,960 MBps, so this is one spot where the x360 exceeds. However, to put that into perspective, the MacBook Pro 14 held a blistering speed of  5,321.5 MBps.

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) battery life

When it comes to battery life, the Spectre x360 16 does an adequate job of staying alive without me reaching for the charger every couple of hours. For a 16-inch laptop boasting a bright OLED display, I found its 6-cell, 83Wh Li-ion polymer battery impressive.

My average day consists of writing and editing stories through CMS or Google Docs, scrolling through websites and multimedia, answering emails, and watching multimedia on YouTube and other streaming platforms (for work purposes, of course…). That’s fairly moderate usage, but the Spectre x360 16 could last nearly the full workday. Kicking off at 9 a.m., the laptop only went into power-saving mode just past 4 p.m. before I reached for the battery. That’s around 7 hours of constant work, which doesn’t scratch any of the longest-lasting batteries on laptops we’ve tested.

Still, that knocks the Huawei MateBook X Pro out of the park, and matches the “pretty good” battery on the Asus ROG Flow X16. Plus, the x360 16 boasts a 135W power adapter, which means very fast charging speeds. HP claims it can juice up the laptop to 50% in just 30 minutes, and it wasn’t too far off the 33 minutes I tested. I’ll take fast charging any day over a long battery life with sluggish charging speeds.  

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) webcam

What’s this? A webcam that I don’t want to keep shut at all times? That’s right. The Spectre x360 16 boasts a 5MP “True Vision” IR webcam that does more than just offer a clean image of yourself.

The camera captures light brilliantly without unsightly grains showering down on me, and the detail is incredibly crisp, right down to the strands of hair on my unkempt beard. But it’s the different features that it boasts that make this more than just your average webcam.

There’s HP’s Advanced Lighting feature that offers different lighting frames on screen, including a ring light to brighten up your face in video calls, auto-ISO sensitivity, white balance and brightness sliders, and even an auto-focus that zooms in and centres your face so callers don’t get a sneak peek at your surrounding environment. 

(Image credit: Future)

However, one function that annoyed the heck out of me is the notification that keeps popping up stating that I’m too close to the display. That’s not something I need to be reminded about every time I move my head. The good news is this can be turned off, but I prefer it not to be on in the first place.

We need more webcams on laptops with these capabilities.

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) heat

We don’t have lab numbers to give you an exact temperature of different areas across the Spectre x360 16, but after using the laptop, I can say it doesn’t get overly hot — more like lukewarm in certain places.

The warmest region was to the right of the touchpad, but everywhere else was temperate. Not even the underside, where there are grilles placed as a vent, got too hot. 

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) software and warranty

HP sure loves stuffing its apps into its laptops, but this time, there aren’t many like on previous Spectre laptops. Immediately, you’ll see HP Pallette, HP Support, and McAfee taking up room on the Windows 11 taskbar, along with a bundle of pop-up notifications alerting you about even more HP features like the Display Control or Advanced Lighting features. It’s more of an annoyance than anything, but maybe keep the apps in just one set location, HP. 

(Image credit: Future)

Interestingly, HP also brings its Quickdrop feature, which allows you to speedily transfer files back and forth between your phone. It’s not something I used, but I can imagine it coming in handy when transferring files.

As is standard, the Spectre x360 16 ships with a one-year warranty. See how HP fared on our Tech Support Showdown special reports 

HP Spectre x360 16 (2022): Bottom line

The question is: does the HP Spectre x360 16 fare any better with its 12th Gen Intel CPU update? Of course it does. While I wish the jump to the next-gen processor would offer even greater performance improvements, it still exceeds what it takes to be a premium 16-inch, 2-in-1 laptop that’s worth considering (especially with a $500 discount).

HP’s take on a 16-inch convertible laptop already impressed me with its premium form factor and dazzling OLED touch screen, and now it's taken it a step further by bringing decent performance, too. Again, the 2-in-1 laptop is an added bonus, but it doesn’t suit the 16-inch form factor purely due to its weight. Still, for those that enjoy a sizable tablet — one that can be used with HP’s added Rechargeable Tilt Pen — it does a fine job.

Now more than ever (until 13th Gen Intel processors start pouring in), the HP Spectre x360 16 (2022) should find a spot in our list of best HP laptops and best 2-in-1 laptops. Looking for a smaller Spectre? Check out our HP Spectre x360 13.5 review. For a stunning HP laptop that isn’t so ghostly,” check out our HP Envy 16 review

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.