5 ways I'd make the HP Spectre x360 even better

I recently reviewed the HP Spectre x360 complete with a new redesign and Kaby Lake Intel processor. It's now my top-recommended laptop for 13-inch Ultrabooks edging out the Dell XPS 13.

Nonetheless, while I think the Spectre x360 is the best all-around laptop when it comes to features and price, it's not perfect. Here is where I would like to see some changes to make HP's laptop even better.

1. Precision Touchpad

I harp on this topic a lot, but I think it's important. In my mind, Microsoft has the right tuning and gestures with their branded precision touchpads. The combo of hardware (usually Synaptics) and Microsoft's software is just the best experience on laptops.

HP's touchpad physically is top notch – it's smooth, massive, and well built. The Synaptics software though is lacking. It's not terrible, in fact, I said it's likely the best non-Precision touchpad I have used. Still, HP can do everyone a solid and just use Microsoft's software. Precision certified is simpler, smoother, is more reactive, and it gets those new changes like custom gestures that are coming with the Creator's Update.

This request is a nitpick, but in the end, I see no downside in HP using Precision.

2. Display aspect ratio

I don't know about you, but I am ready to move on from the dated 16:9 aspect ratio of laptop screens. I much prefer something like the Surface's 3:2 or even Apple's 16:10.

While 16:9 is better for watching movies (less 'letterboxing') compared to 3:2 the latter shows more content making it more ideal for productivity. That goes double for any convertible laptop where you can use it as a tablet (like the Spectre). Microsoft chose 3:2 because it's like a piece of paper or a book. It makes sense for tablet devices to look like that and not 16:9.

Besides preference, the 3:2 or 16:10 ratio helps cut into the display bezels at the top and bottom. While HP nicely put an 'edge to edge' display in the Spectre, the upper and lower bezels now look proportionally too large now. Some of that is needed for the IR lights and facial recognition camera, but not all of it. Making the display taller means the base would have to get taller too and HP could use that to make an even larger trackpad. Think about it.

To Dell, HP, Lenovo, and other PC manufacturers: can we finally move beyond 16:9? Let's try it.

3. AMOLED QHD option

My bet is HP will announce an OLED version with a QHD resolution in addition to the current IPS at Full HD. Don't get me wrong I like the Spectre's 1920x180 glossy touch screen, but I think some people will pay for a more expensive AMOLED option at QHD.

HP also needs something to compete with Dell's amazing QHD panel in the XPS 13. That's the bar right there.

HP has offered such an option in last year's model, so I won't be surprised if they do it again. Just in case, though, here is a reminder on why they should: OLED is amazing and the future.

4. Bring the bass

The B&O tuned quad speakers can crank super loud on the Spectre, making it one of the loudest devices around. You can also fine-tune the sound to your liking.

Nonetheless, I think the bass is lacking a bit, and they could use some more resonance to make the sound fuller and less tinny.

5. Awkward power button

HP put the Spectre's power button on the side. It sits very flush, and you do have search for it or just straight out eyeball it.

To be fair, I get why HP chose this position instead of a button on the top near the keyboard: this is a two-in-one convertible. When in tablet mode having the power button on the back of the tablet (the keyboard flips around) could result in an unexpected powering down situation. Putting it on the side and keeping it flush helps prevent that.

I have no solution here due to those engineering constraints. I just find the power button more of a pain to use compared to other laptops. I dunno, HP. Figure it out.

Perfecting nearly perfect

Most of these things fall into the realm of nitpicking. The touchpad and display aspect ratio are my two big wishes. I think if HP can deliver a Precision experience and jump to either 3:2 or 16:10 the Spectre will hit peak perfection.

Read my full review of the HP Spectre x360

Even with these little gripes, the Spectre is still the best in its class and – even better – it is priced far better than anything else available at that level.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in comments how you would make the Spectre x360 even better!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.