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HP Spectre x360 (late-2016) review: the new best 13-inch laptop

HP's Spectre x360, updated for late 2016, returns triumphantly to impress me all over again.

Windows Central Recommended Award

Putting aside HP's dabbling into Windows 10 Mobile, the company's real bread and butter is still Windows PCs. Back in 2015, the company introduced the world to the Spectre x360, which even impressed this former HP non-fan. Now as we head into 2017, HP is reinventing that laptop with a smorgasbord of improvements.

Is the new HP Spectre x360 the best 13-inch Ultrabook on the market today? I think it is.

About this review

The HP Spectre used here in testing was the Kaby Lake Core i7 (i7-7500; 2.7-3.5 GHz) version with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. The device was purchased at Best Buy although HP later supplied a similar unit for review.

HP Spectre x360 specifications

CategorySpecs
Operating systemWindows 10 Home
Processor7th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7
Display13.3-inch diagonal
Full HD IPS UWVA WLED-backlit multitouch-enabled
edge-to-edge glass
1920x 1080
Memory8 or 16 GB LPDDR3 SDRAM
Solid-state drive256, 512, 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 620
AudioBang & Olufsen with quad speakers
WebcamFront-facing HP TrueVision FHD IR Webcam
Windows Hello capable
Weight2.85 lb (1.3kg)
Wireless2x2 802.11ac WLAN and Bluetooth
Ports2 USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt
1 USB 3.1 Type-A
1 Headphone/microphone combo

An all-metal beauty

HP Spectre x360 design

The HP Spectre x360 is easily the top of its class regarding design and premium feel. It's hard not to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into machining the hardware.

The all-metal body is uniform in size and just outstanding. Perhaps one downside is how cold metal laptops can get and not as comfortable to touch as those painted in soft touch. But they look and feel stunning in their own way, and the new Spectre x360 is a shining example of that. From the polished chrome edges to the accent marks, HP has done a remarkable job styling this convertible.

'Spectre' is still on the hinge and looks classy as ever

While the choice in silver metal calls comparisons to Apple, there is an excellent reason for the choice. Non-painted metal does not reveal normal scratching akin to the Razer series of laptops. In more practical everyday use they do not show fingerprints or dirt as readily as devices with soft touch paint.

The Spectre x360 is a svelte 13.8mm when closed and weighs just 2.85lbs (1.3kg). It's not the thinnest or lightest laptop you can buy, but it trades that superficial moniker for substance with impressive specifications and decent battery life.

Being all metal results in a solid feeling device. It feels substantial when holding it and its weight is evenly distributed with no hollowness.

HP Spectre x360

The bottom of the Spectre is very clean and minimal

Opening the Spectre x360 with one hand – the gold standard in machining – is almost possible, but you still need a little help in the end.

The design of the late-2016 HP Spectre x360 is one of calculated trimming while emphasizing the laptop's strengths. I think it's arguably the most well-balanced design for any Ultrabook on the market.

1080p never looked so good

HP Spectre x360 display

The Spectre x360 features a 13.3-inch full HD (1920x 1080) WLED Touch Display. HP eschewed the more dazzling QHD variant from the last edition, and I think it's a smart choice. Full HD displays at this size are fine for most mainstream users who value performance and battery life. Even still, the glossy full HD display is outstanding. Viewing angles are excellent, and color reproduction (especially whites) is accurate.

HP Spectre x360

Even though it's "only" Full HD the Spectre x360 has one of the nicest displays I have seen

HP reduced the Spectre x360's display bezel by 77%, dropping from 15.1 to 3.4mm by giving it an edge-to-edge screen. There is still ample bezel at the top and bottom, but here it makes sense. HP kept the web camera at the top and added an important dual IR facial recognition for Windows Hello biometric authentication.

While not quite as impressive as Dell's Infinity Display – regarding resolution, color, and lack of bezel – HP again strikes the right balance. Not only does the Spectre deliver a "typical" web camera experience, but it also adds facial recognition security while still providing a high-quality display.

Overall, the Spectre x360 delivers an excellent display experience with some added innovation.

A typing delight

HP Spectre x360 keyboard

The Spectre x360 features a full-sized edge-to-edge keyboard with square, metal keys. Like their Lap Dock for the Elite x3, the Spectre x360 seems to borrow from the Surface Pro 4's fantastic Type Cover with ample spacing between the keys.

Typing is exceptional. There is plenty of key travel without getting mushy. Spring back for the keys is also satisfactory.

Keys are large, square, and spacious making typing a breeze

Keys are large, square, and spacious making typing a breeze

Since HP opted for silver metal keys, the backlight situation is tricky. White LED lights do not contrast as much with silver keys as it would with black ones, as well as the possibility of distracting light bleed from under the sides of the keys. I'm happy to report that neither affects the revised Spectre x360 and it's an improvement over the previous version. Even the infamous backlight toggle button no longer stays lit when backlighting is disabled. I should note that the keyboard backlight is one-stage only: on or off.

The Spectre x360 keyboard gets an outstanding rating. It ranks with the Microsoft Surface Book for my typing needs.

It's not "Precision", but it's not bad either

HP Spectre x360 trackpad

If there is one big complaint I have with the Spectre x360, it comes down to the trackpad. To be fair, it's solid. My issue is it could be much better.

HP tends to eschew Microsoft's Precision Touchpad recommendation, which is a combination of hardware and software guidelines. Precision is great since it's the idealized version of what a trackpad should be under Windows 10. That's why the Surface series use it, and companies like Dell put it in their XPS line.

That's one big trackpad...that's not Precision

That's one big trackpad...that's not Precision

HP tells me that they think they could do better. So instead of Precision they use Synaptics with corresponding software. To be fair, for the most part, it does feel like a Precision – more so than other attempts – but there is still some delay with three- and four-finger gestures and other oddities.

I also had a problem with a Synaptics driver downloading from Windows Update and overwriting the one HP uses through its update software. The update causes weird zooming actions in the Edge browser that I could not account for nor configure my way around. Luckily, I could uninstall it, but it came back again.

I'm not a fan

I'm not a fan

HP also opts for a very wide design for the trackpad. While odd looking (and I recommend enlarging the left-click area in settings) I'm fine with the size and design. The trackpad is smooth and provides ample room for gestures. There is also a very satisfying and uniform click.

HP tells me that they have standardized how their trackpads work across devices for a more consistent experience. These are the right steps for consumers, but I still would rather see HP just embrace Precision and call it a day. The work is done already, so just go with it. Fussing with click zones, delays, trails, and momentum all seem like antiquated choices headed into 2017.

Quadrophenia

HP Spectre x360 audio

Four Bang & Olufsen tuned speakers adorn the Spectre x360: two on the bottom, and two on top near the display. The reason for that design was so the audio would still sound great when the laptop becomes a tablet.

HP Spectre x360

The bottom B&O tuned speakers get the job done

For finer tuning, there is the included Bang & Olufsen software. The app lets you adjust treble, bass, mode (movie, music, etc.) and even set an equalizer.

Bass on such a thin system is always challenging and while there is bass, the audio is tuned high with treble. I'd describe the sound as very crisp. Voices are crystal clear.

Some tuning software to personalize the sound

Some tuning software to personalize the sound

I think the default settings are the best and I'm very impressed with the audio quality. You figure with four speakers this system could crank and you would be correct — it can get very loud.

Hello Windows Hello

HP Spectre x360 camera

Perhaps my favorite new feature is the addition of a facial recognizing camera for use with Microsoft's Windows Hello system. Being able to open the lid of the Spectre x360 and log in with just my face is fantastic.

HP Spectre x360

Dual IR lights make facial recognition very fast and reliable

HP improves upon the experience by using not one but two infrared (IR) lights that flank the Full HD web camera. It works well too, especially if you fine tune the algorithm under the Windows Hello settings for different lighting situations.

Not the best camera for photos, but it looks better for video

Not the best camera for photos, but it looks better for video

As to functioning as a camera for video (better) and stills (just OK), the Spectre x360 gets high marks compared to the competition. At least it's placed at the right level — on top of the display (looking at you, Dell XPS 13).

Fold me 'round

HP Spectre x360 tablet mode

As a connoisseur of laptops, I'm not a huge fan or user of convertibles laptops. I've always found the idea ahead of the state of technology. The Spectre x360 could be the first laptop to change my mind.

When combined with the metal body, thin profile, and light 2.85lb frame, using the Spectre as a tablet is a pleasant experience! The hinge employed by HP is not as flamboyant as Lenovo's, but the function is just as good — it's stiff, but not annoying. And frankly, I think it looks better too.

Honestly, this is the first convertible laptop that I felt comfortable using on the couch in tablet mode. There are no creaks or oddities (the keys on the back in tablet mode don't bother me). That's an accomplishment.

Here the Windows Hello feature shines as you can turn the device on and log in without having to use the display to type out a password.

HP Spectre x360 benchmarks

CrystalDiskMark Benchmarks (Higher is better)

CategoryScore
Surface Book (512)Read: 782 | Write: 573
Spectre x360 (512)Read: 1332 | Write: 589
XPS 13 Kaby (256)Read: 1060 | Write: 739

Geekbench 4.0 Benchmarks (Higher is better)

CategoryScore
Surface Book Core i7Single core: 3948 | Dual core: 7415
Spectre x360 Core i7Single core: 4100 | Dual core: 7469
XPS 13 Kaby Core i7Single core: 4120| Dual core: 7829

Full of hot air

HP Spectre x360 fan noise

The unit for this review is the Core i7 (i7-7500) version and thus ran warmer than a similar Core i5 variant.

On idle, there is no audible fan noise from the Spectre x360. However, it does not take much in the way of processing to get the fan to kick in to cool things down. I wouldn't describe the fan as loud, but it is louder than the Dell XPS 13 by quite a bit and is more frequent. Part of this may be due to the thinness of the device as well as the thermal conductivity of the metal body.

Temperatures never went above 115F (46C) under heavy CPU/GPU stress playing games on the bottom. On top of the device, near the display, temperatures approached 110F (43C). It was never uncomfortable, but the metal chassis definitely absorbs some of the heat.

Fan noise on the Spectre is not a deal breaker, but it is more active than on similar systems in this category. Just be aware of that during the initial setup where OS and app updates will cause more than the usual CPU usage.

All day and quick charging

HP Spectre x360 battery life

Battery life is impressive, but not outstanding. In my real-world usage (Wi-Fi on, brightness at 50%, using Edge, various Windows apps, Office) I could get a solid nine to ten hours out the Spectre x360. Under heavy usage it's more 6 to 8 hours. That seems well short of HP's claimed 14 hours, but those tests are usually done with locally stored video streaming with the radios off — not exactly a common use case.

HP disables the time estimate of remaining battery life based on current computing effort. This omission is somewhat annoying and unorthodox. Then again, that time estimation fluctuates greatly depending on how you're using the laptop at that moment and can be deceiving.

Update: You can now enable remaining battery time through the system BIOS. Here is a quick walk through to enable that feature.

How much time left? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

How much time left? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

While "only" pushing ten hours may be disappointing for some (not me) the ability to Fast Charge the Spectre using the Type-C wall charger is a joy. HP claims you can go from 0-90% charge in 90 minutes and that seems in line with my experience.

Now that's a tiny AC charger

Now that's a tiny AC charger

When you consider the size, design, and a Core i7 CPU with 16GB of RAM I'm quite happy with the Spectre's battery performance. I consider this an 'all day' device. Even better? The Spectre x360 has one of the tiniest AC chargers I have ever seen. It's adorable. So if you do need to carry it around it is not much of a bother.

USB-C and USB-A?!

HP Spectre x360 ports

HP includes 2 USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 ports on the right of the device. Those ports can handle 'HP Sleep and Charge' and Thunderbolt 3 with no compromises. On the left side, there is a standard USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A) for legacy users.

What is missing, of course, is any HDMI out port and a dedicated SD card reader. Both of those can easily be made up for with Type-C adapter.

Image 1 of 2

HP Spectre x360

Image 2 of 2

HP Spectre x360

Considering this is a consumer/prosumer level device and not business or straight up 'pro' I'm fine with the choice here. Your needs may vary, but I think the inclusion of at least one USB Type-A port is smart and helps with the Type-C revolution.

Built right in

HP Spectre x360 support

HP has delivered at least two firmware/BIOS updates for the Spectre x360 since its release. There are also some initial system updates including HP JumpStart, PC Hardware Diagnostics UEFI, and Wireless Button Driver.

These updates are performed through the HP Support Assistant software that runs in the background and performs periodic checks every three days (Dell has a similar system, but HP's has a better, more robust UI). HP Support Assistant also allows for diagnostics, warranty information, messages from HP, and more.

Overall, I would give HP's support for the Spectre x360 high ratings. The company is clearly on top of bugs and issues with regular software updates.

HP Spectre x360: The new best 13-inch laptop

I think HP has done a fantastic job with the revised Spectre x360. I used the word 'balanced' a lot in this review, and that would be my takeaway. You could argue that the display resolution is too low, battery life is not longer, or even my nitpick with the non-Precision touchpad.

All of this misses the forest for the trees in that the overall package is a fantastic experience. The Spectre x360 gets more right than any other Ultrabook in its class.

Moreover, there's the value.

Best Buy and HP both sell the Core i7, 16GB variant with 512GB of SSD storage for $1299 (HP also sells a quite expensive version with a 1 TB SSD for $1619). The lowest configuration with a Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD is just $1049.

Image 1 of 2

Image 2 of 2

I think both of those price points are very competitive. Even more impressive is the cost differential between a lower-tier Core i5 and nearly maxed Core i7 is just $300.

Long battery life, fast charging, great typing, and arguably the sleekest design yet and the Spectre x360 is one outstanding laptop. It's also an excellent tablet and convertible, which is something the competition can't say.

Pros:

  • Amazing design
  • Excellent display
  • Great typing experience
  • Windows Hello
  • Solid battery life and Fast Charge
  • Fantastic value

Cons:

  • No Precision Touchpad
  • No SD card slot or HDMI out

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

115 Comments
  • Does the display lid bend easily with just the finger pressure on it, like the previous model?
  • Like, when closed? I feel no bending at all when pressing down. Feels solid throughout.
  • Hi Daniel, thanks for your reply.
    Yes, I was referring to the closed display lid.
    Mine bend very easily if I apply a small force with my fingers.
    A bit disappointing for a such mid-end device.
    It's probably a design and engineering consequence of keeping the unit small and light.
    I owned the HP Elitebook 8460p and it was a tank (14").
    Of course is nowhere comparable in weight and size.
    Probably it's the price to pay for the extreme portability nowadays.
    Anyway my Spectre went to HP service after only two months of use because of a faulty hinge since first day of use (factory defect).
    Now it's two working weeks HP has my Spectre on repair. (about one month considering the shipment and saturday/sunday).
    I hope to have it back again very soon, I miss it. Note: I'd like to focus the attention on a behaviour of the Windows Central app during comments typing. If I press the right arrow key while I'm in the comment field (to move accross characters for example) and I get to the end of the field it tends to switch to the next article and when I come back the comment is gone.
    A bit annoying to write again the comment.
    Please fix it :)
    I hope it helps in building a further better iteration of this fantastic app, which I use daily for my Windows world news :)
  • I have this problem with the app too. I have lost many comments that way, and I had to rewrite them.
  • Hope it has been resolved.
  • Still love the updated HP logo. Wish it was consistent across the accessories (looking at you AC charger).
  • Well, they said the new logo is for their premium devices. The charger in question seems not to be one.
  • As always, great review, thanks. One thing that gets me (and not just with this machine) is why do they put so much bezel on the bottom of the screen? Really wish they'd reduce that and put in a 16:10 (or 3:2!!) display. Any idea if there's some good reason why they design with so much bottom bezel? For a convertible that's meant to be used as a tablet sometimes, 16:9 is really not ideal. Oh and their reluctance to use the Precision track pad is sooo frustrating! Other than that sounds like the near perfect device!
  • I 100% agree about 3x2 aspect
  • I didn't really think about it until I saw your comment, but yeah, the bottom bezel is huge and there's not particularly a good reason for it - with the top, it makes sense for the camera, but not necessary on the bottom.
  • Could anyone confirm whether this screen supports any type of pen input, and if so which pens might work best? 
  • The most important thing on a convertible and they leave it off. Just useless if you don't know this detail.
  • "The most important thing on a convertible"
    That's an opinion that I don't share. Also, there is no pen support. Considering nowhere does the laptop show a pen I did not think it was something worth highlighting.
  • I probably wouldn't use pen support even if it had it.
  • Pen support?  
  • None.
  • How strange that they removed the pen support tech. I have a 2015 x360 model, and using a Dell Stylus is a pleasure to highlight PDFs.
    For me it was the most important feature when buying the device, and the only reason to tolerate the reflective display.
  • They ended like Dell, which removed the stylus support from the Inspiron line.
    Both were Synaptics hardware.
    Is it possible Synaptics isn't capable to supply constant performance and reliable input devices to computer manufacturers?
    This could lead to the choice of removing the pen support.
  • Thanks. In previous versions they supported, but didn't include, a pen. That's too bad. With the next release of Windows focusing on creators, I was hoping both touch and pen would become defacto standards. Pitty this.
  • I don't get it: when going to the HP website, some version of the new x360 come with an active pen included (I can't post a link but google: "HP Spectre x360 13-ac001na Convertible Laptop (all new design)". It's also written "Windows Ink Certified". Is the dark grey & copper version ("silver ash") a different verison of the device, with a slightly different screen? The screen is never Windows Ink certified when it's the light grey version (as reviewed here).
  • Last I heard it did not support pen input. This is a shame as it'd be a great deal for those who need digital pen.
  • You write the new best 13 inch laptop, does that mean it replaces the XPS 13 as your favorite?
  • Yes. XPS 13 Kaby review is coming next week. Still a fantastic device in every way. Dell's problem is HP has really stepped up their game. Even for price putting aside the QHD display on the XPS 13 that device is nearly $500 more expensive and it doesn't have Windows Hello, nor does it turn into a tablet.
  • I was thinking of upgrading to the new XPS, the HP is interesting but I don't think I could live without the QHD display.
  • Battery life is better on the xps 13 qhd than hp
  • By a notable amount?  That's surprising that it can weigh a tick lighter, have that much more display to drive, less space to dissapate heat (assume so since the XPS doens't have the upper and lower bezels) and still get better battery life.
  • XPS is quieter, better thermal management and longer battery. The battery is slightly bigger than the HP's. It can probably get another 90 minutes or more. Need more testing.
  • So is it safe to assume that the FHD XPS 9360 / 9350 is miles ahead of the HP? I continue to be torn between the two. I like the convertibility of the HP, but also appreciate the XPS 13's slightly smaller footprint and wider port selection. As you mentioned, the XPS 13 with a similar config to the HP (i7 / 16GB RAM / 512GB SSD) would be $550 more, which I don't think it worth it.
  • I had an XPS on order but Dell had a delay in shipping it and wouldn't tell me how long the delay would be. So I looked at Best Buy and saw this HP. Really liked the keyboard compared to the XPS they had on display. Ended up buying the HP and i agree. This is an amazing computer. Loving it so far and don't think I'll miss the Dell.
  • Great wallpaper!! Want it on my MacBook Air.
  • That's an outdated laptop.. why would you mention that?
  • That was a very strange review. Usually you are fantastic Daniel. But this time you sounded like you were reading from a script written by someone else.
  • Or more like making an ads
  • On purely aesthetic values, I wish HP would make some changes. First, I wish the keys of the keyboard were of a higher contrasting color (dark gray?). Second, with a backlit keyboard, I want the light to only appear through the keys themselves (cutouts). I really don't like seeing all that light spilling out between keys. And third, I'm not a big fan of grill that covers the speakers. I just don't like that pattern of cutouts. Deep thoughts, huh?
  • I agree. I am not impressed with the exhaust port along the side either. I feel it makes the device look...older, like a something from 4-5 years ago.
  • Considering the hinge design.  I don't think that's entirely practical. 
  • I don't find the contrast on the keys to be a big problem, I don't use the backlit, unless I am in near darkness. I do agree if you turn it on in shadow lighting conditions it becomes a distraction. The silver keys do hold up much better to fingerprint grease and smudges. I disagree with the air exhaust on the left side, it is in a perfect spot, on the MacBook Pro, the vents are at the edges of the device, but pointed down, when using it on your lap it because a heater! On the HP, the fans rarely come on when web browsing, Word or Excel. This thing stays cool to the touch, but when I play games(rarely) it does get warm and toasty, but still can be comfortably used on your lap. The grill pattern on the top is a little weird, but not distracting, and the sound from the speakers are top notch.
  • I totally aggree with you
  • Looks awesome but I've expected it to be cheaper. $1200 for an Ultrabook is nuts in my book. I got my laptop (new) for ~500€ and it was almost top end at the time. Paying that much money for, basically, a toy is not something I would do. And I think that's the main thing companies should work on now - reducing prices. We've already achieved decent specs and design.
  • It's a bargain compared to other laptops and 2 in 1's with the same hardware.
  • Love these pointless comments, which laptop did you buy at €500, how long ago and at which specs? This is not a toy, it's a prosumer productivity device, if you want to browse and watch movies, buy a €100 droid tablet.   Saying that a device at this specs point should be cheaper is saying a Porsche 911 should not cost much more than a VW Polo.
  • Not a pointless comment, it has a pretty obvious and important point..
    I bought a MSI CX620, ~6 years ago, you can find the specs on the web, but as I said they were pretty good for that time.
    I said it's ALMOST a toy, and I say so for a reason. It’s still just better than a high end phone, it can't come close to more serious laptops, and not to even mention desktops (not that it should, but I'm just saying it's almost a toy).
    I want solid casual-use performance, with a bit of gaming. I know that I probably shouldn't look at ultrabooks, but if I can get a badass laptop that can outperform this one multiple times for the same price, that's a good reason for me to call this overpriced.
  • ah yeah, this MSI CX620 which is 3,5cm thick, weight 2,5kg with a under power core i3, poor screen, with 2h of battery life just viewing a movie or surfing the web... I completely understand your logic of definition of toy... LOL
  • As I said that was one of the better laptops back then. Im sorry that a 15" laptop from 2010 doesn't have QHD -_-
    Btw it came with a i5 version also, and not like an i3 is a bad thing - we're still using them.
    And my logic wasn't that it was a toy because the CX is better, it's a toy because it's a toy compared to other machines.
  • Adding to earlier comments, keep in mind its much more expensive to engineer and build a device with this much power and features into such a small, lightweight form factor. If you want to pay less, grab a larger, heavier laptop with similar specs.
  • I have been looking for a replacement for my Haswell powered laptop (15.6 inch).  Waited and waited.  Finallly HP had the right device--the HP envy 15t (?).  I get confused by all the naming systems.  256 gb SSD.  i7-7200U.  full key board (with the nuber pad because I run a business and enter alot of numbers).  IR camera that supports windows hello.  Total with tax, shipping was just around $750.  They say it will ship on Dec 6th.  I suspect I will use it as my primary device for the next 4 years.  I hope the HP support Assist will keep the machine bug free.
  • Dan, Are there any USB-C HDMI hubs you've used with this? I've tried one from Aukey and another from HooToo and they didn't detect my second display most of the time.
  • I'm using StarTech.com USB-C to Display Port cables to 4k dell monitors on this laptop and its been perfect. I have not seen great results with USB-C docks. I would go cables for now and let the companies making docks figure things out a bit.
  • Will see about reviewing a few this week.
  • Hi Daniel love your reviews I just bought the HP yesterday just looking for accessories and had 1 question . Is the charging cable proprietary.. or will any cord work and have u found and good adapters that work well thanks
  • Mine came with a small adapter USB-C to HDMI which works perfectly. Before realizing it would come with it (wasn't listed on the product page), we also ordered an HP USB-C dock with HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, and a couple extra USB-A. I only tried that once and it was choppy video and no audio through the HDMI, so not sure if I got a dud or something else wasn't quite set up right yet.
  • "click here to continue reading or post comments". I guess UWP isn't what it's made out to be. Still need to redirect to a browser.
  • How does something a developer didn't do right mean that "UWP isn't what it's made out to be​"? There is a web browser control that could easily display the page in the app, or the app could be written to display the article formatted by reading in XML. This has nothing to do with UWP not being up to the job, the developer just didn't implement it. Try understanding how something works before attacking, because it is clear you don't have a clue.
  • yeah if that was some junk apple dished out, he would wag his tail to it
  • It's actually you who doesn't have a clue because when you click on it it still opens it in the app. ;)
  • But I can read the full post and comment without leaving the app. It works.
  • This would be the perfect laptop for me if it had a FHD OLED option like in the previous gen. Having started my laptopping on an NEC Versa V, I love the keyboard layout with right column nav keys.
  • Are you sure the Spectre x360 2015 is oled? I own one and it's a normal white led backlighting.
  • HP added it as an option: https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.awin1.com%2Fcrea... However, I was wrong about the resolution: it's not FHD -- it's QHD.
  • For those wondering if it has pen support, apparently it does but it needs a firmware update. Don't know why they didn't have it from the start though.
  • if i buy from hp, then wipe it and clean install windows, is it gonna be exactly as if i bought the signature edition from microsoft?
  • Sure, that's what Zac did with his.
  • I've drunk (drinken?) the signature edition Kool-Aid. Any word on whether Microsoft will offer this through their own store? If not, could someone educate me as to why that should or shouldn't matter to me?
  • In this case, it's not a big deal. HP ships it with McAfee (boo), but you can easily uninstall it. The rest is just HP software, which is mostly good (BO audio, HP's update app, that's about it). Not sure if/when MS stores get this though. Maybe just thru Best Buy for a bit.
  • I bought the x360 and clean installed Windows 10 using pen drive to replicate Signature Edition. Correct me if the Signature Edition is different from the version available from Windows site in any way.
  • I own the 2016 HP Spectre x/360.  It replaced a Lenovo Yoga Pro 2.  I love it.  I initially found Windows Hello struggled, but I set it up again and it is more reliable now.  The battery life is a little disappointing - I'd swear I saw claims of 12-hour battery life, but I'm getting more what Daniel said - 6-8 hours.  Not a huge deal.  I'm not a trackpad user, so I don't care about the Precision aspect.  I had to dumb down the screen on the Yoga to full HD to prevent issues, so the full HD screen is all I need, and it's gorgeous.  I really wanted to want a Surface Book, but that thing is so heavy and also ridiculously expensive for i7/16GB/512GB, and I just couldn't wait for SB2.  I just wish there was more to do in tablet mode; that ecosystem has not really taken off still.  
  • I love this device, easily replacing my Surface Book for the time being until the Performance Base is available outside the US. Typing on this thing is a dream come true, super nice.
  • I'm sorry, but a subpar trackpad in this day and age is unacceptable and instantly excludes this from being the best Ultrabook on the market.
  • I didn't say nor think the trackpad is subpar; it's very good and you won't find many reviews agreeing with your position here.
  • I actually tried the trackpad again today to refresh my memory and it's not as bad as I remember. Perhaps some driver updates improved it? But I still think HP trackpads are disappointing and they don't need to be, which is a shame. Contrast this with Acer. I've found that EVERY SINGLE Acer trackpad is better than the competition at EVERY SINGLE price point (except Surface). I really appreciate that they value the most important input method for a laptop and actually put effort into it.
  • As an Acer Aspire V5-573 owner with a Synaptics trackpad...I'm going to emphatically disagree here. That trackpad is unreliable garbage and I'll never buy Acer again because of it. I concede it's an old machine, but trying to keep your drivers up to date using Acer's software and website is sisphysian. Never again.
  • Perhaps, but I'm talking about Acer's current machines. Every single model from the lowest budget to the most premium has a trackpad better than the Spectre X360 I guarantee it.
  • sweet looking device. More pro than the new MB pro. All for hundreds less. I do wish that the touch bar becomes a new standard that other companies adapt somehow. However, the lack of upgradability, and actually OSX made me go to dell instead of Apple. Now this comes to light. Very nice machine as well. Lots of great choices now for sweet computing.
  • This would have been perfect ultrabook for me if 'When in India?' is solved :P The Spectre x360 model HP is selling in India is priced at INR 1,46,000 ( $2146) which is way beyond what I can afford right now :). So till the time I save enough or someone gifts me one Spectre x360 I have decided to get the next best thing I can afford, an HP Pavilion x360 :).  But this Spectre x360 definitely looks a stunner. 
  • Excellent machine, except for HP's inability to address the power off battery drain. Complete shutdown, it loses .5-.75℅ per hour.
  • TBH, that is likely connected to Kaby Lake and its drivers. Same thing happened with Skylake. Should I bring up all the Surface Book/Pro 4 issues we had last year?
  • I had this problem but ran the "Sphinx Fix" available at this thread, "http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Hardware-and-Upgrade-Questions/Bat..." solved my issue. I also turned off USB Charging in the BIOS.
  • I Tried the Sphinx fix and got a thunderbolt error on the flash.exe step.
  • You have to do the entire process on DC Power (unplugged from AC adapter) I was having the same issue until I figured it out.
  • Thanks for the tip, I'll give it another try.
  • Ran fine on battery, now just need to wait and see if it works.
  • It worked for me. The power meter on this laptop is the same as the SP3 Pro and SP4, in that it stays at 100% for a long period of time before dropping straight to 94%, after that it will start to countdown normally. I think this has to do with overcharging protection, in which the charging circuit will not activate above 94%, this will stop the battery from swelling. It is also why a lot of manufactures will force batteries to drain a little bit when devices are off. But HP was too aggressive out of the gate at .5% per hour. MY DJI drone batteries are programmed to drain to 80% after 7 days of storage to avoid swelling.
  • True, I also like the fact that DJI makes it a user setting.
  • Worked for me too, thanks for the info
  • hey i noticed that happening to my laptop and got confused. Went and got a replacement. how is the battery life faring on your hp x360 for regular browsing and normal usage. also regarding the drop from 100 to 94 to avoid swelling where can i get some literature to understand the concept used and how they implement it in the hardware/software. I would really appreciate it as i am learning electronics at the moment. thanks  
  • No it's not. That title goes to VAIO Z Flip.
  • Same configuration of the Z Flip as the unit reviewed here is $2,399 ($2,149 on sale) versus $1299. At that price, I'd recommend going Surface Book. (Having said that, I may pick up a Z Flip and do a smackdown; I am curious about it and US audiences may want to know more)
  • Love this device after ours came in on Monday - delayed a few times before getting through our work supplier in Canada. I haven't owned a high-end laptop since a MacBook I used from 2007-2011 since I mostly work on a desktop, so I'm definitely not an expert, but to me, this is a fantastic laptop for a great price. We thought about a Surface Book, but that would have been a huge jump in price for relatively minor improvements (we don't need pen support). It has some minor annoyances: the huge bottom bezel, the loud fan, trackpad is fine but not great. Those are definitely minor to me, though, and the speed, battery life, weight, general build quality, Windows Hello camera, keyboard... so many good things that easily make it worth the price.
  • In your article you stated that HP disabled the battery stats for windows, it is merely turned off by default in the BIOS, just hit Esc. on boot up and enable it in the BIOS. I have had this machine for two weeks, actaully have this and the Macbook Pro 13 with Touchbar, and much prefer the HP, for the following reasons: 1.  The keyboard on the Macbook Pro just plain sucks to bang out long emails on.  I have been trying to get use to it, but the key tavel just sucks for touch typist.  I have used many HP laptops in my life and can attest that the Spectre x360 has the best keyboard they have ever made. 2. The Battery life on the Macbook Pro is not very good, I am only getting 5 to 6 hours, while the HP gets 9 to 10 hours.  I do use Chrome on both devices, I can't get use to Safari or Edge. 3. While the Macbook Pro does have 4 USB-C ports the HP had 2 USB-C ports and 1 Standard USB 3.1 ports which is a big deal!  It means I don't need a dongle to connect many devices I use everyday. 4. The display on the Macbook Pro is slightly better (Higher resolution and slightly brighter) my 46+ year old eyes can no longer see individual pixels and I value battery life over QHD(which the Macbook Pro doesn't have, only Retina Display 2560 x 1600) 5. The price!  I was able to purchase the top end Spectre x360 with 16GB, i7, 1TB drive for $1,460 after coupons and discounts, the similar Macbook Pro even with educational discount was $2,700.  The 13" Macbook pro is more of a Ultrabook and uses Dual Core not Quad Core like its 15" big brother. 6. Touch Screen vs. Touchbar, advantage HP.  The touchbar is a gimmick and goes against muscle memmory usage.  You often have to dig through multiple touch buttons to get to certain features, when on the HP you can simply touch the screen.  Having to look at the touchbar again is PITA for a touch typist. I will be returning the Macbook Pro, HP has a real winner with the Spectre x360. I did get to use the Dell XPS 13, I can't get past the fact that after using the machine one time it becomes a disgusting mix of fingerprint grease and smudges.  It is difficult to clean and my OCD kicks in, what a bad choice of materials.  I also founds the keys to be mushy and the trackpad isn't as good as the HP.
  • No precision trackpad, no way I would ever buy it.
  • If no one told you it wasn't Precision, you wouldn't know. The same gestures are there and it's just as smooth as the track pad on the Surface Book.
  • True, Precision is the underlying software, not hardware. Many laptops including the Dell use Precision drivers, but the actual trackpad hardware isn't that great. The trackpad on the HP is glass like the MacBook Pro, which means your finger glides easily on it, and it will hold up and not get glossy and warn down like plastic trackpads. All the gestures are supported, Pinch to zoom, rotate, back/forward, 4 finger for notification, three finger for Cortana.
  • This is "new best".... compared to what? Other mediocre "ballanced" notebeook with few gimmicks? XPS 13 still rules this segment, with hardly any proper competition.
  • I'm sitting here now with a new HP Spectre x360 and a Samsung Notebook 9 Spin (year-old model, but still exquisite and price currently down to just over $1000). One of them has to go back to Best Buy. What a tough decision...
    Whatever you do, don't compare the displays side-by-side. The Samsung wins hands down with anti-glare and yet still achieves brighter, more saturated colors and truer whites plus sharper text and ability to fit more on the same size screen (as expected with 3200 x 1800 resolution). This makes what should be an easy decision much harder for me.
    The HP wins on 7th gen Intel CPU and graphics; inexpensive 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD upgrade; longer battery life; Windows Hello camera; slightly better keyboard feel; slimmer width and side bezels; USB-C ports; overall appearance.
    Samsung wins on noticably better display; better contrast when keyboard backlight is off; slightly better trackpad; HDMI port; microSD slot. Note: I can add Windows Hello support with a USB finger print reader for only $39, but it will stick out a bit on the side. Also, I can upgrade to a 512GB SSD later if needed (if microSD storage alone doesn't cut it).
    What makes this tough is the display is more important for me than any particular advantages the HP has. Also, with the HP, l'll have to add a matte screen protector (can't stand the glare and reflections) which will further exagerate the superiority of Samsung's display. However, as Dan points out, the total package makes HP's refreshed Spectre x360 very hard to resist. A nice dilema to have I suppose. :)
  • Great review.  $1,300 US from Best Buy converts to $1,745 AUD.  And yet, if I wander down to my local Harvey Norman here in Australia, this unit is going to cost me $3,200 AUD.  Funnily enough, if I pick up the right airfare special, I could actually take a round trip flight from Australia to the US and purchase one of these over there, and still have coin to spare.  Welcome to the "Australia Tax".    
  • Lol...I agree. Stupid taxes doubling the cost.
  • Whaaaat!? Oh my! Lol☺
  • 1080p display easily makes this not the best laptop no matter how good the color reproduction is for it. What year is this? 2006?
  • While 4K is good to have, I personally think it is not necessary (unless you edit photos or videos or stuff like that). I currently have the Asus Zenbook 4k (UX510UX) and it is really annoying when some apps are so small on the screen that you need to be at like 15 cm from the screen to see properly... then you have the blurry text on some other apps... There is still a lot of work to do in the scaling department, both from Microsoft and apps Developers...
  • Interesting... after installing and using about 30 different apps, I haven't seen any of those scaling issues on the Samsung Notebook 9 Spin. All apps appear uniform with none suddenly too small to read. Also, text is noticeably sharper. But 4K is tough on battery life and I may not have even noticed the differences if I hadn't compared the two side-by-side lol.
  • Antoniro is definitley correct. It is the software not the computer. When you have this high of a resolution on some machines, the software is not made to correct the problem. I have this problem with Fastone Image Viewer for example.    Just try Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and you will be somewhat infuriated. It is not usable - at all...
  • If you want to see the blurry text, just open Steam or even your Device Manager. If you want to see tiny text, install any Adobe editing software, of Dropbox... I have this issue, and many people online have it too (forums). If you don't, then you are just luckier than us :)
  • I have this laptop, bought it from Best Buy. I had to return the first unit since the screen was loose on the right side. What I notice is that the top edge of the screen is dimmer/less luminesce than the rest of the screen. It's not evenly lit. Noticeable when you have Explore running maximized. It happens on both units that I got.
    Other than that, the laptop is light weight, fast, with reasonable cost.
    Keyboard could use some color contrast for use during the day in the office; I turn off the battery hours left in the BIOS since those indicators are useless anyway to me.
  • The bezel is the single handed reason why I won't buy this and will go with the xps13 instead,
  • Following this advice I just bought a HP SPECTRE 360 (I7, 8go, 256 SSD)  instead of a YOGA 910 I already have a LENOVO YOGA 900. If globally I agree with what is said above, on my opinion there is a hudge mess about the keyboard. As it is "alluminum color" the back lite is  not enough sized to see letters in the dark because the screen reflects on keytboard and make the keys unreadeable      
  • "Even the infamous backlight toggle button no longer stays lit when backlighting is disabled. I should note that the keyboard backlight is one-stage only: on or off." You can change this in the BIOS on the old model - I found it yesterday while digging around to see if the "show battery remaining" option that is available on the new model was listed in the BIOS on the old model that I have (couldn't find it). I'm on BIOS version F.43 I see why HP did that as I'm finding it tricky to find the key in the dark but at least it's now optional. Just wish the old model would show me how much battery is remaining.
  • When will be sold in the dark finish with gold accent? That is all that I am waiting for....  
  • How it the display? I bought a HP spectre late december and it looks like I've been sold the previous model and the display is bad. The white is not white and looks more yellowish. So trying to get HP to get the laptop back.
  • Did you get it switched out? How's the new screen?
  • A few nitpickings having used the laptop for a month: 1. The hinge is not firm, fast typing wobbles the screen a bit 2. The lid has flex and the metal isn't as thick as thick as an MBP 3. The screen reflection is annoyingly high whenever one happens to notice it Considering the price though, it's more than the money's worth. Edit: Apologies for mistakenly replying instead of writing a separate comment.
  • My wife just picked this one up from Costco.  You can get it for 150.00 off so we took our newly purchased I5 12 gig model back to Bestbuy and got this I7 with 16 gig.  Great deal and  Fantastic laptop.  I didn't know it had Windows Hello support until I got it home and set up. Costco didn't advertise that at all but good to have it on board. To Kiran. My hinge doesn't wobble no matter how quickly I type and I do type fast. The screen is simply beautiful.  Way beautiful. But I know you said you're nit picking but you do have to admit, its a fantastic laptop. I think you did.  :)
  • Could you share wallpaper please? Thanks
  • Hi Dan, I agree with your HP Spectre's review. But as you probably know, there's a big hidden flaw on that machines (Kaby Lake mainly). Their batteries drain at an incredible rate. If you shut down the machine, and leave it with full charge for a week, you can't boot it back as the battery is fully drained. You may take a look at theses forums: https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/.../Battery-drain...HP-Spectre-x360/td-p/5... h30434.www3.hp.com › Notebooks › Hardware https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/.../HP-Spectre-x360-battery-drain.../m.../... This is a major issue, and it seems that HP is trying to hide it by denying it.... Everybody (and myself too) is waiting for an official fix, instead of using a third party fix (Sphinx) that only get some improvement.... As you may have some good contacts with HP (they gave you a machine to test), you may share this problem with them and ask for a solid solution (guess is a BIOS fix) By the way, mine is with latest updates as of today, and the problem is still on...and tried everything you find on the forums...... Or maybe you may post it, and for sure they will react. Thanks in advance for helping your readers!  
  • Great review - I am almost sold (well kind of already sold in fact)! However I am wondering which version I should buy: Core i5 8gig of ram or core i7-8gig of ram? Obviously the i7 will be a bit more powerful - I don't need a super-powerful device, but if I buy a laptop costing that much I want to keep it for a long time and I thought the i7 would make it slightly more future-proof. However, what about the decrease in battery life compared to the i5? Is it noticeable? Battery life is important to me so if there is a noticeable difference in battery-life between them, I'd probably rather have the i5 and longer battery-life (although Dan tested the i7/16G and battery life is very good already). Thanks guys!
  • Hi! Anyone can tell the travel distance of the Specre x360 keyboard? Both for 13t and 15t model? Thanks!