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Surface Book 2 vs HP Spectre x360 2017: Tech spec comparison

The Surface Book 2 has a wide range of competition within the Windows market in terms of internal specs, and is a direct competitor with HP's Spectre x360 line of 2-in-1 devices. Both sporting premium designs and high-end specs, which of the two is better?

The HP Spectre x360, like the Surface Book 2, has a wide range of options, here's the rundown of all four models of the devices, comparing both 13-inch and 15-inch variants.

Comparing Surface Book 2 and HP Spectre x360 specs

ModelSurface Book 2 13-inchSurface Book 2 15-inchHP Spectre x360 13-inchHP Spectre x360 15-inch
ProcessorCore i5
Core i7-8650U
Core i7-8650UIntel Core i5-8250U

Intel® Core i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Display type13.5-inch PixelSense Display

1600:1 contrast ratio

10-point multi-touch
15-inch PixelSense Display

1600:1 contrast ratio

10-point multi-touch
13.3-inch 4K touch display15.5-inch 4K touch

Glossy

Non-PenTile

72 percent Adobe color gamut
Display resolution3000 x 2000

3:2 aspect

267 PPI
3240 x 2160

3:2 aspect

260 PPI
1920 x 1080 or 3840 x 2160

16:9 aspect

331 PPI
3840 x 2160

16:9 aspect

282 PPI
RAM8GB or 16GB16GB8GB or 16GB8GB, 12GB or 16GB
Native graphicsIntel HD Graphics 620

Intel UHD Graphics 620
Intel UHD Graphics 620Intel HD Graphics 620Intel HD Graphics 630
Discrete graphicsCore i5: None

Core i7: NVIDIA GTX 1050 (2GB)
NVIDIA GTX 1060 (6GB)NoneNVIDIA GeForce MX150 (2 GB GDDR5 dedicated)
Storage256GB, 512GB, or 1TB256GB, 512GB, or 1TB256GB, 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD255GB, 512GB, 1TB
Battery70WHr
Up to 17 hours

Up to 5 hours in Tablet Mode
80WHr

Up to 17 hours
Up to 5 hours in Tablet Mode
57.8WHr

Up to 16 hours
79.2WHr

Up to 16 hours
WirelessMarvel

Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth 4.1
Marvel

Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth 4.1
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible

Bluetooth 4.2
Wi-Fi: Intel AC-8265 802.11ac

Bluetooth 4.2
Xbox WirelessNoYes, built-inNoNo
PortsTwo USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen1)

One USB Type-C w/ video, power in/out and USB 3.1 (Gen1) data

Full-size SDXC card reader (UHS-II)

Headphone jack (3.5mm)

Two Surface Connect ports (one in tablet, one in keyboard base)
Two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen1)

One USB Type-C w/ video, power in/out and USB 3.1 (Gen1) data

Full-size SDXC card reader (UHS-II)

Headphone jack (3.5mm)

Two Surface Connect ports (one in tablet, one in keyboard base)
Two USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt ports

One USB 3.1 Type-A

One headphone and microphone combo
SD Card

2x USB Type-C 3.1

One Thunderbolt 3

One USB Type-A 3.0

HDMI 2.0

3.5mm jack
AudioStereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium

Windows Sonic for Headphones

Dolby Atmos for Headphones compatible
Stereo speakers with Dolby Audio Premium

Windows Sonic for Headphones

Dolby Atmos for Headphones compatible
Bang & Olufsen stereo speakersBang & Olufsen stereo speakers
Dimensions312 mm x 232 mm x 15 to 23 mm (L x W x D)
12.3 in x 9.14 in x 0.59 to 0.90 in
343 mm x 251 mm x 15-23 mm (L x W x D)

13.5 in x 9.87 in x 0.57 to 0.90 in
324 x 218 x 16mm

12.79 x 8.6 x 0.63 in
14 x 9.88 x 0.7 in

356 x 251 x 17.7 mm
Weighti5 total: 1,533 g (3.38 lbs)

i7 total: 1,642 g (3.62 lbs)

Tablet: 719 g (1.59 lbs)
Total: 1,905 g (4.20 lbs)

Tablet: 817 g (1.80 lbs)
2.9 lbs (1.32 kg)4.42 lbs (2 kg)
Cameras5.0MP 1080p video at 30 FPS (front)

8.0MP 1080p video at 30 FPS with auto-focus (rear)
5.0MP 1080p video at 30 FPS (front)

8.0MP 1080p video at 30 FPS with auto-focus (rear)
Front-facing HP TrueVision 1080p FHD IR WebcamFront-facing HP TrueVision FHD IR webcam
BiometricsIR CameraIR CameraIR CameraIR Camera
PriceStarts at $1,499 (opens in new tab)Starts at $2,499 (opens in new tab)Starts at $1,199 (opens in new tab)Starts at $1,280 (opens in new tab)
AvailabilityNovember 16, 2017

Preorders: November 9, 2017
November 16, 2017 (U.S.)

Preorders: November 9, 2017
July 2017July 2017

Surface Book 2 vs HP Spectre x360: Making sense of the specs

When it comes to overall raw power, the Surface Book 2 is the clear winner here. Featuring an eighth-generation Core i7 processor, and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU in the 15-inch model, you simply can't beat that power when compared to the Spectre x360 15-inch model. The 13-inch models can be more fairly compared, both featuring Intel HD Integrated graphics. CPU-wise however, the Surface Book 2 is faster, more powerful and more energy efficient.

However, not all is won for the Surface Book. Some will likely prefer the design of the HP Spectre x360, which features a more traditional 2-in-1 laptop form factor. It has a normal 360-degree hinge that allows the screen to sit flush with the base of the laptop when closed, meaning there's no odd gap. Also the 13-inch model is ligher than the 13-inch Surface Book 2, which is good for those who are weight conscious.

Battery life in both laptops is superb, getting over 10 hours easily on a single charge. While Microsoft is claiming 17 hours, HP claims 16, but both will likely have great battery life when compared against each other in real-world usage.

When it comes to displays, both laptops are available with high-quality screens. The Spectre line has more options, including 1080p or 4K, with the Surface Book 2 only featuring higher-resolution displays, keeping prices higher. The Surface Book 2 features an aspect ratio of 3:2, which differs from the Spectre's 16:9 display. Depending on your work scenario, each aspect ratio has its own pros and cons.

The top end Spectre x360 is a great value, costing a little over $1,800 (opens in new tab) for the full package. The Surface Book 2's top end model will cost you over $3,000 (opens in new tab). The Spectre x360 15 is the clear winner when it comes to price.

Surface Book 2 vs. HP Spectre x360: The bottom line

Choosing which device to go for will depend on what you're looking for in your next computer. Are you looking for a more traditional form factor that doesn't break the bank while still maintaining powerful specifications and a premium design? If so, you're going to want the Spectre line. If, however, money is no object, and you want the overall best Windows laptop on the market, the Surface Book 2 is the choice to go for.

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

37 Comments
  • Bottom title needs updating.
  • Yes, yes it did. Fixed. Thanks.
  • "The top end Spectre x360 is a great value, costing a little over $1,800 for the full package. The Surface Book 2's top end model will cost you over $3,000. The Spectre x360 15 is the clear winner when it comes to price." The top end x360 15 can not win in price when it is not fully comparable in features and design.
    1) It is not detachable
    2) It does not have GTX1060 6GB
    3) It is not configured with 8th gen CPU
    All these you pointed out but not accounted for pricing wise.
  • 1.Not detachable. Check. Depending on how you look at it, on the 13 inch models it really would not matter. If you do not like a detachable screen its a bonus.  2.No the GPU not as good. But it has more ports like HDMI and thunderbolt. And if you dont game the spectre comes out on top. I would rather have thunderbolt than a faster GPU. Espicially since you can add a better external GPU with thunderbolt than a 1060. You can also upgrade the internals as your laptop ages. Upgradeable vs planned absolesense.  3.Wrong on that one. It has a i-5 and i7-8550U. The entry level Surfacebook actually has last generation 7gen intel CPUs. All Spectres are avail with 8th gen CPUs. All surfacebooks are not. It even said in the article what each were equipped with.  $1500 is too much to pay for a slightly faster i7 CPU and upgraded GPU. $3300 Is even more expensive than apple. I would rather put that $1500 into a top of the line monitor.   
  • #1 - not detachable, but 360 degrees - a 2 hour removable tablet is not that great. #2 - right, it "only" has a MX150. No gaming for you. #3 - both the 13" and 15" x360 have 8th Gen CPU Top that off with Thunderbolt 3 (full four lanes, one on 15" and two on 13"), HDMI 2 on 15", and pen in the box (another $99 savings), the x360 is a lot of value for almost 1/2 the cost - that's a heck of a premium for GTX 1050/1060.
  • what about the newest 13" spectre x360 with 8th gen?
  • And you should compare 15" Surface Book 2 with 15" Spectre X360
  • It might be nice to include being able to run Mixed Reality with ultra settings as a factor for machine reviews.
  • Hey Panos! This is perfect; great job man! Just add a bloody Thunderbolt 3 port to the next Surface Book. If a geeky power-user pays 3000 dollars for a device, he/she expects Thunderbolt port.
  • All you need to know: Spectre Wi-Fi: Intel AC-8265 802.11ac.  The Avastar in every microsoft product is trash.
  • I know nothing about wireless cards. What difference do WiFi cards make? What does the Spectre WiFi card have that's better than the SB2 card?
  • Its typical of Intel WiFi cards playing extremely well with intel power saving features including suspend and waking up scenarios. I'm not saying other cards can't do this, just that the process is smooth as butter with Intel paiting on both ends.
  • Agree, the 8265 wifi is world's better assuming it has been properly implemented.  BT 4.2 vs 4.1, and of course missing TB.  But the contrast and screen quality seems like a MS win, the GPU is 10 miles ahead of HP, not to mention a larger battery and Dolby Atmos on the headphones (nice plus for those gaming on this thing). I'll be going with a book 2. Unless that Marvell Wifi is sizably improved in speed and ability, it is a glaring area in a machine that otherwise contains top shelf components.  I wonder that they didn't TDP up on hte 15 to the 25w level, which would have given 2.1 base speed which might have really made this a monster.  Still, the cpu is a class act iif it lives up to the specs. Wonder if (non gaming) we'll be able to see 11-12 hours of life out of this beast.  
  • 3840 x 1440 with 16:9 aspect ratio? Must be using tall pixels. :P
  • I wish the surface 13" had an option for the 1060gtx GPu.. I wanted a megapowerful surface but in 13" form. Looks like the 15" is the only variant that has the more powerful GPu.. If the 13" had the 1060 I would have definitely bought it.. 15" isn't quite portable enough for me but 13" is perfect hmmm
  • Wow... talk about unreasonable expectations... the fact that they were even able to fit a 1060 in the thin 15" is amazing of itself. Such a picky little princess.
  • why are you comparing it to last years X360?
  • Spectre resolution is 3840x2160 on 15
  • The 13" Spectre x360 now ships with the 8th gen 8550U processor, but no dGPU. What is astounding is the price differential. The SB2 does not include a pen, so the top end 15" SB2 (16gb/1tb/Nv1060) goes for $3300. The comparable 15" Spectre x360 (you have to downshift to Nv MX150) is a little over $1800 - I just can't see that the ability to remove the screen and the upgrade to Nv 1060 is worth $1500!
  • Agreed.
  • PS - I forgot to mention that with the Spectre x360 15" you also get Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI 2.0 ports - that's a LOT of value while having saved $1500 to boot.
  • If only HP would offer the 3:2 aspect ratio screen. I'm not sure how much that's worth to me in dollars, but it's a lot. I hate 16:9 screens for actually doing any work on the computer. It's just too short.
  • In spite of the 16:9 screen on the HP Spectre, I think I'm about to buy one. I need to upgrade and the price is just so much more attractive on the HP over the Surface Book 2.
  • The price difference is significant. The difference is very stark specially when comparing i5 models of 13 inch. 1979 CAD vs 1549 CAD for spectre. Not to mention you will be getting the pen and a usb C to hdmi dongle included and an 8th gen CPU. 
  • Unless some of the other major brands manage to cram up a dGPU into a 13 inch laptop, there will never be a true competitor to Surface Book in that screen size range... 
  • 2160, not 1440 on the spectre display in the comparison chart. The surface is pushing ~6 million pixels through the 620 graphics card, while HP is pushing ~8 million through 620 or 640.  For both that is a lot of pixels for the integrated graphics. About six months ago I did this comparison vs a refurbished surface book, and got the book with the Nvidia card.  I am quite pleased with it, but the Spectre was a close second.
  • I would not buy a SurfaceBook simply because you cannot replace/upgrade individual components. After your warranty expires you are out of luck if any of your components inside the computer breaks. You can't open the tablet part to replace anything. It's all glued together. This is a huge drawback. So if anything goes faulty, the whole unit is bricked. With the Spectre on the other hand, you can open it up and replace the parts.
  • Who would actually risk opening their laptops to repair them? Maybe .01% of consumers probably.  
  • How about adding RAM or upgrading the HD? I suggest that it's YOU who belongs to 1ppm people who always just buy a new laptop...
  • Anyone else have surface book and dock issues with USB 3.0 extensible host restarting endlessly until a reboot? I thought this issue was resolved ages ago by firmware.
  • I'm about a week into my new x360 15" (8th gen I7) and can confirm that I have exactly what I expected.  A fast, well-built productivity machine with all the ports I need.  And...the keyboard.  By far, my second favorite feature that is only eclipsed by my love of the beautiful 4k display.  I'm not a gamer, so this gives me all I need to be productive (office suite / photoshop / etc...) without having to break the bank.
  • I am waiting for the 15" Surface Laptop before I consider ditching my venerable SP3.
  • Don't mind me, just waiting on Raven Ridge.
  • Interesting... I am a laptop veteran having only used laptops for past 15 years, normally changing to latest model most years. I have been using a SBook1 for past year and recently purchased a x360 15" with new 8th gen i7, 16gb, 1tb sad, 4k. Basically it's "fine" but so many niggles meant I have returned it after a week and back on my gen1 SBook - will be ordering gen2 SBook on the 9th. Reasons for returning the x360 include: So noisy when cpu fan on
    Left CPU fan sounds like its spinning grit..
    Worst CPU coil whine every had on any laptop
    Side vent blowing hot air onto my mouse hand all day long with any kind of activity
    Keyboard is non-standard, the \ key in the wrong place, half height return bar and # in wrong place
    Trackpad is unacceptably bad. Right click works about 1/3 and sometimes when clicking the mouse jumps as it registers the finger in a slightly different location
    Video driver unstable, forcing to use HP instead of the intel generic one for some reason, crashes as soon as try to play video on any screen other than internal
    Fails to resume/boot with the external display plugged in via USBC->DP, need to take it out and reboot to correct
    Pen doesn't clip on so left on desk and i never have it with me when need it
    Grips on the bottom are tiny and useless and doesn't raise it at all, it slides off my lap all the time and its grinding metal on the desk when I move it as the metal is flat on the desk
    Windows hello doesn't work, errors trying to start the camera to set it up All this is with clean installed image and instslling sll appropriste drivers from hp. Ended up restring factory image to test, but was the same.
  • Wow, that was my exact experience with the spectre I returned.  The trackpad especially was unacceptable.
  • With that being said. The surfacebook is the best windows laptop in existance. For the main reason being the tight hardware and software integration. The top of the line surfacebook 2 is just too much.  As much as i like the spectre i dont plan on buying one. But the value factor cannot be ignored. The 13.5 surfacebook 2 with the i7 is the sweetspot and worth every penny regardless of the weaker gpu. I plan on getting the $2500 13.5 model.   
  • I think you need to update the price comparison. The x360, with 16gb ram, 1tb ssd, and pen in the box (not to mention Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, and full size SD card slot) is selling for $1650. The comparable SB2 (with of course the superior 1060) is $3299 PLUS $99 for the pen. That's $1748 MORE - twice the cost for a 1060 GPU? How about just buying a Razor Core V2 external GPU for the TB3 on the x360 for real gaming chops and calling it a day. Seriously? Twice the price?