Electronics

HP Spectre 15 x360 2019 assessment: Carving a distinct segment in a crowded area

Enlarge / The bizarre, gemstone-inspired edges are designed to make this laptop computer stand out.

Samuel Axon

The HP Spectre 15 x360 is an efficient laptop computer, nevertheless it appeared we at all times discovered one or two issues to quibble with.

With the 2017 mannequin, we favored some key design choices however felt let down by the efficiency and battery life. We have been larger followers of the 2018 replace, which amped up efficiency whereas additionally enhancing battery life and making the 4K show normal. However we felt the trackpad was awfully small and did not like that the fingerprint reader and energy button have been separate.

Now we’re working with the 2019 mannequin, and it brings an entire new design together with some quicker internals and extras like intelligent port placement and a hardware webcam kill swap. At its coronary heart, the 2019 HP Spectre 15 x360 nonetheless seeks to perform the identical issues as its predecessors. It is an attention grabbing (if a bit cumbersome) convertible filled with a lot of the options creatives and heavy customers of media are in search of.

Do the 2019 updates clear up among the quibbles we had in prior years? After some latest testing, we will confidently say the HP Spectre 15 x360 stays a great laptop computer—however its uncommon design may very well be alienating should you’re simply in search of one thing easy.

Specs

Specs at a look: HP Spectre x360 15
Mannequin
Worst
Finest
As Reviewed
Display
15.6-inch 3840 × 2160 WLED touchscreen
OS
Home windows 10 Dwelling 64
CPU
Intel Core i7-8750H (6-core, 2.2GHz as much as four.1GHz)
RAM
8GB DDR4 RAM
16GB DDR4 RAM
16GB DDR4 RAM
Storage
256GB PCIe SSD
2TB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
GPU
Intel UHD Graphics 630 + Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB
Networking
Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 combo (MU-MIMO supported)
Ports
1 USB-C Three.1, 1 USB-A Three.1, 1 HDMI 2.zero, 1 Thunderbolt Three, Three.5mm headphone jack, microSD slot
Measurement
zero.76 × 14,22 × 9.84 inches
Weight
four.eight kilos
Battery
6-cell, 84 Wh lithium-ion battery
Guarantee
1 yr; non-obligatory 2- and Three-year safety plans
Value
$1,499
$2,419
$2,049
Different perks
Fingerprint reader, webcam with privateness swap, lively pen

The 2019 HP Spectre 15 x360 is a notable bump over its predecessor with regards to specs. All configurations now embody a six-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor with built-in Intel UHD 630 graphics. That is up from 4 cores within the earlier mannequin.

Additionally they embody Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050Ti discrete GPU with 4GB of video reminiscence, which is nice sufficient to edit 4K video and play fashionable laptop video games. As said beforehand, HP pitches this laptop computer as an choice for creatives, however this is not a workstation GPU. That distinction would solely matter to a choose few professionals, although.

Final yr, HP made the 4K 15.6-inch WLED touchscreen show normal. That returns right here. The display does not seem to have modified, and it is nonetheless a great show, albeit a bit darkish—we measured the brightness at round 300 nits, which is way decrease than you may see on competing laptops just like the Dell XPS 15. That is a perplexing letdown for a laptop computer made for media creation and consumption. Nonetheless, the show is sharp and the colours look good.

HP does not make any claims about P3 or sRGB colorspace protection—however once more, this is not an expert workstation, it is a private machine. For that, the display is nice sufficient. We have simply seen higher.

The laptop computer comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM normal, and you’ll improve to 16GB. Both must be adequate for many use instances for this laptop computer. There’s a variety of storage choices, and on condition that it is strong state, that is the configuration choice that may ramp up the worth. Configurations begin at 256GB however go as excessive as 2TB. Our assessment unit had 1TB, which, whereas pricy, appears acceptable for a media laptop computer nowadays—however most individuals might seemingly get by with the 512GB choice.

Different specs of word embody 802.11b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, a front-facing digicam, a fingerprint reader, and a six-cell, 84Wh lithium-ion battery.

Design

The very first thing you may discover when unboxing this laptop computer is its uncommon aesthetic. HP calls it a “gem-cut” look—the angles on the sides resemble the clear, geometric corners and sides of a gemstone, supposedly. It has a dramatic impact. It appears to be like “polygonal,” for lack of a greater time period. If you’d like one thing eye-catching, it does that effectively.

The mixture of the “gem-cut” look and the shiny, attention-grabbing copper or brass accents do give it a sure Vegas-style, over-the-top vibe that will not work for everybody. I discover it a bit a lot, to be frank, however that is purely private. Many different individuals are going to like it. I simply favored the outdated look a little bit higher, as I appreciated the accents in final yr’s fashions very a lot and did not really feel extra was wanted to get the purpose throughout.

That stated, the supplies do not feel low-cost in any respect, which helps. Should you’re the kind to need your laptop to feel and appear “premium,” this convertible delivers.

The backlit keyboard is just like final yr’s mannequin, and it is nonetheless strong. It is a chiclet keyboard with 1.5mm of key journey. It has a full numeric keypad, which is able to enchantment to some customers however to not others. I really feel that squeezing numpads into 15-inch laptops makes the keyboards cramped. However then, I not often if ever use the numpad even when I’ve it. For different individuals, a numpad is important, and it is clearly a welcome inclusion in that situation.

The 2019 HP Spectre 15 x360.


Samuel Axon

With the lid open and from the entrance, it appears to be like like a fairly regular 15-inch laptop computer…


Samuel Axon

However the uncommon design is clear on the sides. In a single again nook, for instance, we’ve the ability button…


Samuel Axon

And on the opposite again nook, there is a USB-C port—the objective right here is to forestall this from interfering along with your mouse, although it will not assist a lot should you’re left-handed.


Samuel Axon

The audio system sit above the keyboard.


Samuel Axon

A prime view with the lid closed.


Samuel Axon

The trackpad is just like the one in 2018’s mannequin, and it is high quality. It nonetheless feels a little bit cramped to me—that was considered one of Ars’ Valentina Palladino’s important criticisms final yr—however not everybody likes big trackpads.

With dimensions of zero.76×14,22×9.84 inches and a weight of four.eight kilos, this convertible is a bit too cumbersome to comfortably use as a pill. Most 15-inch convertibles have this drawback, although. I additionally really feel the bezels are reasonably giant—primarily the underside. HP says they’re 11.9-percent narrower general than final yr’s Spectre 15 x360, although.

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