HP Spectre x360 review
There were few laptops at MWC 2015 which is dominated by smartphones, laptops and watches. However, HP unveiled a beauty so here's our HP Spectre x360 hands-on review from Barcelona.
With a revolving design which enabled the laptop to transform into different modes, the HP Spectre x360 is a rival to Lenovo's Yoga range –in particular, the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro. What we do know already, and unusually so, is that the x360 will be priced at £849 so it will be cheaper than its rival which costs £1250.
HP says it will launch mid-March in the UK and the firm will also, of course, have to take on the updated Apple MacBook Air. It will come with Window 8.1 and we already know that Microsoft will be letting customers upgrade to Window 10 later this year.
Not only is it more affordable, it uses a more premium design. While the Lenovo uses a metal lid, the inside is a soft-touch rubber finish. With aluminium all over, the HP Spectre x360 looks and feels more desirable and stylish. It's not the thinnest and lightest design we've seen at 15.9 mm and 1.5 kg but it's hardly a beast either.
Lenovo's gorgeous hinge on the Yoga 3 Pro is made from many piece of metal and looks like a watch strap. HP's on the other hand is much more simplistic. In fact, you wouldn't know it has the ability to fold all the way round just by looking at it.
Clever hinge technology hidden or not, the Spectre x360 can be used in various modes. There's obviously laptop mode and the hinge means the screen can be rotated round to the underside of the keyboard turning it into a tablet – albeit and thick, heavy and large tablet so it's hardly ideal in this setup.
With the keyboard face down on a flat surface and the screen not folded all the way back you have a nice way of using the device with the touchscreen only but without having to hold the device in the air like a regular tablet. It's called stand mode and is particularly handy for cramped spaces such as the tiny tables you get on trains, busses and planes.
The last mode looks like a tent and could come in handy but seems like a niche feature. It means you need little surface space to place the laptop but can still see the screen well so might make sense for a presentation or video watching in the right situation – we're just not sure what that situation is really.
Specs are decent which we'd hope for the price including an Intel Core i5 processor with an i7 also available we're told. There's also 512 GB of storage via an SSD.
The screen is 13.3 in and uses a Full HD resolution although it will be available with QHD too if you fancy paying extra. It looks crisp but as you can see it's highly reflective. Below it is a full-size keyboard with 1.5mm travel and an extra wide trackpad. HP touts a battery life of 12 and a half hours from the 56 Wh which isn't bad but there is better available on the market.
Connectivity includes a full-size HDMI port, DisplayPort, three USB 3.0 ports with USB Sleep and Charge and an SD card slot. There's also dual-band Wi-Fi and Intel Wireless Display technology.
Our initial impression is that the HP Spectre x360 is a decent looking rival to the Macbook Air and Yoga 3 Pro. Pending our lab tests, the firm looks to have done a great job of packing good specs in a desirable aluminium chassis at an affordable price point. Stay tuned for a full review soon.