HP's 2018 Spectre x360 laptops adopt bold, clever design, stylus in the box

HP Spectre x360

HP has pulled the veil back on a brand new look and feel for its storied Spectre x360 series of 2-in-1 laptops. Both the HP Spectre x360 13 and Spectre x360 15 models come in an all-new design for 2018 – and with stronger silicon to match.

The new laptops, still convertible through a duo of 360-degree hinges, come encased in CNC aluminum shells that have been machined to adopt angled expansion ports (i.e. Thunderbolt 3 USB-C). This allows for better cable management than before and makes for a distinct look.

Of course, the new laptops come with 8th-generation (Whiskey Lake) Intel Core i7 processors, but from there it’s basically that bigger is better in the case of HP Spectre x360 2-in-1s. That is, unless, you prefer a smaller 2-in-1 laptop.

The 13-inch model is powered by integrated Intel graphics, 8GB of DDR4 memory and 256GB of SSD space (to start) – all behind a 13.3-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) touch display. Meanwhile, the 15-incher gets discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics inside, along with 16GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, behind a 15.6-inch 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) touchscreen.

If interested, you can boost the 13-inch model’s storage and memory offerings by up to 512GB and 16GB, respectively. Likewise, the 15-inch model can be upgraded to double its storage on offer to 512GB.

With that, HP rates the Spectre x360 13 for up to 22 hours of mixed use on a single charge, while the 15-inch model promises more than 16 hours. We’ll be putting both to the test soon enough.

HP Spectre x360

Built for practicality and privacy

These two words that start with the letter ‘P’ seem to be a core ethos behind HP’s new Spectre x360 laptops. 

For instance, both versions come with a bevy of ports USB-C and otherwise. The 13-inch model holds two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-C 3.1 ports and a single standard USB 3.1 port; the 15-inch variety offers one Thunderbolt 3 port, one USB-C 3.1 port, one standard USB 3.1 port and an HDMI 2.0 port. Finally, both laptops come packing microSD card slots, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5, as well as support for Gigabit LTE (with a data plan to match).

Better yet, both devices come with fingerprint readers and IR webcams standard for secure login via Windows Hello – as well as HP’s own Digital Pen stylus in the box.

Perhaps the most interesting feature found within both versions of the HP Spectre x360 is an electrical kill switch for the webcam. According to HP, this feature cuts the electrical signal from the rest of the laptop to the camera, which could be even better than some mechanical shutter we’ve seen on other laptops.

HP will start selling the Spectre x360 13 and Spectre x360 15 in November on its website starting at $1,149 (about £890, AU$1,620) and $1,389 (about £1,070, AU$1,960), respectively. In the US, both laptops will hit Best Buy stores this December.