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Hands on: HP Spectre x360 (2019) review

Thin gets thinner

What is a hands on review?
(Image: © Future)

Early Verdict

The HP Spectre x360 is a beautiful little 2-in-1 laptop, and we wouldn't expect otherwise. It's thinner, lighter and now even sports an OLED display - you won't be ashamed to carry this around in a coffee shop.

For

  • Beautiful display
  • Excellent design
  • Respectable specs

Against

  • A bit expensive

As thin and elegant as ever, the new HP Spectre x360 for 2019 has clearly been designed to impress as well as continue the tradition of greatness that the Spectre line has long-established.

In years past, the HP Spectre x360 has always ranked as one of the best 2-in-1 laptops on the market, combining unparalleled performance thanks to powerful hardware with smart and sleek design many of its rivals couldn’t even begin to emulate as well as a hinge that delivers that 2-in-1 feature. And, it has risen to the ranks of the best HP laptops because of that.

When it comes to that, the HP Spectre x360 for 2019 isn’t any different. It’s just as thin and sleek and powerful as ever before, though perhaps with more up-to-date components, which always come with updates like it. 

However, in some ways, it’s also better, with HP making some significant changes to its design. This new 2019 model certainly has both a strong base to build upon as well as some high bars to stand up to.

The HP Spectre x360 can do tent mode

The HP Spectre x360 can do tent mode (Image credit: Future)

Price and availability 

If you need the new HP Spectre x360 in your life – and we can't blame you – you'll be happy to know that you can order it from across 150 HP World Stores in 50+ cities, HP Online Store, and leading e-commerce players Amazon and Flipkart. You should keep in mind, however, that this is a flagship laptop that doesn't come easy on pocket. 

The HP Spectre x360 starts at Rs 99,990 and competes with the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, which starts at Rs 98,699, falling pretty much in the same line. That does make it an expensive device, though.

The base model of the 2019 HP Spectre x360 is powered by the 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor, which features Intel Iris Plus graphics, 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD. However, for our full review, we got our hands on the Intel Core i7-1065G7 variant with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD storage. That's a meaty upgrade, but we don't know how much this upgrade will run.

The HP Spectre x360 keyboard feels pretty great. 

The HP Spectre x360 keyboard feels pretty great.  (Image credit: Future)

Design & Display

HP Spectre x360 is a thing of beauty. These laptops have always been a sight to behold, but HP really stepped it up this time around with the gen-cut angular design.

The new HP Spectre x360 has a jaw-dropping 90% screen to body ratio. That's probably due in large part to the OLED panel that's bright and colorful enough to engage your viewing senses. It is definitely going to be a win for anyone that's looking for a device to watch some Netflix on the go. We imagine that when we finally get our hands on it for a full review, we'll be doing precisely that. 

It's also a lot thinner than the 2018 model. You would think that the slim design would mean that the keyboard and trackpad would suffer, but that's not the case. The HP Spectre x360 already has one of the best keyboards in the game, and the keyboard on this new model is just as good if not better. Again, this is something that we'll test out in our full review.

One of the coolest things about this device, however, is sitting behind the screen. Even with the super impressive 90% screen-to-body ratio, HP was able to fit an IR camera into the top bezel. It means that the new HP Spectre x360 is compatible with Windows Hello facial login. An addition to the biometric login is the fingerprint sensor positioned below the arrow keys. 

The only thing we can find to complain about is the lack of ports. Now, don't get us wrong, we're happy that the HP Spectre x360 still has a single USB-A port and a headphone jack, but beyond that, it's just got a single USB-C port. We'll give HP credit that they didn't go the Apple route of only including USB-C, but it's still awfully limiting. 

It might not look like it, but the HP Spectre x360 is a powerhouse (according to the specs)

It might not look like it, but the HP Spectre x360 is a powerhouse (according to the specs) (Image credit: Future)

Performance

Now, we haven't had the chance to run our rigorous suite of benchmark tests on the HP Spectre x360, but we can still look at the spec sheet make some educated assumptions about the power. 

This laptop is strapped with an Intel Core i7-1065G7, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of speedy SSD storage. It means that not only are you getting an LTE modem and Wi-Fi 6 right out of the box, but the more powerful Intel Iris graphics should even be able to do some light gaming. Though, it's more targeted to getting some light graphics work done on the go.

And, thanks to the Ice Lake processor and its 10nm manufacturing process, this laptop should feature some hearty battery life. HP claims this thing will last 22 hours on a single charge, but we'll test it for our review just to be sure. That said, we do expect it to last noticeably longer than the 2018 model.

After all, this is an Ultrabook, and we expect it to trade blows with all the latest and greatest, like the Dell XPS 13. 

The HP Spectre x360 is even beautiful on the outside

The HP Spectre x360 is even beautiful on the outside (Image credit: Future)

Early verdict

HP Spectre x360 2019 is shaping up to be just as good, if not better than previous models. It's thinner, lighter, and has one of the most beautiful displays we've seen on a mainstream laptop. Now, the compact and light design might present some problems for thermals, especially when you push it really hard doing things like video editing, but we'll see for ourselves soon enough. 

If you're looking for a stylish new 2-in-1 Ultrabook, we don't see any reason why this laptop wouldn't cut it, and it's shaping up to be the best laptops of the year, we'll just have to wait and see how it goes.  

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.