HP Spectre x360 15 (2018) review

This powerful 2-in-1 just about does it all

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Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve used the HP Spectre x360 quite a bit. The keyboard has taken some getting used to, often feeling a bit cramped despite its size. The touchscreen has proven itself a winner, while the touchpad leaves us frustrated at times.

That said, the overall performance on this machine is impressive.

Benchmarks

Here’s how the HP Spectre x360 15 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Sky Diver: 10,529; Fire Strike: 3,179; Time Spy: 1,143
Cinebench CPU: 555 points; Graphics: 89 fps
GeekBench 4: 4,815 (single-core); 14,446 (multi-core)
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 2,917 points
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 6 hours and 6 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 7 hours and 55 minutes

We won’t bore you going point by point through the benchmark scores, but we will point out that despite lacking the same class of GPU as the Surface Book 2, the Spectre held its own. For example, the Spectre nearly matched the latest Surface Book’s single-core Geekbench 4 score (4,815 to  5,024) and handily beat the multi-core score (14,446 to 13,896) of Microsoft’s laptop.

Similar remarks can be made about the Spectre’s performance when compared to the XPS 15.

In everyday use, however, the Spectre felt smooth and free of any significant hiccups. The included GeForce MX150 isn’t powerful enough to get through an intense gaming session of any AAA games, but you will be able to play more casual games without worrying about performance.

HP Spectre x360 15

Battery life

Battery life on the HP Spectre x360 is good enough for us. In the PCMark 8 battery test, it scored 6 hours and 6 minutes, with 7 hours and 55 minutes in our own movie test. So, we’re sure the Spectre x360 15 has enough juice to get through a cross-country flight.

Comparatively, the Dell XPS 15 fell short of the Spectre’s battery mark, lasting 5 hours and 8 minutes in our video playback test. The Surface Book 2, however, handily beat the Spectre in the PCMark 8 battery test with 7 hours and 39 minutes of performance. We’re still waiting to see how long the Surface Book 2 lasts in our video playback test, but we think it’s safe to say it’ll top the Spectre’s performance.

Software and features

Sigh. One day, we will be able to omit a bloatware section from most of our laptop reviews, but until that day here we are, yet again talking about how intrusive programs such as McAfee’s LiveSafe suite are to the end user.

What’s more annoying than pre-installing software such as McAfee products, is that the program routinely prompted us to renew our subscription with prompts that looked a lot like Windows 10 system alerts in the middle of the display. These types of alerts are deceptive and designed to trick users, and that’s incredibly frustrating.

HP Spectre x360 15

Final verdict

The Spectre x360 is an impressive piece of kit, especially when you consider the price. Its performance is nothing to scoff at, and when you add in a 4K display and stellar battery, the deal gets even sweeter.

If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 laptop that can do just about everything, the Spectre x360 is worth a long, hard look. However, for anyone that just wants to save some money and maybe even get some more gaming in, the XPS 15 is probably the best way to go.

  • Images Credit: TechRadar