HP Spectre x360 (2019) review

HP’s flagship 2-in-1 gets a redesign

hp spectre x360 13-inch

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We’ve tested the x360 over the course of a couple of weeks, and find it to handle almost anything we can throw at it. Switching between laptop and tablet mode occurs quickly, without any delay or stuttering as Windows 10 switches between modes.


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

Cinebench CPU: 515 points; Graphics: 44 fps 
GeekBench 4: 4,913 (single-core); 13,287 (multi-core) 
PCMark 8 (Home Test): 2,982 points 
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 4 hours 30 minutes 
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 12 hours 37 minutes

Our HP Spectre x360 (2019) review model boasts an Intel Core i7-8565U processor and 8GB of RAM. The Intel Core i7-8565U is an 8th generation processor that was launched last year, with four cores and eight threads, as well as a base frequency of 1.80GHz that boosts up to 4.60GHz. It also comes with Intel UHD Graphics 620 integrated graphics.

While this isn’t powerful enough to run games on (unless you play less demanding games, or set all the graphical settings very low), it’s can handle watching and editing videos, as well as photo editing.

In our day-to-day use, the HP Spectre x360 (2019) performed well. It’s not the most high-powered laptop in the world, but it handles Windows 10, as well as browsing the internet, creating documents and doing some light photo editing, beautifully. 

For a 2-in-1 laptop, it offers a smooth experience. In our benchmarks, the HP Spectre x360 (2019) performed similarly well as the new Dell XPS 13 (2019), though Dell’s latest Ultrabook does have an edge here.

HP Spectre x360 (2019)

As a media-playing device, the laptop boasts an impressive performance, thanks to its vibrant screen and powerful Bang & Olufsen speakers. For students going away for college, the HP Spectre x360 is an alluring choice, thanks to its versatility. It’s powerful enough to be a productivity beast while also being ideal for entertainment.

Looking at the older version of the HP Spectre x360, you can see that the newer components in this year’s model have given the device a performance boost, albeit not a huge one. From a purely performance-based view, if you’ve got last year’s model, there’s no point in upgrading. But if you’re new to the HP Spectre x360 range, this year’s model is the one to get.

However, there’s an area that the HP Spectre x360 completely dominates the XPS 13 and pretty much all of its competition: battery life.

Battery life

HP has been bragging about this year’s Spectre x360’s battery life, and for good reason, as it manages an impressively long time between charges. In our battery benchmark test, during which we play a looped 1080p video with the screen at 50% brightness, the HP Spectre x360 lasted a whopping 12 hours and 37 minutes.

For an Ultrabook with these specs, that’s an excellent accomplishment, even beating the Dell XPS 13 (2019)’s 8 hours and 12 minutes. Sure, there are other laptops out there that boast longer battery life, such as Chromebooks, but they’re trading power and performance for longevity.

With the Spectre x360, HP has managed to produce a powerful laptop that runs full Windows 10 with a battery that lasts people beyond a full work day. That’s very impressive stuff.

It should be noted that the PCMark 8 Battery Life test, which replicates more intensive use, such as video calling and web browsing, lasted quite a bit shorter at four and a half hours. That’s to be expected. For most people’s general use – and with careful battery management – the Spectre x360 should last for nine hours, at the very least.

This is a massive improvement over last year’s model, which only managed 7 hours and 28 minutes during our original battery life test.

HP Spectre x360 13-inch

Final verdict

HP has created yet another excellent 2-in-1 device with this year’s Spectre x360. A refined design and upgraded internals make it a solid performer with the looks to match. If you’re in the market for a laptop which doubles as a tablet, this is a seriously tempting device.

Its build quality, design and performance go a long way, justifying its high price tag. However, there’s no denying that this is a pricy laptop. If you’re after a cheaper option, and can live without a device that can switch into tablet mode, then there are some very good mid-range laptops out there that will better fit your preferences.

However, we do like the fact that the HP Spectre x360 comes with a stylus, and there’s no doubt that it has one of the best batteries we’ve seen on a powerful Ultrabook.

So, if you’re after a slim and stylish 2-in-1 that will last you a whole work day, without compromising too much on power, then the HP Spectre x360 is definitely worth a look – if you have the funds.

However, there are cheaper 2-in-1 devices out there. If you’re after long battery life without spending a bundle, then consider something from our list of the best Chromebooks of 2019.

Images Credit: TechRadar

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.