HP Spectre x360 (2015) review

A sublimely thin 2-in-1 laptop that's almost perfect

HP Spectre x360 review

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Just looking at the HP Spectre x360's 12.79 x 8.6 x 0.63 inches or 324 x 218 x 16mm (W x D x H) dimensions, there's no doubt this is one of the smallest 2-in-1 hybrid laptops ever made. However, with this convertible notebook weighing in at 3.26 pounds (1.47 kg), it's also quite unwieldy as a tablet.

You'll have a much easier time holding up the 1.76-pound (7.98 kg) Surface Pro 3. Even with the Type Cover attached, Microsoft's tablet-laptop combo still weighs in at a lower 2.62 pounds (1.18 kg). The Surface Pro 3 dimensions, meanwhile, are 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.36 inches (292 x 201 x 9 mm), making it considerably thinner than HP's hybrid.

HP Spectre x360 review

The Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi is an even lighter tablet device that weighs in at 1.58 pounds (7.2 kg). With the Bluetooth-connected magnetic keyboard attached, the T300 Chi comes closer to tipping the scales at 3.14 pounds (1.43 kg) as a full-on laptop.

Here is the HP Spectre x360 configuration sent to TechRadar for review.

Spec Sheet

  • CPU: 2.2GHz Intel Core i5-5200 (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3 (1600Mhz)
  • Screen: 13.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD Radiance LED-backlit touchscreen
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • Ports: 3x USB 3.0; HDMI, mini DisplayPort, headphone/microphone combo
  • Connectivity: 802.11ac (2x2) and Bluetooth 4.0 combo
  • Camera: HP TrueVision Full HD WVA Webcam (front-facing); Integrated dual digital microphones
  • Weight: 3.26 pounds
  • Size: 12.79 x 8.6 x 0.63 inches (W x D x H)

Priced at $999 (£899, AU$1,899), HP offers up the Spectre x360 with the well rounded package you see above. All-in-all, it's a full option that comes outfitted with 8GB of memory, 256GB SSD (128GB SSD for those in the UK) and a gorgeous 1080p screen, which I'll get into more later on.

Those who want to save a bit more scratch can buy the Spectre x360 at its base configuration for $899 (or AU$1,499) at the expense of halving the machine's available memory and storage space. That's hardly a fair trade, and so I recommend you get the configuration I tested instead.

HP Spectre x360 review

Alternatively, users bump up the configuration with a 2,560 x 1,440 display, faster Intel Core i7-5500U processor and 512GB SSD for $1,399 (or AU$2,399). A similarly specced machine is available to those in the UK for £1,225. However, the flash storage options are limited to only 256GB and the processor upgrade jumps to an Intel Core i7-5600U chip instead.

In some ways, the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi comes even better stocked at $899 (£799, AU$1,299). For the price, this tablet-laptop hybrid comes outfitted with a 2,560 x 1,440 WQHD resolution display and 8GB of RAM. That said, the T300 Chi comes packing half as much SSD storage and a significantly slower-clocked Intel Core M 5Y71 running at 1.2GHz to the Spectre x360's 2.2GHz CPU.

Microsoft's darling Surface Pro 3 is looking very long in the tooth these days, since it was introduced over a year ago, but it's still a contender into today's field of 2-in-1 computers. Expect to shell out $999 (£769, AU$979) to get set up with a comparable 1.9GHz processor from Intel's aging Haswell days. Going with this route also means having to contend with a small 128GB SSD, only 4GB of RAM and the added expense of a $129 (£109, AU$149) Type Cover.

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.