HP Spectre x360 15 Review: A Versatile, Attractive, Premium Ultraportable

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HP Spectre x360 15: Introduction And Specifications

HP is not one to let the weeds grow under its feet, at least not when it comes to its Spectre x360 line. The company it has no problem changing things up in an effort to keep its premium ultraportable hip and trendy. Having already gone through a few mild wardrobe changes over the past few years, the newest iteration of the Spectre x360 brings another slightly different look than last year's model -- one that is perhaps more refined and mature. It retains the gold accents introduced by its predecessor, but does not flaunt them quite as loudly.

Other upgrades are not as subtle. HP continues to offer the Spectre x360 in 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch form factors, the latter of which we're reviewing here, but what's new here is a 4K Ultra HD display upgrade on the larger model. This is powered by another new addition, a discrete NVIDIA GeForce 940MX GPU that is also exclusive to the 15.6-inch model. HP seems to have taken a page out of Apple's playbook by limiting certain amenities to the bigger (and pricier) SKU, though an argument could be made that a 4K display is more befitting of a 15.6-inch panel.

HP Spectre x360 15 Open Angled

Why not roll with a modern generation GPU based on NVIDIA's Pascal architecture? We suspect it has to do with the value proposition. This particular configuration, which you can purchase at Best Buy or customize on HP's website, runs about $1,500. That's premium territory, but it's also several hundred dollars less than what some similarly configured laptops toting GeForce 10 series GPUs go for.

While the on-board graphics are from last generation, the CPU inside is based on Intel's latest 7th generation Core architecture (Kaby Lake). More specifically, it wields a Core i7-7500U processor running at 2.7GHz (base) to 3.5GHz (Turbo). This is a dual-core chip with Hyper Threading support, 4MB of cache, and a low 15W TDP. It strikes a nice balance between power and price, with the ability to ramp up to 3.5GHz when demanding tasks call for processing muscle.

Having a discrete GPU paired with a Kaby Lake processor gives the Spectre x360 15 the versatility to tackle a wide range of chores, but it does not end there. Underneath those good looks is a functional 2-in-1 design that allows this laptop to transform into a Windows 10 tablet. It even comes with an HP Active Stylus.

HP Spectre x360 15 Tent

We will cover these traits in more detail on the following pages along with performance metrics from our gauntlet of benchmarks. Before we do that though, let's have a look at the specs...

HP Spectre x360 15 (2017)
Specifications & Features
Processor Options 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7500U (4MB Cache, 2.7Ghz to 3.5GHz)
Display
15.6-inch diagonal 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) UWVA eDP BrightView WLED-backlit w/ touch support
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 940MX w/ 2GB GDDR5
Memory
16GB DDR4 2133MHz (2x8GB)
Storage
512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive
Optical N/A
Ethernet N/A
WiFi
Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC + Bluetooth 4.2
Interface (Left)
USB 3.1 Gen1 (Type-A), Headphone/Microphone, Power Button, SD Card Reader
Interface (Right)
Thunderbolt 3 (Data up to 40GB/s, Power Deliver, DisplayPort 1.2, HP Sleep and Charge), USB 3.1 Gen1 (Type-C), HDMI, Volume Rocker
Interface (Top) N/A
Webcam
HP Wide Vision Full HD IR Camera with Dual array digital microphone
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
Battery 6-cell Lithium Ion (79.2 WHr)
Dimensions Height: 0.7” / Width: 14” / Depth: 9.88”
Weight
4.42 pounds
Warranty
1 Year limited hardware warranty, 90 day phone support
Pricing $1,499.99 as configured



The SKU that HP sent us is available at Best Buy, though you can hop on HP's website and configure the same setup for the same price. Either way, there's a fair amount of high-end hardware here for the price, including a fast 512GB NVMe M.2 SSD and 16GB of DDR4-2133 RAM. It's nice to see that HP isn't skimping on storage or RAM capacity. It's also worth noting that since this setup comes with a discrete GPU, none of the system memory has to be allocated to graphics.

In addition the stylus that comes with the system, HP also includes a sleeve. What's not included, however, are any adapters. HP offers several on its website, including a USB Type-C to RJ45 (Ethernet) adapter for $50, if you think you'll need it.

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