HP Spectre x360 15t Review: A 4 Pound Convertible Beauty

HP Spectre X360 Intro and Specifications

Update 4/26/2016: We've updated our battery life test suite for this review and have new more real-world metrics to share on page 6.

It was just about this time last year that HP first took the wraps off its chic, convertible ultrabook, the original Spectre x360. Although the Spectre name wasn’t new, HP’s approach to the ultrabook’s design language had been completely revamped, and it showed in the quality of the then all-new Spectre. Now, HP is releasing another revamped version of its slick ultrabook, making promises of an even better experience for users who want something just a bit larger in a 15-inch format. 

HP Spectre x360 15t 01

The craftsmanship that made the original Spectre x360 such a hit is clearly present in the updated 15.6" model we'll be showing you here, which has the same stylish look and ultra-thin chassis. The steel-encased, geared hinges are also back, letting you move the display to virtually any position (including tablet-style) with a fluidity and confidence you won’t find in many other convertibles. You can see the hinge in action -- along with plenty of other niceties in our video walk-through here...

HP Spectre x360 15t
Specifications & Features
 Core i5-6200U Dual-Core 2.3GHz (Max 2.8GHz)
 Operating System
 Windows 10 Home 64-bit
 Display  15.6-inch FHD WLED-backlit IPS Touchscreen (1920x1080)
 Video Graphics
 Intel HD Graphics 520 
 Storage  256GB SSD
 Memory  8GB
 Audio Support
 Bang & Olufsen, Quad Speakers
 Camera  HP TrueVision FHD Webcam with Dual Digital Mic
 Networking  802.11ac and Bluetooth
 Ports: Left Side
 1x USB 3.0, Headphone/Mic jack, SD Card Reader, Power Button
 Ports: Right Side
 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.0 Type C, 1x Display Port, 1x HDMI, Volume Buttons
 Battery  3-Cell 64.5 WHr Li-Ion
 Weight  4.02 pounds
 Dimensions  14.8 x 9.75 x 0.63 (W x D x H)
 Software  McAfee LiveSafe 30-Day Trial
 Warranty  1-Year
 Price  $1,149.99 (starting price) - Find It At Amazon

With this latest addition, HP offers both 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch displays for the Spectre x360 series. If you go with the 13.3-inch model, you can choose between Full HD (1920x1080) or Quad HD (2560x1440) displays. We checked out two 15.6-inch Spectre x360 systems, which are available with either an FHD or UHD (3840x2160) display. Both IPS displays have touch capabilities too – after all, one of the ultrabook’s biggest selling points is that you can flip the display around and use the system like a tablet.

The Spectre x360’s internal hardware refresh means a step up in performance, even if you go with the least-expensive model. We tested a couple of the new systems -- the device you see in the pictures has an Intel Core i5-6200U dual-core processor, 8GB of memory, and a 256GB SSD. Graphics are handled by Intel’s integrated HD Graphics 520. If you have the budget, you can bump the CPU up as high as an Intel Core i7-6560U with Intel Iris Graphics. Intel claims its Iris and Iris Pro graphics can compete with discrete chips in certain situations. We also have some numbers (and video) from a Core i7-powered model with a beautiful 4K display.

HP Spectre x360 15t 02

The lack of an Ethernet port on the X360 isn’t that unusual on a super-slim system like this, but where some laptops come with an external Ethernet adapter, the Spectre x360 doesn’t. Still, the ultrabook has 802.11ac and Bluetooth for wireless connectivity and dongle are available to purchase separately should you need it.

HP partners with Bang & Olufsen for audio in many of its laptops, including the Spectre line. The 13.3-inch model sports two stereo speakers while all of the 15.6-inch models feature quad speakers. An FHD webcam with a dual digital mic is onboard for video chatting as well.

The Spectre x360 also comes with its own case. Given that the system starts at $1,149.99, a free accessory like the case is a nice touch. Sadly, the better accessory isn’t included. If you want HP’s slick Active Stylus (handy when you have the convertible in tablet mode), it’ll add $53.99 to the price tag. But enough about the accessories: let’s take a look at this stylish laptop.

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