HP Spectre x360 (2017) Review: A Beautiful And Impressively Quiet Convertible

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HP Spectre x360 (2017): Battery Life And Acoustics

In the following benchmarks we employ two very different battery life tests, Battery Eater Pro and a custom 1080p HD video loop test, to prove out battery life with our test group of machines. In all tests, Windows 10 Quiet Hours have been enabled and the displays are calibrated with lux meters on pure white screens to as close to 115 lux as possible. For the average notebook this is somewhere between a 45 - 60% brightness setting. Since notebook displays significantly affect power consumption and battery life, it's important to ensure a level playing field with respect to brightness of the display for battery testing. However, since many notebook displays vary in brightness at each respective setting in Windows, this calibration with the meter is critical to ensure all displays are set to as near identical brightness as possible before testing.

Battery Life - How We Test:

Our custom HotHardware video loop test takes a 1080p HD video with a 16Kbps bit rate and loops it repeatedly, with 1 minute break intervals in between. A timer log file increments minutes of uptime every minute along with the grand total before system shutdown, is stored in the log. This is a lighter duty test that is still a bit more strenuous than many office productivity tasks, but it's not nearly the strain that Battery Eater test puts on a system.

HP Spectre x360 (2017) HH Battery Test

At its native 1920x1080 resolution, the Spectre x360 lasted 8 hours and 23 minutes, putting it ahead of Dell's XPS 13 2-in-1 by nearly an hour. It trailed two other systems—Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which lasted about a half hour longer, and Dell's refreshed XPS 13, which stay on about 2 hours longer.

Battery Eater Pro wears systems down quickly with a heavy load on all subsystems, including processor, graphics, memory and even file transfers to storage. This is truly a worst-case test that will give you a sense of how a machine will hold up under heavy strain, when gaming or under heavy-duty continuous content creation workloads, for example.

HP Spectre x360 Battery Eater Pro

In Battery Eater Pro, the Spectre x360 again found itself near the top of the pack, with a nearly 3-hour run time. That is within striking distance of most of the models that came out ahead.

Spectre x360 (2017) Acoustics

Noise was one of the issues that customers brought up most often to HP in regards to the previous generation Spectre x360. To address that, HP is using a hybrid thermal design with an specialized thermal sensor to measure temps and keep them in check by controlling airflow. As a result, the Spectre x360 runs virtually silent most of the time. Only when there is a heavy load does the fan make its presence known, and even then it's with only a soft whir. The downside is that throttling can happen quickly. However, the system is still fast overall, and much quieter than before.

We also like that you can actually place this laptop on your lap without cooking your legs. Well, mostly anyway. There is a section towards the back that heats up and gets quite toasty to the touch. But the rest of the bottom section remains cool, which is a credit to the engineering team.

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