Display, Build Quality, User Experience
The Spectre X360’s 13.3” screen is very nice. The glass is optically bonded to the display to not only keep the assembly very thin, but to minimize the parallax effect common on thicker touch-screens.
The model we looked at has a full HD, native resolution of 1920x1080, but a QHD model is also planned. Viewing angles on the IPS panel are excellent, and we found the color reproduction, brightness and contrast to be top notch. This machine has one of the better 1080P displays we have laid eyes on in an ultrabook.
Touch response is also very good. There was minimal lag when navigating the machine with touch and swipes, pinches, zooms, etc. were all smooth and fluid.
Moving the screen into its multiple supported position is also a good experience. The Spectre X360 has a geared and spring-assisted hinge that’s smooth throughout its entire range of motion. When first opening the lid, the hinges swing open easily, and then offer more resistance as the screen is moved into an upright position, or swung around into tent, stand, or tablet modes. Above is a shot of the hinge’s internals, attached to an acrylic mockup.
The keyboard and touchpad on the Spectre X360 are also quite good. The keyboard has full sized keys, with a good amount of travel and solid feel. There is very little flex in the keyboard deck at all and there are no funky key position. The keyboard is also backlit, though when the backlighting is disabled, the backlight switch / button remains lit (forgive the graininess on these pics—we took them in low-light to show the brightness).
The oversized touchpad on the Spectre X360 is one of the best we’ve used. It leverages Synaptic technology and offered smooth, precise mouse movements, with excellent palm detection / rejection. We should also mention that there are four small pads around the keyboard / touchpad deck to protect the surfaces, should the machine be placed face down (i.e. in stand mode) and the keyboard / touchpad will switch off when the Spectre X360 is in stand or tablet mode as well.
HP even paid special attention to the lid and WiFi antenna placement. Again, the lid is machined from a single piece of aluminum, so it has no seems and is nice and ridid. Along the top, however, HP cut out slots for the WiFi attennas, which the company claims are tuned to provide optimal performance.
All told, all of these little touches add up to an excellent experience. Whether you're just opening the lid, typing on the machine, mousing around, or consuming content on the display, the Spectre X360 does an excellent job.