The common perception about laptops is that they have to look a certain way. This is mainly because brands like to follow a particular trend and they do anything to convince you to prove their point. I’ve been reviewing laptops for years and this simplistic approach is all the rage these days in the tech world.
But the simple truth is, we don’t want to step out of our comfort zone and that pisses me off. So when I first saw the Specter x360, it gave me some hope that we had passed the era of the MacBook clone. This 2-in-1 is a beautiful laptop designed to show off its design.
I replaced my Surface Pro with the Specter x360 14 for a week, and here is my experience with the latest premium Windows laptop from HP.
Price of HP Specter x360 14 in India: Rs 174,999
HP Specter x360 14 review: Design and aesthetics
I was a huge fan of laptops long before I started writing about technology. I use smartphones for WhatsApp calls / messages and social media, but I spend most of my time on a laptop. As someone with an affinity with design, I’m automatically drawn to notebooks that don’t look ordinary. The Specter x360 marries fashion with technology and gives you a glimpse of unique style and integrative details. There is a subtle element of luxury in the way this laptop was designed, giving users a glimpse into how tech products are now being designed with a fashionable lifestyle in mind. It’s probably the sleekest laptop I’ve reviewed in recent times; it’s a fashion book.
Made from a CNC machined aluminum frame, my review unit comes in a Poseidon Blue color scheme and pale brass accents, with gemstone cut edges and sharp angles. It’s different, there’s no doubt about it and for some it might be too flashy. But it’s not the Poseidon Blue that’s attractive, it’s the impossible slim chassis. It looks like a high end device and the build quality supports the design.
HP’s four slash logo adorns the lid, while two hinges let you use the laptop in a variety of ways, including tent and tablet modes. I think tent mode is great for watching videos and showing presentations to clients. There is satisfactory resistance when you close the laptop cover.
This laptop is really beautiful to hold, use and watch. But one thing is super strange in the laptop – a single USB 3.2 Type-A port on the left edge and two Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C ports on the right side, and one of them is tilted in the corner. back right. The port is misplaced, in a way. It is not easily visible to the eyes. You will also find a headphone jack and an SD card reader. The laptop comes with a leather carrying case and an HP Tilt Pen, which is supposed to magnetically stick to the left edge but never really does. So there is a good chance that you will lose the stylus.
HP Specter x360 14 review: Display and audio
The display on the Specter x360 14 is stunning. It’s a 13.5-inch (3000 x 2000-pixel resolution) multitouch (to be exact) OLED display, not a 14-inch one. Regardless, its squarer 3: 2 appearance (similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablets and laptops) gives an expansive view of text and web pages. The OLED panel is very bright and offers a good range of colors. The display gets really bright, peaking at 400 nits. Text and icons are fun to watch, and there’s fun watching movies on the screen. The screen has small bezels (90.33% screen-to-body ratio), with a respectable 720p HD webcam placed above the screen. It also comes with a privacy cover; just press an Fn line key and it covers the lens. For added security, the webcam has infrared facial recognition, and there is also a fingerprint scanner to access Windows Hello logins.
The sound quality is great but not amazing. You get four Bang & Olufsen speakers on the laptop. Although they deliver a clear sound, they don’t get particularly loud. They’re still better than many laptops I’ve reviewed recently.
HP Specter x360 14 review: keyboard and trackpad
I love typing on this keyboard. Its island-style backlit keyboard is quiet, has more travel, and there’s plenty of bounce. Typically, HP’s Specter line offers the best keyboard on laptops. You’ll also find a huge trackpad under the keyboard. It’s big, but not unnecessarily big. The trackpad is smooth and precise.
HP Specter x360 14 review: performance and battery
This laptop is really fast. I got the high-end version, which had an 11th generation Core i7 -1165G7 âTiger Lakeâ processor with integrated Iris Xe graphics, 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSD. I was happy with it. my Surface Pro, but the Specter x360 is significantly faster. I didn’t feel any lag when performing the tasks I was supposed to do on a laptop. With this kind of specifications, you can edit videos and photos; plus, browse the web and run a handful of apps. To be clear, this machine is not designed for creating content or playing AAA games. Most photographers or videographers wouldn’t buy this laptop anyway. That said, it’s a powerful laptop and you can take it to a cafe or work from home.
I think for most people the basic variant will be fine. The chassis remains the same, but you get an 11th gen Core i5 processor, 16GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, and a 1080p IPS touchscreen. This model is priced below Rs 119,999.
I have 7 hours of battery (average) per charge on this laptop. It’s respectable for this laptop with these specs. HP claims that the OLED version of the Specter x360 14 has an estimated battery life of 11.5 hours, while the IPS version will last up to 17 hours.
A lot also depends on the brightness of the screen. Of course, battery life depends on what you plan for a laptop. I’m a heavy user and usually spend my entire day in front of the screen, whether it’s working, browsing the web, or just relaxing while listening to music. The laptop also supports fast charging, recharging the battery from 0-50% in about 45 minutes.
HP Specter x360 14 review: should you buy it?
I enjoyed using the HP Specter x360 14. It’s not a perfect machine, but yes, it’s pretty darn near perfect. The idea of ââa beautifully designed laptop that also performs well is difficult to achieve. A laptop like the Specter x360 would never be cheap and it has a lot to do with how HP engineers designed this device. Of course, there are plenty of great Windows laptops on the market, but the Specter x360 14 is right on many fronts.