As part of my long term review for the HP Spectre x360, I’ll be posting things here and there as issues arise or if there’s anything interesting that is worth mentioning. In the meantime, I’m going to post up my impressions of the HP Spectre x360 that I’ve noticed in the past 48 hours of ownership. Much of it so far has been positive, though there are some areas I see that could be improved.
For the most part, the HP Spectre x360 is a very slick looking laptop. It’s made almost entirely of aluminum. The color I got is called “Natural Silver” and is basically the color that every other aluminum type product comes in. I probably would have gone with the “Dark Ash Silver” but this was the only color they had in stock. It doesn’t look bad though and has a very high-end look to it. The only deviation from the silver are the polished edges that have an almost mirror like finish and the chrome hinges and HP logo. Speaking of which, this isn’t a typical HP logo and just looks like 4 lines. Pretty neat looking and differentiates this from their regular line.
On the inside, the keyboard keys while not aluminum aluminum, are color matched to look like the rest of the body. This makes the keys blend in a bit too much together as there is very little contrast and can be a bit hard to see at times. With plenty of light, I suggest not having the keys light up and only use that if you’re using the laptop in a dimly lit area. The keys are nicely sized and have a really nice feel to them and pressing down with about 1mm of travel.
Below the keyboard, there’s a fairly large touchpad that’s also silver in color. Other than that, it’s just a touch pad that you can also click.
On top of the keyboard though is one feature that blows me away, the Bang & Olufsen speakers. While most laptops have tiny speakers that are decent, these B&O speakers are huge and sound absolutely amazing. The speaker stretches across the width of the laptop, though I don’t know how big the speakers themselves actually are. All I know is that they are freaking loud when turned up all the way and offer a sound I haven’t heard on other laptops.
The display on this version of the HP Spectre x360 sadly isn’t the 4K display and is only the full HD one with a resolution of (1920 x 1080). While not as good as my previous Dell XPS 13, it’s still a very bright, good looking screen. And to be honest, I don’t really have much use for a 4K display on a laptop. While on the subject of the screen, the HP Truevision FHD IR Camera is located in the correct place and is above the screen which provides a more natural angle.
Now on the the rest of the goodies, the HP Spectre x360 comes with just 1 USB 3.1 Type-A port and 2 USB-C ports with Thunderport. There is also a combo audio port and a MicroSD card reader.
There are three oddities on this laptop however. The power button is on the side which I’m not sure if I like or not because something can accidentally press this while in your bag and I definitely don’t like the placement of the fingerprint reader, which is also on the side. I’d rather have both of these where the keyboard is to be honest. The placement of the fingerprint reader makes it a bit difficult to use. Also, there’s a volume rocker on the side which I don’t know if I’ve seen that on a laptop before and I do find it kind of useful as it’s not a bad means of adjusting the volume on the fly.
Lastly, since the HP Spectre x360 is a convertible laptop, you can flip the screen all the way back and turn it into a tablet. You can even flip it in such a way where the keyboard acts as a type of stand for the screen. This disables the keyboard and touchpad so you don’t accidentally press a bunch of random buttons while in tablet mode.
Since you can use the HP Spectre x360 as a tablet, it did come with a pen stylus. This means you can do things that you normally couldn’t do on a regular laptop. This is something I’ve been waiting to do in forever so we’ll see how much I actually make use of it in the coming months.
Final Thoughts…For Now
The first 48 hours with the HP Spectre x360 have been pretty pleasant. I’m digging the over all look and feel of it despite a couple quirks and being the first convertible laptop I’ve owned, the novelty of being able to turn it into a tablet is pretty neat, although I’m not really sure how many times I’ll actually use it as such. The inclusion of the Pen was a nice surprise as was a bonus leather sleeve included in the box.
For now, I’m impressed. Here’s hoping that I don’t find any annoyances with this as time passes.