In the last year, I’ve used quite a few laptops and some of them have been very good. MacBooks have maintained a premium look and feel for many years. I will never miss an opportunity to praise the quality of Dell XPS line.
The Spectre x360 14 is my favorite consumer laptop. The new Spectre’s black body, lustrous accents and sharp edges make it stand out among convertible laptops.
The Spectre x360 2-in-1 laptop is my favorite 2-in-1. It starts at $1,299.99 ($1,589.99 when tested). There are many capable convertibles on the market today that work well, look great, and do certain tasks really well. Although the Spectre x360 14 may not be perfect, it is a top-of-the-line laptop in nearly every category. The Spectre x360 14 has a beautiful chassis, great panel options, stylus support and a powerful processor. This is proof that you can have everything — at a cost.
|Good Stuff||bad Stuff|
|Beautiful design||It’s not inexpensive|
|Battery life is amazing||The touchpad is a little stiff|
|Display with OLED and 1000-nit options in 3:2 format||Includes some bloatware|
This latest model of the HP Spectre series is a great example of their superior design. The Spectre x360 14, like its 13 inch predecessor is CNC-machined from aluminum. You can also get the 14 in nightfall black, Poseidon blue, or natural silver. Nightfall black has a sleek, sophisticated look that is perfect for a boardroom. Poseidon blue is more friendly and I think it’s the one I would choose.
The Spectre’s accents are what makes it stand out among the countless black laptops. The lid, touchpad and deck are trimmed with lustrous trim. Its color is shared by the hinges and the HP logo on the lid. It is bold but not too loud. Two corners at the rear are diamond-shaped. One of them houses a Thunderbolt 4 Port on its flat edge. The sides have an audio jack and a USB A port. The notebook is 0.67 inches thick, and the edges have been beveled. This notebook feels like art, and it is a fine example of careful craftsmanship.
There is not a wobble if you use the touchscreen
The Spectre, as its “x360” name suggests, is a 2-in-1. It weighs in at 2.95 pounds and is not ideal for tablet use. However, the hinges are strong and smooth. The touchscreen is very stable, unlike many other convertibles. The touchscreen is also compatible with styluses; the Spectre comes with HP’s MPP2.0 pen. It attaches magnetically on the side of your chassis.
Despite the similarities in design, this Spectre is noticeably different than its predecessors. This is due to the screen. The new model features a 3:2 screen, which is 13% taller than last year’s 16:9 display. It has the same screen-to-body ratio of 90 percent.
Microsoft’s Surface tablets have used the 3:2 aspect ratio since years. I’m happy that the Spectre line is finally switching. You’ll be able to see the difference if you are used to a 16-:9 display (which most modern Windows laptops have). There is significantly more vertical space. This means that you can scroll up and down, and zoom out more to get what you need. Multitasking is made much easier by this feature without increasing the size of your chassis.
There are many options for this 3:2 panel. HP claims that the FHD option on my test unit should achieve 400 nits brightness. It only measured 285 during my testing, which is lower than what I would expect from a device this expensive. I have reached out to HP for clarification and will update this review if there is a problem. (Officially, 285 nits still is more than enough to do indoor office work.
You can also choose a FHD display. This is a major benefit for business users.
Other specs include a 400-nit display, a Core i5-1135G7 processor, 8GB memory and 256GB storage. There are several upgrades that you can make to the base model. My test unit is priced at $1589.99 and retains the screen of the base model. However, it has a quad-core Core i7-1165G7 processor and doubles its RAM and storage. This model is an excellent choice for most people. It offers a high-end processor and plenty of storage at a reasonable price. You can also get an OLED screen with 1TB storage and 32GB of Intel Optane for $1,699 or the Sure View screen with 2TB storage for $1.959.99.
Laptops are not just beautiful to look at. However, you don’t have to sacrifice performance for this build quality. The Spectre is validated through Intel’s Evo platform. This means it offers a variety of Intel-selected benefits, including Thunderbolt 4, Wi Fi 6, fast boot time, reliable performance, and quick charging. It exceeded those standards in my testing.
My heavy Chrome tabs, torrents and downloads were handled quickly by the system. The battery life was great. I used the screen for around 10 hours with 200 nits brightness. If your daily tasks are similar, the Spectre should be able to get you through your day. The OLED panel will likely give you less. Intel’s Iris Xe integrated graphic is also included in the processor. Although they are not recommended for serious gaming, these graphics can be used to run lighter applications.
There are very few complaints elsewhere. It’s a great keyboard, with a snappy click and a solid click. The speakers sound great, with very audible bass percussion. The fingerprint sensor is located to the left side of the arrow keys. There’s also a Windows Hello camera. Neither of these issues caused any problems for me.
I had very little to no complaints
The only thing I don’t love about this laptop is its dimness. Both are minor issues. The fact that I mention them in my review is testament to the amazingness of this laptop.
The touchpad is the first. It is very smooth and spacious (16.6 percent larger that the Spectre x360 13, last year) and can handle scrolling and gestures perfectly. It’s still noticeably stiffer that some of the top touchpads available. It is so hard to click, I found myself using my thumb almost all the time. Clicking with a finger on the MacBook and Dell XPS 13 is much easier than it was with the MacBook. The integrated buttons were a bit difficult to click when I first tried them. I had to overcome some resistance in order to reach the actuation point. It felt like every click was two clicks. Although this issue was resolved on my second day of testing it is still an issue I see only with lower-priced items.
Bloatware is the second. A number of junk programs are preloaded onto the Spectre, and many are pinned to my taskbar. All of the junk programs, including ExpressVPN and McAfee are on this device. I received a lot of notifications from them. This is a strange feature at this price, and McAfee alerts that are cheap pop up on the Spectre are like looking at really bad bumper stickers on a Ferrari. It doesn’t take long to uninstall this software, but it’s disappointing to see it.
These are my only two issues, but they shouldn’t stop you buying this laptop. It is beautiful to look at, and it is a joy to use. It was my favorite product and I used it all the time, even when I wasn’t using it.
Agree To Continue: Hpspectre X360 14
Each smart device requires that you agree to certain terms and conditions before it can be used. These are contracts that nobody actually reads. We are unable to review and analyze all of these agreements. We started to count how many times we had to click “agree” in order to use the devices. These are agreements that most people don’t read and can’t negotiate.
You must agree to these terms in order to use the HP Spectre x360 14:
- Request for your region
- Request for your keyboard layout
- McAfee, HP and Windows license agreements
You can also answer the following questions yes or no:
- Microsoft account (cannot be bypassed if your stay offline).
- Windows Hello fingerprint recognition, face recognition
- Privacy settings (speech Recognition, location, Find My Device sharing diagnostic data, typing, inking, and tailored experience, Advertising ID)
- You can customize your device to suit gaming, schoolwork or creativity.
- Sync your Android phone
- OneDrive Backup
- Office 365
- Microsoft may collect and use information to create personalized Cortana experiences and suggestions. This includes location and location history as well as contacts, voice input patterns, speech and handwriting patterns and typing history. Search history, calendar details, type history, search history and content history from Microsoft services.
- Send your name, address, and contact information to HP
- HP may use information from your system for customer support. Your PC can show HP contact options, warranty information and support messages.
- HP will use the information you provide to improve HP products, services and products.
- HP will use your information and contact details to send you personalized news and offers.
There are six mandatory and 20 optional agreements that you must sign to use the Spectre x360 14
The big question when evaluating a convertible laptop at Spectre’s pricing point is how it compares with the Dell XPS13 2-in-1. There are a few benefits to the XPS: It’s lighter and thinner, has a less stiff touchpad, and has a smaller design that some users may prefer.
For me, however, the ball game is clear and close. Its exquisite craftsmanship, elegant aesthetic and 3:2 screen make the Spectre x360 stand out. The Spectre x360 also beats the XPS in a few areas. The keyboard is more comfortable, battery life is longer, and the storage capacity of the closest Dell-priced unit to this unit is only half. The Spectre has a few smaller features that the XPS does not have, such as the bundled stylus and USB-A ports, blue color, and OLED option.
The Spectre is a great choice if you are looking for a premium Windows convertible that has a stylish aesthetic. It’s HP at its finest; this laptop is a luxury in every way. It’s the best laptop I’ve ever seen.