HP Spectre X2 Review
HP Spectre X2 – Rewrite what’s possible on a PC.
The new Spectre x2 boldly redefines the PC experience with optimized angles for inking, an impressive 6M pixel display, and the cutting-edge specs you need to revolutionize your workflow.
A stainless steel kickstand holds firm at your ideal writing angle, for a remarkably natural pen experience designed to make you rethink the way you use a PC.
Designed for those who appreciate beauty and performance as much as practicality, the new Spectre x2 brings this design to life with a range of smart, innovative features.
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|Dimensions||11.57 x 8.15 x 0.3 in (tablet); 11.57 x 8.15 x 0.52 in (tablet and base)|
|Weight||1.68 lb (tablet); 2.49 lb (tablet and base)|
|Display||12.3" diagonal 3K2K IPS WLED-backlit multitouch-enabled edge-to-edge glass (3000 x 2000)|
|3:2 Aspect Ratio|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-7260U (2.2 GHz, up to 3.4 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores) + Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 (8 GB memory) |
Intel Core i7-7560U (2.4 GHz, up to 3.8 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores) + Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 (8 GB memory)
Intel Core i7-7560U (2.4 GHz, up to 3.8 GHz, 4 MB cache, 2 cores) + Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 (16 GB memory)
|GPU||Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640|
|Memory||128 GB, 256 GB, 360 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
8 GB, 16 GB LPDDR3-1600 SDRAM
|Primary Camera||HP 13MP Camera (rear-facing)|
|Video||1080p HD video|
|Secondary Camera||HP Wide Vision 5 MP|
|Loudspeaker||Bang & Olufsen, dual speakers|
|3.5mm jack||1 independent headphone/microphone combo|
|Ports||2 USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1|
1 microSD media card reader
|WLAN||Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi|
|Sensors||Accelerometer; Gyroscope; eCompass|
|Battery||4-cell, 41.58 Wh Li-ion|
Overall, the new Spectre X2 brings along some much-needed improvements, but a few issues hold it back from being a must-have. HP seriously has to do something about its battery life, especially now that Microsoft offers twice as much with the Surface Pro. And the touchpad problems, which we’ve criticized with the last model, are simply inexcusable. HP has proven it can build showstopping, stylish machines. Now it needs to make sure they’re as easy to use as the competition.
The Spectre x2’s colorful and bright display, seductive design and excellent keyboard almost place it at the front of the class for detachable 2-in-1 notebooks. We also appreciate the improved hinge mechanism and included Type-A USB dongle.
When it comes to specs and what you get in the box, HP’s system is also a better value than the Surface Pro, as it includes a keyboard and pen in its starting configuration for just $1,149. A similarly specced Surface Pro starts at $1,299 before you add the Surface Pen and keyboard; it costs $1,558.98 overall, which is a $410 difference.
However, the Spectre x2’s lower battery life can’t be ignored. That’s why we recommend splurging on the Surface Pro, because it offers 2 hours more endurance on a charge. Microsoft’s 2-in-1 also has a better pen. But, overall, the Spectre x2 is a fantastic option for the money.
The Spectre x2 is an impressive re-entry from HP who’s original 2015 version only had a full HD display, somewhat annoying kickstand and a boring silver color. The 2017 entry improves over its predecessor in every area including the change from a Core M processor to a faster Type-U one.
In short, it’s an excellent 2-in-1 that also arguably looks the best. I think the dark ash and copper combination is just outstanding. The keyboard is one of the best typing experiences around, and the pen is also an enjoyable experience with a display that is top notch.
The Spectre x2’s real strength, however, is in value. HP is not shy about boasting how much more affordable the Spectre x2 is compared to the Surface Pro – and it is significant. That’s nearly a $600 difference between similar Core i7 configurations. For the Core i5 models, it’s closer to $350 in favor of HP.
Most of that is because HP ship the Spectre x2 with its keyboard and pen in the box at no extra cost. Microsoft infamously charges another $159 for the Type Cover and $99 for the new pen adding a substantial burden for the “full” Surface experience.
To be clear, the Surface Pro is still better in many areas including performance, battery, inking, and audio compared to the Spectre x2. It’s not as if these PCs are the same and one is just $600 more. Nonetheless, HP has some advantages as well including two Type-C ports, an arguably improved keyboard, and better sustained performance.
Whether any of that matters to you is a personal decision, but it’s hard to pass over the HP Spectre x2 if you are on a budget. The quality of the hardware is outstanding, and for your average consumer, the performance is matched by the value.
HP appears to be a roll with its Spectre line, and that continues with Spectre x2. While it cannot beat the Surface Pro head to head for battery and performance, it is no doubt the smarter financial choice and a worthy alternative.
HP outdoes Microsoft at its own game, taking some of the best parts of the Surface line, lowering the price and fixing the Surface’s biggest headache — the extra-cost keyboard. The result is a slim, sturdy-feeling tablet that’s easy to carry, and also converts to something close to a laptop for those times you need a fingers-on-keys experience.
Of course, the Spectre x2 manages to add a couple of headaches of its own, such as an awkward kickstand and hard-to-use ports. But the price difference between the lowest-cost Spectre x2 (at $799 in the US) and the lowest-end Surface Pro 4 and keyboard ($1,028 in the US) is such that, if you like the Surface’s take on PC/laptop hybrids, you’d be smart to check out the Spectre x2 first.
The HP Spectre x2 is nouveau riche, clad with darling looks distinguished from the competition. It may be slightly weaker than the closest Surface Pro configuration it rivals, but it’s also less expensive in the US and UK. Au contraire, the scrupulous trackpad and pedestrian battery life see to it that the Spectre x2 is a chore to use on the go.
Whereas the Surface Pro brings better penmanship and battery life to the table, the HP Spectre x2 is a testament to fashion and value on the high-end for Windows 10 tablets.