The Best Windows Ultrabook

The HP Spectre x360 13.
Photograph: Michael Hession

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HP Spectre x360 13

The HP Spectre x360 13 has a stylus and a touchscreen and may flip into pill mode, however it’s heavier than our high choose. Whereas our most well-liked configuration is unavailable, we suggest the Core i7-1065G7 mannequin linked right here.

Advisable configuration

Processor: Intel Core i5-1035G4 Display: 13.3-inch 1920×1080 contact
Reminiscence: 8 GB Weight: 2.88 kilos
Storage: 256 GB SSD Examined battery life: 10.5 hours
If our beneficial configuration is unavailable, we suggest the Core i7-1065G7 mannequin or the Lenovo Yoga C940 (14”).

If you’d like a laptop computer with a 360-degree hinge that permits you to flip the display screen all the best way round to make use of it as a pill (or in any intermediate place) and also you don’t thoughts carrying one thing heavier than our high choose, get the HP Spectre x360 13. It’s comparable in measurement to the Dell XPS 13, with stable battery life, a dependable keyboard and trackpad, and a vibrant touchscreen. It seems to be and seems like a premium laptop computer, and it comes with a big lively pen. The Spectre x360 13 additionally has two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Sort-A port for connecting older gadgets, and a fingerprint reader. We favor the XPS 13’s lighter physique, taller display screen, and standard-layout keyboard, however when you want a convertible laptop computer with a touchscreen, the Spectre x360 13 is the best way to go.

The HP Spectre shown in tent mode.
The HP Spectre x360 13 has a 360-degree hinge that means that you can flip the display screen all the best way round to be used as a pill or in any intermediate place. (Tent mode is proven right here.) Photograph: Michael Hession

The HP Spectre x360 13 is analogous in measurement to the XPS 13 (9300); the Spectre x360 13 measures 12.1 by 7.7 by zero.67 inches, half an inch wider and a bit thicker than the XPS 13, however much less deep. It’s additionally heavier at 2.88 kilos versus 2.65 kilos. However in contrast with our earlier favourite convertible laptop computer, the Lenovo Yoga C940, the Spectre x360 13 is extra compact—thanks partially to its smaller display screen—and a bit lighter. For a laptop computer that you just’ll sometimes flip round to make use of in several modes, the Spectre x360 13’s measurement and weight are a definite benefit.

Among the many ultrabooks we examined in late 2019 and early 2020, the HP Spectre x360 13 had probably the greatest ends in our battery life exams, lasting 10 hours 19 minutes, just a bit lower than the Dell XPS 13 (9300)’s 10 hours 36 minutes. However each laptops have very good battery life that’ll final a full workday.

The keyboard of the HP Spectre.
The Spectre x360 13’s white backlight makes the labels tough to see on its silver keyboard. Photograph: Michael Hession

Though the HP Spectre x360 13’s keyboard feels springy and conscious of sort on, it has some quirks. First, the keyboard is offset to the left to make room for an extra column of navigation keys on the correct. It took just a few days and a complete lot of typos earlier than I acquired acclimated to the placement of the keys, however I did regulate. Second, the keyboard is silver with a white backlight, which makes the important thing legends unimaginable to learn in a well-lit room. We suggest turning off the backlight.

In on a regular basis use, the x360 13’s precision touchpad was clean and fulfilling; the trackpad responded to all of our two-finger and three-finger gestures, and we by no means unintentionally moved the cursor with our palms whereas we have been utilizing the keyboard.

The 13.3-inch, 1080p (1920×1080) IPS display screen was vivid and fulfilling to make use of, and its colours appeared just a little nearer to impartial in contrast with the XPS 13’s heat, barely greenish tint. Like Dell, HP gives a 4K show choice; we favor ultrabooks with 1080p screens for his or her longer battery life. The Spectre x360 13’s contact show has extra glare than the XPS 13’s display screen, which makes this mannequin much less appropriate to be used in a sunny room. The Spectre x360 13 additionally has a skinny bezel—although not as skinny because the XPS 13’s—a webcam positioned within the high heart above the show, and a change on the correct aspect of the laptop computer to disable the webcam when it isn’t in use.

The Spectre x360 13 additionally comes with an active stylus for taking notes, drawing, and sketching, and it labored fantastic throughout our writing exams. It’s concerning the measurement of a standard pen, so it’s extra snug to put in writing with than the Lenovo Yoga C940’s tiny stylus, however that additionally means there’s nowhere to retailer it just like the helpful “digital pen garage” on the C940. (In truth, our footage lack a photograph of the stylus as a result of I forgot to ship it to our picture workforce.)

The Spectre x360 13 has a classy aluminum chassis and feels solidly constructed. The lid appears sturdy, and the bottom has minimal flex. The hinge is tight and retains the display screen in place, however when the laptop computer is shut, there’s a little bit of a niche the place crumbs and different gunk can get into the keyboard space. We didn’t have any issues with this throughout testing, though there’s quite a lot of unfastened tea on the backside of my backpack. (Thanks, TSA!)

  • The power button and left side ports of the HP Spectre.

    The Spectre x360 13’s energy button is oddly positioned on the back-left-corner edge. However the laptop computer does have a full USB-A port for older peripherals, in addition to an audio jack. Photograph: Michael Hession

  • The right side ports of the HP Spectre.

    On the correct aspect, the x360 13 has a microSD slot, a webcam toggle, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports, one among which is inconveniently positioned on a diagonal on the again. Photograph: Michael Hession

The HP Spectre x360 13 has two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports in addition to a headset jack, a microSD slot, and one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Sort-A port for older peripherals. I didn’t love the awkward port and power-button placement on the again corners of the laptop computer, however their location wasn’t problematic in on a regular basis use. Each Thunderbolt 3 ports being on the correct aspect of the laptop computer may be inconvenient, although, since you possibly can cost the laptop computer solely from the correct aspect. (The Lenovo Yoga C940 and Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon can cost solely from the left aspect, and the Dell XPS 13 has cost ports on each side.)

Though the Spectre x360 13 doesn’t have any devoted video-out ports similar to Mini DisplayPort or HDMI, its Thunderbolt 3 ports can carry a video sign by means of the right cable, adapter, or dock. The Spectre x360 13 helps Wi-Fi 6 with Bluetooth, and the corporate features a one-year restricted guarantee with the laptop computer.

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