HP Spectre review: HP Spectre x360 (2021) review: The light taskmaster

HP Spectre x360 2021 review The light taskmaster

Top Features

Long battery life

Very strong hinge

Smooth performance

The premium Spectre series of notebooks by HP is widely considered to be among the best overall performing devices in the Windows laptop category. We recently spent some time with one HP Spectre x360 unit from the series. The HP Spectre x360 laptop that we reviewed bears the model number ‘13t- aw200’, comes powered with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor based on the Intel Evo Platform and is supported by Intel Iris XE Graphics. It comes at a hefty price tag of Rs 1,29,999. Here is our review of the device.

HP Spectre x360: Design
The newest Spectre is a lightweight device despite having a completely metal build with a sandblasted, anodised finish. It is a 13-inch laptop (13.3-inch, measured diagonally, to be exact) and can be carried with one hand across rooms without causing any strain on the wrists. You will not need to grip this one under the arm while moving around; just holding it with your fingers would do. It weighs 1.27 kg but the small form factor makes it easy to lift with one hand and also lug it around. HP packs in a laptop slipcase for the device with the purchase.

The build quality is quite sturdy and the device looks like it could take a fall from a table in its stride. The Spectre x360 comes with a full HD display panel that can turn outwards efficiently on the hinge to a complete 360-degree. The hinge construction looks rigid but it is just flexible enough so as to allow the display to turn at angles smoothly.

When placed on a flat surface, the Spectre x360 can easily be opened with one hand without requiring the other hand to hold the chassis.

The top edges of the chassis have got a diagonal-cut design, with the slant edges housing the power button on the left one and a Thunderbolt 4 port on the right one.

The right edge of the chassis carries a toggle to turn the webcam on and off. HP has chosen to give it the moniker of a webcam kill switch. HP gives you a “True Vision 720p HD IR camera with integrated dual array digital microphones” as the webcam. In addition to that, it has a Thunderbolt 4 port for charging or data transfer purposes and a microSD card slot. The laptop gives you a 3.5mm headphone jack on the left side of the chassis.

HP Spectre x360: Display

The notebook has a full HD edge-to-edge IPS touch display with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, a brightness of 400 nits and 100{1936381d4253f19a98bc2ecae94a0b0438ab0e234f1c555690d854373a3c9a42} sRGB. The display is slightly reflective, with narrow bezels on all sides except the bottom. It comes protected with a Corning Gorilla Glass NBT layer on the top.

You can shut off the in-display webcam with the help of a small physical toggle on the right side of the chassis.

The display produces sharp visuals with crisp colours. The icons look punchy at the recommended resolution and font size. After working for about two hours with very small breaks, eye fatigue does seep in. Since the display does reflect a bit too, watching video content on it like a long feature film in an artificially lit indoor environment may tire out the eyes. However, while doing office work via MS Office and Google tools, the display may not give you any issues.

HP Spectre x360: Performance and Battery

The Spectre x360 runs 64-bit Windows 10 Home. The laptop comes with 16GB of onboard LPDDR4x-4266 SDRAM and gives you 1TB of storage in the form of a PCIe NVMe TLC M.2 SSD.

It is a 2-in-1 device, a hybrid or a convertible, as per laptop parlance. That means you could use it in tablet mode also with the help of the display fully optimised for touch. Oh, but the screen does not come off with this one to give you the luxury of using a separate slate as a tablet, like it would in a Surface laptop.

The touch response time is fast and apps can be opened, closed and navigated through speedily. Holding the device in a one-handed manner for a long time may cause some strain in the wrists as carrying it from one room to another and holding it for a long time are two very different things.

One good thing that happened with this device which usually does not happen with some convertibles is the effective heat dissipation while using it in one-handed mode. The keyboard does get warm whilst using the device in tablet mode and you would feel it but it did not get unacceptably hot so as to render the one-handed operation difficult.

There is no USB Type-A port with the device, just the two Thunderbolt 4 ports which work only with a Type-C cable so if you plan on using a mouse with this one, you’d have to purchase a Type-C to Type-A connector.

If you are used to typing on a full-sized keyboard on 15.6-inch or bigger laptops, it could take a while before you get used to typing on the Spectre x360.

The audio output of the laptop (by Bang & Olufsen), is not loud for a room on speakers but is balanced and clear. Some of the tracks we played on the Spectre x360 were Liam Gallagher’s All You Are Dreaming Of and Ayron Jones’ Take Me Away.

The battery on this convertible gave a solid six hours on the Better battery mode on Windows 10. It takes about an hour and a half to charge to full. The laptop, after it gets discharged, can be switched on as soon as the first surge of power courses through it, with a negligible delay of 2-3 seconds. The loading up of the OS and the apps are equally fast and professionals whose work requires them to stay online for the most part of their jobs would like the speed at which the Spectre x360 can get up and get going.


The HP Spectre x360 is an overall well-performing Windows machine. It is small and lightweight, the build is premium and sturdy, the performance fast and non-glitchy and the battery life long. The audio output on speakers is not loud for a room and if this matters, you could always use the 3.5mm headphone jack or Bluetooth for audio. People looking to shell out over Rs 1 lakh on a lightweight and premium-looking Windows laptop for mostly work purposes would find this convertible a sound investment.


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