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HP Specter x360 14 review: luxurious, with long battery life

The luxurious HP Specter x360 14 is back in a new shine: Intel’s Tiger Lake processor. The results are as impressive as we expected, with some of the fastest multicore benchmark scores we’ve ever seen.

Features pamper you just as much as speed. With its spacious screen, powerful graphics, and exceptional battery life, the Specter x360 14 will appeal to productivity enthusiasts and content creators. Fingerprint and facial recognition, a physical camera shutter, and a Thunderbolt 4 port round out the benefits.

This review is part of our roundup of the best laptops. Go there to learn about competitor products and how we test them.

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Features

Let’s take a look under the hood of the HP Specter x360 (1Q881AV) we reviewed, currently $ 1,590 on HP.com:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 Quad Core
  • Memory: 16 GB
  • Graphic: Intel Iris Xe
  • Storage room: 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
  • Show: 13.5-inch, 1920 x 1280 IPS touchscreen
  • Webcam: 720p with physical camera shutter
  • Connectivity: Thunderbolt 4, SuperSpeed ​​USB 5Gbps Type-C, SuperSpeed ​​USB 5Gbps Type-A, MicroSD memory card reader
  • Networks: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Biometrics: Infrared face recognition, fingerprint reader
  • Battery capacity: 66.5 watt hours
  • Dimensions: 11.75 x 8.67 x 0.67 inches
  • Measured weight: 3 pounds (laptop), 0.6 pounds (AC adapter)

Two other SKUs of the Specter x360 14 SKU Remover non-product are available on HP.com. A cheaper version at € 1,300 with a Core i5-1135G7 processor, 8GB of RAM instead of 16GB, and a smaller 256GB SSD with 16GB of Intel Optane memory. A more expensive model at € 1,960 has the same basic specs as our review model, except for a much larger 2TB storage unit and the addition of HP’s Sure View privacy screen. A fourth version of the Specter x360 that is exclusive to Best Buy Eliminate the non-product link with a 3000 x 2000 pixel OLED display and 1TB SSD with 32GB Optane memory.

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Our mid-range model lacks a few niceties, but it doesn’t skimp on RAM or processor. Its Core i7-1165G7 processor and its 16 GB promise to offer great power. The integrated Intel Iris Xe GPU will be a boon for mobile content creators, while the Specter x360’s 13.5-inch screen 3: 2 ratio (a first for the Specter series) will make working with long or long Word documents easier. Excel spreadsheets.

Thunderbolt 4 is one of the strongest connectivity options for Specter. There is support for Wi-Fi 6 for those with advanced routers. In addition to fingerprint and face infrared options, the box even includes a rechargeable MPP 2.0 compliant HP Tilt Pen.

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Ben Patterson / IDG

The Specter x360 14 comes with the HP Command Center suite, which allows you to manage how the laptop juggles its resources. First, Smart Sense: When your laptop is running on battery, it optimizes performance based on your open applications. You can switch to the more traditional “Balanced”, “Cool”, “Quiet” and “Power Saving” modes, while a “Performance” mode allows you to eliminate downtime.

The command center also has a network amplifier that handles QoS tasks for bandwidth-intensive applications, while a tuning mode helps you focus on the task at hand. To complement the functionality of the Command Center, an adaptive color mode adjusts the screen’s color temperature based on ambient light. The screen control can adjust the screen for color accuracy. Finally, a nifty ‘bag sense’ feature optimizes the Specter’s power consumption and keeps it cool when sitting in a bag or backpack.

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The Specter x360 14 is branded Intel Evo, which means that it is designed with certain specifications: 11th generation Core i5 or Core i7 processors, a 12 to 15-inch screen with minimum Full HD resolution, a chassis that does not exceed 15 mm thick and Intel dynamics. tuning technology, which helps maximize battery life by intelligently balancing CPU and GPU workloads.

Design

HP Specter x360 laptops have long been graceful and beautiful creatures, and this new Specter x360 14 is no different. The Specter’s gem-cut edges and gold hinges are as eye-catching as ever. The laptop has a solid, premium feel.

Ben Patterson / IDG

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Of course, “strong” is a good way of saying that the Specter x360 14 feels a bit heavy. Having been spoiled by a host of lighter systems in recent weeks, I could feel the difference. On the plus side, the Specter’s weight packs in a generous 65-watt-hour battery and, as we’ll see a bit later, that pays big dividends on AC.

Show

The HP Specter x360 14 is the first in its family to feature a 3: 2 aspect ratio on its screen. Yes, you will see a larger mailbox when watching movies in full screen, but scroll less when working on long documents or spreadsheets. It’s a fair compromise for mobile professionals.

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HP Specter x360 14 review: luxurious, with long battery life Ben Patterson / IDG

The Specter x360 14 display is a pleasure to see. It offers ultra-thin bezels and a 90.33% screen-to-body ratio, for maximum viewing space. The display supports 100% of the DCI-P2 color gamut, which, in addition to the above-mentioned adaptive color and color accuracy modes, should satisfy creative people. The IPS screen offers wide viewing angles, but if you’re looking for privacy, you can always go for the Specter SKU with the HP Sure View Privacy Screen.

Keyboard, trackpad, speakers, webcam

The keyboard on the HP Specter x360 14 offers a premium feel. Avid typists (I’m one of them) will appreciate the click keys. A laptop of this size should skip the number pad, but you get a right column for the Delete, Home, Previous / Next, and End keys.

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HP Specter x360 14 review: luxurious, with long battery life Ben Patterson / IDG

The selection of shortcut keys includes those for HP Command Center, keyboard backlight (two steps are available), and microphone mute. Another hotkey triggers the physical camera shutter. Speaking of the camera shutter, the Specter x360 14 actually gives you visual feedback when the shutter is closed, which we wish more laptop vendors would implement.

HP Specter x360 14 review: luxurious, with long battery life Ben Patterson / IDG

The touchpad on the Specter x360 14 is approximately 13% larger than previous Specter models and provides smooth and precise cursor control. Sure, a larger trackpad can attract false inputs, but even when I deliberately tapped my palms on the bottom corners of the trackpad, the cursor barely moved.

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You get two methods of biometric authentication with the HP Specter x360 14, and they both worked fine. Sitting on the keyboard next to the right Alt key is a fingerprint reader, which reads my scans reliably. An infrared camera for facial recognition is located in the upper frame of the screen. It did a good job of unlocking Windows pretty much the moment I looked at the screen, I used it almost exclusively during my tests.

The Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers on the Specter x360 14 are powered by a set of four trigger speakers. While audio is fine for Zoom calls and fine for music, don’t expect it. Listening to “The Ghost of Tom Joad” Bruce Springsteen’s replacement voice sounded relatively detailed, but the bass response was cut off, even after playing with the equalizer settings in the Bang & Olufsen audio app.

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What impressed me the most was the Specter x360 14’s 720p webcam. Videos still look grainy and smudgy, but the camera captures vivid colors with deep contrast, and the camera seems to be working overtime to reveal as much of it as possible. possible details. It will serve you well during Skype and Zoom calls.

The ports

The HP Specter x360 14 comes with a handful of ports, but these are the good ones. As with previous Specter laptops, there is a slanted Thunderbolt port in the rear right corner, but this time we are talking about Thunderbolt 4, which guarantees support for two 4K monitors or a single 8K display at 60Hz, docking stations with up to Four Thunderbolt 4 Ports and the ability to handle longer cables, including 50-meter optical cables.

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HP Specter x360 14 review: luxurious, with long battery life Ben Patterson / IDG

You also get SuperSpeed ​​USB 5Gbps Type-C and Type-A ports for legacy devices, a microSD card reader, and a combo audio jack. Interestingly, there is no laptop security slot, so think twice before leaving that laptop unattended at Starbucks (remember going to Starbucks?).

HP Specter x360 14 review: luxurious, with long battery life Ben Patterson / IDG

Click here for more information on the performance of the HP Specter x360 14

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