There are few notebooks as eye-catching as the HP Spectre x360 14. With its dark aluminium finish, luxurious copper accents, and sliced-off rear corners, this 2-in-1 convertible stands out from the competition. But what makes it one of my favourite laptops this year (and probably a big reason for its S$2,899 price tag) is its lovely near-bezel-less 13.5-inch OLED screen.
- 13.5-inch (3,000 x 2,000 pixels) OLED touchscreen
- Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor with 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD
- 66 watt-hour battery
Unlike the 13.3-inch version that I tested earlier this year, the HP Spectre x360 14 has a 3:2 display that offers more vertical screen real estate — better for work-related tasks. The OLED screen is unsurprisingly rich and vibrant, with a maximum screen brightness of up to 400 nits. The Spectre also automatically adjusts the colour and brightness to suit the ambient lighting. This feature works well enough, but you can also manually switch between several display modes (e.g. sRGB for Web browsing or DCI-P3 for photos and videos). In a nod to privacy, the Web camera can be blocked by a physical shutter via a Function key press.
At around 1.3kg, the Spectre is relatively light for a notebook. Its squarish form factor also feels more compact than a typical 16:9 notebook. But it's still a tad too unwieldy when used in its tablet form. The Spectre has limited ports. A Thunderbolt 4 is located at one of its rear sliced-off corners. There's also a second Thunderbolt 4 port, as well as a USB Type-A port (10Gbps), an audio jack, and a microSD card reader. I liked the tactile and bouncy keyboard. But I took a while to adjust to the extra column of keys (with Home and Page Up/Page Down keys etc) on the right. HP has also placed its fingerprint sensor (you can also opt for facial recognition) to the left of the directional keys. This is rather jarring, as this sensor is flat, unlike the other keys. The touchpad is comfortably large and responsive.
I'm a big fan of the included stylus. It attaches magnetically to the left edge of the Spectre, and is thick enough to grip comfortably. More importantly, the pen is very responsive, with almost zero latency. It feels like a real pen. The Spectre itself is responsive to use, as expected of an Intel Evo certified notebook. The laptop base does become slightly warm after extended use, but it never gets too hot to touch. HP says the Spectre can sense when it's inside a bag and automatically adjust the power setting to prevent overheating. It was certainly cool to the touch when I took it out from my bag, and woke up in around two seconds. Battery life is excellent, too. The laptop lasted 7hr 42min in a video-playback test at maximum brightness, which is very good. It should last an entire work day comfortably.
At S$2,899 (HP sells only one version in Singapore with Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD), the HP Spectre x360 14 is a pricey 2-in-1 convertible. But it is worth the price, thanks to a striking design, OLED screen, competitive performance, and good battery life. In fact, its closest rival, the Dell XPS 2-in-1 costs around S$3,000 when similarly configured (and with an LCD instead of an OLED). Buy the Spectre now at Shopee, Lazada or HP's online store.
Note: Review unit provided by HP.
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