hp-spectre-x360-15__heroPitched by HP as a (literally) flexible computer with an “exquisite craftsmanship”, we were curious to see how the HP X360 15.6” felt like in the real world and if it could live up to the legend. We took it for a spin at Mobile world Congress – there’s nothing like a real world situation such as a trade show coverage to see what a laptop is made of. In this review, we go over the all-metal industrial design, the 360-degree hinge and the overall performance and value proposition of HP’s Spectre X360 15”.

Industrial Design

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The HP Spectre x360 design allows it to go from laptop to tablet mode by rotating the display all the way. This design choice makes it a real competitor for Lenovo, which introduced the “multimode” idea with the YOGA line of products.

hp-spectre-x360-15__05The 360-degree swivel design makes the computer feel like a completely normal premium computer (and not a 2-in-1 tablet) while the tablet mode or tent mode makes the Spectre x360 nice to use if space is cramped (long flight), especially when reading documents or watching movies.

"AN ALL-METAL DESIGN WHICH FEELS VERY NICE AND EXTREMELY RIGID"

The pure tablet mode is better on real “detachable” 2-in-1 tablets, but the x360 design has a better ergonomy in productivity mode. HP has other 2-in-1 models to address specific needs.

hp-spectre-x360-15__12The Spectre x360 15” is an all-metal design which feels very nice and extremely rigid. There’s a shiny HP logo behind the screen, and the bottom is where the cooling vent is. Screws retain the back cover, and it seems possible to open the laptop to access the motherboard (I haven’t opened it). There are two speaker grills in the back, but the main ones are in the front.

Ports

On the left side, you will find the Power connector, one USB 3.0 slot, the 3.5mm audio jack, the full-size SD card reader and the Power button. That’s also where the hot air exhaust exits.

The right side has two more USB 3.0 ports, one USB C port, along with one micro Display Port (DP) and one full-size HDMI connectors. The volume rocker is on that side too.

  • 3x USB 3.0
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x mini-DP
  • 1x USB-C 3.0

Keyboard

hp-spectre-x360-15__10Opening the laptop reveals the keyboard which is painted with a grey metallic color to match the overall appearance of the laptop. I really like the key travel depth and the overall feel of the keyboard.  They keyboard quality is very important to me since I spend most of my time writing and answering emails.

The keys also don’t become greasy over time. I mention this because I’ve seen many keyboard designs have that problem. The key layout is classic, and you will have no problem adapting to it.

On either side of the keyboard, there are two large speaker grills. If you look closely, you will see that HP has worked with Bang and Olufsen to tweak the audio for this laptop. In general, bigger laptops have an inherent advantage with sound volume and quality because there’s more space to build the air intake and to place larger speakers. It’s all about “pushing air” at the end of the day.

Trackpad

hp-spectre-x360-15__11The trackpad is very large. At 5.5” x 2.5”, it’s one of the largest that I have used to date. The glass surface is also very smooth to the touch, and it looks like HP has made a particular effort to make it as comfortable as possible. If you use many trackpad gestures to boost your productivity, this detail should score some serious points.

You can click on the lower left/right of the trackpad to emulate the corresponding mouse buttons. The amount of force required seems just right to me: not too stiff, not too soft — and the trackpad is so wide that there’s no way to click the wrong side by mistake.

Filed in Computers >Reviews. Read more about HP and Laptop Reviews.

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