Enlarge / The weird, gemstone-inspired edges are designed to make this laptop computer stand out.

Samuel Axon

The HP Spectre 15 x360 is an efficient laptop computer, however it appeared we at all times discovered one or two issues to quibble with.

With the 2017 mannequin, we favored some key design choices however felt let down by the efficiency and battery life. We have been greater followers of the 2018 replace, which amped up efficiency whereas additionally enhancing battery life and making the 4K show commonplace. However we felt the trackpad was awfully small and did not like that the fingerprint reader and energy button have been separate.

Now we’re working with the 2019 mannequin, and it brings an entire new design together with some quicker internals and extras like intelligent port placement and a webcam kill swap. At its coronary heart, the 2019 HP Spectre 15 x360 nonetheless seeks to perform the identical issues as its predecessors. It is an attention grabbing (if a bit cumbersome) convertible full of many of the options creatives and heavy customers of media are searching for.

Do the 2019 updates clear up among the quibbles we had in prior years? After some current testing, we will confidently say the HP Spectre 15 x360 stays a very good laptop computer—however its uncommon design might be alienating if you happen to’re simply searching for one thing easy.

Specs

Specs at a look: HP Spectre x360 15 2018

Mannequin
Worst
Greatest
As Reviewed

Display
15.6-inch 3840 × 2160 WLED touchscreen

OS
Home windows 10 Dwelling 64

CPU
Intel Core i7-8750H (6-core, 2.2GHz as much as four.1GHz)

RAM
8GB DDR4 RAM
16GB DDR4 RAM
16GB DDR4 RAM

Storage
256GB PCIe SSD
2TB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD

GPU
Intel UHD Graphics 630 + Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB

Networking
Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 combo (MU-MIMO supported)

Ports
1 USB-C Three.1, 1 USB-A Three.1, 1 HDMI 2.zero, 1 Thunderbolt Three, Three.5mm headphone jack, microSD slot

Dimension
zero.76 × 14,22 × 9.84 inches

Weight
four.eight kilos

Battery
6-cell, 84 Wh lithium-ion battery

Guarantee
1 yr; non-compulsory 2- and Three-year safety plans

Worth
$1,499
$2,419
$2,049

Different perks
Fingerprint reader, webcam with privateness swap, lively pen

The 2019 HP Spectre 15 x360 is a notable bump over its predecessor in the case of specs. All configurations now embody a six-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor with built-in Intel UHD 630 graphics. That is up from 4 cores within the earlier mannequin.

In addition they embody Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1050Ti discrete GPU with 4GB of video reminiscence, which is sweet sufficient to edit 4K video and play trendy laptop video games. As said beforehand, HP pitches this laptop computer as an choice for creatives, however this is not a workstation GPU. That distinction would solely matter to a choose few professionals, although.

Final yr, HP made the 4K 15.6-inch WLED touchscreen show commonplace. That returns right here. The display would not seem to have modified, and it is nonetheless a very good show, albeit a bit darkish—we measured the brightness at round 300 nits, which is way decrease than you may see on competing laptops just like the Dell XPS 15. That is a perplexing letdown for a laptop computer made for media creation and consumption. However, the show is sharp and the colours look good.

HP would not make any claims about P3 or sRGB colorspace protection—however once more, this is not knowledgeable workstation, it is a private machine. For that, the display is sweet sufficient. We have simply seen higher.

The laptop computer comes with 8GB DDR4 RAM commonplace, and you’ll improve to 16GB. Both must be adequate for many use circumstances for this laptop computer. There’s a variety of storage choices, and provided that it is strong state, that is the configuration choice that may ramp up the worth. Configurations begin at 256GB however go as excessive as 2TB. Our overview unit had 1TB, which, whereas pricy, appears applicable for a media laptop computer as of late—however most individuals might probably get by with the 512GB choice.

Different specs of word embody 802.11b/g/n/ac (2×2) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, a front-facing digicam, a fingerprint reader, and a six-cell, 84Wh lithium-ion battery.

Design

The very first thing you may discover when unboxing this laptop computer is its uncommon aesthetic. HP calls it a “gem-cut” look—the angles on the perimeters resemble the clear, geometric corners and sides of a gemstone, supposedly. It has a dramatic impact. It seems to be “polygonal,” for lack of a greater time period. In order for you one thing eye-catching, it does that properly.

The mix of the “gem-cut” look and the shiny, attention-grabbing copper or brass accents do give it a sure Vegas-style, over-the-top vibe that will not work for everybody. I discover it a bit a lot, to be frank, however that is purely private. Many different individuals are going to find it irresistible. I simply favored the previous look a bit higher, as I appreciated the accents in final yr’s fashions very a lot and did not really feel extra was wanted to get the purpose throughout.

That stated, the supplies do not feel low cost in any respect, which helps. For those who’re the type to need your laptop to feel and look “premium,” this convertible delivers.

The backlit keyboard is much like final yr’s mannequin, and it is nonetheless strong. It is a chiclet keyboard with 1.5mm of key journey. It has a full numeric keypad, which is able to attraction to some customers however to not others. I really feel that squeezing numpads into 15-inch laptops makes the keyboards cramped. However then, I not often if ever use the numpad even when I’ve it. For different folks, a numpad is crucial, and it is clearly a welcome inclusion in that situation.

The trackpad is much like the one in 2018’s mannequin, and it is fantastic. It nonetheless feels a bit cramped to me—that was one among Ars’ Valentina Palladino’s essential criticisms final yr—however not everybody likes large trackpads.

With dimensions of zero.76×14,22×9.84 inches and a weight of four.eight kilos, this convertible is a bit too cumbersome to comfortably use as a pill. Most 15-inch convertibles have this drawback, although. I additionally really feel the bezels are relatively giant—primarily the underside. HP says they’re 11.9-percent narrower general than final yr’s Spectre 15 x360, although.

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