Though recent reports would have you think that the time is coming to a close, there's no denying the effect of Microsoft's Surface Pro. You may even argue that it is because of the Surface that we have seen an influx of Windows tablets within the last couple of years.
Thus, it is reasonable that any of the Washington-based company's Windows 10 spouses might want to replicate this type of winning tablet design. Of course, exactly that has happened. Lenovo did it using the Miix 510, Acer's performed it using the Switch 3 -- hell, even long-time Android supporter Samsung has established game using its Galaxy Book.
Today HP is at it. Well, at it again, because this is just the latest iteration of the Spectre x2. Previously posited as an inexpensive option to the Surface Pro, it is nothing but. Starting at an competitive $1,149 (£1,349, AU$2,299) price point, the HP Spectre x2 intimidates with more than its gorgeous gold-and-black aluminum end.
Pricing and availability
To be fair, the purchase price of the HP Spectre x2 is not too loathsome once you think about the logistics of everything you are paying for. For $1,299, the setup we reviewed comes stacked with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i7-7560U processor, 8GB of RAM plus a capacious 360GB of solid-state (SSD) storage area.
Pair those facets having a gorgeous, 3,000 x 2,000 '3K 2K' bezel-less display, and you also get a more-than-competent slate.
Comparatively, the Surface Pro is $1,599 (£1,549, AU$2,204) to get a marginally better 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-7660U, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD plus a difficult-to-memorize 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display. On the other hand, the accessible HP Spectre x2 models differ ever so subtly in the United Kingdom and Australia.
In old Blighty, there is just 1 version of the HP Spectre x2 accessible, so you like it. It packs the identical i7-7560U processor and 8GB of RAM, but with a different 512GB of flash memory along with also a £1,349 asking cost. As of the writing, that also covers a three-year Care Package for repairs if anything go awry.
Back in Australia, the HP tablet starts at $2,299, albeit sporting only a 2.2GHz (up to 3.4GHz) i5 CPU and 256GB of SSD space. Otherwise, you are able to shell out a whopping $3,299 for the i7-7560U, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage you'd find for significantly more affordable in other areas.
While the entry Surface Pro may appear more enticing at $799 (£799, AU$1,079), that enticing amount frees you the caveat of a mobile-class Intel Core m3-7Y30 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage area. Hardly a game for the specs featured in almost any one of HP's spectacularly souped-up Spectre x2 models.
One of the best parts of owning an HP Spectre x2 is flaunting it in a coffee shop or library. Those familiar with HP's other offerings will probably comprehend its own illuminant appearance from the HP Spectre and Spectre x360 15 earlier it. The Spectre x2 is not as posh.
Trimmed with a gold rack along with also a chic logo to suit, the HP Spectre x2 is a design accomplishment. It surely does not make the exact same error as the Lenovo Miix 510, a more clear derivation of the Surface Pro, by efficiently enabling it to flourish separate from its main tastemaker. It is a practically bezel-less attractiveness that manages to ruin the idea that gold is gaudy.
In reality, not one of the problems we experienced with the HP Spectre x2 must do with its own design kind in any way, but rather its function is to blame for the -- albeit scarce -- technical flaws that came our way. The most tragic of these is at the trackpad. Oh, the trackpad. It is broad and total functional, yet this cursor controller finally overstays its welcome.
Do not think about seats this tablet slightly off the border of your desk or desk. On our review unit , the HP Spectre x2 might be audibly and haptically clicked from either side out the trackpad, absent the requirement to touch it.
That's right, by pressing down beside the trackpad, to its left or its right, the machine will still enroll a click. You may imagine just how much of a hassle that is if your palms are rested under the keyboard.
Besides that, the HP Spectre x2 is a pleasure to use. The magnificent display is more vibrant than that of Microsoft's laptop replacement, and of course the above magnetic keyboard and Active Stylus Pen are bundled in the package. Plus, we've got a microSD card slot that a headphone jack and 2 USB-C ports to work together -- port included.
Even better, there are just two cameras on-board , one to be used as a normal webcam also, the other, an infrared detector for Windows Hello decorative recognition-based logins. The latter worked well in our experience, even though needing to reconfigure it periodically if the reviewer would eliminate or replace his eyeglasses.
It is a wonder that the Spectre x2 includes a stylus in any way, yet we must complain where it is expected. This is not the Surface Pen. Here is the HP Active Pen, a dual-button drawing and writing instrument that supports just 2,048 pressure points of sensitivity, instead of the 4,096 of the Surface Pro.
However, 2,048 pressure levels is not anything to scoff at. It is the exact same amount you could count on from a Wacom Cintiq tablet. Once heralded as the pencil tablet to finish each of pen tablets, but the Cintiq has fallen behind the times in the past couple of years. Therefore, to state that the HP Spectre x2 shares its own sensitivity spec will garner a'so what?' from Microsoft.
Whether there are just two key takeaways in our review of the HP Spectre x2, it is that the tablet is fine and it is strong. Its i7 processor does not boast as much horsepower as that of the most recent rendition of the Surface Pro; however, a morsel of information that really represented from the benchmarks we conducted.
In 3DMark Sky Diver, an evaluation created for pushing the limitations of DirectX 11 in your PC, the HP Spectre x2 netted 4,238 points, instead of the 6,431 attained from the Surface Pro. At the more CPU-centric Cinebench test, the Spectre x2 achieved 351 points beside the Surface Pro's 414 points.
That's not to mention the Spectre x2 is lacking from any means of the word, just that HP chosen to get a more conservative i7 chip in its own tablet than Microsoft failed at the Surface Pro. This was probably in a bid to keep the price down while still being able to brandish its slate for with an i7.
The HP Spectre x2 still played better than the i5-equipped Lenovo Miix 510, wherein we watched 3,269 and 323 points in Sky Diver and Cinebench, respectively.
In real-world applications, it is sufficive to state that these numerical differences between the HP Spectre x2 along with the Surface Pro do not matter all that much. They're both exceptionally competent flagship machines that could double as your own tablet as well as your PC, effectively replacing every in the event that you're so inclined.
The more important issue would be, how long could you expect to use the HP Spectre x2 without its clunky power jack before the lights go out? Regrettably, the solution isn't long.
Only 2 hours and 40 minutes. That's how long it continued from the PCMark 8 Conventional battery life evaluation. That's a simulation of regular productivity tasks you could participate in throughout the day, such as word processing and photo editing. That's long enough to get a brief school essay composed -- double-spaced -- but it is far from an all-day battery.
Today, 4 hours and 45 minutes is how long the HP Spectre x2 continued within our own TechTnet film evaluation. That's the one where we loop Guardians of the Galaxy at VLC player at 50% brightness before the machine dies. That's a substantial amount longer than that which we found from the PCMark 8 evaluation, but it is only useful for deciding the battery lifetime in badly passive use cases.
Thus, from 10:20 AM to 2:45 PM, we could watch a film, and nothing else, about the HP Spectre x2. More demanding tasks, such as video editing and gaming, will assuredly kill the battery much faster, which makes this kind of tablet you are going to need to stay plugged in to the majority of your time with that.
Really, the HP Spectre x2 can not keep up with the Surface Pro in terms of battery life. That's saying something, too, believing we had been somewhat underwhelmed by the 4 hours 3 minutes/6 hours and 58 minutes we pumped out of Microsoft's tablet. Of course, after toying around in its own energy settings, you can probably make it last longer by switching to a performance limiter.
The HP Spectre x2 is nouveau riche, clad with darling looks distinguished by the contest. It could be somewhat weaker than the nearest Surface Pro Setup it rivals, but it is also less costly in the United States and UK. Au contraire, the meticulous trackpad and pedestrian battery lifetime see that the Spectre x2 is a job to use on the go.
Whereas the Surface Pro attracts greater penmanship and battery lifetime into the table, the HP Spectre x2 is a testament to value and fashion to the high-end for Windows 10 tablets.