HP Spectre x360 13.5: A sleek, agile convertible which isn't flashy – The Hindu

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The new HP Spectre x360 13.5 could be termed as a genuine upgrade that goes head-to-head against the likes of the MacBook Air M2 and Lenovo’s Yoga 9i Gen7

The new HP Spectre x360 13.5 could be termed as a genuine upgrade that goes head-to-head against the likes of the MacBook Air M2 and Lenovo’s Yoga 9i Gen7

HP has been a staunch supporter of innovation, which is evident from its products. The company has closely analysed market conditions and people’s tech needs. Building on that experience, the company has launched the HP Spectre x360 13.5 convertible laptop. The new HP Spectre x360 is a very slim and lightweight laptop with 360-degree hinges, Intel Core i7-1255U, 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage.

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In the Box

The new HP Spectre x360 13.5 comes with a rechargeable MPP 2.0 Tilt Pen: a 5.5-inch stylus which has two buttons and a USB-C port for charging, and two replacement tips. The magnets present in the pen let it attach beautifully to the side of the display, giving the set-up a stylish look. Also, there is a USB-C mini-dock having HDMI output. 

Design

The new HP Spectre x360 13.5 is designed very elegantly, using machine-recycled aluminium. It boasts a professional office look as well as a trendy Gen Z image when folded, matching its description of a 2-in-1 laptop by giving you the feel of a laptop as well as a tab. It holds the trademark design of Spectre models, like the diagonal-cut rear corners that hold ports.

On the left side you can spot the 3.5mm audio jack and a USB 3.2 Type-A port. On the right side lies a USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 port, a second Thunderbolt 4 port and microSD card slot. The AC adapter has a USB-C plug, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth handle wireless connections. Just below the tall display one can find two hinges which rotate the display 360 degrees.

The company has used a very thin ventilation bar which lies between the two hinges. While using the laptop you must consider keeping some gap between the ventilation bar and the surface, since covering it even for a few minutes results in the laptop getting heated.

HP Spectre x360 13.5: A sleek, agile convertible which isn’t flashy

HP Spectre x360 13.5: A sleek, agile convertible which isn’t flashy
| Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

Touchpad and Keypad 

The new HP Spectre x360 13.5 has a wide and smooth touchpad. The scrolling experience is excellent and you can surf with great control without sliding too much in either direction. The click is very quiet when you execute any task with it. The keypad has been designed keeping in mind a need to increase work efficiency. Interestingly, HP has dropped a few navigation keys on the right-hand side.

On the right-hand side of the keypad, one can also spot the fingerprint sensor which adds extra security. The power button is placed on the upper right-hand side just before the delete key. The keys are made of plastic and while typing, they emit a level of sound which users may not like – especially in a high-end laptop. The keypad has RGB lighting, making it easy to use if you have to work late at night. 

Speakers 

The new HP Spectre x360 13.5 comes with quad downward firing speakers. The laptop uses Bang and Olufsen software which enhances the audio quality. You can enjoy your music and movies comfortably as the sound is very clear. There is not much bass but we still liked the quality of the sound on the laptop.

Display

Living up to its name, the HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 13.5 hints at the screen size, which is a 13.5 inch OLED display with an aspect ratio of 3:2. This aspect ratio gives a tall look to the display. It comes with a screen resolution of 3,000 x 2,000 pixels. The bezels present on the screen are very thin, offering 90% screen-to-body ratio. It goes without saying that the screen is touch enabled, which means you can scroll on the screen and carry out tasks directly, just like any tab. It is advisable to use the pen provided as it offers great palm rejection, offering a smooth experience when any tasks are performed. The pen comes with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and tilt control. The screen has a refresh rate of 60Hz which is good as it offers a convenient touch interface and enhances the surfing experience on the screen. However, we feel that the company could have used a 90Hz refresh rate, giving the new Spectre an edge over its competitors.

The screen is extremely vibrant and the colours reproduced are sharp and punchy. The videos on the screen were very detailed with a good contrast level. We did not come across any graininess as shows from Netflix were displayed in their best quality. The display has SDR 400 nits, HDR 500 nits, making it visible under any circumstances. The HP Display Control software allows the users to choose RGB, DCI-P3, Adobe RGB, or default colour modes. 

Webcam

The new HP Spectre x360 13.5 comes with a 5MP webcam allowing you to capture images in three aspect ratios – 16:9 , 4:3, and 3:2 – which you can find in the camera setting. Also, you can record videos in 1080p at 30fps.

The camera comes with the auto-frame feature which keeps your face in the centre always when you are clicking pictures or attending video calls. We liked this feature because during the office hours it helped while attending video conferences, by keeping the face centrally aligned. It also comes with backlight adjustments to ensure proper lighting when you are using the camera and also has an appearance filter which keeps any blemishes at bay.

The good thing about the camera is that it delivers detailed images with sharp colours. To supply extra light exposure, the company has added the HP Enhanced Lighting app which looks like a halo brightening the screen. We personally suggest users keep it turned off, as it only adds unwanted brightness. 

Processor and Performance

The company has used the U-series processor in the new HP Spectre x360, which is the Intel Evo Core i7-1225U. The laptop comes with 16GB of RAM and 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD storage. The graphic support is handled by the Intel Iris Xe Graphics. The laptop does very well compared to rivals, as the processor handles every task fluently. The graphic card used is not for heavy gaming. One can use the graphic power of the laptop to run Adobe designing software like Premier Pro and Photoshop.

For gaming, we would recommend users play games with average requirements as the laptop is not designed for aggressive gaming. The company has added a new thermal design, including new fans, to minimise the noise. While working on it you will barely notice any fan sound, which we liked. It is very important to keep some space for the fan to work freely. Otherwise, you will notice a gradual increase in the laptop’s temperature. 

Battery

The new HP Spectre x360 13.5 ships with 66Wh battery power which is less when compared to its rival Yoga 9i Gen7 that comes with 75Wh of battery capacity. The company claims that the laptop can take up to 13 hours and 30 minutes of video playback.

For general use with a full charge, the laptop manages to go through 9-10 hours comfortably. The laptop comes with a 65W USB Type-C power adapter. While using it, we noticed the adapter got heated. 

Conclusion

The new HP Spectre x360 13.5 could be termed as a genuine upgrade when compared to the previously launched Spectre x360 14. It goes head-to-head against the likes of MacBook Air M2 and Lenovo’s Yoga 9i Gen7. Great display, webcam, and the sleekness match the convertible design of the x360 13.5. The laptop is very fast to carry out functions, and has a long battery life, which makes it one of the most desirable laptops in its price segment. 


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