HP Spectre X360 14 (2023) Review: 2-in-1 Convertible

The HP Spectre X360 14 convertible laptop got a boost in 2023 with the addition of a 13th generation Intel processor, specifically the core i5 1355u. While keeping its sleek design from before, it now boasts more power. The laptop’s impressive 3K by 2K OLED display ensures a captivating visual experience.

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Specifications

Display13.5″ 3kx2k (3000 x 2000) OLED, Multitouch UWVA, Low Blue Light, SDR 400 nits.
CPUIntel® Core™ i7-1355U (up to 5.0 GHz. 12MB L3 cache, 10 Cores , 12 threads)
GraphicsIntel® Iris Xe Graphics
MemoryUp to 32GB RAM
StorageUp to 2Tb PCIe NVMe™ TLC M2 SSD (4×4 SSD)
Battery4 Cell 66Wh Li-ion polymer
ConnectivityIntel® Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2×2) and Bluetoooth 5.3 wireless card
CameraHP True Vision 5MP IR Camera with Camera Shutter
Audio and SpeakerAudio by Bang and Olutson: Quad Speakers HP Auto Boost
Ports1x USB-A 10Gbps Signaling rate 2x Thunderbolt 4 with USB Type-C 40Gbps 1x microSD 1x Headphone/microphone Combo
Build, Size and WeightAll Metal Chassis, 11.73 x 8.68 x 067 in and 3.01 lb / 1.37kg
Price$1,709

Design and Build

HP Specter X360 14 Laptop Design

In the Specter X360 14 package, you’ll get the laptop itself along with a sleeve, documentation, a power cord, a 65-watt charger featuring a braided cable, a pen, and extra pen tips. The laptop is available in several colors such as Nocturne blue, Nightfall black, and natural silver.

As for its size and weight, the HP Spectre X360 14 is crafted for portability. It weighs about 1.343 kilograms (2 pounds 15.4 ounces) on its own. With the charger and sleeve included, the weight goes up to approximately 1.639 kilograms (3 pounds 9.8 ounces). This weight makes it effortless to carry and use while on the move.

Ports

HP Specter X360 14 Laptop Ports

The HP Spectre X360 14 provides a good range of ports and connections. On the left side, there’s a 3.5-millimeter combo jack for microphones and headphones, along with a USB-A port. On the right side, you’ll find a Micro SD card reader and two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports. These Thunderbolt 4 ports are versatile, supporting data transfer, charging, and display output. It’s worth mentioning that this laptop doesn’t include an HDMI port.

User Upgradeability

HP Specter X360 2023 User Upgradeability

The HP Spectre X360 14 provides users with some upgrade options. The SSD can be easily upgraded by the user, allowing for flexibility in expanding or replacing storage. Additionally, the laptop supports up to 16GB of RAM, which can be upgraded to improve overall performance and multitasking capabilities.

Related: HP ZBook Firefly 14 G10 Review

Display and Modes

HP Specter X360 14 (2023) Display

The HP Spectre X360 14 boasts an impressive display that truly stands out. Featuring a 13.5-inch OLED panel with a sharp 3K by 2K resolution, it offers breathtaking visuals characterized by vibrant colors, deep blacks, and exceptional contrast. Whether you’re watching movies, editing photos, or engaging in creative tasks, this display ensures an immersive viewing experience. Moreover, the touchscreen functionality is incredibly responsive, working seamlessly with the included pen for effortless navigation and precise input.

HP Specter X360 14 Modes

It comes with a stylus pen 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, perfect for note-taking, sketching, and creative work. It seamlessly integrates with the laptop’s touch display, providing a natural and intuitive writing experience. With its 360-degree hinge, the Spectre X360 14 offers various modes such as laptop, tablet, tent, and stand mode. These flexible modes allow users to adjust the laptop to suit their needs, whether it’s for regular laptop use, media consumption, or content presentation.

Speakers

When it comes to audio, the HP laptop features Bang and Olufsen tuned speakers with four quad speakers, delivering a commendable sound experience. The midrange and bass are particularly impressive for a Windows laptop, and I was genuinely impressed with the overall audio quality.

Keyboard and Trackpad

HP Specter X360 14 Keyboard and Touchpad

The hinges of the HP Spectre X360 14 are robust and well-built, allowing smooth and stable transitions between the different modes. The backlit keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience, with well-spaced keys and good key travel. The trackpad is large and responsive, supporting multi-touch gestures for effortless navigation and productivity.

Webcam and Fingerprint Reader

The HP Spectre X360 14 prioritizes the importance of video conferencing and multimedia content creation with its 5-megapixel infrared (IR) webcam. This webcam offers improved clarity and quality for video calls, making virtual meetings more engaging. The laptop also features a dual-array microphone setup that captures clear audio, reducing background noise for better communication. And a fingerprint reader is integrated into the laptop for secure and convenient biometric authentication.

Performance, Benchmarks and Gaming

PCMARK 105,607
GEEKBENCH 6 (Single-Core)2,362
GEEKBENCH 6 (Multi-Core)8,813
CINEBENCH R203,131
CINEBENCH R151,312 CB | 98.87 FPS
CINEBENCH R23,1.79 Single-Core | 7.858 Multi-Core
3DMARK Fire Strike4,745
3DMARK Time Spy1,754
Benchmarks

It features the Core i7-1355U, a 15-watt CPU with 10 cores, including eight efficient cores and two performance cores. In terms of single and multi-core performance, we’re seeing really good results, especially considering it’s a U-series processor. It performs well in everyday tasks like Microsoft Office, email, and web browsing. Additionally, there has been an improvement in both single and multi-core performance compared to the 1255U from last year.

However, when it comes to graphics, the Spectre x360 14 utilizes the same integrated Iris XE Graphics as the previous year’s model. Consequently, we’re getting very similar numbers in the Time Spy and Fire Strike scores from the 3DMark tests. In the Cinebench R23 test, it achieved a respectable single-core score of 1797 and a decent multi-core score of 7858. It’s important to note that there are better choices available if gaming performance is a priority. The x360 14, being a U-series processor, won’t offer the same level of gaming performance as an H or P series processor.

While it’s not designed as a dedicated gaming laptop, it’s still capable of running some popular titles at playable frame rates if you lower the settings. Additionally, the laptop features two Thunderbolt 4 ports, which allow for external GPU connectivity. However, it’s important to consider that adding an external GPU will increase the overall cost.

In summary, I wouldn’t classify the HP Spectre x360 14 as a gaming laptop, but it can handle occasional gaming with adjusted settings. Its performance in everyday tasks is impressive, and while there are better options available for gaming, the x360 14 offers versatility as a convertible laptop.

Surface Temps and Fan Noise

HP Specter X360 14 Surface Temperature

Efficient thermals are crucial for maintaining optimal performance and user comfort. The Spectre X360 14 incorporates a sophisticated cooling system to regulate temperature effectively. During regular usage, the laptop remains relatively cool, with surface temperatures that don’t become uncomfortably hot. The fan noise is generally minimal, and the laptop operates quietly in most situations, ensuring a pleasant and distraction-free experience.

Battery Life

When X360 14 comes to battery life, it has the same 66-watt hour battery as last year’s model. It achieved 11 hours and 36 minutes on the PC Mark 10 Modern Office battery test, whereas last year’s model managed 8 hours and 2 minutes on the same test, showing a nice improvement year over year. As far as video playback is concerned, it lasted for 9 hours and 48 minutes on that test, compared to 9 hours and 44 minutes from last year. However, where we are seeing a really good improvement is in everyday use, specifically on the Modern Office test, which provides a good simulation of typical battery usage. So overall, the battery performance has been pretty good.

Conclusion

Firstly, the HP Spectre X360 14’s OLED display is outstanding, and its improved battery life is a significant upgrade. The keyboard and touchpad provide an excellent user experience, and the 5-megapixel IR webcam delivers top-notch performance. Including the pen and sleeve adds extra value. The quad speakers produce rich sound, which is impressive for a Windows convertible.

However, there are some areas for improvement. The absence of a high refresh rate option may disappoint some users, and the use of LP DDR4X RAM instead of LP DDR5X RAM could affect performance slightly. The Nightfall black finish easily collects fingerprints, and under heavy usage, there’s noticeable fan noise.

The HP Spectre X360 14 offers many positives like its fantastic display, longer battery life, great input devices, and impressive camera. But there are also drawbacks such as the lack of a high refresh rate option, the RAM type, fingerprint smudges on the Nightfall black finish, and fan noise during heavy usage.

Overall, the HP Spectre X360 14 is an impressive convertible laptop, excelling in design, display quality, and performance. It’s a strong choice for professionals, content creators, and anyone seeking a premium computing experience that balances style, versatility, and productivity.

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