The smaller bigger convertible
An oxymoron is when you put two words together that contradict each other. Old news. Open secret. Deafening silence.
Microsoft Works. One of our favorites is ‘15-inch convertible’. If you don’t think that sounds odd, try using one. Scale up a tablet to the dimensions of a full-size laptop, with keyboard, trackpad, a processor that can run Windows 10, a fan to cool the processor, a battery to power the processor and so on… Well, you’re not going to be lying in bed holding it up to watch TV on, that’s for sure.
Sharp screen, lots of ports, great keyboard – but it’s still heavy
We’ve pointed this problem out before when testing HP’s 15in Envy x360 and Dell’s Inspiron 15 5000 hybrid. It seems HP has the solution: a 15in convertible based on its exceptionally slim and light Spectre laptop.
If anything the ‘Dark Ash’ aluminium case is even more attractive. However, a fundamental problem of the 360-degree fold-back format isn’t resolved: the wedge-shaped keyboard curves up towards the touchscreen when it’s closed, but when you fold the screen back to use it as a tablet, the front edges don’t quite meet.
The 4K screen (Full HD costs less) looks very sharp and bright, although it doesn’t offer the best color reproduction, covering 85 per cent of the sRGB color range with only fair accuracy. As a touchscreen, it works flawlessly, and a pressure-sensitive stylus is included, giving you all the benefits of Windows 10’s Tablet mode. When used as a laptop, the backlit keyboard and trackpad are excellent. The Bang & Olufsen speakers sound decent, and the wide-angle webcam has dual microphones for clear video chat.
Up-to-date Wi-Fi is built in, and there’s room for a full-size USB 3.1 port (see box right), an SD card reader, a headphone/ mic jack, and two USB Type-C ports.
These only support USB 3.0 speeds, but there’s also a Thunderbolt 3 port for pricier peripherals. One of the Type-C ports can be used for a monitor, but there’s also an HDMI socket.
With an Intel Kaby Lake i7 processor and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card, the Spectre x360 is ready for all tasks and most games, although by desktop PC standards performance won’t match a typical i5. An extremely fast SSD helps to avoid any delays, and its 512GB capacity is more generous than average.
At eight hours 13 minutes in our video playback test, battery life was very good.
HP Spectre x360 Specifications
3.5GHz Intel Core i7-7500U processor • 8GB memory • Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics • 512GB SSD • 15.6in 3840×2160-pixel touchscreen • Webcam • 802.11ac Wi-Fi • USB 3.1 port • 2x USB Type-C ports • Thunderbolt 3 port • HDMI port • SD card reader • Windows 10 • 17.9x256x251mm (HxWxD) • 2.01kg • One-year warrantyback to menu ↑
HP Spectre x360 Verdict
It’s expensive and it still weighs two kilos, but this is an attempt at a full-size laptop-tablet that we might actually buyback to menu ↑
HP Spectre x360 Alternative
Dell Inspiron 15 5000 2-in-1
Bulkier and lacks the graphics card, but more affordable. An i5 version costs
It’s expensive and it still weighs two kilos, but this is an attempt at a full-size laptop-tablet that we might actually buy