HP Spectre x360 14 review: This 2-in-1 gets it all right

From its privacy features to its pen to its performance, this laptop hits all the marks.

Updated June 28, 2021 4:00 a.m. PT

Joshua_Goldman.jpg

  • More than two decades experience writing about PCs and accessories, and 15 years writing about cameras of all kinds.

CNET logo

CNET’s expert staff reviews and rates dozens of new products and services each month, building on more than a quarter century of expertise. Read how we test products and services .

spectre 14 x360

HP Spectre x360 14

  • Zippy performance with superb battery life
  • IR camera, fingerprint reader, webcam kill switch and mic mute button for increased privacy
  • Premium look and feel
  • Thunderbolt ports crowded to one side

With so many people still working from home, having a handful of office-friendly features goes a long way. For example, the 2021 version of the HP Spectre x360 14 is the company's first Spectre two-in-one with a taller 3:2-ratio display. While 16:9 wide-screen displays are nice for entertainment, a 3:2 display is roughly the same as a standard A4 sheet of paper and has about 20% more vertical viewing space than a 16:9 display. That means you do less scrolling when you're working. It also makes it more comfortable to use as a tablet, especially with the included active pen. 

But HP isn't alone with a taller display on a two-in-one.  Acer's Spin 5 , the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 , Asus ROG X13 Flow ,  Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Titanium Yoga for business and Microsoft's Surface Pro  are all excellent options. So what else does the Spectre x360 14 going for it? Quite a lot actually, and while the ones I just mentioned (and the 16:9 14-inch Lenovo Yoga 9i and Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 ) are excellent in their own ways, the Spectre x360 14 is a better balance of features, performance and design. 

 width=

HP Spectre x360 14 is a tall-screen two-in-one.

The Spectre x360 14 is not a bargain, however. It's a premium model and is priced as such, currently starting at $1,170 on HP's site . It can be set up with an 11th-gen Core i5 or i7 processor, 8GB or 16GB of memory, up to 2TB of storage and a choice between two 13.5-inch 1,920-by-1,280-pixel displays, one with 400-nit brightness and the other with 1,000-nit brightness and HP's privacy screen feature, which makes it difficult for onlookers to see what's on your screen. You can also pick one up with a 3,000-by-2,000-pixel OLED display for $1,730 . Prices for the Spectre x360 14 starts at £1,200 in the UK and AU$3,199 in Australia.

The configuration I tested sells for $1,430 and is what I would consider good for most people, although I would personally spend the extra $80 for the 1000-nit display with the integrated privacy screen. The extra brightness is nice for working outside and the additional privacy is handy on a plane, in a hotel lobby or a coffee shop. 

 width=

No flimsy build quality here.

It looks the part

Regardless of what components you go with, the Spectre x360 14 looks and feels like a premium two-in-one. Admittedly, the laptop's angular gem-cut edges and cutaway corners might not be for everyone, but they do help it stand out and actually add to the functionality. The dual-chamfer edges make it easier to grip and open the x360 from the front or sides, for example.

Also, the cutaway corner on the right side has one of the laptop's two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports. Since it charges via USB-C, the angled port allows you to charge the x360 while keeping the cord out of the way. It also helps keep your desk tidy and is nicer to use with a USB-C dock. 

 width=

All but one USB-A port are crammed into the rear right side.

The one minor complaint I have is HP put both of the laptop's USB-C ports on the same side (like a MacBook Air). Generally, it's not an issue, but since they can both be used for charging, it would be nice if the ports were split between the sides. This isn't uncommon with premium models, however, it seems like a missed opportunity to give people a little more flexibility when charging and more space for connecting other devices.

All together now

Many two-in-ones put things like the power button and volume controls on the sides so they're more accessible when used in tablet or kiosk mode. HP's done that with past x360s but not here; the power button and the webcam kill switch are now integrated into the keyboard along with a mic mute button and a fingerprint reader. 

 width=

The touchpad matches the screen ratio.

HP's keyboards on its Spectre models are some of my favorites and that's still the case here. It's comfortable, easy to read and backlit. The precision touchpad is also excellent and matches the 3:2 screen ratio. HP includes one of its full-size USB-C rechargeable MPP 2.0 tilt pens for writing and drawing on the display. It doesn't store in the body, but it magnetically attaches to help keep it from rolling off your desk. HP bundles a laptop sleeve with the laptop that has a pen loop on it for storage.

What's also nice to have included here is the depth-sensing IR camera you can use for signing in with face recognition. That way no matter which mode you're using the Spectre x360 14 in, you'll be about to unlock it just by looking at the camera. It just makes getting right to work that much easier.

 width=

The Spectre x360 14 is slim and light at 3 pounds.

All about Evo

I've tested a bunch of Intel Evo-verified laptops at this point and they've all lived up to the platform's promise. The  Evo label  means the system is tested to hit certain mobile performance requirements such as getting at least 9 hours of battery life with normal use, recharging quickly, nearly instantly waking and connecting to Wi-Fi and being just as responsive on battery power as it is plugged in. All of these things are true for this HP. 

While its performance wasn't quite as fast in our benchmark tests as other similarly configured systems, it held its own. And in general use, it certainly never felt sluggish or remotely slow. It's not a gaming laptop or meant for content creation, though it can handle casual use for both. Battery life was long, too, getting 14 hours, 22 minutes on our streaming video test and it had no problem getting through a workday and beyond with occasional breaks.

 width=

A killer combination

The HP Spectre x360 14 is unquestionably excellent. With a display that's as tall as a 15.6-inch laptop but only as wide as a 13.3-inch model, you get more vertical space to work without impacting portability. The aluminum body gives you that high-quality feel you expect at this price. It's loaded with privacy features that make it great for remote work. And with several configuration options, you can tailor it for your performance and battery life needs. If the tall screen isn't what you want, though, Lenovo's Yoga 9i is equally impressive or you can check out other options on our list of the best two-in-ones .

Geekbench 5 (multicore)

Cinebench r20 cpu (multicore), cinebench r23 cpu (multicore), pcmark 10 pro edition, 3dmark wild life extreme, streaming video playback battery drain test (minutes), system configurations, computing guides.

  • Best Laptop
  • Best Chromebook
  • Best Budget Laptop
  • Best Cheap Gaming Laptop
  • Best 2-in-1 Laptop
  • Best Windows Laptop
  • Best Macbook
  • Best Gaming Laptop
  • Best Macbook Deals
  • Best Desktop PC
  • Best Gaming PC
  • Best Monitor Under 200
  • Best Desktop Deals
  • Best Monitors
  • M2 Mac Mini Review
  • Best PC Speakers
  • Best Printer
  • Best External Hard Drive SSD
  • Best USB C Hub Docking Station
  • Best Keyboard
  • Best Webcams
  • Best Laptop Backpack
  • Best Camera to Buy
  • Best Vlogging Camera
  • Best Tripod
  • Best Waterproof Camera
  • Best Action Camera
  • Best Camera Bag and Backpack
  • Best E-Ink Tablets
  • Best iPad Deals
  • Best E-Reader
  • Best Tablet
  • Best Android Tablet
  • Best 3D Printer
  • Best Budget 3D Printer
  • Best 3D Printing Filament
  • Best 3D Printer Deals

HP’s Spectre x360 14 review: the best 2-in-1 you can buy

Perfection, for a price.

By Monica Chin , a senior reviewer covering laptops and other gadgets. Monica was a writer for Tom's Guide and Business Insider before joining The Verge in 2020.

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Best Laptop 2023: HP Spectre x360 14

I have used a heck of a lot of laptops in the past year, and some of them are quite nice. MacBooks have nailed the “premium” look and feel for years, and I’ll never waste an opportunity to gush about the build quality of Dell’s XPS line . 

But I’ve never touched a consumer laptop as gorgeous as the Spectre x360 14. The new Spectre’s sturdy black body, lustrous accents, and boldly sharp edges would make it a standout among convertible laptops across the board, even if it didn’t have a slew of other excellent qualities — which, from its 3:2 screen and packaged stylus to its stellar performance and battery life, it absolutely does.

With a starting MSRP of $1,299.99 ($1,589.99 as tested) the Spectre x360 is easily my new favorite 2-in-1 laptop. Today’s market is full of capable convertibles that look good, work well, and do certain things really well. But while the Spectre x360 14 isn’t a perfect laptop, it tops the pack in almost every area. It’s a stylish chassis, premium panel options, stylus support, a powerful processor, and fantastic battery in one. It’s proof that you can have it all — for a price. 

The HP Spectre line is second to none when it comes to design, and this latest model is no exception. Like its 13-inch predecessor , the Spectre x360 14 is made of CNC-machined aluminum. Also like its siblings, you can get the 14 in “nightfall black,” “Poseidon blue,” or “natural silver.” Take a look at some pictures before selecting your color because they each have pretty different vibes. The nightfall black option has a sophisticated, svelte aesthetic that looks tailor-made for a boardroom. Poseidon blue is friendlier and probably the one I’d go for myself. 

The accents, though, are what make the Spectre stand out from the legions of other black laptops out there. Lustrous trim borders the lid, the touchpad, and the deck. The hinges share its color, as does the HP logo on its lid. It’s bold without being obnoxious. The two rear corners are diamond-shaped, and one of them houses a Thunderbolt 4 port on its flat edge. (On the sides live an audio jack, a USB-A, a microSD slot, and an additional Thunderbolt 4, which is a decent selection — gone is the trapdoor that covered the USB-A port on the 13-inch model.) And the edges are all beveled, making the notebook appear thinner than it actually is (it’s 0.67 inches thick). Careful craftsmanship is evident here — I’m not exaggerating when I say this Spectre feels like artwork.  

The HP Spectre x360 14 sits open on top of a piano. The screen displays a blue and white background.

And, as the “x360” moniker implies, the Spectre is a 2-in-1. At 2.95 pounds, it’s a bit heavy to use as a tablet for long periods, but it’s smooth and easy to fold and the hinges are quite sturdy. Unlike with many convertibles, there’s barely any wobble when you use the touchscreen. The display is also stylus-compatible; the Spectre ships with HP’s MPP2.0 pen, which attaches magnetically to the side of the chassis.

Despite its design similarities, this Spectre looks noticeably different from its ancestors, and that’s because of the screen. The new model has a 3:2 display, which is 13 percent taller than the 16:9 panel on last year’s device. (It’s kept the same 90 percent screen-to-body ratio.)

There’s barely any wobble when you use the touchscreen

Microsoft’s Surface devices have been using the 3:2 aspect ratio for years, and I’m glad that the Spectre line is finally making the switch . If you’re used to using a 16:9 display (which many modern Windows laptops have) and you give a 3:2 a shot, you’ll see what I mean. You have significantly more vertical space, which means less scrolling up and down and less zooming out to fit everything you want to see. It makes multitasking significantly easier without adding much size to the chassis. 

This 3:2 panel can come in a few different forms. My test unit has an FHD option that HP says should reach 400 nits of brightness. I measured it multiple times, but it only reached 285 in my testing — which is dimmer than I’d hope to see from a device at this price point. I’ve reached out to HP to see what’s up and will update this review if it turns out to be a bug. (Of course, 285 nits is still more than enough for indoor office work.) 

The HP Spectre x360 keyboard angled to the right, seen from above.

In addition to the FHD display, you can opt for a 3000 x 2000 OLED panel (HP didn’t provide a brightness estimate for this one; LaptopMag measured it at 339 nits) or a 1,000-nit option with HP’s Sure View Reflect technology, which makes the screen difficult to read from the sides. This will mostly be a benefit for business users.

In terms of other specs, the base model pairs the 400-nit screen with a Core i5-1135G7, 8GB of memory, and 256GB of storage (plus 16GB of Intel Optane). Then, there are a few upgrades you can go for. My test unit, priced at $1,589.99, keeps the base model’s screen but has a heftier processor (the quad-core Core i7-1165G7) and double its RAM and storage. I think this model is a good option for most people — it gets you a top processor and a good amount of storage without too stratospheric of a price tag. If you want to get fancier, you can get the OLED screen and 1TB of storage (plus 32GB of Intel Optane) for $1,699, or the Sure View screen and 2TB of storage for $1,959.99.  

Of course, laptops aren’t just for looking at, but you’re not compromising on performance to get this build quality. The Spectre is verified through Intel’s Evo platform, which means that it offers a number of Intel-selected benefits including Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, all-day battery life, quick boot time, fast charging, and reliable performance. In my testing, it more than surpassed those standards. 

The back left corner of HP Spectre x360 14 up close.

The system handled my heavy workload of Chrome tabs, downloads, and streams speedily with no issues. Battery life was excellent; I averaged 10 hours of continuous use with the screen around 200 nits of brightness. That means if your daily tasks are similar to mine, the Spectre should make it through your workday with no problem. (You’ll likely get less if you opt for the OLED panel.) The processor also includes Intel’s Iris Xe integrated graphics. While you wouldn’t want to use those for serious gaming, they’re capable of running lighter fare. 

Elsewhere, I have almost no complaints. The backlit keyboard is snappy with a solid click — it’s easily one of my favorites. The speakers sound good, with very audible bass and percussion. There’s a fingerprint sensor to the left of the arrow keys and a Windows Hello camera, neither of which gave me any trouble.

I have almost no complaints

Apart from the dimness, there are only two things about this laptop that I’m not in love with. They’re both minor; the fact that I’m even mentioning either of them in this review is a testament to how excellent this device is. 

The first is the touchpad. It’s quite smooth and roomy (16.6 percent larger than that of last year’s Spectre x360 13) and handles scrolling and gestures just fine. But it’s noticeably stiffer than some of the best touchpads on the market. The press required to physically click is firm enough that I ended up doing it with my thumb most of the time. On the likes of the Dell XPS 13 and the MacBook, clicking with a finger is much less of a chore. When I first clicked with the integrated buttons, I also had to overcome some initial resistance to hit the actuation point (put plainly, every click felt like two clicks). This issue resolved itself during my second day of testing, but it’s still a hiccup I generally only see with cheaper items. 

The HP Spectre x360 angled to the right, seen from above, with the lid half closed.

Secondly, bloatware. There are a number of junk programs preloaded onto the Spectre and several pinned to the taskbar. Dropbox, ExpressVPN, McAfee, and Netflix are all on here, and I got all kinds of notifications from them. This is an oddity at this price point, and seeing cheap McAfee alerts popping up on the Spectre is like seeing really ugly bumper stickers on a Ferrari. This software doesn’t take too long to uninstall, but I’m disappointed to see it nonetheless. 

But those are really the only two complaints I have, and neither of them should stop you from buying this laptop. It’s beautiful to look at and a dream to use. I found myself using it in my free time instead of my personal device (which almost never happens with review units — I really like my products). 

Agree to Continue: HP Spectre x360 14

Every smart device now requires you to agree to a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us to read and analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to hit “agree” to use devices when we review them, since these are agreements most people don’t read and definitely can’t negotiate.

To start using the HP Spectre x360 14, you’ll need to agree to the following:

  • A request for your region
  • A request for your keyboard layout
  • License agreements for Windows, HP, and McAfee

You can also say yes or no to the following:

  • Microsoft account (can be bypassed if you stay offline)
  • Windows Hello fingerprint recognition and face recognition
  • Privacy settings (speech recognition, location, Find My Device, sharing diagnostic data, inking and typing, tailored experience, advertising ID)
  • Customize your device for gaming, schoolwork, creativity, entertainment, family, or business
  • Sync an Android phone
  • OneDrive backup
  • Allow Microsoft to collect and use information for Cortana’s personalized experiences and suggestions, including: location and location history, contacts, voice input, speech and handwriting patterns, typing history, search history, calendar details, content and communication history from Microsoft services, messages, and apps
  • Provide your name, region, and contact information to HP
  • Allow HP to use information about your system to provide customer support, and enable your PC to show HP contact options, warranty information, and support messages
  • Allow HP to use information about your system to improve HP products and services
  • Allow HP to use your contact details and information about your system to send personalized news and offers

That’s six mandatory agreements and 20 optional agreements to use the Spectre x360 14.

When we’re evaluating a convertible laptop at the Spectre’s price point, the big question is how it compares to the gold standard of Windows convertibles, the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 . The XPS has a few advantages: it’s a bit thinner and lighter, its touchpad is less stiff, and it has a more modest look that some users might prefer. 

But for me, the ball game is close but clear. The Spectre x360’s meticulous craftsmanship, classy aesthetic, and 3:2 screen put it over the top. It also edges out the XPS in a few key areas: the keyboard is more comfortable, the battery life is better, and Dell’s closest-priced configuration to this unit only has half its storage. The Spectre’s smaller amenities that the XPS lacks — like the bundled stylus, the USB-A port, the blue color, and the OLED option — are icing on the cake. 

If you’re looking for a premium Windows convertible with a classy aesthetic, that makes the Spectre a no-brainer purchase. This is HP at its best; it’s a luxury laptop in pretty much every area. I can’t imagine that it won’t be the next laptop I buy. 

Photography by Monica Chin / The Verge

How crowded are the oceans? New maps show what flew under the radar until now

Microsoft’s new copilot key is the first big change to windows keyboards in 30 years, dell’s xps laptop lineup is about to look very different, the xbox series s toaster is real, lg just made the fastest oled gaming display yet.

Sponsor logo

More from Reviews

Green OnePlus Open folded partway on a green background.

OnePlus Open review: right size, wrong price

spectre 14 x360

The best instant cameras you can buy right now

A photo of Bose’s QuietComfort Ultra Headphones.

Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones review: predictable excellence

The newest product from Smart Thermostat company Ecobee is a smart video doorbell that uses radar and computer vision to tell you when there’s a person or a package at your door, but nothing else.

Ecobee Smart Doorbell Camera review: even better with the thermostat

HP Spectre x360 14 review

This hp 2-in-1 packs beauty and brawn into a svelte package well-suited for work and play.

HP Spectre x360 14 review

Tom's Guide Verdict

This 2-in-1 laptop combines beauty, brawn, and brains to create the ultimate entertainment center and workhorse.

Excellent sound quality

Stellar display

Intuitive touchscreen and pen controls

Ultra portable

Very expensive

No 10-key option

Pen input finicky for left-handed users

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Price: $1,669 as reviewed CPU:  Intel Core i7-1165G7 Display:  14-inch 1920 x 1280 FHD (as tested) or 3000 x 2000 OLED touchscreen Battery:  12:11 (tested) Memory:  16GB Storage:  256GB to 512GB SSD Dimensions:  11.75 x 8.67 x 0.67 inches Weight:  2.95 pounds

The HP Spectre x360 14 is a powerhouse of a convertible laptop, featuring top-tier hardware that provides excellent performance for both work and play. Available in three colors (silver, black, and navy blue) and sporting an ultra-thin profile of just .67 inches, the HP Spectre x360 brings a touch of sophisticated style that perfectly complements its internal components. Whether your office is wherever you happen to be that day, or you're looking to upgrade your home laptop, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option.  

Buyers be warned though, this 2-in-1 laptop comes at a steep price. The entry-level models start at $1,369 (though HP is discounting that to $1,249 at time of publication), meaning many customers will be left searching for more affordable options. However, if you're willing to spend a bit more to get a quality laptop that will serve you well for years to come, or just want to be able to buy the best of the best no matter the cost, the HP Spectre x360 14 is an excellent option. 

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Pricing and availability

As mentioned earlier, this laptop's impressive power and gorgeous design comes at a high price. With a starting price of $1,369 it's comparable to laptops like the Core i7 Dell XPS 13 ($1,259) and the MacBook Pro 13 ($1,299). You can pick one up through the official HP store, the Intel website, or you can try your luck at major retailers if you're hoping to get lucky with a good deal or sale price. 

I tested the $1,669.99 version loaded up with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 2.8GHz quad core CPU (that can be overclocked to 4.7GHz), 512GB solid state drive, 16GB RAM, integrated Intel Xe Graphics, and 14-inch FHD touchscreen display. 

It comes packaged with a rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen, which is perfect for digital artists or anyone who prefers to take handwritten notes during class or meetings, as well as a faux leather protective sleeve to prevent damage while it's packed away in your backpack, tote bag, or carry-on luggage. I suggest springing for the 1TB SSD and 2K OLED screen options to ensure that you have plenty of space for projects and optimal color ranges if you work with photography, video, or graphics.  

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Design

The chassis for the HP Spectre x360 14 is made of machined aluminum and is available in three colors. The Poseidon Navy model I was able to test looks stunning, and was the envy of the household.

The 180-degree hinges feel sturdy and solid while folding the laptop into tablet mode or back into traditional laptop mode; there is virtually zero side-to-side play, which is great for long-term durability.

The laptop weighs just under 3 pounds, and manages to pack a 14-inch screen into an 11-inch housing; measuring just 0.67 inches thin, this laptop easily slips into almost any bag for commutes, business travel, or heading to the library to finish a term paper.

The included protective sleeve is made of sleek, black faux leather with plenty of cushioning to protect your hefty investment from flexing, scratches, and minor bumps and knocks.

The included rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen looks and feels like a high-quality traditional ink pen, and the input buttons are perfectly placed for use in either the left or right hand; the pen comes with two additional nibs for quick and easy replacement if one becomes damaged or worn.

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Ports

The model I tested featured two USB-C ports for both connectivity and charging, a USB Type-A port, headphone/microphone jack, microSD card reader, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless peripheral and device connections.

However, the Bluetooth 5.0 connection only allows for setting up 2 simultaneous devices; bad news for anyone who has invested in multiple wireless peripherals like headsets and mice, or needs to connect multiple mobile devices to their laptop. 

With Wi-Fi 6 compatibility you can take advantage of next-gen wireless internet speeds in order to transfer files to and from cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive, making external physical storage a moot point. It's also perfect for anyone who has frequent video calls and virtual meetings and needs a fast, reliable connection.

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Display

You can choose between a 1920 x 1280 FHD or a 3000 x 2000 OLED touchscreen for your new Spectre x360 14. For most applications at work or at home, the full HD screen will be just fine. HP claims it can deliver up to 1000 nits of brightness, depending on your customization options, meaning that you'll be able to watch videos or drop into virtual meetings and visual calls in almost any lighting environment. It also has incredibly wide viewing angles.

The screen gets bright enough for most settings, and in our testing we recorded an average brightness of 365 nits across the whole display. That's as good as Apple's latest MacBook Air (365 nits) but a bit short of competitors like the Dell XPS 13 (469 nits). The colors look great, too; in our testing the HP Spectre x360 14 with a 1920 x 1080 FHD display covered 105.3% of the sRGB color spectrum, beating out the XPS 13 (97.9%) but falling behind the MacBook Air (114%).  

I tested our review unit with YouTube and Hulu in both tablet and laptop mode, and even at extreme side angles, colors remained vivid and true-to-life. If you're a digital artist or work in video production, you may want to spring for the OLED touchscreen for more consistent brightness and enhanced color and detailing. 

Both options are made with Gorilla Glass for durability when using touch controls either with your hands or the Tilt Pen. The glass feels smooth and sturdy, with very little flex, so you won't have to worry about damaging your screen when you swipe, write, or tap away at your programs and files.

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Keyboard and Tilt Pen

The chiclet-style keyboard has an ultra-low profile that feels great to type on, though if you're used to mechanical or optical switch keyboards, it may feel a bit "mushy" and takes some getting used to. It has two levels of backlighting to make it easy to type in almost any setting, and you can turn off the backlight completely for bright rooms or when it would be a distraction, like in a meeting. 

Both the display and trackpad allow for intuitive gesture controls; you can pinch to zoom, swipe, and tap the screen, and the trackpad allows for pinch zoom and quick scrolling. Taking notes with the Tilt Pen feels almost identical to writing with traditional pen and paper, and the program that parses handwriting into digitized text is great at picking out words and letters even if you're like me and have horrible penmanship. 

If you're left-handed, you may want to use sticky keys to lock the Windows Start button and taskbar so you don't accidentally close out of your document or art program in the middle of a project. While a minor annoyance, it doesn't detract from the ease of use offered by the Tilt Pen for when you want to make comments on a report or PowerPoint, write yourself a to-do list, or knock out some preliminary sketches for clients. The pen has two input buttons that can act as right and left click would on a mouse or they can be customized to suit whichever program you're working in for personalized shortcuts; this is great for quickly switching brushes in Photoshop or effects in Lightroom.

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Audio

HP partnered with Bang & Olufsen to pack some high-quality audio into this slim little laptop. The four-speaker array located above the keyboard delivers clean, clear sound in both laptop and tablet mode. 

While many laptop speakers can sound "tinny" or have a "buzz" at high volumes, the Bang & Olufsen speakers sound amazing even at full volume. Everything from dialogue in movies and shows to industrial noise rock and techno comes through crisp and clear. I put on some podcasts and personal playlists while doing chores around the house and was able to hear everything clearly even in other rooms across the house. 

The HP Audio Boost software included with the laptop allows you to create custom audio mixers to suit your tastes in music and switch between several presets quickly and easily when you're in the mood for something different.  

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Performance

The Intel Core i7 CPU in our review unit can handle just about anything you can throw at it, from typical work programs like Google Docs, PowerPoint, and Chrome to streaming movies, music, and even casual gaming.

While I wouldn't classify the Spectre x360 14 as a gaming laptop, you shouldn't have any issues playing games like Minecraft, Among Us, or Fortnite for a few hours with friends. More graphically-demanding games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will definitely push the laptop to its limits, so maybe keep that to your desktop or console. 

In terms of raw numbers, the HP Spectre x360 14 review unit we tested put up a respectable average score of 4,937 in our Geekbench 5 general performance test, beating the similarly-priced Asus ZenBook Flip S UX371 (3,880) but falling behind competitors like the Dell XPS 13 (5,254).

The SSD is speedy enough, as evidenced by the fact that in our file transfer test (which measures how fast a laptop clones 25GB of files) the Spectre x360 14 moved files at a decent clip of 764MBps. That's decent, but behind competitors like the Dell XPS 13 (806MBps) and the ZenBook Duo 14 (921 MBps).

If you're looking to edit video on the go, know that our Spectre x360 14 review unit performed decently in our Handbrake video editing test, converting a 4K video to 1080p in just over 17 minutes. That's better than the 18 minutes it took our Dell XPS 13 review unit to complete the same task, but far slower than the 7:44 it took the MacBook Air to get it done.

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Battery life

This laptop sports an updated 4-cell lithium-ion battery that HP rates at 21.5 hours running video playback; our web surfing tests put the battery life just north of 12 hours, which is more realistic for a typical work day. That's better than the Dell XPS 13 (11:7 as tested) and nearly as good as the Lenovo Yoga 9i (11:15 as tested). More importantly, it means you can go all day, or several days, before you need to even think about plugging in. 

When you do need to top up your battery, the USB-C port supports rapid charging, giving you up to 50 percent battery in just 45 minutes, so you can recharge over your lunch break or while you're in a meeting.  

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Security

The model I tested had what I consider to be baseline options for security in work and home laptops. It had a physical camera shutter and dedicated mute button for the integrated microphone, which is helpful for both virtual meetings and making sure no one peeks into your office or listens in on your calls without you knowing. 

If you deal with sensitive information or creative projects, the integrated fingerprint reader creates a password-free log-in shortcut for important programs, files, and accounts to prevent theft and unauthorized access. The integrated webcam has infrared capabilities and works with Windows Hello to allow facial recognition for another layer of protection.  

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Cooling

Since this is a slim 2-in-1 laptop, there isn't much room for air or liquid cooling to keep the machine running at optimal temperatures. However, the built-in fans do a decent job of drawing waste heat away from vital components like your CPU and forcing it out of the vents in the bottom of the laptop. 

During typical office work, the laptop doesn't ever get too warm to the touch, and the fans stay fairly quiet, which is great for anyone who works in an open-concept office or shares workspace with others. The HP Command Center app allows you to choose from four fan operation presets or manually control the cooling fan to suit your work. You can also use this app to monitor your fan speed and CPU temperature to catch problems before they escalate.  

HP Spectre x360 14 review: Verdict

The HP Spectre x360 14 is a great long-term investment for anyone looking to upgrade their mobile workstation. You can customize the laptop's configuration on the HP official store site for the optimum balance between power, performance, and design. 

Of course, if you're not tied to Windows, the Apple MacBook Air with M1 will give you better battery life, better colors, and better photo/video editing performance for roughly the same price.

On the flip side, MacBook users looking to move to a Windows-based computer will love the familiar feel of the HP Spectre x360 14's keyboard and USB-C connections as well as the gorgeous FHD and 2K OLED displays. The 2-in-1 convertible form factor is ideal for anyone who wants to streamline their workflow and eliminate redundant devices like tablets; the 180-degree hinges make it a breeze to switch from a traditional laptop to a tablet for watching videos or drawing. 

While the price is steep, the top-notch components are worth the extra cash in order to keep up with current and next-generation graphics and processing needs as well as internet and wireless connectivity. 

Apple Vision Pro launch ‘imminent’ — here's what we know

New malware attack is so nasty it can hijack your Google account using expired cookies — how to stay safe

JMGO N1 Ultra review

Most Popular

By Richard Priday December 18, 2023

By Rory Mellon December 17, 2023

By Mark Knapp December 14, 2023

By Tony Polanco December 14, 2023

By Alex Wawro December 14, 2023

By Helen McCue December 14, 2023

By Jason England December 13, 2023

By Alex Wawro December 12, 2023

By Jason England December 12, 2023

By Kelly Woo December 11, 2023

IMAGES

  1. HP Spectre x360 14 review

    spectre 14 x360

  2. HP Spectre x360 14 Review: The 2-in-1 Convertible, Perfected

    spectre 14 x360

  3. The new HP Spectre x360 14 brings a gorgeous 3:2 OLED display and packs

    spectre 14 x360

  4. HP Spectre x360 14 review: OLED, quad speakers, and a whole lot of

    spectre 14 x360

  5. HP Spectre x360 14 review: SO close to the perfect Windows laptop

    spectre 14 x360

  6. HP Spectre x360 14-ea0147nf Bleu

    spectre 14 x360

VIDEO

  1. UNBOXING SPECTRE X360 14-ef0072TU 2 IN 1 LAPTOP!!

  2. 🔥My first digital drawing ever! Made on HP Spectre 14 x360 #drawing #art #fyp #arttok

  3. HP Spectre x360

  4. Ноутбук HP Spectre x360 14 первый обзор на русском

COMMENTS

  1. HP Spectre x360 14 review: This 2-in-1 gets it all right

    Tech Computing HP Spectre x360 14 review: This 2-in-1 gets it all right From its privacy features to its pen to its performance, this laptop hits all the marks. Updated June 28, 2021 4:00...

  2. HP Spectre x360 14 review: the best Windows 2-in-1

    9 Verge Score HP Spectre x360 14 $ 1159.06 The Good Beautiful design Great battery life 3:2 display with OLED and 1,000-nit options The Bad It’s not cheap Touchpad is a bit stiff Comes with...

  3. HP Spectre x360 14 Review

    The Spectre x360 14 (starts at $1,299.99; $1,699.99 as tested) is an elegant convertible laptop that ditches the older system's 13.3-inch touch screen—and its familiar 16:9 aspect ratio—for a...

  4. HP Spectre x360 14 review

    This 2-in-1 laptop combines beauty, brawn, and brains to create the ultimate entertainment center and workhorse. Check Amazon Pros + Excellent sound quality + Stellar display + Intuitive...

  5. hp spectre x360 14

    "hp spectre x360 14" in Laptops. Search all categories instead. Get it fast 3 items Sort By: HP - Spectre 2-in-1 13.5" 3K2K OLED Touch-Screen Laptop - Intel Evo Platform - Core i7 - 16GB Memory - 1TB SSD - Nightfall Black Model: 14-ef2023dx SKU: 6532927 (95) $1,749.99 Open-Box: from $1,449.99