First Impressions: HP Spectre x360 13 2019

The version of the HP Spectre 13 talked about in this article is the one with a 4K screen, Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. 

Well, HP has certainly come a long way. The Spectre x360 13 (2019 version) has come across my desk, and I am more impressed than I ever thought I would be. Of course, more use will reveal some faults. But for now, here are my initial impressions:

  • The thought that was put into building this thing is amazing.
  • Top and bottom bezels are huge (sort of a turnoff). However, the side bezels are very small (sort of a turn-on).
  • This thing is so thin — almost scarily so.

The HP Spectre x360 has a very premium build.

  • I love the cut corners on the bottom, especially one where you plug in the AC Adapter.
  • The touchpad is not a Microsoft Precision touchpad. However, there are drivers you can download. It’s worth it as it makes the Spectre X360 much easier to navigate.
  • The screen is great, especially for a HP, a company not previously known for excellent contrast ratios. However, the contract ratio on this is almost as good as it is on the MacBook Pro.
  • There is no backlight bleed whatsoever when testing a black screen in complete darkness.

The Spectre x360 screen is very crisp.

  • I really like the keyboard. Not a lot of travel to the keys, but they still feel very comfortable and you can feel the tactile feedback.
  • The bottom of the device gets pretty warm. But overall, the thermals are great for such a razor-thin device.
  • The speakers are great — equal to the latest on the MacBook Pro 13. Dell could learn from HP on how to put great speakers on such a small device.
  • The Spectre x360 can be used as a tablet, but isn’t the most comfortable to use as this way. That’s okay, since HP doesn’t advertise it as a tablet.
  • I miss the Wacom pen of previous HP devices. The N-Trig is good, but produces some pen jitter like the pen on the Surface Go LTE does.
  • I love the leather case that HP includes with the Spectre x360. All companies should include a case.
  • Even though this is a hybrid device, the screen is still pretty sturdy — not a lot of shaking when typing in regular mode.
  • Photoshop on this works very well. In my full review, I will test Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • Battery life is great for a 13-inch 4K laptop.
I will have a full review of the Spectre X360 13 soon. This could be the best ultraportable laptop I’ve tested in years. We’ll see if things hold up past the honeymoon period. 

About Daryl

Daryl Deino has been a technology enthusiast since 1995 and has written for several newspapers and technology sites. Please reach him at [email protected]
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