I have been cheating on Surface Book with the latest HP Spectre x360 15 over the last couple of weeks and it has been a lot of fun!
During Build 2015, HP and Microsoft partnered to distribute the original HP Spectre x360 to attendees and press at the developer focused conference. That initial Spectre x360 was a collaboration between Microsoft and HP that insured the device would have maximum compatibility with Windows 10 when it would be released just a few months later.
It continues to be a steadfast part of my hardware stable and since those early days has been a work horse for me as a bare metal testing machine for the Windows Insider Fast Ring builds from Microsoft.
In fact, I suspect I have only missed running just a handful of builds on that device over the last two years and like a Timex it just keeps on ticking.
What has been great over the last couple of weeks is working with the latest member of this family of devices - the HP Spectre x360 15 - and seeing that Spectre x360 lineage in this new hardware.
HP Spectre x360 (2015) and HP Spectre x360 (2017) Side by Side
When I received my review briefing for this device, I was told that customer feedback on the previous versions of the Spectre x360 played a large role in the improvements on this year's model and the attention to detail comes out in the device as you take a closer look at its construction and feel.
As you browse through these product images you will see that massive trackpad that we were all surprised by two years ago but quickly fell in love with, the responsive back-lit keyboard and its beautiful key throw for one of the best typing experiences on a portable device, and the sharp lines that distinguish the Spectre x360 line from other companies hardware.
The 2017 version of the Spectre x360 is also a full 360 convertible like its predecessors that gives you a tablet experience just by rotating the lid and keyboard away from each other. The 10 point multi-touch screen is in stunning 4K and this model ships with an Active Pen so you can take full advantage of Windows Inking across the Windows 10 operating system.
On each side of the keyboard is a unique pattern of what looks like asterisks that blend in with the dark ash silver keyboard deck and house two Bang & Olufsen speakers that produce terrific sound for your games, music, or web videos.
Under the hood they also did not skimp on the specs for this unit either:
-- Operating system: Windows 10 Home
-- Processor: 7th Generation Intel Core i7-7500U Processor. Dual-Core 2.7GHz base and up to 3.5GHz with Intel Turbo Boost. Processor cache - 4MB
-- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
-- Video Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 940MX Graphics with 2 GB DDR5 dedicated video memory
-- Solid-state drive: 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive
-- Camera: Front-facing HP TrueVision FHD IR Webcam Windows Hello compatible
-- Microphones: Integrated dual array digital microphones
-- Screen: 15.6-inch diagonal UHD UWVA Backlit (3840 x 2160)
-- Wireless: 802.11ac WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0
-- Expansion Slot: Multi-Format SD Media Card Reader
-- Ports: 1 HDMI; 1 headphone/microphone combo; 1 Thunderbolt 3 (HP Sleep and Charge); 1 USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1 (HP Sleep and Charge); 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (HP Sleep and Charge)
-- Dimensions: 14 x 9.88 x 0.7 in
-- Weight: 4.42 lb
HP states that the battery life for the Spectre x360 15 is up to 12 hours and 45 minutes and teh video playback battery life is just over 9 hours. As for my own experience with this device and its battery - I spent an entire day using just the Spectre x360 15 and after more than 8 hours of pretty steady use I still have over 30% of my battery left.
I have found myself sitting over in the corner of my podcast studio where this device is on a side desk alongside of other review units and my own extra hardware just to use it for a little work or some gaming.
Just like the first generation Spectre x360, this latest model is a pleasure to use for just about any task.