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HP Spectre x360 16 (2021) Review

HP Spectre x360 can give you a lot of features if you’re in the market for a notebook that balances style and substance with a reasonable price. HP’s Spectre laptops have a distinctive structure and come in four dimensions, with 13-, 14-, 15- and 16-inch screens.

One of the best HP laptops might be the right purchase for you. After all, they pack as much of a punch as the competition and look just as sharp while saving you some money.

The best HP portables can, for instance, go toe-to-toe with the most popular offerings from Apple and Dell. But, they offer more than an affordable price tag and solid performance.

HP’s Spectre laptops are as feature-rich as any other laptop on the market and fill in just about every computer-related niche there is. So, whether you need a budget-friendly Chromebook, a 2-in-1, or a business laptop, you’ll find something in HP’s lineup that will do the job. And, you can find models for every budget, whether you want a kitted out powerhouse or budget model to get you online.

The Convertible 16-inch HP Spectre x360 has a Core i7 processor, an OLED touch screen, and a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU. This model commands 1,999.99 (inc. VAT) in the UK. The Spectre x360 16 initiates at $1,549.99 for a Core i7 model with integrated graphics in the US.

The appearance is solid, with recycled CNC aluminum delivering a rugged chassis. HP loads a sleeve to shield the chassis from little tinkles and scratches. No doubt, given its 16-inch screen, this is a significant and relatively heavy laptop. It gauges 24.53cm wide by 35.8cm deep by 1.99cm broad and weighs 2.01kg. Moreover, the power brick is lumpy.

HP Spectre x360 delivers the rear corners an angled configuration, using this component to cabin a team of ports — 3.5mm headset jack on the left & USB-C on the right. It doesn’t push for the most fantastic cable arrangement, but it reflects distinctive.

You will feel good to have a MicroSD card reader on the right-hand side. It has a full-size HDMI connector, a single USB-A port, two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, and a 3.5mm headset jack. A hinged cover partially covers the USB-A. Both USB-C ports are always obtainable with the battery charged via a round-pin connector.

HP asserts to have up to 9 hours plus battery with ‘mixed usage’ for the 83Wh. A fully charged battery operates for three hours using web apps, streaming video, and sometimes audio. Nevertheless, charging gives a positive experience. 

The ‘x360’ in the name suggests that the HP Spectre x360 screen spins round to face outwards for use in tablet mode. However, performing in tablet mode isn’t incredibly comfortable on a 16-inch device. It’s hefty to fit in the lap or the arm of a chair. However, sitting on a table facing away from a downward-facing keyboard works well for content consumption. It’s the characteristic trade-off between screen size and usability.

The screen and speakers are excellent, which will help both productive and leisure use cases. The Bang and Olufsen speakers produce plenty of volume with no warping, pushing sound outwards through grilles on the front base with an upward chassis angle. It provides full access to audio in both laptop and tablet modes. An AI-enabled noise reduction system also sets in during video calls.

The screen is sounder than good — it’s superb. UHD+ with 3,840 x 2,400, 283ppi OLED touch screen maxes out at 400 nits. It offers sharp and bright — even when running on battery power.The HP Spectre x360 lets you know when its time to take a break with a screen time reminder.

The screen bezels could be more limited, with top and bottom bezels a little more profound than those along the short edges. However, the bottom bezel is tiny, catering to a 16:10 aspect ratio that permits more document viewability. 

A vital feature of HP Spectre x360 is a webcam placed above the screen. Unfortunately, the 5MP camera’s shutter is triggered by a hotkey rather than a bodily slider. As a result, it senses a bit overkill. On the other hand, few people won’t like to get stuck in the ‘camera-covered’ position.

A spectrum of camera features is controlled through the HP Command Centre app. These contain Auto Frame, which endeavors to guarantee that you remain in view as you move around. In addition, light Correction does an excellent job of lowering shadows on the face and darkening the background during calls.

HP Command Centre also presents Beauty Mode — the feature more often noticed on mobile phones. It smooths out creases. The webcam can be configured for other responsibilities in the HP Command center, including locking and unlocking the laptop as you step away and return and furnishing a warning if you edge too close to the screen established that being too close is not suited for your eyes. It can also be set to automatically generate the screen to dim if you aren’t looking instantly at it, a feature designed to conserve battery life. It worked well. However, Shoulder Surfing, intended to alert you if someone is looking over your shoulder, was a little too keen, alerting me to my presence.

The keyboard contains a responsive action, but there’s no independent number pad. The full-size keyboard is a flexible typing platform with a springy and responsive activity. The Enter key is only a single height, but it’s extensive, and the arrow keys are great. There’s a fingerprint sensor embedded in the base row of keys, which is like severe wastage of space as it could effortlessly have been embedded in the on/off key on the top row. There’s no separate number pad given. The touchpad is big and very responsive.

The 512GB SSD is a weak link in HP Spectre x360 as it appears too tiny considering this laptop’s premium cost.

Final Thoughts

However, viewing the price, the SSD should be doubled from the present 512GB, and the laptop’s size and weight push it to be cumbersome to use in handheld tablet mode. The HP Spectre x360 16 model reviewed possesses discrete graphics, a strong processor, and sufficient battery power to keep it running for most of the day, if not the whole day. In addition, the 16-inch OLED screen is stunning, and the audio quality is good.