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HP takes on the MacBook Air with the Spectre x360 hybrid laptop

What do you think of when you hear the name HP? Laser printers maybe? Office desktops, business laptops? All very worthy but generally dull. Well, it’s time to throw away those preconceptions because HP is putting on the style.

Its latest HP Spectre x360 range of hybrid laptops is slim, stylish and set to take on the MacBook Air. With a machined aluminium chassis that’s just under 16mm thick and weighs only 1.49 Kgs (3.3 lbs) the x360 range features full HD touchscreen displays and a choice of Core i5 and Core i7 processors. A flip over screen means you can use it as a conventional laptop, turn it into a tablet or stand it up in ‘tent mode’ for viewing movies or presentations.

The machine has also been designed in close collaboration with Microsoft to provide a pure Windows user experience with fast performance and long battery life. So far, so impressive, but what do the reviewers think of it?

Trusted Reviews starts with some faint praise, describing the design as “inoffensive” but is impressed by the machine’s construction and quality saying it, “…has the feeling of hard density that we like to get in an Ultrabook.” The 12 hour battery life also made an impression, “If you needed any more convincing that this is the HP take on the MacBook Air, this is it.”

PC Advisor describes the Spectre x360 as a rival to the more expensive Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro,

“Not only is it more affordable, it uses a more premium design. While the Lenovo uses a metal lid, the inside is a soft-touch rubber finish. With aluminium all over, the HP Spectre x360 looks and feels more desirable and stylish.”

The 13.3-inch screen they say, “looks crisp” but it gets some criticism for being highly reflective. However, the overall conclusion is positive,

“…the firm looks to have done a great a job of packing good specs in a desirable aluminium chassis at an affordable price point.”

Describing the Spectre x360 as, “…the Surface Laptop that Microsoft refuses to make.” Slashgear says it’s,

“…a beautifully constructed machine. Sure, there are some elements which are a little MacBook Air-like – the bottom panel, for instance, and the front notch in the lid – but overall the combination of brushed and polished aluminum, the consistently-even keyboard, and the excellent IPS display with broad viewing angles give it a distinct look and feel of its own.”

“The Spectre x360 is one of our new favorite laptops,” says Engadget, singling out the hinge design for particular praise, “This allows the machine to be equally thick regardless of whether the screen is in tablet mode or folded shut, like a regular notebook.” Though it does point out that the machine is less successful when used as a tablet, “What you might find, though, is that a relatively large, 13-inch PC like this, particularly one this heavy, isn’t well-suited for tablet mode.” However, the machine’s size is a double-edged sword,

“Because the x360 is slightly bulkier than its rivals, it can accommodate a cushier keyboard and a bigger battery, allowing for nearly best-in-class runtime. It also makes room for a ton of ports.”

The size is a concern for Laptop Mag  too, “At 3.26 pounds, the x360 is heavier than most other 13-inch ultraportables. Among those whose screens can fold back 360 degrees, the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro is a full pound lighter, as is the nonfolding Dell XPS 13 (2.5 pounds). The MacBook Air weighs 2.9 pounds.” Despite this it concludes,

“With long battery life, good performance and an attractive design, the HP Spectre x360 is one of the best convertible notebooks you can buy.”

hp-spectre-x360-back

If all this has convinced you that you really need one in your life, the HP Spectre x360 range starts from around £850. But we’ll leave the final word to Notebook Review,

“HP didn’t just make something that ‘looks’ similar to a MacBook … HP made every effort to deliver a product that meets or exceeds what Apple currently offers from the feel of the chassis and performance of the hardware all the way to the intangible elements of the user experience.”

The HP Spectre x360 is available now from $899.99. Visit HP to find out more.