Featured Laptops

HP’s Spectre x360 puts Kaby Lake and Thunderbolt into a thinner, faster package

Written by Jaymin Shah

There are plenty of reasons to love the current HP Spectre x360: the company borrowed the x360 brand name from its previous fold-back hybrids and added premium features like interlocking hinges for a sturdier design, snappy performance thanks to an Intel Core i5 processor, and 10 hours of battery life.

The combination of style and speed put the Spectre x360 at the top of our list of all-around laptops this year, but HP couldn’t wait until next year to outdo itself with a complete redesign.

Starting at $1,050 (£860 or AU$1,400, converted), the new 13-inch HP Spectre x360 laptop ups the display to a 13.3-inch FHD IPS edge-to-edge touchscreen that twists back into a tablet configuration. The PC is also thinner with a reduced bezel, but the company managed to cram in two extra Bang & Olufsen speakers (four total) so you can get the full stereo experience while it’s in tablet mode.

The new models all come standard with solid-state drives in either 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB capacity — solid-state drives are definitely a must-have for multitasking and the ability to quickly wake the machine.

The chassis also has has all the ports you need to turn it into a desktop workstation: two USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 support, HDM, and a USB Type-A 3.0 port for older peripherals.

But the real star of the show is the improved battery life. The new Spectre x360 continues the company’s goal to maximize battery gains without sacrificing performance, and this time HP somehow fit a larger-capacity battery into the thinner design for 15-plus hours of juice — that’s a 25 percent improvement over the last model.

And if you’ve ever had to sit around waiting for your laptop to charge so you can use it on the go, you’ll appreciate the laptop’s Fast Charge feature that recharges the batteries to 90 percent capacity in just 90 minutes.

The new Spectre x360 goes on sale October 12 in the United States.

HP Envy 13


The new HP Envy notebook has a 13-inch display with the option to upgrade to an edge-to-edge glass display, a full HD panel or a touchscreen QHD.

The company also released the Envy 13 laptop for buyers that want to cherry-pick the features they want in a PC. Compared to the x360, this model is also a 13.3-inch design but notably lacks the ability to backflip into tablet mode. Instead, buyers can choose to add an optional edge-to-edge glass display, a full HD panel or a touchscreen QHD.

The primary weakness of last year’s Envy model was the battery life, which we measured to be just over seven hours in our standard battery drain test. Anecdotally, it was worse at only slightly more than four hours in day-to-day use.

This time around, HP packs in 4 more hours of battery life and tells us it can reach up to 14 hours compared to last year’s model, but we’ll run it through our tests for the actual review.

Other features on the HP Envy 13 include:

  • Two USB 3.0 ports and one USB Type-C port
  • Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor
  • Up to 16GB RAM
  • 13.3-inch display
  • Two Bang & Olufsen speakers
  • Dual-band wireless with Bluetooth
  • Glass touchpad and backlit keyboard with 1.3mm key travel
  • All-metal casing finished in aluminum and magnesium

The HP Envy 13 laptop will go on sale October 26 with prices starting at $849 (£700 or AU$1,130 converted).

About the author

Jaymin Shah

Jaymin Shah is a tech entrepreneur. He is the Founder & CEO of TechOptimals. He has made a name for himself in the tech media world as a writer relentlessly covering Technology, in addition to a broad range of startups. Contact Jaymin at jaymin@techoptimals.com

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