When HP introduced their premium 13-inch Spectre model back in 2015 it was an instant hit. From then on they have made an only minimal amount of change to the basic characteristics of the Spectre. Let’s check out then how Spectre x360 13-ae004na (2QF93EA#ABU) performed in the tests.
- CPU – Intel Core i5 Quad-Core (8th Gen), 1.6 GHz
- GPU – Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Memory – 8 GB DDR4
- Screen – 13.3-inch 4K IPS (3,840 x 2,160) with 10-point touchscreen
- Storage – 256 GB SSD
- OS – Windows 10 Home edition
- Performance – The 8th gen Core i5 processor is much faster than its previous generation predecessor. In synthetic benchmarking tests it easily surpassed competing convertibles like the HP EliteBook x360 G2 and Asus ZenBook Flip S only to be trailing behind the Lenovo Yoga 920. The included 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD is blazing fast with the sequential read speed of 1700 MBps and write speed of 900 MBps. The 8 GB RAM though, felt a bit short considering the price tag; at least 16 gigs of RAM would have been appreciated. But it’s powerful enough for both regular use and demanding stuff like digital content curation and photo editing.
- Design – To be honest, it looks killer. With a silver and copper colour scheme (which HP calls “Dark Ash Silver”) and a flat and streamlined design, it’s one of my favourite elite convertibles till now. You’re sure to get a lot of curious and awestruck stare whenever you carry it around in public or open it up in the cafeteria.
- Display – Only those know the difference between a standard FHD (1920 x 1080) and a 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) display that had the chance of working with them. The included 4K display contains nearly 4x as many pixels as an FHD panel and as a result, is able to deliver crystal clear visuals. It supports touchscreen and you can also take advantage of HP’s Active Pen stylus. Although it supports less number of different pressure levels than Yoga and Surface the stylus offers plenty of unique and cool features including a rechargeable battery (which can be charged via the USB-C port). And as a bonus, it comes with Corning Gorilla Glass for some extra protection.
- Price – The steep price tag is one of the major pain points of this laptop. To tout a £1300 (nearly 1770 USD) price tag for a 13-inch convertible is a bit too much I think.
- Battery – Well, it’s no wonder that the battery backup is found at only 8 hours in this version. While it isn’t bad by any means as 8 hours of longevity is the minimum requirement for this kind of small convertibles it isn’t anything exceptional either. The power-hungry 4K display is the primal suspect here. The Spectre x360 model without the 4K panel (standard FHD display) was able to last significantly longer- almost 14 hours. So while it can survive your not-so-long flights easily it might not be the best choice for prolonged outdoor usage.
It’s no wonder that HP Spectre x360 13-ae004na is one of my most favoured convertibles. Although it’s a fair bit pricey than some of its competing models I think it’s well worth every penny that you spend on it. Recommended.