Review: HP Spectre x2

Performance

Once the tablet is sitting in the position you want it in, it’s time to get playing, and the Spectre x2 is a pretty easy machine to get accommodated with.

You can use your fingers to play with the tablet because you don’t need a mouse to get started, but if you bring out the included fabric-backed keyboard, you’ll find a magnetic connector at the bottom that connects up the keyboard quickly, giving you both a keyboard and a mouse.

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Like the Surface Pro 3 and 4, as well, magnets in the keyboard cover and tablet allow the keyboard to raise up, bringing a slant to your typing experience that feels better than merely flat on the desk.

From here, you just need to turn the tablet on, accomplished with the power button on the top right.

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It shouldn’t take long for the 12 inch screen to light up and take you into Windows 10, and if this is your first time, you’ll have to get through the Windows 10 setup.

When Windows has loaded, however, you can get stuck into everything you’d normally use a computer for, with the Intel Core m5 processor generally lending itself to standard work, some web surfing, and anything else you might want to do.

Our time wasn’t spent poking holes in the processing environment, but the specs don’t line up for the Spectre to be used for Photoshopping, though the inclusion of decent speakers means you can watch a few movies up loud, with four speakers on the tablet — one on each side of the screen, and two more in the keyboard — helping to push out some decent volume.

Display

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Display is the next thing we feel is worth talking about on the Spectre x2, because while HP has provided a great little 12 inch screen for you to use that is definitely easy on the eyes, it’s not the best resolution you’ll find.

There’s no doubt that the slightly bigger than Full HD resolution of 1920×1280 that is offered is decent and doable, but now that competitors are offering higher sizes, we know that Spectre’s x2 isn’t really the bees knees.

It’s good, but not the best.

At least it offers excellent viewing angles, though if we’re being picky, we’d like a little more brightness if we could, as the 100% brightness setting in Windows 10 doesn’t feel quite as bright as it should.

Battery

One of the most important features when considering a laptop, any laptop, is the battery life, and that’s something HP’s Spectre x2 is a little mixed on.

During our test, we found battery life tended to hover around five to six (5-6) hours, though this is, of course, dependent on what you use the Spectre x2 for.

Given that there’s a low-power Intel chip under the hood, this means you won’t really want to try to get more than your share of productivity work, multimedia viewing, or web surfing done on the tablet, but if you do try to push it, know that the Spectre will respond in kind with a reduction of battery life.

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Unfortunately, getting a clue as to the sort of life you’ll end up getting through the course of a regular day isn’t just as easy as looking at the battery icon at the bottom of the screen.

Normally, Windows 10 just has you click or touch this icon to see both a percentage of your battery remaining and an estimated time that you have left before your computer runs out of power and shuts off.

We say “normally” because on every Windows 10 computer we’ve tested thus far, that has been what has happened.

Not on the HP Spectre x2, however, because for some reason, HP’s installation of Windows just perpetually sits with “Calculating…” on its battery life overview page, while the task bar pop-up doesn’t even try and offer up an estimated time.

Worse is that this isn’t just an issue with the Spectre, but an issue with HP’s computers altogether, given that the company has removed support for the battery estimation in the setup of the computer.

Bad news if you’re concerned how much life your battery has left if you get the Spectre x2. You’ll just have to tough it out and hope for the best.

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