Review: HP Spectre x2


One area that the HP Spectre x2 has going for it is in the pricing area, and based on the recommended retail price and what HP has thrown in, it’s clear the company understands the threat from the Spectre’s direct competition.

Specifically, HP’s Spectre x2 is focused on fighting Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, since it brings a similar 12 inch size with a fold-up fabric-backed keyboard and a stylus to write with.

But Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 isn’t exactly value driven, arriving with a larger price tag and no keyboard in the pack, which is something HP has thrown in.

That alone incurs a cost of around $200 from Microsoft, so at least that has been taken care of for you on the Spectre x2, which will no doubt be useful to many.

Keyboard and pen included. Neat.
Keyboard and pen included. Neat.

Comparing the models on a specification level, the prices are fairly close, with the Core m5 edition of the Spectre x2 fetching $1899 while the Core i5 version of the Surface netting $1999, though the Surface version of the Core processor is much faster, with the “i” variant of the Intel chip more about performance compared to the “m” variant about mobile efficiency.

That said, the inclusion of a keyboard similar in design to the Microsoft Surface Type Cover makes brings the value up.

The little things

Some of the little things help make the Spectre x2 stand out, and it’s not just the value, which is pretty impressive given that you get the keyboard thrown in, something Microsoft still doesn’t go out of its way to include with the Surface tablets.

For instance, now that HP has well and truly embraced USB Type C with this computer — evident from the two Type C ports, one on each side of the machine — you’ll find you can charge the computer by plugging the Type C cable in on either side.


Sitting on the bed at the hotel on the right side? Charge it on the right side and make it easier, getting that cable away from your hands.

Is the plug port near the left side? Plug the charger into the left-most USB Type C port, and again, that cable will be out of the way.


It’s simple, but it’s something we’ve not yet seen on a laptop, with the choice of where to plug the computer in given to you, dear reader and purchaser of new technology.

The keyboard is also quite impressive, with the aluminium-built fabric-backed keyboard producing a solid click sound with just enough travel for most of your typing, as well as a wide and spacious trackpad. Unfortunately, the trackpad is quite shallow, so good luck getting a solid click out of it.


As far as light keyboards go, however, HP’s Spectre x2 arrives with a nice one, and we certainly enjoyed our time typing on it with one of the smallest error rates we’ve seen on a review laptop.

That alone makes the Spectre x2 one of HP’s best keyboards to date, which is a tad surprising given that the keyboard isn’t even one of the main features.


The keyboard even packs in some speakers, with two of Spectre’s four speakers found under a triangular pattern on the keyboard. That’s something Microsoft’s Type Cover doesn’t offer.

And unlike the other major slate on the market, HP has also featured an Intel RealSense component, essentially providing a 3D camera and scanner on the back of the tablet.