Review: HP Spectre x2

What needs fixing

HP’s take on the Surface has some strong points, and design and value are both definitely one of them.

Unfortunately, some of the other little things also stop this computer from being spectacular, and they’re the sort of things that leave us scratching our head.

Take the bezel around the screen, because we wish HP had taken that bezel and thrown it onto the cutting room floor. It’s not that we demand super slim touchscreen frames, and we don’t need them, but the wide bezel on the Surface x2 touchscreen is just that: wide.


It’s wide and thick and impossible not to notice, and is the sort of frame that feels like it belonged on a computer a couple of years ago, not in 2016 when we’re getting frames down to the bare minimum.

Above this frame is a camera, which you’d expect on a modern computer, because of all that web conferencing you were probably thinking of doing.

Unfortunately, the only camera equipped with Intel’s RealSense technology — and therefore facial recognition technology compatible with Windows 10’s “Windows Hello” automatic login feature — is the one on the back.

Strange as it seems, the 5 megapixel camera on the front of the HP Spectre x2 is good enough for snapping a casual selfie, but not for logging in automatically using a Windows 10 feature.

That’s a rather curious omission, especially when the Spectre’s direct competition supports it with Microsoft’s own technology.


The pen also gives us some pause, because while it’s nice to see a pen included with the tablet, the size and real-world use of the HP stylus feels far less developed than it should.

Using it, we found the screen would often take a little longer to switch on to the stylus mode, and tracking wasn’t quite as dynamic as it would be with the Surface. In many ways, it feels like a bonus and a value add, rather than designed for this specific tablet, with not quite the same support as you see on Microsoft’s opposition.

The inclusion of USB Type C is also both a blessing and a curse, because while we love that there are two USB Type C ports here — that’s one more than Apple’s MacBook — the lack of standard USB ports is going to make plugging in a standard thumb drive a little complicated.

To its credit, HP does provide a USB Type C converter to standard USB, but it means you’ll need to keep this with you or buy an accessory if you lose it.


Not helping the expandability is the microSD slot, which is here for upgrades — yay! — but requires a pin ejector tool to take the card in and out. On the one hand, that’ll make the slot more secure, but also a pain in the proverbial when you want to move files to and from the tablet quickly.

Oh, and that lack of battery estimation we mentioned before? That could be easily fixed, HP. We’d fix that.



As far as value driven tablets go, HP’s Spectre x2 is definitely worth a look, with a real return to balanced computing for HP in this option.

Essentially, there’s enough of a computer here for most people, especially those trying to work out which type of computer they want next: laptop or tablet.

HP’s Spectre x2 is a solid middle ground, and we don’t just mean “solid” because it has been built well, but also because there’s a decent computing experience paired with a fairly impressive value and some great design.

If you are unsure which style of computer you want next, take a look at HP’s Spectre x2, because the future-friendliness of its design makes it definitely worth a look in.


Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Beautifully thin; Metal and glass; Very well made; Kickstand flips out using a switch; Two USB Type C ports; Upgradeable storage; Keyboard cover included in the box; Comfortable keyboard that is also magnetically connected and ideal for flights;
So much bezel; RealSense camera is on the back, meaning no Windows Hello support; Pen feels flimsy; No standard USB port; Battery life can't be tracked;