HP Spectre x360 16 (2021) review: A high-quality 16-inch convertible with a superb OLED screen

Nancy J. Delong

HP’s16-inch convertible Spectre x360 16 operates on eleventh-generation Intel Core processors, with built-in or discrete Nvidia graphics.


Image: HP Inc.

HP’s Spectre laptops have a exclusive design and style and come in four distinctive dimensions, with 13-, fourteen-, 15- and 16-inch screens. I was sent a convertible 16-inch Spectre x360 to evaluation, with a Core i7 processor, a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Notebook GPU and an OLED contact screen. This product fees £1,999.99 (inc. VAT) in the Uk. In the US, price ranges for the Spectre x360 16 start at $1,549.99 for a Core i7 product with built-in graphics. 

HP offers the rear corners an angled design and style, using this element to household a pair of ports — USB-C on the appropriate, three.5mm headset jack on the still left. This isn’t going to make for the neatest cable arrangement, but it unquestionably seems to be exclusive. 

The develop is good, with recycled CNC aluminium offering a challenging chassis. HP bundles a sleeve, which should secure the chassis from small dings and scratches. 

Inevitably, given its 16-inch screen, this is a significant and comparatively weighty laptop. It measures 24.53cm extensive by 35.8cm deep by 1.99cm thick, and weighs 2.01kg. The energy brick is chunky also. 

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Like

  • Outstanding 16-inch OLED screen
  • Distinct design and style
  • Strong develop
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 ports generally obtainable

Really don’t Like

  • Only 512GB of SSD storage
  • Unwieldy in handheld pill manner
  • Reasonable battery existence

The ‘x360’ in the title signifies that the laptop’s screen rotates all the way spherical to encounter outwards for use in pill manner. On the other hand, functioning in pill manner is just not specifically comfortable on a 16-inch product. It truly is weighty, and I identified it unattainable to maintain one-handed, and a little bit of a beast to prop up on my lap or the arm of a chair. On the other hand, sat on a desk in tent manner or with the screen facing away from a downward-facing keyboard, it labored quite properly for information usage. It truly is the usual trade-off involving screen dimension and usability. 

Screen and speakers are both equally excellent, which will benefit both equally effective and leisure use circumstances. The Bang and Olufsen speakers produce a great deal of quantity with no distortion, pushing sound outwards by means of grilles on the upward angled entrance foundation of the chassis. This offers utmost entry to audio in both equally laptop and pill modes. In the course of movie calls, an AI-enabled noise reduction process also kicks in. 

The screen is better than excellent – it is fantastic. My evaluation unit had a UHD+ (three,840 x 2,four hundred, 283ppi) OLED contact screen. Maxing out at four hundred nits, it was sharp and shiny — even when operating on battery energy. Though I still left the screen on default configurations for my battery rundown take a look at (see down below), I may reduced it to preserve battery existence in working day-to-working day use.  

The screen bezels could be narrower, with both equally best and bottom bezels a little deeper than those together the quick edges, but the bottom bezel is gratifyingly small, catering for a 16:10 aspect ratio that makes for a lot more document viewability. For the history, the screen-to-entire body ratio is eighty four.6%. 

Above the screen is the webcam which is a important element of this laptop. The 5MP camera’s shutter is activated by a hotkey relatively than staying a physical slider. This feels a little like overkill — a possible stage of failure considerably less very likely with a physical shutter. I might dislike it to get trapped in the ‘camera covered’ situation. 

A assortment of camera attributes are managed via the HP Command Centre application. These incorporate Automobile Frame, which attempts to assure that you keep on being in check out as you transfer close to. Obviously this can not cater for just about every eventuality, but it is a support for those who shuffle about a little bit in the course of a movie contact, or get up to entry a document from a shelf, for illustration. I identified that it tracked me quite properly. In the meantime, Mild Correction does a excellent task of cutting down shadows on the encounter and darkening the history in the course of calls. 

HP Command Centre also presents Attractiveness Method — the variety of element a lot more often found on cellular telephones. Generally it smooths out wrinkles. 

The camera can also be configured for other responsibilities in the HP Command centre, like locking and unlocking the laptop as you walk away and return, and providing a warning if you edge also close to the screen (on the basis that staying also close is not excellent for your eyes). It can also be established to immediately cause the screen to dim if you usually are not hunting specifically at it, a element created to preserve battery existence. This labored properly. On the other hand, Shoulder Browsing, which is created to notify you if a person is hunting over your shoulder, was a little also eager, alerting me to my own presence.  

hp-spectre-x360-16-keyboard.jpg

The keyboard has a responsive motion, but you can find no separate number pad.


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

hp-spectre-x360-16-fingerprint-reader.jpg

The fingerprint reader occupies a separate important place.


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The complete-dimension keyboard is a comfortable typing system, with a springy and responsive motion. The Enter important is only solitary height, but it is extensive, and the arrow keys are significant. There is a fingerprint sensor embedded in the bottom row of keys, which is a little something of a squander of place as it could very easily have been embedded in the on/off important on the best row. Unlike on some 16-inch laptops, you can find no separate number pad here. The touchpad is significant and quite responsive. 

My evaluation unit was the HP Spectre x360 16-f0053na product, which is mentioned at £1,999.99 (inc. VAT) on HP’s Uk site. Run by an Intel Core i7-11390H processor with a discrete 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Notebook GPU and 16GB of RAM, it dealt with a assortment of productiveness and media usage duties with no trouble at all. The 512GB SSD is a weak hyperlink, even though: it appears also small thinking about this laptop’s premium selling price. 

hp-spectre-x360-16-ports.jpg

Still left facet (best): three.5mm audio jack, HDMI, USB-A. Ideal facet (higher than): MicroSD card reader, Thunderbolt 4/USB-C, energy-in, Thunderbolt 4/USB-C.


Photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

It truly is excellent to see a MicroSD card reader here, on the appropriate-hand facet. There are two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, a solitary USB-A port, a complete-dimension HDMI connector and a three.5mm headset jack. The USB-A is, unusually, partly obscured by a hinged protect. With the battery billed via a spherical-pin connector, both equally USB-C ports are generally obtainable. 

HP statements up to 9 hrs and 15 minutes of ‘mixed usage’ for the 83Wh battery. To take a look at this, I totally billed the battery and then labored for 3 hrs using world wide web applications, streaming movie and at times audio. In the course of this time, the battery fell from complete to 52%, suggesting that a quick (~6-hour) functioning working day may be achievable on battery energy, but a complete eight-hour working day would call for entry to mains energy at some stage. 

Charging was a favourable knowledge. On one occasion with the battery at thirty% it rose to fifty three% soon after 15 minutes, to 65% soon after thirty minutes and to seventy seven% soon after 45 minutes. 

hp-spectre-x360-16-verdict.jpg

Image: HP Inc.

Conclusions 

The HP Spectre x360 16 product reviewed here has a strong processor, discrete graphics and plenty of battery energy to retain it heading for most, if not all, of the working day. The 16-inch OLED screen is gorgeous, and audio high quality is excellent. On the other hand, thinking about the selling price, the SSD should be double its 512GB, and the laptop’s dimension and pounds make it unwieldy to use in handheld pill manner.

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