HP’s slim, attractive Spectre x2 follows the road not taken by Microsoft’s Surface Pro, using lower-power processors to keep the price down, as well as packing in the must-have keyboard cover.
PROS: Elegant design. Strong performance. Comfortable keyboard.
CONS: Weak battery life. Some bloatware
The HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr is a hybrid that comes into the detachable laptops market to scale up the standards. The ultra-thin Windows hybrid tablet-laptop features a silver aluminum chassis with a beautiful design and picture quality.
The system combines a number of innovative and functional features to offer a decent performance. It includes a dual core Intel Core M3-6Y30DC processor clocked at 0.9 GHz and can run up to 2.2 GHz, 4GB of RAM to give the system the energy needed to multitask.
Storage comes by way of a fast 128GB M.2 solid-state drive and it comes pre-installed with Windows 10 Home 64-bit Operating system.
The laptop includes a 12 inch WUXGA full HD touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. This is a laptop that scores where it matters with an attempt to dwarf its immediate competitor, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with a friendlier price tag. Let us have a deeper look into this capable detachable laptop to see if it is worth your consideration.
The HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr comes with a good build quality having been crafted using aluminum that gives it a premium look. There is a stainless steel stand that makes the user experience friendlier. The laptop measures 8.23 x 11.81 x 0.52 inches (0.31 inch thin as tablet) and weighs 2.68 pounds (1.84 pounds as a tablet).
It is therefore light enough to slide into your bag and move around with, but it is slightly heavier and larger than it is competitor the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 which measures 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.33 inches and weighs 1.76 pounds. It comes with a 3-cell 42Wh battery that should give you between 5 to 8 hours of usage. You will be overambitious to expect the 10 hours promised by the manufacturer since it depends on the kind of programs running and intensity of power usage.
The downside of the Spectre x2 comes on its U-shaped kickstand which requires you to slide a switch to pop it out as opposed to just pulling it out like we saw on the surface. You might find it difficult to adjust the kickstand on your laps to achieve a good viewing angle for typing or browsing. However, the stand is very stable when placed on a flat surface so you won’t have to complain about the viewing angles and instability.
The HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr is powered by an Intel core M3-6Y30 dual-core processor clocked at 0.9 GHZ that can run up to 2.2 GHZ with Turbo Boost Technology. HP scored on this one by integrating a power efficient core M processor that is capable of handling a number of tasks at decent speeds while remaining fan-less.
The laptop comes with a 4GB DDR3 RAM that cannot be upgraded, it is however enough for those after handling day to days tasks without running power hungry programs such as Photoshop for Photo and video editing.
In terms of storage, the laptop comes with 128 GB M.2 solid-state drive that is much faster compared to the traditional mechanical hard drives. The storage space might appear limited if you are used to 1TB hard drives, but then you have the option of carrying around your external hard drive.
You can purchase an external hard drive separately which will come in handy for storage of your photos, movies, videos and other important files.
On the bleak side, this is not a gaming machine in any way. Users who are into gaming must therefore keep their expectations in check. The Spectre X2 comes with an integrated Intel HD 515 Graphics which is hardly enough for gaming. Playing games such as Fallout 4 and GTA 5, you could have ventured far out into the desert! Time to head back and try less demanding titles such as Sims, Fifa and Counter-strike at low to medium settings.
The Hp spectre comes with decent connectivity features. It includes a USB type C port and USB 3.0 port for easy connection to your other peripherals. There is a MicroSD card for expanding the storage and an audio jack port to connect your headphones. The slim profile on this machine denies it the ability to come with an optical drive. Additionally, you won’t find an HDMI output here, but the USB Type-C ports can as well be used with HDMI devices like HDTV with a special adapter. Internet connectivity comes by way of 2×2 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. There is also a micro Sim slot that supports Verizon 4G LTE network that will keep you connected wherever you go.
The laptop comes with a 12 inch IPS WLED touchscreen display with a 1920 by 1280 pixel resolution. This is the best thing to have ever happened to this detachable laptop making it an amazing option as a stand-alone tablet. It also integrates In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology to offer wide viewing angles and crisp details.
The size perfectly cuts across both as a laptop and a laptop and tablet. Some may feel that the 12-inch is rather too big when it comes to a tablet, but then they will find it more useful when watching movies, editing documents or chatting with friends and family via skype. The Spectre 2 features a 5MP front camera that is good for selfies and chatting with 8MP rear camera paired with an Intel RealSense 3D depth-sensing setup. The rear camera is also amazing for taking clear images.
The detachable keyboard on the HP is backlit with a 1.36mm key travel. I loved the keyboard especially because it feels sturdier thanks to the use of a solid metal deck and a soft cloth cover on the exterior. The touchpad measures 4.75 by 2.25 inches which is wide enough and good for mousing around, clicking or using multi-touch gestures. If you are tired of typing, then you can scribble around with the included stylus. It however does not match the standards of the Microsoft Surface pro 4 that feel more natural and accurate.
There are two built-in Bang and Olofusen speakers and two more speakers positioned behind the grille that is above the keyboard. The speakers are loud and clear for your entertainment needs but the audio could have done better with a little more bass.
The HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr is a decent detachable laptop-tablet for everyday computing. The Intel Core M3 processor is rather a bit disappointing in terms of computing power but it is capable to handle all day to day tasks seamlessly. However, should you feel you need more power, then you might have to consider the HP Spectre x360 13-inch convertible that comes with a core i7-5500U processor.
This detachable does not meet all needs especially for gamers and graphic designers who should look upwards for other more powerful devices. It however comes with a number of connectivity options and an amazing display that won’t disappoint when watching movies or handling other tasks with a 1920x1080p resolution. In conclusion, the HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr is a high end hybrid tablet with decent connectivity, performance and functionality.