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The HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr is a great Ultrabook by all standards. It combines performance and looks with versatility and durability and is a great match for the best players in its category. Its makers spared no pains in giving it a shiny silvery look made of rigid anodized aluminum, CNC machined to bring out its prestigious look. It reminds me of the MacBook Air that with its pristine look, yet to some people surpassing its beauty. Interestingly, it comes in a 15 Inch display while yet maintaining excellent versatility with its 2-in-1 hinge. Read more about it here.
- Tough, stiff aluminum casing that’s both lightweight, strong and easy to clean.
- Full HDMI Port, you need no adapter.
- Flexible hinge that allows various configurations.
- Great specs: i7, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, etc.
- Huge trackpad that supports multi-touch gestures.
- Backlit keyboard.
- I would prefer that the display came with the option of either matte finish or clear finish.
- Non-upgradable RAM.
The HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr is among the best, if not the best Ultrabook in the market. That’s why it’s the editor’s pick for Ultrabooks 2017.
HP HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr SPECS
|Processor||Intel Core™ i7-7500U | 4 MB cache, 2 cores | 2.7 – 3.5 GHz|
|RAM||16 GB DDR4 – 2133 SDRAM (2 x 8 GB)|
|Internal Storage||512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
|Display||15.6″ 4K Ultra HD touch screen | 3840 x 2160 resolution|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics | 2 GB GDDR5 dedicated|
|Connectivity||802.11ac (2×2) and Bluetooth 4.0 combo|
|Keyboard||Full-size island-style | Backlit|
|Audio||Bang & Olufsen with 2 speakers|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home | 64 Bit|
|Battery||6-cell, 79.2 Wh Li-ion | Up to 12 hours and 45 minutes|
|Dimensions||9.9 x 14 x 0.7 inches|
|Color||Dark ash silver|
|Warranty||1 year limited hardware warranty|
Buy the HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr Notebook at Amazon
DESIGN AND FEATURES
It goes without saying that the Spectra line of HP laptops is HP’s most prestigious line of machines, exceeding both the Envy and Pavilion. With such high expectations placed on it, its designers had a tough job to reach the set bar. The result was the great metallic finish and silver colored appearance of machined aluminum that steals the show from its plastic finish counterparts. It beams with a smooth aluminum finish that does not smudge, and gives off quite a premium feel. The frame is quite stiff and doesn’t allow much flex when under pressure, so you can rest assured that a little pressure when inside your bag won’t hurt it much. All this is great, but there’s a downside to it. Though the plates used are quite thin, they do add quite a bit of weight to the machine. It comes in at 4.42 pounds which is far above the prestigious 13 Inch Dell XPS 13 9350 which weighs 2.8 pounds. But hey, that’s a 13 Inch verses a 15 inch. Weight wise, the HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr is very well placed when compared with other 15 Inchers.
Versatile Hybrid Design
The HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr is a 2-in-1 machine, a hybrid it you like, and thus allows you to use it in four different configurations. The hinges allow a 360 degree rotation of the screen this usable in four modes – tent mode, presentation mode, tablet mode or just the clamshell mode we’re used to. The display is touch sensitive which is quite nice especially when using it as a tablet, although the weighs a little heavy when holding it in hand for long periods of time, and again the hot air coming from the fan can get a little uncomfortable when the machine runs for a while. Regardless, these features are quite nice to have in a machine. When using it in the different modes, the accelerometer kicks in and you can view the screen at any inclination. Another thing I noted was that the keys deactivated while using it tablet mode, which I think is quite useful.
The HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr comes in a 15.6 inch display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels – awesome if you ask me. The IPS screen is great as it allows quite wide viewing angle with crisp picture quality, and though consumes heavily on power – more on that later. We would recommend this resolution if you’re in search of very high color accuracy and general display quality – an excellent choice for photographers, graphics design, movie editing or general media consumers. However, for reading the 1920 x 1080 resolution display machine would be a better option owing to the small font size that the display offers. One has to use font scaling to get on top of that. However, if you are a web worker or content creator and sharp display quality is a prerequisite in you job, you might be better off with a higher resolution screen.The display has a glossy finish that helps brighten the screen for a better viewing experience and keeps the touch screen from being smudged with oil from your hands while making it easier to clean all at the same time. The downside however is that it is quite reflective thus making it quite hard to use outdoors and even near light sources as this can be very distractive. But I guess this is the price you have to pay to have touch screen, which in my opinion is not a really bad trade off.
DESIGN AND FEATURES
The whole dashboard is made of the same aluminum finish as the outside, which is great because it’s stiff and allows for very minimal flex even when your palms rest on it. The keyboard isn’t supremely unique other than the LED backlight which lights up a bright white. This is a nice plus, though it drains your battery power a little faster when you use it- but you can always have them off when not in use. The keys are smooth to the touch, are slightly curved at the edges and are somewhat grooved to the touch so that the fingers rest in a little. They are positioned in a sunken keyboard tray and the keys appear to rise up from the tray in sort of an island manner (chicklet keyboard). It’s quite comfortable to type in it, owing to the space and the deep vertical travel it offers (1.5 mm).
The touchpad is pretty impressive too. It’s got a humongous glass touch pad (5.5″ x 2.5″), kind of like the MacBook Air that allows multi-touch gestures. It’s doesn’t work as well as the MacBook Air, but its performance is quite on point and accurate. One downside that you will probably have to face and get used is right clicking. I found that it was a little difficult to right click since the trackpad is so massive and you had to really deliberately stretch out you finders to the far right to get to it. Kind of like some finger yoga, if you know what I mean.
The Webcam resolution is 1.1MP which is quite okay if you ask me. The quality of images is crisp in the YouCam software that comes preinstalled with the machine.
The HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, a Thunderbolt 3 port, 1 mulit-format SD card reader, a full size HDMI port and a headset microphone combo port. HP just picked up on the trend of having only later USB port types, letting go of the 2.0 ports all together. Another notable thing is that the SD card doesn’t stick out too much once you place it the machine.
Getting to the hardcore specs, the HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr brands a 7th Gen Intel Core i7-5500U processor which Features a 4MB L3 cache and 2.4GHz processor speed. The Ultra-Low Voltage capability is quite impressive. When you are plugged into power, the processor runs at full speed but when operating on battery power, it tends to slightly throttle down to give you better battery runtime. The Turbo Boost Technology increases energy efficiency when you don’t need it and delivers extra when you do. This makes it barely noticeable to the user when using the machine on heavy tasks as more power is allocated to it to boost up performance.
Its got an 16 GB DDR4 RAM which offers better power consumption and the multitasking ability compared to the standard DDR. With the 512 Solid State Drive (SSD), fetch time from the disk is greatly reduced and as such loading time for the machine along with better power efficiency. The RAM is soldered into the motherboard therefore allowing no upgrades. The downside is that you have to decide what RAM size you will need depending on what you intend to use your computer for before making your purchase because there’s no going back on the decision.
The HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr graphics run on an Intel HD Graphics 5500 integrated co-processor. This of course is not as good as a dedicated graphics card but it’s more than enough for everyday use. It can handle some basic games and graphics work but nothing too heavy. You can expect to play Minecraft, League of Legends and Counterstrike games on medium settings, and comfortably run applications like Solidworks and AutoCAD with no problem at all.
The fan is pretty silent, even when running full throttle. You barely notice that it’s on. HP and Microsoft collaboration is what saw to this development, among a few other things.
Audio and battery
The sound quality is quite good for an Ultrabook. The speakers are quite loud and have no distortion. They are however not very loud – though falling within acceptable limits. To power all these good stuff, HP got did an amazing job with the HP Spectre X360. The battery lasts an average 8 – 9 hours depending on use. That’s quite impressive in my opinion. If with this 4k display however, battery life gets knocked down to 6 hours with intensive use.
The pristine aluminum finish, the touch-screen display, the extra horsepower packed in a compact package makes and its multiple configurations make the HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr one of the best Ultrabooks for 2017. However, if weight is a major consideration for you and you don’t mind the traditional clamshell design, we would recommend you check out Dell XPS 13 | Amazon which is equally great Ultrabook with almost identical specs, a satiny aluminum casing and a carbon-fiber dashboard and is slightly lighter.
The HP Spectre X360 definitely makes the cut to Editor’s list of the top three Ultrabooks for 2016.
Buy the HP Spectre x360 – 15-bl075nr Notebook at Amazon