Notebookcheck

HP Spectre x360 15 ap011dx Convertible Review

15-inch convertible done right. Smaller convertibles like the Yoga 900 tend to work very well due to the lighter and more portable form factor. Scaling up to a 15-inch screen size has proven difficult, but HP is the first to hit it out of the park.

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HP had a hit on its hands the moment it launched the Spectre series of high-end consumer notebooks back in 2012. As its name would suggest, Spectre notebooks have a focus on sleek looks and display quality and have branched out to include detachables and convertibles in recent years.

The latest Spectre notebook is the series' first jump to a 15.6-inch screen size. While convertibles are becoming more common for smaller screen sizes, can the concept work ergonomically for the physically larger 15-inch category? We were unimpressed by the Envy x360 15 for a number of reasons, so hopefully the Spectre x360 FHD configuration can bring things around.

There are fewer competitors in this size class compared to 13- and 14-inch offerings. Popular examples here include the Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15, Toshiba Satellite Radius 15, and more budget-friendly Lenovo Yoga 500.

Check out our previous reviews on Spectre devices to see how the series has evolved over its four years of availability. Our test model today is the lowest-end configuration of the Spectre x360 15 series.

HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx (Spectre x360 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 520, Core: 300 MHz, Memory: 933 MHz, 20.19.15.4360
Memory
8069 MB 
, 531.6 MHz, 10-10-10-28, Dual-Channel
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, Capacitive , IPS, Name: LG Philips LP156WF6, ID: LGD046F, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Skylake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Liteon L8H-256V2G, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo , Card Reader: SD reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 16 x 375.9 x 247.6 ( = 0.63 x 14.8 x 9.75 in)
Battery
65 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 3-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD
Additional features
Speakers: Bang & Olufsen; Quad speakers , Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Setup instructions, cleaning cloth, Warranty card , McAfee AntiVirus,, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.906 kg ( = 67.23 oz / 4.2 pounds), Power Supply: 155 g ( = 5.47 oz / 0.34 pounds)
Price
1150 USD

 

Case

The design of the Spectre x360 15 is essentially an enlarged version of the existing Spectre x360 13. Thickness, however, remains the same at 16 mm, which makes the x360 15 the thinnest 2-in-1 convertible in its size category at the time of launch. The closest competitor in this regard is the Toshiba Satellite Radius 15, which clocks in just slightly thicker at 20 mm. Even the recent Dell XPS 15 9550 is thicker at 17 mm and without any touchscreen options to boot.

The attractive design of the Spectre reflects very well on its quality. Like its smaller x360 13 sibling, the x360 15 uses the same chrome-cut edges and corners and machined aluminum for a completely smooth and almost all matte appearance. Perhaps surprisingly, the design works just as well for a 15-inch screen as it does for a 13-inch screen. Pushing down on the center of the keyboard or outer lid results in only very slight depressions that shouldn't be of any concern. Both the display and base are very resistant to twisting and creaking while the metal hinges are sufficiently taut all the way around. It does, however, become a little weaker once it passes the 150 degree mark or so as the wider angles put more strain on the joint. Otherwise, we're looking at another high quality Spectre system that's more or less a perfect translation from last year's 13-inch offering.

Note that while the matte silver aluminum surfaces are great at hiding fingerprints, small and moderate scratches on the case will be much more visible and can accumulate quite easily if not careful.

As for the weight of the unit, HP likes to boast that it is lighter than the Apple MacBook Pro Retina 15 (1.9 kg vs. 2 kg) while offering 360-degree hinges and a touchscreen. The system is even lighter many standard 15-inch notebooks including the XPS 15 (1.96 kg) and Asus ZenBook UX501 (2.3 kg). Of course, many of these competitors sport discrete graphics options and superior CPUs - hardware that the Spectre x360 15 must sacrifice to make it as thin and ergonomic as possible for tablet mode.

With that said, the system is indeed the easiest 15-inch convertible to use no matter the mode. It is incredibly thinner and lighter than both the Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 and ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15, though still a bit oversized for comfortable one-hand operation. We would have liked a Rotation Lock switch on the edge for quicker on-the-fly toggling similar to high-end Yoga models.

Connectivity

Available ports are exactly the same as on the Spectre x360 13 with a couple of modifications. The dedicated Windows button has been removed in favor of a new USB Type-C 3.1 gen. 1 port. While Thunderbolt 3 is not supported here, the Type-C port somewhat future-proofs the x360 15. Many other convertibles do not come with mDP, either. Still, we would have liked to see at least one more full-size USB port for a total of four. Dual external displays are supported for up to three simultaneous screens including the internal display.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: Volume rocker, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 1, 2x USB 3.0, 1x mDP, 1x HDMI-out
Right: Volume rocker, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen. 1, 2x USB 3.0, 1x mDP, 1x HDMI-out
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: AC adapter, USB 3.0, 3.5 mm combo audio, Power button, SD reader
Left: AC adapter, USB 3.0, 3.5 mm combo audio, Power button, SD reader

Communication

WLAN is provided by an Intel Wireless-AC 7265 dual-band (2x2) M.2 module capable of theoretical transfer rates of up to 867 Mbps with integrated Bluetooth 4.0. We experienced no connectivity issues during our time with the notebook. Unlike on the business-oriented ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15, there are no options for WWAN connectivity.

Accessories

Included extras are a setup guide, Warranty card, cleaning cloth, and a handy black padded carrying case. In comparison, Asus tends to throw in additional VGA and RJ45 adapters to make up for the fact that their ZenBooks systems tend to lack these ports natively.

Maintenance

The bottom maintenance panel comes off relatively easily with just a T5 Torx wrench. Users are granted direct access to the M.2 storage slot, M.2 WLAN card, system fan, and lone CPU. The fact that the cooling system is oriented heavily towards one side of the notebook will have a direct effect on temperature development.

Warranty

The standard 12-month warranty applies to all new purchases made from Store.hp.com. As usual, buyers have the option to extend warranty for up to three years with accidental damage protection starting at $180 USD.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The keys provide the standard 1.5 mm of travel and are essentially the same as on the Spectre x360 13. Clatter is minimal whilst having a satisfactory feedback. The keyboard itself is very roomy (28.75 x 10 cm) since the model has dropped the NumPad in favor of front-facing stereo speakers.

Complaints here are less about the quality and more about the lack of features. For a multimedia notebook, the Spectre x360 15 includes no dedicated auxiliary keys and no full-size Arrow keys. The keyboard keys will not depress when in tablet mode like they do on high-end Lenovo convertibles where the feature is known as Lift-n-Lock. Additionally, the backlight offers just one level of brightness, which we find to be too bright if working in a dim environment. We mentioned this same issue on the Spectre x360 13 and HP hasn't even bothered fixing it.

Touchpad

The extra large surface (14 x 6.5 cm) is nothing but a boon to usability. Scrolling and multi-touch inputs have never been so easy to perform due to the smooth surface and ample space available. The Synaptics software recognizes up to three fingers simultaneously.

The integrated mouse keys are a bit more difficult to use. Travel is very shallow and the strong force required to register a push can be a bit tiring for extended periods, especially if pushing down on the center of the touchpad instead of near the bottom edge. Dedicated mouse keys would have been preferable in this case, although their integration would have likely compromised the wide touchpad design. It's a trade off that not all users may agree with should an external mouse be unavailable.

Both the keyboard and touchpad will be automatically disabled once the display is opened past the ~200-degree mark.

Discussion

Display

Our SKU offers a native resolution of 1080p while higher-end SKUs can provide 4K UHD along with Core i7 processor options. Subjectively, texts and images are sharp and without any graininess that may appear on matte panels. The edge-to-edge glass and glossy touchscreen are standard across the lineup and have become commonplace for the Spectre series.

Display brightness averages 275 nits with a measured contrast of essentially 1000:1. A quick search for the its LP156WF6 panel name shows that similar LG Philips panels are also used on the Clevo W650SC, Acer Aspire V15 Nitro, and Lenovo Ideapad Y700, all of which retail north of $1000 USD. While there are notebooks with brighter backlights and deeper contrast, there's no doubt that this is still a high-end display.

Backlight bleeding is minimal and only noticeable under extreme conditions. Keen eyes will notice the bright spots along the top two corners and bottom edge of the screen.

Very slight backlight bleeding
Very slight backlight bleeding
RGB subpixel array
RGB subpixel array
290.9
cd/m²
268.3
cd/m²
276.5
cd/m²
288.9
cd/m²
289.9
cd/m²
278.1
cd/m²
269.4
cd/m²
258.8
cd/m²
256.4
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 290.9 cd/m² Average: 275.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 289.9 cd/m²
Contrast: 1003:1 (Black: 0.289 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.24 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 4.46 | - Ø
83.3% sRGB (Argyll) 54.7% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.31
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
15.6, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 20DQ0038GE
15.6, 1920x1080
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
15.6, 1920x1080
Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 P50W-C-102
15.6, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 15 9550 i7 FHD
15.6, 1920x1080
Lenovo Yoga 500-15IBD
15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
8%
-62%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
40
37
7%
64
-60%
Response Time Black / White *
30.4
28
8%
50
-64%
PWM Frequency
Screen
-28%
-25%
5%
8%
-22%
Brightness
275
279
1%
205
-25%
287
4%
356
29%
206
-25%
Brightness Distribution
88
84
-5%
80
-9%
91
3%
92
5%
87
-1%
Black Level *
0.289
0.5
-73%
0.26
10%
0.25
13%
0.252
13%
0.28
3%
Contrast
1003
628
-37%
800
-20%
1172
17%
1474
47%
732
-27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.24
5.93
-13%
6.97
-33%
5.4
-3%
5.55
-6%
6.68
-27%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.46
6.22
-39%
7.37
-65%
4.33
3%
7.1
-59%
6.3
-41%
Gamma
2.31 104%
2.58 93%
2.34 103%
2.39 100%
2.1 114%
2.34 103%
CCT
6818 95%
5647 115%
6823 95%
6670 97%
6996 93%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
54.7
38
-31%
55
1%
63.4
16%
37
-32%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
83.3
59
-29%
83
0%
97.9
18%
59
-29%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-28% / -28%
-9% / -19%
5% / 5%
-27% / -6%
-22% / -22%

* ... smaller is better

Color coverage is 54.7 percent and 83.3 percent of AdobeRGB and sRGB standards, respectively. Budget panels on cheaper notebooks tend to cover 60 percent or less of sRGB, so users can expect better-than-average colors out of the Spectre x360 15. This is also a vast improvement over the Envy x360 15, which itself covers just 57.9 percent of the color gamut of the Spectre x360 15. The Dell XPS 15 9550 FHD SKU covers an even wider gamut than the Spectre x360 15.

vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. HP Envy x360 15
vs. HP Envy x360 15
vs. Dell XPS 15 9550 FHD
vs. Dell XPS 15 9550 FHD

Further display analyses with an X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal a generally accurate grayscale with a slight imbalance of colors. A quick calibration improves grayscale dramatically while leveling out the system's RGB balance. This results in more accurate colors across all saturation levels save the deepest of saturation levels due to the panel's imperfect sRGB balance.

Grayscale pre-calibration
Grayscale pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
Saturation Sweeps pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
ColorChecker pre-calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Grayscale post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
Saturation Sweeps post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration
ColorChecker post calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
30.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 10 ms rise
↘ 20.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 76 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (27.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
40 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 26 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 40 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (44.3 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 876 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 30860) Hz was measured.

The maximum display brightness is satisfactory if working under shade, but is not nearly enough to overcome direct sunlight. Glare and reflections are still inevitable when working outdoors. The 360-degree hinges and wide IPS viewing angles alleviate the issue somewhat, but the backlight is still the limiting factor.

Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Outdoors under direct sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz
Turbo Boost up to 2.8 GHz

Our configuration sports Intel's ULV Core i5-6200U CPU with faster i7-6500U and i7-6560U options available. All SKUs have integrated HD Graphics 520 with the exception of the highest-end SKU with Iris Graphics 540. When idling on Power Saver mode, the CPU and GPU will run at just 800 - 900 MHz and 300/933 MHz core/memory, respectively.

System RAM is soldered for a total of 8 GB in dual-channel mode with 16 GB SKU options. HP has elected to stick with DDR3 modules instead of DDR4 for this particular release despite the move to Skylake.

LatencyMon shows recurring latency and page faults even when WLAN is disabled.

 

Processor

CPU performance according to CineBench benchmarks is roughly 5 to 10 percent below that of the i5-6300U in the Microsoft Surface Book while being 10 to 20 percent faster than the older generation i5-4200U or i5-5200U. Standard voltage processors like the i7-4700HQ will still outperform i5-6200U and other ULV processors, especially in multi-threaded operations where the quad-core design gives a significant boost.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i5-6200U for more comparisons and benchmarks.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
113 Points ∼58%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
125 Points ∼64% +11%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
122 Points ∼63% +8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
99 Points ∼51% -12%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
91 Points ∼47% -19%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
291 Points ∼16%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
490 Points ∼26% +68%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
305 Points ∼16% +5%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
223 Points ∼12% -23%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
257 Points ∼14% -12%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
1.15 Points ∼52%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
1.46 Points ∼66% +27%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
1.41 Points ∼64% +23%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
1.14 Points ∼52% -1%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
1.03 Points ∼47% -10%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
1.75 Points ∼9%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
5.29 Points ∼26% +202%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
3.42 Points ∼17% +95%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
2.49 Points ∼12% +42%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
2.83 Points ∼14% +62%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
4339 Points ∼59%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
4999 Points ∼68% +15%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
4700 Points ∼64% +8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3725 Points ∼50% -14%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
4168 Points ∼56% -4%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
1810 Points ∼4%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
14329 Points ∼35% +692%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
10626 Points ∼26% +487%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
7580 Points ∼19% +319%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
6550 Points ∼16% +262%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
530.237 s * ∼6%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
323 s * ∼4% +39%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
491.395 s * ∼6% +7%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
790 s * ∼9% -49%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
567.765 s * ∼7% -7%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - --- (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
715.051 Seconds * ∼3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Y50
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700HQ, Western Digital WD10S21X SSHD 1TB + 8GB SSD-Cache
569.349 Seconds * ∼3% +20%
Microsoft Surface Book Core i5
Maxwell GPU (940M, GDDR5), 6300U, Samsung MZFLV256 NVMe
670.775 Seconds * ∼3% +6%
Lenovo IdeaPad Z40-59422614
GeForce 820M, 4200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
849 Seconds * ∼4% -19%
Toshiba Tecra A50-C1510W10
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, Hitachi Travelstar Z7K500 HTS725050A7E630
818.369 Seconds * ∼4% -14%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
7885
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
1810
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4339
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
7.25 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.75 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.15 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
42.06 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
291 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
113 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks rank our Spectre x360 15 configuration in the same ballpark as competing 15-inch models. The XPS 15 still edges out the HP in all categories due to its more powerful internals.

Subjectively, we experienced no abnormal issues with the software or hardware during our time with the test unit. 

PCMark 7
PCMark 7
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
5264 Points ∼65%
Dell XPS 15 9550 i7 FHD
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
5739 Points ∼71% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 20DQ0038GE
GeForce 840M, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
4610 Points ∼57% -12%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 P50W-C-102
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
2652 Points ∼33% -50%
Lenovo Yoga 500-15IBD
GeForce 940M, 5200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
2558 Points ∼32% -51%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
4253 Points ∼65%
Dell XPS 15 9550 i7 FHD
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4696 Points ∼72% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 20DQ0038GE
GeForce 840M, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
4040 Points ∼62% -5%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
4154 Points ∼64% -2%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 P50W-C-102
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
3676 Points ∼56% -14%
Lenovo Yoga 500-15IBD
GeForce 940M, 5200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
3622 Points ∼56% -15%
Creative Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
3909 Points ∼42%
Dell XPS 15 9550 i7 FHD
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
4659 Points ∼50% +19%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
3801 Points ∼41% -3%
Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
3353 Points ∼56%
Dell XPS 15 9550 i7 FHD
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
3753 Points ∼63% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 20DQ0038GE
GeForce 840M, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
2906 Points ∼49% -13%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
3200 Points ∼54% -5%
Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 P50W-C-102
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
2841 Points ∼48% -15%
Lenovo Yoga 500-15IBD
GeForce 940M, 5200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
2793 Points ∼47% -17%
PCMark 7 Score
5264 points
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3353 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
3909 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4253 points
Help

Storage Devices

Accessible M.2 storage slot
Accessible M.2 storage slot

Only a single M.2 2280 slot is available for storage. Most other multimedia notebooks have a 2.5-inch SATA III slot for cheaper upgrades at the cost of added weight and thickness. The XPS 15 and UX501, for example, have SKUs that sacrifice battery size to make room for secondary 2.5-inch SATA bays. No such options exist for the Spectre x360 15, so heavy multimedia users may want to be more diligent in terms of storage. HP offers SKUs with up to 512 GB of storage and nothing higher.

The Lite-On L8H-256V2G SSD operates under the SATA III interface instead of the newer NVMe controller as found on newer high-end gaming notebooks and a small number of competitors. Thus, overall transfer rates are very similar to other systems sporting M.2 SATA III SSDs while falling tremendously behind NVMe-based systems like the latest XPS 15 and ZenBook Pro UX501.

See our growing list of HDDs and SSDs for more comparisons and benchmarks.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM
CDM
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 20DQ0038GE
GeForce 840M, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
Dell XPS 15 9550 i7 FHD
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SM951 MZVPV512HDGL m.2 PCI-e
AS SSD
4%
-0%
149%
188%
Copy Game MB/s
208.15
196.09
-6%
804.65
287%
684.12
229%
Copy Program MB/s
185.56
137.94
-26%
325.29
75%
452.02
144%
Copy ISO MB/s
224.22
436.79
95%
1126.61
402%
1205.98
438%
Score Total
882
935
6%
950
8%
2410
173%
2588
193%
Score Write
353
261
-26%
303
-14%
675
91%
619
75%
Score Read
352
448
27%
432
23%
1180
235%
1312
273%
Access Time Write *
0.05
0.037
26%
0.044
12%
0.035
30%
0.034
32%
Access Time Read *
0.067
0.081
-21%
0.131
-96%
0.038
43%
0.037
45%
4K-64 Write
252.9
146.18
-42%
201.83
-20%
512.73
103%
361.74
43%
4K-64 Read
274.76
364.17
33%
356.52
30%
989.81
260%
1074.5
291%
4K Write
74.05
91.47
24%
78.25
6%
105.42
42%
107.82
46%
4K Read
26
32.41
25%
25.25
-3%
31.86
23%
43.59
68%
Seq Write
263.21
233.54
-11%
226.44
-14%
569.97
117%
1498.44
469%
Seq Read
513.18
513.33
0%
507.03
-1%
1578.67
208%
1943.8
279%

* ... smaller is better

Liteon L8H-256V2G
Transfer Rate Minimum: 390.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 428.8 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 425.2 MB/s
Access Time: 0.1 ms
Burst Rate: 140.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3.8 %

GPU Performance

3DMark benchmarks rank our system about 30 percent behind the GeForce 920M in most cases, which is one of Nvidia's lowest offerings in its current generation of dedicated mobile GPUs. Users can still expect a roughly 50 percent performance boost over the HD 4600 as found on older Haswell cores. Raw graphics performance is otherwise unimpressive and clearly on the budget end of the spectrum.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance GPU (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
1361 Points ∼3%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
2172 Points ∼4% +60%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
1748 Points ∼3% +28%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
744 Points ∼1% -45%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
690 Points ∼1% -49%
1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
1521 Points ∼5%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
2270 Points ∼8% +49%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
1823 Points ∼6% +20%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
838 Points ∼3% -45%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
777 Points ∼3% -49%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Combined (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
307 Points ∼3%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
433 Points ∼5% +41%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
375 Points ∼4% +22%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
159 Points ∼2% -48%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Physics (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
4481 Points ∼21%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
4516 Points ∼21% +1%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
3388 Points ∼16% -24%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
2859 Points ∼13% -36%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
911 Points ∼2%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
1475 Points ∼4% +62%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
1162 Points ∼3% +28%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
491 Points ∼1% -46%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
845 Points ∼4%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
1294 Points ∼6% +53%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
1045 Points ∼4% +24%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
452 Points ∼2% -47%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Physics (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
3152 Points ∼8%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
3161 Points ∼8% 0%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
2380 Points ∼6% -24%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3114 Points ∼8% -1%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
1943 Points ∼5% -38%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
7298 Points ∼4%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
8252 Points ∼5% +13%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
7095 Points ∼4% -3%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4983 Points ∼3% -32%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
4156 Points ∼3% -43%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
5647 Points ∼11%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
6077 Points ∼12% +8%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
4926 Points ∼10% -13%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
4396 Points ∼9% -22%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
3316 Points ∼7% -41%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
35593 Points ∼54%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
25337 Points ∼38% -29%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
39969 Points ∼10%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
35690 Points ∼9% -11%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
38906 Points ∼21%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
32719 Points ∼18% -16%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
51579 Points ∼26%
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
48190 Points ∼24% -7%
Lenovo Yoga 500-14ISK
GeForce 920M, 6200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
37066 Points ∼19% -28%
Fujitsu Lifebook E544
HD Graphics 4600, 4210M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
34337 Points ∼17% -33%
Acer Aspire Switch 11V SW5-173-614T
HD Graphics 5300, 5Y10c, Lite-On IT L8T-128L9G
30606 Points ∼15% -41%
3DMark 11 Performance
1521 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
51579 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5647 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
845 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
365 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Unless if you plan on playing older or less demanding titles like LoL, SC II, or DotA 2, then the integrated graphics of the Spectre x360 15 will disappoint. Newer and more demanding titles are barely playable on even the lowest settings.

Note that opting for the higher-end SKU with Iris Graphics 540 will help somewhat as proven by our Surface Pro 4 benchmark comparisons, but gaming will still be quite limited regardless.

See our dedicated GPU page on the HD Graphics 520 for more benchmarks and comparisons.

low med. high ultra
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm (2013) 193.865.333.316.7fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 29.825.99.6fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 1610.9fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook with synthetic benchmarks to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. Impressively, the CPU is able to maintain its maximum multi-core Turbo Boost of 2.7 GHz when under Prime95 stress, though core temperature will come quite close to the 70 C mark. Running both Prime95 and FurMark will throttle the CPU down to just 1.3 GHz with core temperature hovering in the mid 60 C range.

Unigine Heaven stress is more representative of demanding real-world loads. The HP notebook is able to maintain both CPU and GPU Boosts while keeping core temperatures in the lower 60 C range.

Running on battery power will not dramatically limit CPU or GPU performance. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 3855 and 1345 points, respectively, compared to 3922 and 1361 points when connected to mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Stable Clock Rates and Temperatures Under Stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average Core Temperature (C)
Prime95 Stress 2.7 -- 68
FurMark Stress -- 900 63
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.3 800 64 - 68
Unigine Heaven Stress 2.7 - 2.8 950 60 - 63

Emissions

System Noise

The single system fan and short heat pipe are small in size to both match the low-power ULV CPU and to minimize overall weight.

Fan noise is almost always silent during typical loads like browsing or word processing. Running Unigine Heaven will bump fan noise to a steady 38 dB(A) while maximum load with Prime95 and FurMark will bump it slightly higher to 39 dB(A). There's not much in between, so the transition from an idling fan to an active one will be very obvious during use.

Fan noise during gaming loads is very similar to many of its competitors while fan noise during maximum load is much quieter on the HP. This is perhaps due to the already limited gaming capabilities of the Spectre x360 15 and that the CPU will throttle when subjected to both Prime95 and FurMark.

Single 40 mm system fan
Single 40 mm system fan
Fan noise (Gray: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Fan noise (Gray: Background, Red: System idle, Blue: Unigine Heaven, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Liteon L8H-256V2G
Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 20DQ0038GE
GeForce 840M, 5500U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZ7TE256HMHP
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
GeForce 930M, 6200U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 P50W-C-102
HD Graphics 5500, 5200U, HGST Travelstar 5K1000 HTS541010A9E680
Dell XPS 15 9550 i7 FHD
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung PM951 NVMe 512 GB
Lenovo Yoga 500-15IBD
GeForce 940M, 5200U, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Noise
2%
-8%
-6%
-1%
-5%
Idle Minimum *
30.5
29.6
3%
32.9
-8%
32.9
-8%
29.2
4%
31.9
-5%
Idle Average *
30.6
29.6
3%
32.9
-8%
32.9
-8%
29.3
4%
32.3
-6%
Idle Maximum *
30.7
29.6
4%
32.9
-7%
32.9
-7%
29.5
4%
32.7
-7%
Load Average *
38.2
36.6
4%
37
3%
37.1
3%
36.5
4%
40.3
-5%
Load Maximum *
39
39.9
-2%
46
-18%
43.1
-11%
47.7
-22%
40.6
-4%

* ... smaller is better

Noise Level

Idle
30.5 / 30.6 / 30.7 dB(A)
Load
38.2 / 39 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.5 dB(A)

Temperature

Surface temperatures when the system is idling are flat on both sides of the notebook. The hot spots become very obvious when subjecting the system to maximum stress (Prime95+FurMark) for at least half an hour. As seen from our thermographs below, these hot spots are concentrated on surfaces directly adjacent to the CPU and heat pipe with temperatures reaching above 40 C. This leaves the other half of the notebook quite cool in comparison, so half of the keyboard will feel noticeably warmer than the other when under high processing stress. Nonetheless, the system never becomes uncomfortably warm to use in any mode.

Competing convertibles like the Satellite Radius 15 and ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 also have hot spots in the similar 40 C range under the same extreme processing loads. "Proper" multimedia notebooks with dedicated GPUs can be as warm as 50 C such as on the UX501 and XPS 15 9550.

Maximum load (Front)
Maximum load (Front)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Maximum load (Bottom)
Max. Load
 35.1 °C33.6 °C27.1 °C 
 31.6 °C34.1 °C25.7 °C 
 30.6 °C26.6 °C26.6 °C 
Maximum: 35.1 °C
Average: 30.1 °C
28.8 °C36.5 °C37.1 °C
28.5 °C33.5 °C36.8 °C
27.9 °C30.2 °C32.2 °C
Maximum: 37.1 °C
Average: 32.4 °C
Power Supply (max.)  52 °C | Room Temperature 19 °C | FLIR One

Speakers

Two Bang & Olufsen speakers are located on the front surrounding the keyboard with an additional two near the bottom front corners of the notebook. Are quad speakers really any better? Unfortunately not as bass reproduction is still quite poor. Our audio equipment were barely able to detect low frequency sounds and even subjectively the bass can feel lacking. A dedicated subwoofer may have gone a longer way in providing a more balanced audio experience.

Otherwise, maximum volume is sufficiently loud at just over 70 dB.

Bottom speakers
Bottom speakers
Frequencies
Frequencies <125 Hz barely detectable (Gray: White noise, Pink: Pink noise)

Battery Life

HP promises 13 hours of battery life out of the FHD configuration. Our own tests with Batter Eater shows a maximum runtime just short of 14 hours when sitting idly on the minimum brightness setting. Our more realistic WLAN test (150 nit setting at 81 percent brightness, Balanced Profile, looping browser script) returns a runtime just short of 9 hours. This is far better than other convertibles of its size class and rivals the XPS 15 9550 under similar conditions. At worst, users can expect just 2.5 hours of runtime under the most extreme of brightness and processing conditions.

The internal 64.5 Wh battery is non-removable and larger in capacity than a handful of other 15-inch convertibles. Charging from near empty to full will take roughly 2 to 2.5 hours.

Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx
65 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 20DQ0038GE
68 Wh
HP Envy 15-w103ng x360
48 Wh
Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 P50W-C-102
45 Wh
Dell XPS 15 9550 i7 FHD
84 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 500-15IBD
30 Wh
Asus ZenBook Pro UX501VW-DS71T
96 Wh
Battery Runtime
3%
-26%
-22%
-3%
-48%
-22%
Reader / Idle
823
1093
33%
693
-16%
979
19%
467
-43%
689
-16%
Load
149
148
-1%
124
-17%
106
-29%
107
-28%
117
-21%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
537
414
-23%
398
-26%
358
-33%
544
1%
153
-72%
379
-29%
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 43min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
8h 57min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 29min

Pro

+ strong performance under stress; no major throttling
+ relatively bright, high quality touchscreen with deep contrast
+ thin and sleek design with strong build quality
+ lightweight for a 15-inch notebook
+ relatively easy maintenance
+ USB Type-C 3.1 Gen. 1
+ generally low fan noise
+ extra-wide touchpad
+ long battery life

Cons

- weak GPU performance; no dedicated GPU options
- still on the heavy side even for a 15-inch tablet
- only one level of keyboard backlight brightness
- display backlight not powerful enough to overcome direct sunlight
- no secondary storage options
- unimpressive speakers; poor bass
- finicky integrated mouse keys
- ULV Core ix options only
- no NVMe SSD options
- RAM not expandable
- no Thunderbolt 3
- no NumPad

Verdict

In review: HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx. Test model courtesy of HP US.
In review: HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx. Test model courtesy of HP US.

Our experience with 15-inch convertibles has been a mixed bag up until the launch of the Spectre x360 15. Both the Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 and Lenovo ThinkPad S5 Yoga 15 had a few redeeming qualities, but case quality and weight dragged them down to be nothing more than just subpar notebooks with a novel tablet mode. Last year's Envy 15 x360 suffered from heavy weight and a horrendous display despite the better build quality.

This is why the Spectre x360 15 is such a relief as HP has proven that it's possible to make a good 15-inch convertible where its tablet functionality isn't an afterthought. The manufacturer has carefully scaled up from the the Spectre x360 13 with resounding success as the 15-inch Spectre truly feels like a system built around its tablet mode to encourage multi-mode usage. There's little to complain about the notebook from a quality perspective as this is probably the best Spectre notebook yet.

Problems arise when you start comparing the Spectre x360 15 to "proper" 15.6-inch multimedia notebooks. The fact that a convertible must be super thin and lightweight means sacrificing CPU and GPU performance with fewer expandability options. The HP falls apart if gaming and raw performance are priorities. Thus, users with little or no interest in the convertible's tablet mode will find that standard notebooks in the same price range tend to have better longevity and hardware capabilities in comparison.

The Spectre x360 15 is the best 15-inch convertible around, but not necessarily the best 15-inch multimedia notebook. Power users may find themselves disappointed in its raw performance prowess while light to medium multimedia users will find a lot to like in terms of versatility and battery life.

HP Spectre x360 15-ap011dx - 02/27/2017 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
84 / 98 → 86%
Keyboard
88%
Pointing Device
78%
Connectivity
56 / 81 → 70%
Weight
64 / 67 → 94%
Battery
91%
Display
81%
Games Performance
57 / 85 → 67%
Application Performance
81 / 92 → 88%
Temperature
93%
Noise
90 / 95 → 95%
Audio
65%
Camera
45 / 85 → 53%
Average
75%
82%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP Spectre x360 15 ap011dx Convertible Review
Allen Ngo, 2016-02-16 (Update: 2016-02-19)