Notebookcheck

HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx Convertible Review

Bernhard Pechlaner, 02/21/2017

Better yet? HP's 2017 version of the Spectre x360 15-inch convertible features a latest-generation Intel processor alongside a switch to discrete graphics. The updated design incorporates smaller bezels a la Spectre x360 13 and the 4K display - improved over last year's model - is now the sole panel option.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a loyal reader of notebookcheck? Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team!

Especially wanted: 
German-English-Translator - 
Details here
Review Editor - 
Details here
News Editor - Details here

 

 

HP's Spectre x360 series of upscale consumer convertibles has been widely regarded as one of the top choices when it comes to 2-in-1 offerings. Last year, the company from Palo Alto took a page out of Dell's playbook with the redesign of the Spectre x360 13-inch, as they incorporated extremely narrow left and right-edge bezels. The Spectre x360 15-inch - we've reviewed both the FHD predecessor as well as the model with 4K display - now gets the same slimming treatment. Aside from the quite obviously new, like the chassis or the switch to a latest-generation processor, there are a few other noteworthy changes as far as the configuration is concerned: the 2017 version makes both the 4K panel as well as discrete graphics in form of a Nvidia GeForce 940 MX mandatory. The sole processor choice is the dual-core Intel Core i7-7500U (2.7 GHz, up to 3.5 GHz, 4 MB cache).  

At the time of writing, a user can choose from 8 to 16 GB of RAM and SSDs ranging from 256 GB to 1 TB. While we couldn't locate our particular version - the Spectre x360 15-bl002xx - HP offers the identically-equipped 15-bl075nr for $1500. Compared to the "base" model with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, which sells for $1280, this version ships with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. HP also offers the popular Spectre x360 13-inch FHD with 7th-generation Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD for $1050.

Note: we have amended / corrected our review in two areas. Our users have pointed out that the RAM is not soldered on, but upgradeable. Also, a never version of the Synaptics ClickPad software allows the "Right Button Zone" to be configured, so we've taken that into consideration as well.

Update March 7th, 2017: After careful consideration, we have decided to reclassify the Spectre x360 15-inch as a multimedia notebook. Given the Spectre's size and weight on one hand and the 360-degree hinge design on the other, the system actually happens to straddle two of our rating categories. We feel that the Spectre is more of a multimedia laptop which also happens to have convertible features. Please note that the move from one category to the other has affected both the subscores as well as the final score.

HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx (Spectre x360 Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX - 2048 MB, Core: 1189 MHz MHz, Memory: 800 MHz, GM108, 384 Shaders, GDDR5 SDRAM, 21.21.13.7654, Nvidia
Memory
16384 MB 
, DDR4-2133 SDRAM
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 3840×2160 pixel 282 PPI, yes, native pen support, UHD UWVA eDP BrightView WLED-backlit , IPS, BOE06C3, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Toshiba XG3 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK), 512 GB 
, PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-C); 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A); 1 Thunderbolt™ 3 USB 2.0, 2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio combo-jack, Card Reader: multi-format, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.8 x 355.6 x 251 ( = 0.7 x 14 x 9.88 in)
Battery
79.2 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6 cell, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 12.8 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD
Additional features
Speakers: Bang & Olufsen; Dual speakers; HP Audio Boost, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, HP Active Stylus Pen, USB-C to VGA Adapter, USB-C to RJ45 Adapter, USB-C to USB-A Adapter, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.002 kg ( = 70.62 oz / 4.41 pounds), Power Supply: 432 g ( = 15.24 oz / 0.95 pounds)
Price
1400 USD

 

Case

The CNC-machined aluminum chassis is strikingly beautiful. The display lid, the keyboard deck and the bottom are "dark ash silver", but the color looks - especially outdoors - more like a slightly purplish charcoal gray to us. The sides and front edges of the notebook, the touchpad-surround and the HP logos are copper-colored; the hinges feature copper accents as well. HP's use of the accent color here is much more restrained than on their super-slim Spectre 13 and the overall result is very pleasing to the eye.

While not quite as sturdy as some other metal semi-unibody designs, the Spectre x360 is torsionally very rigid with no noticeable creaking sounds whatsoever. There is some minor give when pressing down in the middle of the laptop or to the left and right of the touchpad, but not enough so as to be a detriment as far as durability or usability are concerned. The display lid with its Gorilla Glass touchscreen is also quite sturdy and resists twists quite well given it's thickness. Moderately-heavy pushes induce some ripples on the display, however. The metal-encased 360° hinges are not nearly as convincing as the rest of the notebook and in our opinion not quite stiff enough to cope with the heavy display. While it takes two hands to open the lid, the display is actually quite easy to move once in it's in a normal laptop position. In fact, even the action of picking up the x360 can cause the display to swing backwards beyond a 180 degree angle. Tapping on the screen also introduces noticeable wobbles, so the laptop might not be the best choice for train rides and such. The edges of the convertible lack rubber bumpers of any kind, so in tent mode, the unit slides easily on smooth surfaces. Likely this was a design choice to preserve the upscale looks, but we fear that repeated use will scratch the finish in the long run. HP doesn't have an equivalent to Lenovo's lift’n’lock feature, so there's no frame to lock the keys in tablet mode. As good as the surfaces look, fingerprints are unfortunately an issue - even more so, as they aren't easily removed.

As mentioned in our introduction, HP shaved quite a few mm of the bezel, which now measure less than 5 mm each - 4.65 mm to be exact. The company calls the result a "virtually borderless micro-edge display". While the overall width of the notebook has decreased compared to the predecessor - see our size comparison below - the lower-edge bezel is very wide at 3.6 cm / 1.4 inches. so the convertible is slightly deeper, although only marginally so. The thickness has increased as well by about 1.8 mm, but in normal use this is hardly noticeable. The Spectre's footprint most closely matches that of the Dell XPS 15 width-wise, but it's once again deeper by about 1.5 cm (0.6 inches). Even so, for a 15-inch notebook, the HP convertible is exceptionally easy to slip into a bag and carry around.

More noticeable is the increase in weight. Not only has the new version gained about 100 g / 3.5 oz compared to the predecessor, the supplied power adapter is - at 430 g - substantially heavier as well. The total "carry-about" weight has thus increased by roughly 380 g / 13 oz - certainly worth considering if you're planning on lugging the notebook around a lot. The Dell Inspiron 15 convertible weighs about as much as the review 2-in-1; smaller 14-inch convertibles are roughly 450 - 600 g (15 - 20 oz) lighter. The Dell XPS 15 tips the scale at 1.8 kg, so about 200 g / 7 oz less than the Spectre x360 15.

Connectivity

While the predecessor lacked a Thunderbolt port, it's included on this year's version. In addition, the Spectre x360 15 ships with one USB 3.1 Type-A port as well as a USB 3.1 Type-C port. Since both are Gen 1, however, the maximum transfer rate is limited to 5 Gbps. An HDMI port supplies the only dedicated video out, but the Thunderbolt port supports DisplayPort 1.2 as well, so users can always go that route. Note that the 90W power adapter features a USB Type-C plug, so one of the ports is going to be occupied when the laptop is charging.

Left side: USB 3.1 Type-A, 3.5 mm combo-jack, power button,SD card reader
Left side: USB 3.1 Type-A, 3.5 mm combo-jack, power button,SD card reader
Right side: volume rocker switch, HDMI, Thunderbolt port, USB Type-C
Right side: volume rocker switch, HDMI, Thunderbolt port, USB Type-C
Front: no connectivity
Front: no connectivity
Rear: no connectivity
Rear: no connectivity

SD Card Reader

The SD card reader performance is outstanding with a sustained transfer rate of 250 MB/s according to the tool AS SSD. Copying jpeg-picture files to the hard drive is possible at about 126 MB/s. As always, we use our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II Reference card for this test. 

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
126.3 MB/s ∼100%
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 80V4002HGE
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
64.1 MB/s ∼51% -49%
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
57.3 MB/s ∼45% -55%
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
21 MB/s ∼17% -83%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
250.6 MB/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
202.8 MB/s ∼81% -19%
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 80V4002HGE
(Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
84 MB/s ∼34% -66%
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
26.5 MB/s ∼11% -89%

Communication

The Spectre comes with a 2x2 Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 module with the antenna integrated into the top bezel. We measured sustained transfer rates of about 625 Mbps for receive and about 500 Mbps for send when connected to our Linksys EA8500 reference router  - a very good result. Bluetooth 4.2 is integrated as well. We experienced no issues during the review period and the connection remained stable at all times.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
625 MBit/s ∼100%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
503 MBit/s ∼100%

Accessories

The very upscale-looking box contains the notebook, a faux leather sleeve, the 90 W power adapter and the usual setup instruction as well as warranty pamphlet. In addition, HP supplies their HP Active Stylus Pen and three adapters:  USB Type-C to VGA,  USB Type-C to USB Type-A, and a USB Type-C to RJ45 dongle.

Discussion

Maintenance

Accessing the hardware requires removal of 6 tiny Torx screws and two additional Phillips screws hidden under the rear plastic/rubber feet so the bottom cover can be taken off. The RAM appears to be soldered on, so the maintenance tasks are limited to cleaning the two system fans or swapping out the M.2 SSD or the wireless module.

Update: according to the user manual, the RAM is upgradable (either 4 GB or 8 GB PC4-2400 will fit).

Warranty

As a consumer/prosumer product, the Spectre x360 15 comes with a standard warranty and is thus protected against manufacturers defects for a period of one year. Additional coverage through HP can be selected at the time of purchase. A Care Pack upgrade to a 2-year warranty with accidental damage protection and free pickup and return service, for example, costs $190 at the time of writing.

Webcam

Video conferencing is a mixed bag: while the audio is quite good thanks to dual array digital microphone, the picture quality of HP's "TrueVision FHD" camera leaves to be desired. The test picture on the right was taken in a room with a ceiling fan equipped with 3x 13W (60W equivalent) Sylvania Micro-Mini CFL Soft White light bulbs above and to the left of the notebook. Even though we wouldn't consider this a "low light" shot, the color noise is extremely pronounced - particularly in black areas. Color accuracy is also quite poor with orange rendered as red and the details in Pooh's fur are completely washed out.

Input Devices

Keyboard

At first glance, the keyboard seems to be the same unit as the one used for the Spectre x360 13. Compared to the smaller sibling, key travel has increased though from 1.3 mm to 1.5 mm, however. The keys are slightly concave and spaced at about 3 mm and offer just enough feedback. Typing on the keyboard is very comfortable even at higher speeds and for prolonged periods of time. We don't have too many complaints: we would've liked to see full-sized arrow keys and more than one level of brightness for the backlit keyboard. One other, though fairly minor dislike: the space key in particular makes quite a racket, which might bother noise-sensitive users or users operating in particularly quiet environments.

Touchpad

For a Windows machine, the Synaptics touchpad is exceptionally large at 14 x 6.5 cm (5.5 x 2.6 inches). The etched glass surface is smooth with just the right amount of friction and responds to inputs well even if the fingers should be slightly moist. Given the large surface area, multi-touch gestures like two-finger scrolling or three-finger flick are very easy to perform. The integrated mouse keys work well enough, but right clicks are only recognized in the bottom right quarter both horizontally and vertically and not starting in the middle, as one would assume. As a result, we often executed left clicks when we required a right click. As fitting for a convertible, the keyboard and the touchpad are disabled when the display is folded back.

Touchscreen & Stylus

The 4K touchscreen works flawlessly even into the vary corners and the edges. Flipping the lid all the way around until it rests on the back of the bottom unit puts the convertible into tablet mode. Holding a slate this large and heavy for longer periods time is not necessarily something we particularly enjoy, however. The stylus or "Active Pen", as HP calls it, is powered by a small AAAA battery and features 2 programmable buttons, which can be assigned their function using the HP Pen Control software. In Microsoft OneNote, we found the pen to work smoothly and accurately. The inking capabilities are particularly useful of course with the x360 Spectre 15 in tablet mode for annotating text or marking up images. A drawback: unlike Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the Spectre has no integrated pen holder. The flip side of this coin is that the stylus is a little larger in diameter - more like a real pen - and is thus much easier to hold for longer periods than Lenovo's super-slim integrated unit.

Chiclet keyboard
Chiclet keyboard
Extremely large glass touchpad
Extremely large glass touchpad
Backlit keyboard - on/off only
Backlit keyboard - on/off only
The Active Pen is included as well
The Active Pen is included as well

Display

RGB subpixel array
RGB subpixel array

As we mentioned in our intro, HP has made the 15.6-inch UHD UWVA eDP WLED-backlit IPS display with 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) the sole panel choice. Along with a manufacturer switch - the predecessor with 4K display used a panel from LG Philips, while the new Spectre x360 15 utilizes one from BOE - HP also decided to drop the PenTile-technology in favor of standard RGB , so we ought to see a better contrast ratio this time around. 

Thanks to the bonded glass screen combined with the ultra-high resolution, the icons and text are supremely sharp without any apparent graininess. The only caveat: the display doesn't always render older applications and even some newer ones appropriately, so text can be either next to unreadable or fuzzy around the edges because of the scaled view. This is a still somewhat common issue with UHD displays, however and not isolated to the review convertible. Our measurements show an average brightness of about 340 nits, so the new panel is a bit brighter than that of the predecessor, which reached 275 nits. The contrast ratio is better, too, but still far from great at 717:1. While we don't expect the Spectre to compete with the perfectly-black backgrounds of Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Yoga with OLED display, other panels do much better here. The display of the Yoga 910, for example, is marginally dimmer at 310 nits, but the contrast is essentially twice as high at 1400:1. Subjectively, the panel does look quite good, however.

Backlight bleeding is minimal and restricted mostly to the lower and upper edges of the panel. During normal use, these just marginally brighter spots are next to invisible.


Addendum 03/24/2017: at the request of a reader, we repeated our contrast measurements. This time we measured a contrast ratio of 1468:1. Black level measurements are extremely sensitive especially for displays with higher contrast levels and even a slight black level change will alter the result dramatically. Backlight bleeding and where the screen is measured can also make a measurable difference.

325.3
cd/m²
345
cd/m²
339
cd/m²
312.2
cd/m²
351.5
cd/m²
347.8
cd/m²
298.2
cd/m²
347.5
cd/m²
361.4
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 361.4 cd/m² Average: 336.4 cd/m² Minimum: 17 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 351.5 cd/m²
Contrast: 1528:1 (Black: 0.23 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.3 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 1.9 | - Ø
88.2% sRGB (Argyll) 64.4% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.09
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
UHD UWVA eDP BrightView WLED-backlit , IPS, 15.6, 3840×2160
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
Sharp SHP1453 LQ156M1, LED IGZO IPS InfinityEdge, 15.6, 1920x1080
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Samsung ATNA40JU01-0, OLED, 14, 2560x1440
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 80V4002HGE
AU Optronics B140HAN03.0, a-Si WLED TFT, IPS, 14, 1920x1080
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
AU Optronics B156HW01 V0, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
27%
-29%
40%
-33%
24%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
44
32.8
25%
54
-23%
1
98%
53
-20%
42
5%
Response Time Black / White *
38.8
28
28%
52.4
-35%
1
97%
33
15%
22
43%
PWM Frequency
1000
240
-76%
50
-95%
Screen
-37%
-38%
-31%
-68%
-30%
Brightness
336
295
-12%
392
17%
277
-18%
302
-10%
249
-26%
Brightness Distribution
83
88
6%
89
7%
91
10%
77
-7%
85
2%
Black Level *
0.23
0.57
-148%
0.26
-13%
0.31
-35%
0.26
-13%
Contrast
1528
523
-66%
1538
1%
1097
-28%
1023
-33%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.3
4.43
-34%
4.9
-48%
5.15
-56%
6.75
-105%
4.98
-51%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.9
2.45
-29%
7.2
-279%
5.44
-186%
8.47
-346%
2.68
-41%
Gamma
2.09 115%
2.45 98%
2.11 114%
2.28 105%
2.22 108%
2.27 106%
CCT
6784 96%
6326 103%
6911 94%
5686 114%
6557 99%
6583 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
64.4
57.2
-11%
64.2
0%
98
52%
58
-10%
36
-44%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
88.2
87.8
0%
98.9
12%
100
13%
89
1%
57
-35%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-5% / -24%
-34% / -36%
5% / -7%
-51% / -58%
-3% / -19%

* ... smaller is better

At 64 and 88 percent, color coverage for the professional color spaces AdobeRGB and sRGB is just marginally better than that of the predecessor. Users primarily interested in photo or video editing are better served with Thinkpad X1 Yoga, which is near perfect here, or Dell's XPS 15, which covers sRGB at almost 100 percent as well.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Dell XPS 15
vs. Dell XPS 15

Further measurements with the X-Rite i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer and the CALMAN software show good grayscale as well as color accuracy with average DeltaE deviations of 1.9 and 3.3, respectively. A calibration does not noticeably improve the results with red and particularly green showing higher deviations than the other colors at higher saturation levels. For home use, the panel is perfectly acceptable and the quality appropriate for the price point.

ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after 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
38.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.4 ms rise
↘ 32.4 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. » 93 % 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
44 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.4 ms rise
↘ 23.6 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. » 58 % 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 detected 1000 Hz99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 1000 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 959 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 30860) Hz was measured.

Unlike the predecessor, the 2017-version of the 15-inch Spectre uses PWM for brightness regulation at any brightness level below 100 percent. Since the frequency is quite high at 1 kHz, even sensitive users are not likely going to experience any discomfort, however.

Outdoor usability is quite decent for a glare-type display thanks to the comparatively high brightness of almost 340 nits, even though the contrast is a little too low. Still, while working in the shade is not too straining for the eyes, direct sunlight or even brighter overcast days are out of the question. Convertibles with much dimmer displays - just about 250 nits in case of the like the Dell Inspiron 15  - are even more at disadvantage here. 

Viewing angle stability is - typical for panels based on IPS technology - very good. Even at very shallow angles, the picture remains perfectly visible with no noticeable dimming or color changes. 

Outdoor use - shade
Outdoor use - shade
Outdoor use - tablet mode (overcast sky)
Outdoor use - tablet mode (overcast sky)
Outstanding viewing angle stability (IPS)
Outstanding viewing angle stability (IPS)

Performance

While HP sells the smaller Spectre x360 13 with either the Intel Core i5-7200U or the Intel Core i7-7500U processor online, the 15.6-inch Spectre x360 can only be purchased with the i7 CPU. Our configuration for $1500 comes with a 512 GB NVMe M.2 SSD and 16 GB of system RAM, which should guarantee great performance for some time to come. The base model for $1280 comes with 2x 4 GB of RAM. An upgrade to 16 GB DDR4-2133 SDRAM (2x 8 GB) costs $120 more.

 

Processor

The dual-core i7-7500U (2.7 GHz, up to 3.5 GHz, 4 MB cache, TDP 15 watts) is used in a lot of different mid to higher-end notebooks and convertibles and our sample generally performs as expected. The CPU handles common office and multimedia applications with aplomb and doesn't shy away from heavier processing tasks, either. During the Cinebench R15 multi-test, the processor cores operated at Turbo frequency of 3.1 - 3.5 GHz. Interesting is the fact that the Lenovo Yoga 910, which is equipped with the same CPU but suffers from a more pronounced drop in the Turbo frequency to 2.7 - 2.8 GHz, actually has a slightly higher multi-core score than the review convertible. The Spectre x360 15 outperforms the predecessor with previous-generation Core i5 CPU by roughly 10 and 20 percent for single and multi-core, respectively; systems with a 6th-generation i7 CPU like the Core i7-6500U are roughly 10 % slower.

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
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Intel Core i7-7500U
147 Points ∼76% +1%
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
146 Points ∼75% 0%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
146 Points ∼75%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Intel Core i7-6600U
135 Points ∼70% -8%
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
Intel Core i7-6500U
128 Points ∼66% -12%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel Core i5-6200U
123 Points ∼63% -16%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
508 Points ∼27% +50%
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Intel Core i7-7500U
354 Points ∼19% +4%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
339 Points ∼18%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel Core i5-6200U
310 Points ∼17% -9%
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
Intel Core i7-6500U
308 Points ∼17% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Intel Core i7-6600U
305 Points ∼16% -10%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
5663 Points ∼77%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel Core i5-6200U
4802 Points ∼65% -15%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
11874 Points ∼29%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel Core i5-6200U
9730 Points ∼24% -18%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.66 Points ∼75%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Intel Core i7-6600U
1.51 Points ∼69% -9%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel Core i5-6200U
1.37 Points ∼62% -17%
CPU Multi 64Bit
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.76 Points ∼19%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel Core i5-6200U
3.42 Points ∼17% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Intel Core i7-6600U
3.32 Points ∼17% -12%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel Core i5-6200U
497.941 s * ∼6% -0%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
496.7 s * ∼6%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel Core i5-6200U
655.981 Seconds * ∼3% -21%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
543.1 Seconds * ∼2%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6836
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
11874
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5663
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
58.5 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.76 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.66 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
63.3 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
339 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
146 Points
Help

System Performance

Compared to the predecessor with i5 CPU and integrated Intel Graphics HD 520, the new laptop is about 12 - 20 percent faster according to PCMark 8. The Dell XPS 15 2017 9560, on the other hand, packs more powerful hardware in form of the quad-core Kaby Lake i5-7300HQ and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU and pulls ahead by roughly 15 - 20 percent. Perceived performance is excellent with fast boots and application startups. A quick check with 3DMark 11 while the convertible was running on battery power showed no loss in performance whatsoever. During our time with the Spectre, we didn't experience any crashes or encountered unexpected lag.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7300HQ, WDC WD10SPCX-75KHST0 + SanDisk Z400s M.2 2242 32 GB Cache
4884 Points ∼75% +22%
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Toshiba THNSNK256GCS8
4433 Points ∼68% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZSLW1T0)
4410 Points ∼68% +10%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG3 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
4016 Points ∼62%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
3576 Points ∼55% -11%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG3 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
4542 Points ∼49%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
3796 Points ∼41% -16%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7300HQ, WDC WD10SPCX-75KHST0 + SanDisk Z400s M.2 2242 32 GB Cache
3659 Points ∼61% +13%
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Toshiba THNSNK256GCS8
3607 Points ∼60% +11%
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
3555 Points ∼59% +9%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZSLW1T0)
3489 Points ∼58% +7%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG3 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
3249 Points ∼54%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
2847 Points ∼48% -12%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3249 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4542 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4016 points
Help

Storage Devices

M.2 SSD under the ribbon cable could be swapped out
M.2 SSD under the ribbon cable could be swapped out

Performance of the SSD - a Toshiba XG3 NVMe THNSN5512GPUK - is great across the board. The capacity of 512 GB should be sufficient for most users, but for those requiring even more storage, HP also offers an upgrade to a 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD for an additional $200. We did encounter an issue with the tool AS SSD, which recorded excellent read, but sub-par write rates. We repeated the test several times with near-identical outcome. While we have provided the results below, we need to urge our readers to take the write rates in particular with a grain of salt, as they are quite obviously wrong.

Crystal Disk Mark
Crystal Disk Mark
HD Tune
HD Tune
AS SSD
AS SSD
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Toshiba XG3 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
WDC WD10SPCX-75KHST0 + SanDisk Z400s M.2 2242 32 GB Cache
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZSLW1T0)
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
Toshiba THNSNK256GCS8
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-1%
-50%
-90%
-3%
-55%
Write 4k QD32
395.2
488.7
24%
138.7
-65%
1.057
-100%
319
-19%
197.6
-50%
Read 4k QD32
527.2
570.3
8%
281.2
-47%
69.75
-87%
404
-23%
275.3
-48%
Write 4k
139.4
159.7
15%
93
-33%
1.021
-99%
126
-10%
86.67
-38%
Read 4k
40.72
43.5
7%
35.48
-13%
10.84
-73%
37
-9%
19.88
-51%
Write 512
713.9
579.6
-19%
318.9
-55%
42.51
-94%
242
-66%
Read 512
834.2
701.1
-16%
258.4
-69%
101.7
-88%
397.4
-52%
Write Seq
981.5
578.4
-41%
425
-57%
74.17
-92%
1193
22%
270
-72%
Read Seq
1266
1412
12%
475.6
-62%
123
-90%
1510
19%
458.6
-64%
Toshiba XG3 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Transfer Rate Minimum: 350.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 1190.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 1041.2 MB/s
Access Time: 0.044 ms
Burst Rate: 498 MB/s
CPU Usage: 7.7 %

GPU Performance

The new Spectre x360 15 now comes with a dedicated GeForce 940MX graphics card. The processor-integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 is of course still available as well for transparent switching between low-power 2D and more demanding 3D applications. HP's implementation of the GeForce graphics card is based on the GM108 chip and comes with 384 unified shaders and 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM. The GPU supports DirectX 12 and runs at up to 1189 MHz. Performance according to PCMark 11 is leaps and bounds with the 940MX outperforming the integrated HD Graphics 620 by approximately 60 %. The variant of the 940MX which sees duty in the review convertible with GDDR5 RAM also clearly outperforms the version with DDR3 RAM - according to the PCMark 11 GPU sub-score, the difference is at least 7 percent, but can be as much as 14 percent in case of the Lenovo Yoga 710-14ISK with Intel Core i5-6200U.

3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7300HQ
5995 Points ∼38% +130%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2609 Points ∼16%
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1609 Points ∼10% -38%
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6500U
1549 Points ∼10% -41%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6600U
1462 Points ∼9% -44%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1447 Points ∼9% -45%
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 80V4002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1133 Points ∼7% -57%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7300HQ
8201 Points ∼16% +218%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2576 Points ∼5%
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1623 Points ∼3% -37%
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6500U
1506 Points ∼3% -42%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6600U
1458 Points ∼3% -43%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1404 Points ∼3% -45%
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 80V4002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1403 Points ∼3% -46%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7300HQ
6393 Points ∼16% +202%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2115 Points ∼5%
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1045 Points ∼3% -51%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6600U
931 Points ∼2% -56%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
883 Points ∼2% -58%
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 80V4002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
777 Points ∼2% -63%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7300HQ
39864 Points ∼24% +237%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
11821 Points ∼7%
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
9060 Points ∼6% -23%
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6500U
8388 Points ∼5% -29%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6600U
7572 Points ∼5% -36%
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 80V4002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
6670 Points ∼4% -44%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
6217 Points ∼4% -47%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 80V4002HGE
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
35413 Points ∼9% +5%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
33758 Points ∼9%
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
27133 Points ∼7% -20%
3DMark 11 Performance
2772 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
22543 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7908 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
1926 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
969 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Compared to the predecessor with integrated graphics only, the gaming performance takes a substantial leap forward as well. While the Intel HD Graphics 520 topped out at 16 fps on low settings while playing Rise Of The Tomb Raider, the 940MX in the review 2-in-1 managed a comparatively smooth 38 fps. Still, despite the increase in performance, users wanting to take advantage of the display's 4K resolution are going to be disappointed: not only is the raw processing power of the GPU not sufficient, but in addition, the 940MX only has access to 2 GB of video RAM, which is not nearly enough for 4K gaming.

low med. high ultra
Anno 2070 (2011) 190.183.250.527.1fps
Sleeping Dogs (2012) 122.493.645.511.9fps
Hitman: Absolution (2012) 77.256.627.510.8fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 184.492.752.126.5fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 127.569.85921.6fps
Company of Heroes 2 (2013) 28.424.214.68.7fps
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014) 55.332.519.315.1fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 38.518.415.313.8fps

Stress Test

To identify potential throttling or stability issues, we use the synthetic benchmarks Prime95 and Furmark to stress the CPU and GPU, respectively. With Prime95 running, the CPU maintains the maximum mulit-core Boost of 3.5 GHz only for a few seconds before dropping to 3.1 and then 2.9 Ghz. At about 75 degrees C, the fan kicks in and the temperature drops and subsequently slowly fluctuates between 67 - 71 degrees. When running Furmark on its own, the GeForce 940MX maintained between 1163 - 1176 MHz, so very close to the maximum of 1189 MHz. The temperature started out at 45 degrees C and climbed to around 73 degrees C before stabilizing at 72 degrees C.

Running both Prime95 and Furmark simultaneously will decrease the speed of the CPU cores from the initial 2.9 GHz to 2.7 GHz within the first couple minutes. The temperature of the CPU cores reached 92 degrees C briefly before the fan system spooled up another notch to combat the increase in heat. The CPU cores subsequently stabilized at about 85 degrees C. The GPU meanwhile fluctuates from 1133 - 1163 MHz with the temperature remaining around 73 degrees C. About ten minutes into the test, we encountered throttling for the first time, as the CPU cores dropped from their nominal speed of 2.7 GHz to 2.4 GHz even though the temperature had not increased significantly. Another ten minutes later, the CPU cores had dropped to 2.1 GHz with all other parameters remaining as before. No further changes occurred even after reaching the end of the test period of one hour. A run of 3DMark 11 immediately after showed no decrease in performance. 

The Unigine Heaven stress test is representative of real-world loads like gaming and similarly demanding tasks. Here, the CPU and the GPU initially maintained at or just below their respective maximum Turbo-frequency of 3.5 GHz and 1189 MHz, respectively, with the temperatures of the CPU reaching 90 degrees C and the GPU remaining at 71 degrees C. After 15 minutes, the CPU speed had dropped to between 2.6 and 2.7 GHz with the cores at 73 degrees C; the GPU remained as before with the temperature now at about 68 degrees.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
Furmark stress
Furmark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Unigine Heaven stress
Unigine Heaven stress
#Table_Do NOT_translate!
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.9 - 71 -
FurMark Stress - 1170 - 72
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 2.1 1148 72 72
Unigine Heaven Stress 2.6 1189 73 68

Emissions

System Noise

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)

The HP Spectre x360 15 is mostly inaudible during idle, as the fans are not running at all, although they do sometimes turns on for no apparent reason with the noise level then jumping to 36 dB. Subjected to medium and high loads, the fan reaches a maximum of almost 43 dB, so the 2017 edition of the Spectre x360 is a bit noisier than the predecessor. Overall, the system is well behaved, although the fan noise during prolonged loads can get annoying after a while. The Dell Inspiron 15 convertible with integrated GPU only tops out at 36 dB, the XPS 15 with much more potent hardware and dedicated reaches an uncomfortable 48 dB under full load.

Noise Level

Idle
28.5 / 28.5 / 36.3 dB(A)
Load
42.7 / 42.7 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1 (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.5 dB(A)
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG3 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
HD Graphics 520, 6200U, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7300HQ, WDC WD10SPCX-75KHST0 + SanDisk Z400s M.2 2242 32 GB Cache
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
HD Graphics 520, 6600U, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZSLW1T0)
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
HD Graphics 520, 6500U, Toshiba THNSNK256GCS8
Lenovo Yoga 710-14IKB 80V4002HGE
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung MZYTY256HDHP
Noise
4%
6%
-8%
9%
1%
6%
Idle Minimum *
28.5
31.7
-11%
29.5
-4%
31.6
-11%
28.9
-1%
32.8
-15%
30.16
-6%
Idle Average *
28.5
31.7
-11%
29.5
-4%
31.6
-11%
28.9
-1%
32.8
-15%
30.16
-6%
Idle Maximum *
36.3
31.7
13%
29.6
18%
33.4
8%
28.9
20%
33.8
7%
30.5
16%
Load Average *
42.7
38.4
10%
38.1
11%
47.8
-12%
35.3
17%
36.3
15%
37.2
13%
Load Maximum *
42.7
34.7
19%
38.2
11%
47.8
-12%
38.9
9%
36.3
15%
37
13%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Unlike the predecessor, the new Spectre x360 15 is now equipped with two system fans. The surfaces temperatures are uniformly low at idle with the warmest spot at 34 degrees C just below the HP logo on the lower bezel. During the stress test, this general area reaches 50 degrees C on the bottom. In laptop mode, the location of the hotspot keeps the legs out of harms way, although the same can't be said for tablet mode, as this section now can rest against the underarm depending on how the user carries the device. Still, these extreme temperatures are rarely achieved during everyday use.

Prime95+FurMark stress (Top)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Top)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Bottom)
Prime95+FurMark stress (Bottom)
Max. Load
 37.2 °C47 °C43.2 °C 
 40.2 °C43.8 °C43.2 °C 
 33.4 °C29.2 °C33.4 °C 
Maximum: 47 °C
Average: 39 °C
45.2 °C50.2 °C40.4 °C
38.8 °C39.2 °C39 °C
32.2 °C32.4 °C32.8 °C
Maximum: 50.2 °C
Average: 38.9 °C
Power Supply (max.)  44.8 °C | Room Temperature 20 °C | Raytek Raynger ST

Speakers

Marginal frequency response in the lower Hz range
Marginal frequency response in the lower Hz range

The sound produced by the two stereo speakers - found under perforations to the left and right of the keyboard -  isn't exactly a revelation. The speakers are sufficiently loud for an average-sized room, but the sound quality is unfortunately lacking. Although the highs are decent enough and not overly tinny, the lower frequencies are less pronounced while bass is barely detectable at all. The "Bang & Olufsen Audio" app lets the user adjust some basic settings, but in our opinion the tweaks only have a fairly minimal effect. We recommend external speakers or headphones for extended listening sessions. For movies and video clips, the speakers are usuable enought, but there is no question that the Spectre can't compete with a full-sized multimedia laptop.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs20038.835.125034.333.831032.633.240031.13350030.931.663029.531.780030.429.2100028.828.4125028.530.1160027.240.2200026.449.8250025.755.2315024.357.3400024.755.2500023.651.2630023.856.480002363.21000022.965.9125002362.41600022.363.12000022.459.82500022.259.73150022.158.34000022.3625000022.358.76300022.458.38000022.457.710000022.460.412500022.559.316000022.453.4SPL72.934.872.9N31.72.331.7median 22.9HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xxmedian 58.3Delta1.64.735.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (72.93 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 1.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 42% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 52% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 35%
Compared to all devices tested
» 23% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 71% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 95% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 1% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 22%, worst was 48%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption is comparatively high with the idle power consumption ranging from 8-12 watts - the large 4K display definitely makes its presence known. Load average and maximum are also higher than those of other 14 -15-inch devices with the exception of the Dell XPS 15, which features extremely potent hardware. The maximum power draw exceeds that of the predecessor by 35 watts, which explains why HP switched to a larger (and much heavier) 90 watt power adapter.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.49 / 0.73 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 8.14 / 10.91 / 12.26 Watt
Load midlight 45.67 / 74.94 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
7500U, GeForce 940MX, Toshiba XG3 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK), IPS, 3840×2160 , 15.6
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
7500U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.9
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
6200U, HD Graphics 520, Sandisk X300 SD7SN6S-256G-1006, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
7300HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), WDC WD10SPCX-75KHST0 + SanDisk Z400s M.2 2242 32 GB Cache, LED IGZO IPS InfinityEdge, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
6600U, HD Graphics 520, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZSLW1T0), OLED, 2560x1440, 14
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
6500U, HD Graphics 520, Toshiba THNSNK256GCS8, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
41%
11%
-19%
26%
40%
Idle Minimum *
8.14
4.3
47%
6.5
20%
6.6
19%
4.7
42%
4.34
47%
Idle Average *
10.91
6.3
42%
13.3
-22%
9
18%
8.6
21%
7.5
31%
Idle Maximum *
12.26
9
27%
15.1
-23%
10.7
13%
12.2
-0%
8.4
31%
Load Average *
45.67
32.7
28%
30.8
33%
77.5
-70%
29.7
35%
30.4
33%
Load Maximum *
74.94
28.8
62%
38.5
49%
130
-73%
50.5
33%
32.5
57%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

In light of the higher power consumption, HP increased the capacity of the integrated Lithioum-Ion battery from 65 Wh to 79 Wh and promises runtimes of "up to 12.75 hours". During our WLAN test, the Spectre was able to last for nearly 9 hours before shutting down, besting the predecessor by 1.5 hours. This is an impressive result. The Yoga 910, which lacks a dedicated GPU and has a smaller 13.9-inch screen, packs a same-sized battery pack and lasts 2 hours longer. Nonetheless, the Spectre x360 15 should last through an entire work day without requiring an outlet. If charging should be required, HP's Fast Charge technology allows the battery to reach 50 % capacity in just 30 minutes.

WLAN runtime
WLAN runtime
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Minimum runtime (Classic Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Maximum runtime (Reader's Test)
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
14h 26min
WiFi Surfing
0h 00min
WiFi Surfing v1.3
8h 55min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 28min
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
7500U, GeForce 940MX, 79.2 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 78 Wh
HP Spectre x360 15-ap012dx
6200U, HD Graphics 520, 65 Wh
Dell XPS 15 2017 9560 (7300HQ, Full-HD)
7300HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 56 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga-20FRS1VS00
6600U, HD Graphics 520, 56 Wh
Dell Inspiron 15 5568
6500U, HD Graphics 520, 42 Wh
Battery Runtime
20%
-21%
-39%
-19%
-43%
Reader / Idle
866
1069
23%
705
-19%
565
-35%
824
-5%
449
-48%
Load
148
174
18%
113
-24%
84
-43%
132
-11%
93
-37%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
535
644
20%
431
-19%
334
-38%
315
-41%
299
-44%

Pro

+ upscale & sleek design
+ high build quality
+ solid performance across the board
+ bright 4K display
+ dedicated GPU
+ Thunderbolt 3 port
+ active stylus included
+ decent, backlit keyboard
+ extra-wide touchpad
+ long battery life
+ Fast Charge technology

Cons

- fan control is quite abrupt
- both the Type-C as well as the Type-A USB ports are Gen 1
- hinge not quite stiff enough
- glossy display
- right-clicks are finicky
- heavy power adapter
- prone to fingerprints
- RJ45 (included) and DisplayPort (not included) require adapters
- noisy space bar
- speaker performance could be better

Verdict

In review: HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx. Test model provided by HP US.
In review: HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx. Test model provided by HP US.

HP's newly redesigned 15.6-inch Spectre x360 picks up where the smaller 13.3-inch brother left off. The CNC aluminum chassis is sturdy and feels as good as it looks, despite the fact that it's slightly thicker than before. The updated hardware with Kaby Lake i7 processor and 512 GB M.2 SSD is powerful and also reasonably future-proof. The larger-capacity battery copes well with the increased power requirements and the battery life has improved compared to the predecessor. The 4K panel - now standard RGB instead of PenTile - is bright and vivid, the input devices are decent and the Active Pen makes jotting down notes a pleasurable experience. One of the biggest news is the move to a dedicated GPU, which should appeal to users interested in the occasional gaming session in addition to productivity tasks.

We have comparatively little to complain about: the bonded glass display lid is heavy, so the hinges don't hold it as securely as we would like. There are no protective bumpers of any kind surrounding the base unit or the display, so the convertible slides around on smooth surfaces and the aluminum edges will likely scuff and scratch if the convertible is used in tent mode on less-than-ideal surfaces. 4K displays still suffer from scaling issues at times and not every user needs or wants that high of a resolution, so it would've been nice for HP to offer a Full-HD or WQHD panel at least as an option. Last but not least, a 15.6-inch convertible is large and heavy even if does feature ultra-slim bezels, so its usefulness as a tablet might be somewhat limited.

We can't find many faults with the HP Spectre x360 15. It's a solid, well-performing 2-in-1 and as such one of the best choices when considering a large convertible.

HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx - 03/07/2017 v6
Bernhard Pechlaner

Chassis
87 / 98 → 89%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
72 / 81 → 88%
Weight
63 / 67 → 91%
Battery
91%
Display
84%
Games Performance
68 / 85 → 80%
Application Performance
84 / 92 → 92%
Temperature
87%
Noise
83 / 95 → 87%
Audio
56%
Camera
40 / 85 → 46%
Add Points
+1%
Average
70%
86%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

Read all 24 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment this article:
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx Convertible Review
Bernhard Pechlaner, 2017-02-21 (Update: 2017-03-26)