Notebookcheck

HP Spectre x360 13 (7500U, 4K UHD) Convertible Review

Spectre spectacle. HP introduced the redesigned Spectre x360 FHD last November with the promise of a 4K UHD version in early 2017. The manufacturer has finally delivered with the Spectre x360 13-ac033dx, though the 4K SKU will cost a hefty $1600 USD.

The second-generation Spectre x360 13 launched late last year and it was instantly recognized as the best Windows laptop for its design and ease of use. Cutting the display bezel down to mere millimeters was enough to make the 13.3-inch convertible one of the most practical in its category as all previous convertibles before it were arguably too bulky for comfortable tablet use or too slow to replace a dedicated laptop. After all, users who want a convertible 2-in-1 are likely interested in it replacing both an aging tablet and notebook.

The early 2017 update adds just a couple new features to the series including the lucrative 4K UHD option and native support for an active stylus pen. The 8 GB FHD version starts at just $1200 USD, but the 4K display and sleeker Dark Ash color scheme inspired by the Spectre 13 are reserved for the highest-end SKU starting at $1600 USD. Otherwise, users are treated to essentially the same experience as the 2016 version.

The Spectre x360 13 competes against the Lenovo Yoga 910, Asus Zenbook Flip UX310, and the recently released Dell XPS 13 9365 in the 13.3-inch convertible category. Check out our existing reviews on other Spectre x360 configurations for more details on the series. 

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HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx (Spectre x360 13 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 620, Core: 300 MHz, Memory: 933 MHz, DDR3, 21.20.16.4542
Memory
16384 MB 
, Dual-Channel, LPDDR3, 1066.7 MHz, 14-17-17-40, Soldered
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 3840 x 2160 pixel 331 PPI, 10-point capacitive, LG Philips LGD054D, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U + iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 13.8 x 306 x 218 ( = 0.54 x 12.05 x 8.58 in)
Battery
57.8 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, Quick Start guide, HP Active Stylus, HP Pen Control, McAfee anti-virus, HP ePrint, HP Orbit, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.3 kg ( = 45.86 oz / 2.87 pounds), Power Supply: 270 g ( = 9.52 oz / 0.6 pounds)
Price
1600 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Aside from the new Gold color scheme reserved only for the 4K UHD SKU, users can expect the same high quality CNC aluminum chassis from top to bottom as the Spectre x360 13 FHD. Our test unit exhibits no noticeable crevices or unintended gaps between edges and corners. Applying pressure on the center of the keyboard surface or the outer lid will result in no significant warping. Similarly, both the base and lid are highly resistant to twisting and do not creak when handled. In comparison, the lid of the Yoga 900 and 910 are more flexible while the thicker lid of the XPS 13 9360 is slightly firmer. The dual hinges, though not as flashy as the wristband hinge on the Lenovo, are evenly firm at all angles. Slight teetering will occur whilst typing or opening the lid that we find to be unobtrusive. In all, there's very little to complain about the design of the Spectre x360 convertible.

In terms of size and weight, the Spectre convertible is lighter, smaller, and thinner than both the 2015 MacBook Air 13 and the new Lenovo Yoga 910. It's also nearly identical to the XPS 13 9365 except that the HP is wider by about 20 mm in order to preserve the original placement of the webcam and avoid those awkward camera angles. The drawback, of course, is that the bezel is larger on one of its three sides and just slightly heavier than the Dell equivalent. Tablet mode is a bit easier to handle on the XPS 13 9365 as a result, albeit at a system performance cost.

HP says that the added support for active stylus pens has resulted in a thicker chassis. At 13.8 mm, the new model is just one-tenth of a millimeter thicker than the 2016 Spectre x360 13. The minuscule differences in size are insignificant during everyday use, but it's still worth mentioning that the chassis is not perfectly identical to last year's model.

Tent mode
Tent mode
Tablet mode
Tablet mode
Laptop mode
Laptop mode
325 mm / 12.8 inch 227 mm / 8.94 inch 17 mm / 0.669 inch 1.4 kg3.01 lbs323 mm / 12.7 inch 224.5 mm / 8.84 inch 14.3 mm / 0.563 inch 1.4 kg3.04 lbs325 mm / 12.8 inch 229 mm / 9.02 inch 10.4 mm / 0.4094 inch 1.1 kg2.45 lbs306 mm / 12 inch 218 mm / 8.58 inch 13.8 mm / 0.543 inch 1.3 kg2.87 lbs305.6 mm / 12 inch 217.9 mm / 8.58 inch 13.7 mm / 0.539 inch 1.3 kg2.81 lbs304 mm / 12 inch 199 mm / 7.83 inch 13.7 mm / 0.539 inch 1.2 kg2.71 lbs

Connectivity

Port selection remains unchanged from the 2016 model. Either of the two Thunderbolt 3 ports can be used for charging or to connect external 4K monitors and docking stations for expanded versatility. The single USB 3.0 Type-A port is also invaluable for external mice and thumb drives. More ultra-thin notebooks are beginning to omit USB Type-A including the MacBook Pro 13, XPS 13 9365, and even HP's own Spectre 13.

Unfortunately, the HP convertible is still lacking an integrated SD reader not unlike the Yoga 910. Even the new EliteBook x360 13, which shares similar design qualities to the Spectre x360 13, carries a MicroSD reader.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: 2x USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, Volume rocker
Right: 2x USB Type-C + Thunderbolt 3, Volume rocker
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Left: USB 3.0, 3.5 mm combo audio, Power button
Left: USB 3.0, 3.5 mm combo audio, Power button

Communication

The removable 2x2 Intel 8265 M.2 module integrates Bluetooth 4.2 and promises a maximum theoretical transfer rate of 867 Mbps. Our own tests show a real-world transfer rate of 622 Mbps when connected to a standard 802.11ac network on a Linksys EA8500 test router. We experienced no connectivity issues during our time with the HP test unit. Unlike the EliteBook x360 equivalent, the Spectre x360 includes no WWAN or SIM options.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
648 MBit/s ∼100% +5%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
619 MBit/s ∼96%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
309 MBit/s ∼48% -50%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
529 MBit/s ∼100% +15%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
471 MBit/s ∼89% +2%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
462 MBit/s ∼87%

Accessories

Included extras are a faux leather sleeve and, unlike on the 2016 Spectre x360 13, an active stylus pen. The pen itself is about 14 cm long and is as thick or thicker than a standard ballpoint pen for easier handling. On the down side, it doesn't come with a cap to protect the writing tip and there is no dedicated pen recess on the notebook for carrying unlike on certain Lenovo ThinkPads. HP has said that such a feature would have increased the thickness of the Spectre design, decrease the size and usability of the pen, and compromised the integrity of the chassis.

Maintenance

The bottom panel can be carefully removed with a sharp edge, T5 hex wrench, and a Philips screwdriver. Be sure to remove the extra screws hidden underneath the two rear rubber feet before prying open the edges and corners of the panel. Once removed, users will have direct access to the removable WLAN module and M.2 2280 SSD. The glued black strip provides additional protection for the components and soldered RAM modules. It's worth noting that the processor is on the underside of the motherboard not unlike the MSI GS63/73 series and is in contrast to the original 2015 Spectre x360 13.

Relatively easy access to internal components
Relatively easy access to internal components
Original Spectre X360 13 (Source: PCWorld)
Original Spectre X360 13 (Source: PCWorld)

Warranty

The standard one-year limited warranty applies to new purchases of the Spectre x360 13. Since HP also caters to enterprises and businesses, warranty options are extensive if users want additional assistance or protection against damage. In contrast, the EliteBook x360 13 comes standard with a three-year warranty. Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The darker color scheme may be new for the series, but the keyboard remains the same. Travel is still shallow at 1.3 mm and the firm keys feel light to press and do not wiggle in place. Auditory feedback is quieter than on a Dell XPS but noisier than on a Lenovo AccuType keyboard. Tactile feedback is still satisfactory and not at all spongy for an agreeable typing experience. Strangely enough, the Space bar on this particular test unit feels much firmer than on our previous Spectre x360 13 FHD unit.

Visually, we prefer the dark-colored keys over the bright silver keys on the older Spectre x360 13 as this contrasts better with the white lettering. HP continues to offer just one brightness level for the keyboard backlight - on or off - whereas nearly every other manufacturer offers at least two levels of adjustable brightness settings. Unlike the Lenovo Yoga series, there is no hard button to lock display rotation when in tablet mode.

Touchpad

The wide (12 x 6 cm) trackpad surface is responsive with smooth gliding characteristics and no jitters or "dead" spots. Not only is the trackpad larger than on the XPS 13, but its integrated mouse keys are firmer and louder in feedback when pressed. Clicking repeatedly in quick succession is not tiresome as the force required to input a click is quite light. Travel is shallow and slightly spongy; there is some "give" before the system will register a click. Overall, however, the trackpad is comfortable to use should an external mouse be unavailable.

Touchscreen

Tablet mode is much more practical than on the first generation Spectre x360 13 and definitely the larger Spectre x360 15. The stylus feels natural to hold and use, though the feel and glide of a plastic tip against glass will never quite match the traditional pen and paper experience. The HP series does not feature Lenovo's Lift'n Lock either, so be prepared to constantly click the touchpad and keyboard keys when handling the convertible. Thankfully, these inputs are automatically disabled once the lid is opened past 270 degrees.

The two buttons on the pen can be configured to perform different functions including Volume control, Shift, Tab, Play, Screenshot, and others. Button travel is shallow with firm and auditory feedback when pressed. However, they are slightly more difficult to press than on the Surface Pro 4 stylus simply because both buttons sit completely flush against the pen surface whereas the buttons on the Surface Pro 4 stylus protrude just slightly for easier use.

Display

The star of the new 2017 Spectre x360 13 is its 4K UHD option that was conspicuously missing on last year's Spectre x360 13. When compared to the FHD panel of the 2016 Spectre x360 13, this 4K UHD panel is slightly dimmer with slower black-white and gray-gray response times. In turn, the display carries deeper contrast levels and a wider gamut for sharper and more saturated colors. Video playback at native 4K resolution is incredibly detailed and the higher resolution panel pairs well with the supplied active stylus for notetaking. The LG Philips LGD054D panel is currently found on no other 13.3-inch notebook in our database.

One area of improvement we wish to see on a future Spectre x360 refresh is a brighter backlight with improved backlight distribution. Though 300 nits is sufficient for indoor use, it is nowhere near as bright as the MacBook Air 13 or even the standard Spectre 13. We believe that convertible notebooks in general should carry brighter panels since they are more portable and more likely to be used in outdoor conditions.

There is very slight uneven backlight bleeding along the bottom edge of the screen on our test unit that is unnoticeable during everyday use.

Minimum uneven backlight bleeding along the bottom edge
Minimum uneven backlight bleeding along the bottom edge
RGB subpixel matrix (331 PPI)
RGB subpixel matrix (331 PPI)
294
cd/m²
299.1
cd/m²
288.4
cd/m²
281.3
cd/m²
302.6
cd/m²
272
cd/m²
262.1
cd/m²
291.1
cd/m²
250.5
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
LG Philips LGD054D
X-Rite i1Pro Basic 2
Maximum: 302.6 cd/m² Average: 282.3 cd/m² Minimum: 16.05 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 302.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 1210:1 (Black: 0.25 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.4 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 2.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
97.1% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 65.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.2
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
LG Philips LGD054D, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
APPA033, , 13.3, 2560x1600
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
AU Optronics AUO323D / B139HAN03.2, IPS, 13.9, 3840x2160
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
CMN1374, IPS UWVA, 13.3, 1920x1080
HP Spectre x360 13-w023dx
Chi Mei CMN1367, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
-39%
-9%
8%
-7%
17%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
42 (20.8, 21.2)
47.2 (19.6, 27.6)
-12%
48 (16.4, 31.6)
-14%
46 (14, 32)
-10%
46 (26, 20)
-10%
33.2 (16, 17.2)
21%
Response Time Black / White *
32 (18, 14)
53 (10, 43)
-66%
32.8 (7.6, 25.2)
-3%
24 (6, 18)
25%
33 (21, 12)
-3%
28 (5.6, 22.4)
12%
PWM Frequency
1042 (29)
Screen
19%
-50%
-58%
-33%
-52%
Brightness middle
302.6
569
88%
322.6
7%
348
15%
404
34%
334.6
11%
Brightness
282
542
92%
306
9%
310
10%
382
35%
319
13%
Brightness Distribution
83
90
8%
91
10%
80
-4%
91
10%
90
8%
Black Level *
0.25
0.56
-124%
0.19
24%
0.25
-0%
0.35
-40%
0.336
-34%
Contrast
1210
1016
-16%
1698
40%
1392
15%
1154
-5%
996
-18%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.4
1.4
42%
7.7
-221%
7.86
-228%
5.37
-124%
6.21
-159%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
4.9
2.9
41%
11.1
-127%
13.43
-174%
9.46
-93%
12
-145%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.8
1.8
36%
7.9
-182%
8.25
-195%
6.44
-130%
7.71
-175%
Gamma
2.2 100%
2.16 102%
2.88 76%
2.05 107%
2.52 87%
2.36 93%
CCT
6333 103%
6877 95%
7044 92%
6834 95%
6738 96%
6458 101%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
65.5
78.4
20%
44.1
-33%
58
-11%
58
-11%
58.6
-11%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
97.1
99.3
2%
69.9
-28%
90
-7%
89
-8%
90
-7%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-10% / 9%
-30% / -43%
-25% / -47%
-20% / -29%
-18% / -40%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is approximately 97 percent and 66 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. This is slightly larger than the FHD panel on last year's Spectre x360 13 and significantly better than the recently released XPS 13 9365. The near complete sRGB coverage should satisfy digital artists where accurate sRGB representation is key.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. HP Spectre x360 13 FHD
vs. HP Spectre x360 13 FHD

Further measurements with a X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal accurate grayscale and colors out of the box. In fact, the display appears to be better calibrated at factory compared to many competing notebooks. End-user calibration will improve the display even further as shown by our results below. Interestingly, red is represented less accurately out of the primary and secondary colors, though this is but a small nitpick.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker 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
32 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 14 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. » 82 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
42 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20.8 ms rise
↘ 21.2 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. » 55 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.5 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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9259 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is average as the backlight is not strong enough to overcome direct sunlight or glare from the super-glossy touchscreen. The wide IPS viewing angles and 360-degree hinges help in minimizing glare, but onscreen texts and images will still look washed out. Tablet mode may be convenient, but don't expect the screen to be as bright as a Surface Pro 4 or that old iPad laying around.

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

Performance

Core configuration is essentially identical to the 2016 Spectre x360 13 including the i7-7500U, integrated HD Graphics 620, and either 8 GB or 16 GB of soldered LPDDR3 RAM depending on the SKU. Unlike the larger Spectre x360 15, there are no dedicated Nvidia options for improved graphics performance. This makes the Spectre x360 13 a poorer choice for gaming and video editing despite the very accurate display colors.

Processor

The dual-core i7-7500U in the HP is slightly slower in multi-threaded workloads than on the ThinkPad 13 or XPS 13 9360 with the same processor. CineBench Multi-Thread shows the Dell and Lenovo systems ahead of the Spectre by 6 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Fortunately, CineBench Single-Thread reveals essentially identical scores between the three notebooks. In either case, users are unlikely to notice the slower multi-thread performance of the Spectre during everyday use.

Upgrading from the passively-cooled Core i7-7Y75 in the XPS 13 9365 to the i7-7500U in the Spectre will boost single-thread and multi-thread performance by 10 percent and 23 percent, respectively.

See our dedicated page on the Core i7-7500U for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15

Running CineBench Multi-Thread in a loop shows no major declines in performance over time. The initial score of 317 points falls to just 305 points by the 20th run to represent a drop of just four percent.

We can observe no performance impact when running the CineBench Single-Thread test unlike on last year's Spectre x360 13.

0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
164 Points ∼75% +15%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
145 Points ∼67% +1%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
143 Points ∼66%
Dell XPS 13 9360-4764
Intel Core i7-7500U
142 Points ∼65% -1%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U
131 Points ∼60% -8%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
130 Points ∼60% -9%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
130 Points ∼60% -9%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 370-20JJS00100
Intel Core i5-7200U
126 Points ∼58% -12%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
123 Points ∼56% -14%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
117 Points ∼54% -18%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
351 Points ∼8% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
351 Points ∼8% +11%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i5-6267U
339 Points ∼8% +7%
Dell XPS 13 9360-4764
Intel Core i7-7500U
337 Points ∼8% +6%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
327 Points ∼7% +3%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
317 Points ∼7%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 370-20JJS00100
Intel Core i5-7200U
312 Points ∼7% -2%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
294 Points ∼7% -7%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
276 Points ∼6% -13%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
258 Points ∼6% -19%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
1.87 Points ∼77% +13%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.67 Points ∼68% +1%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.65 Points ∼68%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
1.54 Points ∼63% -7%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
1.48 Points ∼61% -10%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
1.43 Points ∼59% -13%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
1.33 Points ∼55% -19%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
3.89 Points ∼9% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.87 Points ∼9% +10%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.53 Points ∼8%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
3.24 Points ∼7% -8%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
3.15 Points ∼7% -11%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
3.07 Points ∼7% -13%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
2.98 Points ∼7% -16%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
5614 Points ∼52%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
5496 Points ∼51% -2%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
4904 Points ∼45% -13%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
4835 Points ∼45% -14%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
4695 Points ∼43% -16%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
4396 Points ∼41% -22%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
11366 Points ∼17%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel Core i7-7500U
11109 Points ∼17% -2%
Asus Zenbook UX310UQ-GL011T
Intel Core i7-6500U
10897 Points ∼17% -4%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel Core i5-6200U
10003 Points ∼15% -12%
Lenovo U31-70 80M5003EGE
Intel Core i7-5500U
9543 Points ∼15% -16%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
9392 Points ∼14% -17%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
618.91 s * ∼7% -29%
Dell XPS 13 9360-4764
Intel Core i7-7500U
485.835 s * ∼6% -1%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
482 s * ∼6% -0%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
480.096 s * ∼6%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel Core i7-7Y75
585.172 Seconds * ∼3% -3%
Dell XPS 13 9360-4764
Intel Core i7-7500U
574.64 Seconds * ∼3% -1%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
569.077 Seconds * ∼3%
Dell Latitude 7280
Intel Core i7-7600U
526 Seconds * ∼2% +8%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
9017
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
11366
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
5614
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
36.24 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
3.53 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.65 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.7 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
43.52 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
317 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
143 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark 8 scores are similar to the XPS 13 9365 convertible and sometimes lower depending on the benchmark. This is unexpected as the HP carries the objectively faster U-class processor, but the very high native resolution of this particular configuration may be responsible for the discrepancies.

We experienced no notable issues with the software or hardware during our time with the test unit.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5053 Points ∼78% +36%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
HD Graphics 615, 7Y75, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4674 Points ∼72% +26%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4367 Points ∼67% +18%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3706 Points ∼57%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4655 Points ∼44% +5%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
4432 Points ∼42% 0%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4432 Points ∼42%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
HD Graphics 615, 7Y75, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
4277 Points ∼41% -3%
Home Score Accelerated v2
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3789 Points ∼62% +25%
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
HD Graphics 6000, 5650U, Apple SSD SD0256F
3579 Points ∼59% +18%
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
3555 Points ∼58% +18%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
HD Graphics 615, 7Y75, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
3134 Points ∼51% +4%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3023 Points ∼50%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3023 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4432 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
3706 points
Help

Storage Devices

Upgradeable M.2 2280 SSD
Upgradeable M.2 2280 SSD

Most Ultrabooks and convertible systems make use of a single M.2 2280 drive as it is both thinner and lighter than the more traditional 2.5-inch SATA III solution. The NVMe-enabled Samsung M.2 SSD returns average read and write rates of just over 2000 MB/s and 1500 MB/s, respectively, to be faster than many of its closest competitors including the new updated Spectre 13. Users should still be wary of storage space with the Spectre convertible as M.2 SSDs can get quite expensive at higher capacities and there are no integrated SD card readers to fall back on.

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

AS SSD
AS SSD
CDM
CDM
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Apple MacBook Air 13 inch 2015-03
Apple SSD SD0256F
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-25%
-27%
-6%
-4%
Write 4k QD32
225.6
342.9
52%
250.2
11%
488.7
117%
416
84%
Read 4k QD32
518.3
339.5
-34%
411
-21%
570.3
10%
497.1
-4%
Write 4k
139.4
30.94
-78%
121.2
-13%
159.7
15%
140.2
1%
Read 4k
54.66
21.93
-60%
32.93
-40%
43.5
-20%
57.47
5%
Write 512
1229
1023
-17%
410.7
-67%
579.6
-53%
911.3
-26%
Read 512
864.8
879.8
2%
966.3
12%
701.1
-19%
753
-13%
Write Seq
1550
1111
-28%
629.4
-59%
578.4
-63%
1088
-30%
Read Seq
2065
1352
-35%
1206
-42%
1412
-32%
1090
-47%
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Sequential Read: 2065 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1550 MB/s
512K Read: 864.8 MB/s
512K Write: 1229 MB/s
4K Read: 54.66 MB/s
4K Write: 139.4 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 518.3 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 225.6 MB/s

GPU Performance

The integrated HD Graphics 620 GPU in the Spectre is within just a few percentage points of the similarly equipped ThinkPad X1 Carbon, EliteBook 820 G4, and ThinkPad 13 according to 3DMark 11 Graphics. Overall performance is still slower than even the entry-level GeForce 920MX and is only about 10 percent faster than the passively-cooled HD Graphics 615 in the XPS 13 9365, so the machine is clearly not intended for playing the latest 3D titles. Perhaps more importantly, native 4K60 playback of YouTube videos is smooth with CPU utilization hovering in the 10 to 30 percent range depending on the bit rate.

See our dedicated page on the HD Graphics 620 GPU for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm
Ice Storm
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Ice Storm Extreme
Ice Storm Extreme
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
1657 Points ∼4% +61%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, 6200U
1282 Points ∼3% +25%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1093 Points ∼3% +6%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1029 Points ∼3%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
917 Points ∼2% -11%
HP EliteBook 820 G4 Z2V72ET
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
886 Points ∼2% -14%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 370-20JJS00100
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
827 Points ∼2% -20%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
786 Points ∼2% -24%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
13172 Points ∼7% +72%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
8971 Points ∼5% +17%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
7839 Points ∼4% +3%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, 6200U
7733 Points ∼4% +1%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
7636 Points ∼4%
HP EliteBook 820 G4 Z2V72ET
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
7618 Points ∼4% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 370-20JJS00100
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
7059 Points ∼4% -8%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
6924 Points ∼4% -9%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, 6200U
49876 Points ∼7% +33%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
42163 Points ∼6% +13%
HP EliteBook 820 G4 Z2V72ET
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
39537 Points ∼5% +6%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
37394 Points ∼5%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
37343 Points ∼5% 0%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 370-20JJS00100
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
36971 Points ∼5% -1%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
2597 Points ∼11% +67%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1653 Points ∼7% +6%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, 6200U
1572 Points ∼7% +1%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1555 Points ∼7%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1401 Points ∼6% -10%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
1313 Points ∼6% -16%
HP EliteBook 820 G4 Z2V72ET
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1279 Points ∼6% -18%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1219 Points ∼5% -22%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 370-20JJS00100
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1087 Points ∼5% -30%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Iris Graphics 550, 6267U
2696 Points ∼5% +72%
Asus X302UV-FN016T
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX, 6200U
1747 Points ∼3% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2017-20HQS03P00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1641 Points ∼3% +5%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1569 Points ∼3%
HP EliteBook 820 G4 Z2V72ET
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1515 Points ∼3% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad 13-20J2S00G00
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1508 Points ∼3% -4%
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 615, 7Y75
1370 Points ∼3% -13%
Acer TravelMate P249-M-5452
Intel HD Graphics 520, 6200U
1343 Points ∼3% -14%
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 370-20JJS00100
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1338 Points ∼3% -15%
3DMark 11 Performance
1735 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
51912 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
6054 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
940 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
434 points
Help

Stress Test

We subject the system to unrealistically high loads to identify for any throttling or stability issues. When running Prime95, the CPU can be observed operating at a steady 2.8 GHz or 100 MHz higher than its base clock rate. While the CPU is technically not throttling, it is still unable to maintain very high Turbo Boost speeds as the i7-7500U is rated for a maximum of 3.5 GHz. CPU temperature plateaus at about 83 C. Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously to stress the CPU and integrated GPU will throttle the CPU down to 1.3 GHz while the GPU maintains a respectable 800 MHz. When gaming, expect a CPU temperature in the mid-to-high 70 C range.

Running on batteries will not throttle CPU and GPU power. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 4325 and 1517 points, respectively, compared to 4427 and 1569 points when on mains.

Idling on High Performance
Idling on High Performance
Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.8 -- 83
FurMark Stress -- 900 77
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.3 800 73
Unigine Valley Stress 1.6 1000 76

Emissions

System Noise

Most notebooks with ULV Core ix processors are equipped with just a single system fan whereas the Spectre x360 13 makes use of two. On the other hand, most notebooks are not nearly as thin as the Spectre, so two asymmetrical fans may have been more optimal for this particular design.

The dual fans are idle and noiseless during very low processing loads and when first booting the system. Unfortunately, the fans are quite sensitive to onscreen loads as video playback or moderate browsing will bump fan noise to an audible 34 dB(A) against a silent background of 28.7 dB(A). Running on the Power Saver profile will not result in quieter operation - instead, it will simply take a little longer before the fans pick up in speed during use. The system is otherwise silent when word processing and appears to be quieter when on battery power as opposed to AC power.

Average load with 3DMark 06 results in a recorded fan noise of just under 36 dB(A). Thus, while the HP runs louder than the competition when under low loads, it runs a bit quieter when under medium loads. Maximum load with both Prime95 and FurMark results in a fan noise of just under 40 dB(A), which is common for most ULV notebooks.

As shown by our microphone measurements below, fan noise from the Spectre x360 13 is higher-pitched with a peak at 4k Hz compared to 2k to 3k Hz for the XPS 13 or Spectre 13. Thus, the fans in the Spectre x360 13 are more noticeable during use even if the decibel levels are similar between the systems. This may be due to the smaller 25 mm fan as we can observe a similar phenomenon on the MSI GS63/GS73 series.

We can notice coil whining on our test unit when placing an ear directly on the keyboard. The noise is thankfully insignificant and should be unnoticeable during day-to-day use. We experienced much louder coil whines on certain Dell models like the Latitude 7480 or 5280Dell Latitude 7480 (7600U, FHD) Laptop Review.

Smaller ~25 mm fan adjacent to WLAN module
Smaller ~25 mm fan adjacent to WLAN module
Primary ~40 mm fan
Primary ~40 mm fan
Spectre x360 13 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Spectre x360 13 (White: Background, Red: System idle, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Dell XPS 13 9360
Dell XPS 13 9360
HP Spectre 13
HP Spectre 13

Noise Level

Idle
28.7 / 34.2 / 35.8 dB(A)
Load
35.8 / 39.6 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
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: 28.7 dB(A)
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
Iris Graphics 550, 6267U, Apple SSD AP0256
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
HD Graphics 615, 7Y75, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Noise
6%
1%
0%
off / environment *
28.7
30.2
-5%
31.7
-10%
30.4
-6%
Idle Minimum *
28.7
30.2
-5%
31.7
-10%
30.4
-6%
Idle Average *
34.2
30.2
12%
31.7
7%
30.4
11%
Idle Maximum *
35.8
30.2
16%
31.7
11%
30.4
15%
Load Average *
35.8
33
8%
38.4
-7%
40
-12%
Load Maximum *
39.6
36.2
9%
34.7
12%
40
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures are generally cool when idling with noticeably warmer spots around the first row of keyboard keys. When under extreme processing loads, this quadrant can warm to just over 48 C. Our temperature maps below show this point source to be away from the palm rests and QWERTY keys, so the notebook never becomes uncomfortable for typing no matter the workload. Nonetheless, the left side of the notebook will become warmer than the right due to the orientation of the CPU and its cooling system. This is compared to the recent XPS 13 where we were able to measure a surface temperature of 44 C right atop of the "R" key and almost 50 C on the underside surface.

Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 44 °C
111 F
48 °C
118 F
31.8 °C
89 F
 
 34.2 °C
94 F
36.8 °C
98 F
27.4 °C
81 F
 
 31.6 °C
89 F
27.8 °C
82 F
28 °C
82 F
 
Maximum: 48 °C = 118 F
Average: 34.4 °C = 94 F
33.4 °C
92 F
45.4 °C
114 F
42 °C
108 F
30.6 °C
87 F
36 °C
97 F
37.4 °C
99 F
29.2 °C
85 F
32.4 °C
90 F
32.8 °C
91 F
Maximum: 45.4 °C = 114 F
Average: 35.5 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  45 °C = 113 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34.4 °C / 94 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 48 °C / 118 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 45.4 °C / 114 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 23.7 °C / 75 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 31.6 °C / 88.9 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.9 °C / 84 F (-2.7 °C / -4.9 F).

Speakers

Microphone measurements show the integrated B&O speakers to be louder and more balanced than the speakers of the XPS 13 9365 2-in-1. Bass is still underrepresented, but at least treble is not exaggerated as is common on smaller notebooks or tablets. Maximum volume will introduce no noticeable static and will reverberate the chassis just slightly. 

The pre-installed B&O Audio software provides just a few speaker adjustments as shown below. Though easy to use, its options are nowhere near as comprehensive as Sound Blaster X-Fi on gaming notebooks or MaxxAudioPro on the Dell XPS series.

HP Spectre x360 13
HP Spectre x360 13
HP Spectre 13
HP Spectre 13
Dell XPS 13 9365
Dell XPS 13 9365
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2038.740.72535.736.73133.736.54033.835.15032.633.66332.532.28031.234.91003131.612530.230.516029.737.720028.746.325028.352.831528.557.940027.159.350026.659.763026.357.180025.859.9100025.465.1125025.867.1160026.664.7200027.263.2250027.855.8315025.653400025.757.7500024.460.3630024.163.3800023.861.81000023.861.61250023.864.41600023.763.2SPL3874.3N3.133.5median 26.3median 59.7Delta1.55.835.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseHP Spectre x360 13-ac033dxApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (67.13 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 16.9% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 47% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 44% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 43% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 49% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

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
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
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 21%, worst was 53%

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

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The system draws just over 5 W when idling on the lowest brightness setting and up to 10 W when idling on the highest brightness setting. This is just slightly more demanding than both the Yoga 910 and Spectre 13 while being about twice as power hungry as the weaker XPS 13 9365. Running 3DMark 06 will draw about 34 W not unlike its Spectre siblings. The MacBook Air demands significantly more power when under load due to its more capable integrated Iris Graphics GPU.

Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously will draw just under 35 W from a small power adapter (~6.5 x 6.5 x 2.7 cm) rated for up to 45 W. The charger can also be used to recharge USB Type-C smartphones since it is able to safely output 5V/3A.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.44 / 0.56 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.3 / 9.6 / 10.1 Watt
Load midlight 34.4 / 34.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
7500U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.3
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550, Apple SSD AP0256, , 2560x1600, 13.3
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
7Y75, HD Graphics 615, Toshiba NVMe THNSN5256GPUK, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
7500U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.9
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
7500U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS UWVA, 1920x1080, 13.3
HP Spectre x360 13-w023dx
7500U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM951 NVMe MZVLV512, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Power Consumption
-7%
42%
17%
15%
12%
Idle Minimum *
5.3
2.1
60%
3.1
42%
4.3
19%
3.6
32%
5.5
-4%
Idle Average *
9.6
7.6
21%
4.3
55%
6.3
34%
6.4
33%
6.7
30%
Idle Maximum *
10.1
8.2
19%
4.9
51%
9
11%
9.2
9%
7.1
30%
Load Average *
34.4
56.4
-64%
24.3
29%
32.7
5%
34
1%
33.1
4%
Load Maximum *
34.8
59.8
-72%
22.8
34%
28.8
17%
34.4
1%
35.2
-1%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The 58 Wh internal battery is larger in capacity than some 13-inch notebooks including HP's own Spectre 13. Runtimes are good at just under 9 hours of real-world WLAN use on a screen brightness of 150 nits (setting 8/10). The comparable XPS 13 and Yoga 910 convertibles can last for even longer due to the more power-efficient CPU and even larger battery capacity, respectively. Strangely, idling on Power Saver mode and on the minimum screen brightness setting will only last for 13 hours compared to 20 hours on the Spectre x360 13 FHD possibly due to pre-installed apps running in the background at the time of testing.

Charging from near empty to 100 percent will take roughly 2.5 hours with the included adapter. We also attempted to charge the notebook via generic USB Type-C cables such as those included with newer smartphones. Unfortunately, this invoked a popup warning that the connected charging cable is not compatible with the system.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
13h 12min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 57min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 54min
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 57.8 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2016 (2.9 GHz)
6267U, Iris Graphics 550, 49.2 Wh
Dell XPS 13-9365 2-in-1
7Y75, HD Graphics 615, 46 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 910-13IKB-80VF004CGE
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 78 Wh
HP Spectre 13-v131ng
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 38 Wh
HP Spectre x360 13-w023dx
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 57.8 Wh
Battery Runtime
-19%
35%
36%
-23%
22%
Reader / Idle
792
971
23%
1069
35%
718
-9%
1233
56%
WiFi v1.3
537
566
5%
686
28%
644
20%
394
-27%
558
4%
Load
114
66
-42%
175
54%
174
53%
77
-32%
121
6%

Pros

+ near 100 percent sRGB coverage; very accurate colors and grayscale out of the box
+ true 4K UHD; beautiful display with high contrast
+ Active Pen stylus included with each purchase
+ light and portable for practical tablet mode
+ USB 3.0 Type-A + 2x Thunderbolt 3
+ high quality CNC aluminum chassis
+ thin and attractive design
+ upgradeable M.2 SSD
+ no CPU throttling

Cons

- very limited Turbo Boost performance; i7-7500U multi-thread underperforms just slightly
- sensitive system fans; loud fans during medium-high loads
- larger footprint than XPS 13; lid is slightly more flexible
- backlight brightness could be brighter and more even
- no integrated SD reader
- high-pitched fan noise
- 4K UHD SKU is pricey

Verdict

In review: HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx. Test model provided by HP US
In review: HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx. Test model provided by HP US

HP has made its Spectre x360 13 even better by incorporating 4K UHD and active pen support for a superior tablet experience. This is still the same lightweight and easy-to-handle 2-in-1 that made the 2016 model stand out as one of the most practical convertibles in its size category.

Other than the aforementioned small number of updates, however, we're slightly disappointed that HP hadn't taken the time to improve the experience even further. For example, the addition of a SD reader, manual fan control software, and a brighter display backlight would have better differentiated this early refresh from the initial 2016 FHD lineup. It's tempting to use the Spectre x360 13 outdoors especially now that an active stylus is included in each box, but the backlight is not nearly as bright as it could have been.

Both the XPS 13 9365 and Yoga 910 have been widely available in the months since our initial review of the 2016 Spectre x360 13 with advantages and disadvantages for each. The Dell is indeed lighter and smaller without sacrificing screen size, but no 4K UHD options exist and the passively-cooled CPU is measurably slower. On the flip side, the Yoga 910 is slightly larger in screen size with similar 4K UHD and i7-7500U SKUs, but it lacks active pen support and is both wider and heavier than the HP. As the middle-ground option for consumers, the new Spectre x360 13 is currently the best of both worlds in terms of performance and portability.

This early and incremental 2017 refresh finally puts 4K UHD and active pen support on the admired late 2016 Spectre x360 13 lineup. Not much else has changed, but that's ok - the convertible still strikes an excellent balance of size and power for comfortable use on all modes.

HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx - 04/05/2017 v6(old)
Allen Ngo

Chassis
86 / 98 → 87%
Keyboard
88%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
48 / 80 → 60%
Weight
71 / 35-78 → 85%
Battery
91%
Display
86%
Games Performance
60 / 68 → 89%
Application Performance
84 / 87 → 96%
Temperature
90%
Noise
85%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
66 / 85 → 77%
Average
77%
86%
Convertible - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP Spectre x360 13 (7500U, 4K UHD) Convertible Review
Allen Ngo, 2017-04- 6 (Update: 2019-04- 5)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.