Notebookcheck

HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000 (i7-8550U, 4K UHD) Convertible Review

Thinner, lighter, better? HP seeks to pack even more power into an even smaller shell with their latest Spectre x360 convertible. But with a quad-core Core i7 CPU, NVMe SSD, and 16 GB of RAM, can the machine take the heat?

If the Dell XPS 13 has been conservative in its approach to design—carefully preserving those elements which have proven successful in previous iterations and only slowly and deliberately committing to change every few years or so—the HP Spectre has been anything but. Having undergone a redesign on an almost annual basis, the Spectre is the XPS’ restless and fearless counterpart, discontent to remain familiar and more interested instead in constantly pushing the boundaries of what defines an Ultrabook. Both machines undoubtedly represent the pinnacle of modern ultraportable laptop design, but the appeal of each approach—incremental, constant changes versus minor revisions leading up to major overhauls every few years—is a primarily subjective one.

Moreover, those boundaries are proving tougher and tougher to challenge: it’s hard to imagine laptops shrinking much more than they already have without real ergonomic implications, and even such items as battery life and performance have flirted with the territory of diminishing returns (especially when offsetting factors such as heat are taken into account). And yet they continue to push: today, HP brings us a Spectre x360 which is even lighter than last year's model, weighing in at just 1.25 kg and promising the flexible performance of an Intel eighth-generation Core i7-8550U quad-core CPU, all while operating nearly silently in many cases. Our particular review unit also boasts a UHD touchscreen display with active stylus, 16 GB of LPDDR3 RAM as well as a 256 GB LITEON NVMe SSD, all for an MSRP of $1,300 from Computer Upgrade King USA. Could this be the new convertible to beat?

HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000 (Spectre x360 Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel UHD Graphics 620, Core: 300 - 1150 MHz, Memory: 1067 MHz, 22.20.16.4771
Memory
16384 MB 
, LPDDR3-2133 (dual-channel, soldered)
Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 3840 x 2160 pixel 331 PPI, 10-point multi-touch, native pen support, LGD0588, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Sunrise Point-LP
Storage
Liteon CA1-8D256-HP, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Realtek ALC295 @ Intel Sunrise Point-LP PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: microSD
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 13.8 x 307 x 218 ( = 0.54 x 12.09 x 8.58 in)
Battery
60 Wh, 3-cell
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 1080p (Windows Hello compatible)
Primary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 2.0, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.25 kg ( = 44.09 oz / 2.76 pounds), Power Supply: 336 g ( = 11.85 oz / 0.74 pounds)

 

Case

Sleek, premium, symmetrical, expensive. These are the adjectives which come to mind when first examining this latest Spectre x360. Aesthetically, this could easily be in the running for the most attractive laptop out there. Although the overall dimensions have hardly changed, the rounded corners are now squared off somewhat, a geometric realignment which affects not only the shape of the machine when viewed from above, but also the appearance of the machine from behind (which is now more angular and polygonal—a change which we rather like). The underside of the unit has also adopted a more XPS-like design, exchanging the round rubber feet for long rubber strips spanning the width of the device. Consequently, the machine seems more stable on a surface than ever before.

A slight bit of flex is detectable when pressure is applied to the base unit, and the display lid is a bit thin for comfort—though it seems to do a decent job at resisting pressure from behind and twisting. Thanks to the extremely lightweight nature of the design, the display lid cannot be opened without the use of two hands; this is in spite of the fact that the hinges are rather loosely-tuned, meaning that slight vibrations and movement result in some irritating dancing of reflections across the glossy display.

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The left and right edges of the notebook have been revised significantly as well: gone is the exhaust vent on the left side of the machine, now neatly integrated into the rear of the unit. The restyled power button has moved back toward the rear ports as a result, and a couple of other ports and features have found their places on the sides (which we’ll get to in a bit).

Connectivity

For the most part, port selection is identical to that of the 2017 Spectre x360, though now, a microSD port joins the existing power button, audio jack, and USB Type-A (hallelujah for the latter) on the left edge. The right edge still features two Thunderbolt/USB Type-C ports and a volume rocker, but didn’t we also see a Fingerprint Reader listed on the spec sheet? Sure enough, HP has cleverly squeezed it into the right side of the machine, and it works well (it’s not a swipe reader but rather the more convenient touch-based variety). The Spectre is also Windows Hello compatible.

Front: No connections
Front: No connections
Rear: No connections
Rear: No connections
Left: USB Type-A, combo audio jack, Power button, microSD card reader
Left: USB Type-A, combo audio jack, Power button, microSD card reader
Right: Volume rocker, fingerprint reader, USB Type-C/Thunderbolt/charging port x 2
Right: Volume rocker, fingerprint reader, USB Type-C/Thunderbolt/charging port x 2

Communication

The Spectre x360 13t is powered by the venerable Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265, which is probably the most common wireless network adapter available today. Performance is within the expected range for this adapter.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
639 MBit/s ∼100% +10%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
619 MBit/s ∼97% +7%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
580 MBit/s ∼91%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
532 MBit/s ∼83% -8%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
528 MBit/s ∼83% -9%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
308 MBit/s ∼48% -47%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
676 MBit/s ∼100% +41%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
580 MBit/s ∼86% +21%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
516 MBit/s ∼76% +8%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
505 MBit/s ∼75% +6%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
478 MBit/s ∼71%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
462 MBit/s ∼68% -3%

Accessories

Our Spectre review unit arrived with the same faux leather sleeve as last year’s model as well as the same active stylus pen (but still no place to store it). We also received a CUKUSA-branded external DVD+/-RW drive, which is handy for those having trouble letting go of optical media. The USB Type-C AC Adapter, meanwhile, can be used to charge the unit via either of the two Thunderbolt ports; it’s nice to have redundancy and standardization in play in the event of a broken jack or missing adapter.

Maintenance

Maintenance is unfortunately one area in which the Spectre cannot claim victory over its rivals. Although the fact that only a couple of Torx screws are visible might instill a false sense of security, it is in fact the entire problem: the remaining screws are located beneath the large rubber foot at the top of the machine. This is already inconvenient enough, but as we discovered in our (short-lived) efforts to remove the rubber strip, it is in fact quite fragile and prone to ripping. Plus, it’s not all that easy to reinstall. It would be nice if manufacturers would avoid hiding away tiny screws just for the sake of aesthetics since this sort of prohibitive disassembly process is so often the result of those efforts.

Warranty

The Spectre x360 13t ships with a 1-year on-site warranty.

Input Devices

Keyboard

The Spectre x360’s keyboard is quite simply one of the best Ultrabook keyboards we’ve tested. Keypresses are masterfully-tuned with a comfortable actuation force and sharp feedback. The keys are tightly-affixed and are devoid of the cheap clatter endemic amongst lower-quality keyboards. Keystrokes are also relatively quiet, so the machine would be suitable for use in office environments or the classroom.

The keyboard is backlit, but it’s worth noting that the key labels are grey and the keys themselves silver, which makes the labels hard to read in some situations (such as in bright sunlight).

Touchpad

The Synaptics touchpad retains the same horizontally-oversized (2:1 - 12 cm x 6 cm) aspect ratio of its predecessor, which certainly provides plenty of real estate relative to the screen. It also remains very good overall, with a smooth yet comfortable surface for finger gliding and well-tuned integrated buttons that feature good feedback and a relatively light actuation force.

Touchscreen

With a relatively light weight, a very thin form factor, and comfortable buttons lining the edges (with helpfully tactile angled designs), about the only thing missing from the Spectre x360’s tablet mode ambitions is Lenovo’s game-changing Lift’n Lock design. As always, some people will struggle to ignore this, as pressing the keyboard keys and clicking the touchpad constantly while in tablet mode doesn’t quite feel right. Forgiving this, however, the latest Spectre x360 is the most practical HP notebook for convertible use to date.

The keyboard is excellent overall...
The keyboard is excellent overall...
...and the touchpad is spacious and comfortable.
...and the touchpad is spacious and comfortable.

Display

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

The Spectre x360 13t is available in both 1080p and UHD configurations. Our review unit includes the UHD (3840x2160) panel, which (at 13.3 inches in diagonal size) factors out to 331 PPI. Subjectively, the screen appears moderately bright with deep blacks and good contrast. There is, however, noticeable backlight bleed around the corners of the panel on dark screens.

370.6
cd/m²
352.9
cd/m²
333.4
cd/m²
327
cd/m²
329.8
cd/m²
280.1
cd/m²
301.2
cd/m²
295.4
cd/m²
275.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 370.6 cd/m² Average: 318.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 74 %
Center on Battery: 329.8 cd/m²
Contrast: 1319:1 (Black: 0.25 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.37 | 0.8-23.34 Ø6.4
ΔE Greyscale 2.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.7
98% sRGB (Argyll) 67% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.145
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
LGD0588, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
ID: Sharp SHP148B, Name: LQ133D1, Dell P/N: 8XDHY, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
LG Philips LGD054D, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
BOE CQ NV133FHM-N61, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Unknown, IPS, 12.2, 1920x1200
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
LC133LF102, IPS, 13.3, 1920x1080
Response Times
-29%
10%
-1%
23%
11%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
51.6 (25.6, 26)
67.2 (31.6, 35.6)
-30%
42 (20.8, 21.2)
19%
48 (26, 22)
7%
35.6 (17.2, 18.4)
31%
49 (30, 19)
5%
Response Time Black / White *
32.4 (16.4, 16)
41.6 (22.8, 18.8)
-28%
32 (18, 14)
1%
35 (19, 16)
-8%
28 (14.8, 13.2)
14%
27 (15, 12)
17%
PWM Frequency
2500 (20)
350 (90)
198.4 (99)
1000 (20)
Screen
-9%
-2%
-30%
-60%
-9%
Brightness middle
329.8
496.4
51%
302.6
-8%
297
-10%
348.8
6%
295
-11%
Brightness
318
469
47%
282
-11%
277
-13%
339
7%
276
-13%
Brightness Distribution
74
84
14%
83
12%
87
18%
87
18%
88
19%
Black Level *
0.25
0.5
-100%
0.25
-0%
0.33
-32%
0.4
-60%
0.27
-8%
Contrast
1319
993
-25%
1210
-8%
900
-32%
872
-34%
1093
-17%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.37
2.9
-22%
2.4
-1%
4.93
-108%
7
-195%
2.97
-25%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.8
3.9
-39%
2.8
-0%
4.84
-73%
10.1
-261%
3.12
-11%
Gamma
2.145 112%
2.066 116%
2.2 109%
2.5 96%
2.22 108%
2.45 98%
CCT
6441 101%
7169 91%
6333 103%
6894 94%
9065 72%
6676 97%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
67
63.9
-5%
65.5
-2%
58
-13%
58.7
-12%
62
-7%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
98
98.2
0%
97.1
-1%
88
-10%
90.9
-7%
94
-4%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-19% / -12%
4% / 0%
-16% / -25%
-19% / -45%
1% / -5%

* ... smaller is better

We recorded an average brightness of 318 cd/m² across the breadth of the panel, with a brightness distribution of only around 74% (we measured the bottom right quadrant of our panel as 25% dimmer than the top left). Contrast is indeed very good at 1319:1, made possible by a low black value of just 0.25 cd/m².

The display manages sRGB coverage of 98%, which is the reason for the vivid appearance. The AdobeRGB spectrum, meanwhile, is only covered at 67%, which is roughly in line with what we see from all other competitors in today’s comparison field.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. XPS 13 9370
vs. XPS 13 9370
vs. Spectre x360 2017
vs. Spectre x360 2017

The display fortunately comes pre-calibrated fairly well, with greyscale/ColorChecker DeltaE values of just 2.8 / 2.37, respectively. Total gamma of 2.145 and the CCT Average of 6441 are also strong results.

Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (pre-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Color analysis (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Saturation sweeps (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (post-calibration)
Grayscale analysis (post-calibration)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 16 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. » 83 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (26.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
51.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 25.6 ms rise
↘ 26 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 86 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (42.3 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

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

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9024 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoors, the display is comfortable to view in shaded areas. In direct sunlight, however, the highly glossy display finish renders the machine very difficult to use, even in spite of its moderate brightness and high contrast. Viewing angles are excellent (as is to be expected).

In the shade
In the shade
In the sun
In the sun
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The latest Spectre x360 features eighth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, NVMe solid-state drives, and either 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM—no low-end options available here. Seeing as our test unit was maxed out with an Intel Core i7-8550U and 16 GB of LPDDR3 RAM (in addition to a 256 GB NVMe SSD), we were interested to see how well it would handle sustained loads under what would almost certainly become a thermal challenge to the little machine.

Before we dive into specifics, however, we ran our usual 3DMark 06 test while running unplugged and witnessed no drop in performance. LatencyMon also reported no issues with DPC latencies after a lengthy run.

CPU-Z CPU
CPU-Z CPU
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
LatencyMon
LatencyMon
JetStream
JetStream
Octane
Octane

Processor

HP specifies two different CPU options for the Spectre x360 13t: the Intel Core i5-8250U and the Intel Core i7-8550U. Both options are quad-core, but the latter features a slightly higher base clock rate of 1.8 GHz and can Turbo Boost all the way up to 4 GHz. That’s the option we received in our review unit—but is it worth the extra $100 cost?

In short: no, it doesn’t seem like it’s worth it—at least, not under any sort of sustained load. Our initial impressions based on the data alone were that temperature must be playing a role in limiting performance here. We witnessed the initial shot of super-fast performance we’d expect to see from the high boost clock rate across all four cores, but often within a matter of seconds, the machine has already slowed appreciably. As our graphs below show, the results (much like the Yoga 720) aren’t any better than those of the Core i5-8250U-equipped machines. Of course, to put it in perspective, that isn’t to say that performance is bad—in fact, as expected, it’s well above the previous-generation dual-core CPU models.

We’ll cover this in much greater detail later on in our Stress Test section, but to round out this portion of our analysis, we’ll turn to our Cinebench R15 multi-CPU loop test, where we witness the gradual (continual) drop over the course of the first seven runs of the benchmark from a high of 488 (during the second run) down to a plateau around 455—which is still a good score when compared to previous-generation machines, but which is still absolutely below the performance of the Core i5-8250U-equipped competitors (all of which are in the 500 and 600 range).

Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R11.5
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel Core i7-8550U
152 Points ∼76%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼72% -5%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
144 Points ∼72% -5%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
143 Points ∼72% -6%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
142 Points ∼71% -7%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
109 Points ∼55% -28%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
636 Points ∼30% +30%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
566 Points ∼26% +16%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Intel Core i5-8250U
534 Points ∼25% +9%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel Core i7-8550U
489 Points ∼23%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
Intel Core i7-8550U
407 Points ∼19% -17%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
317 Points ∼15% -35%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.76 Points ∼78%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.65 Points ∼73% -6%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.64 Points ∼72% -7%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
1.64 Points ∼72% -7%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
7.17 Points ∼30% +34%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
5.96 Points ∼25% +11%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel Core i7-8550U
5.35 Points ∼22%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.53 Points ∼15% -34%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
480.096 s * ∼6% -10%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel Core i7-8550U
435 s * ∼5%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
295.075 s * ∼3% +32%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
243.336 s * ∼3% +44%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel Core i5-8250U
637.446 Seconds * ∼3% -6%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel Core i5-8250U
608.275 Seconds * ∼3% -1%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel Core i7-8550U
601 Seconds * ∼3%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
569.077 Seconds * ∼3% +5%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.76 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.35 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
36 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
489 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
42.74 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.8 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
152 Points
Help
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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

System Performance

Regardless of processor performance puzzles, system performance is unchallenged. We recorded PCMark 8 scores in line with expectations, as well as a perfectly fine PCMark 10 result of 3313. The machine was invariably nimble throughout our time with it, so anyone concerned about how well it can handle the everyday grind should rest easy: it’s more than capable.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Creative Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
4685 Points ∼72% +13%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
4563 Points ∼70% +10%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
4149 Points ∼64%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4140 Points ∼64% 0%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3706 Points ∼57% -11%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
2699 Points ∼41% -35%
Creative Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
4933 Points ∼52% +1%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
4885 Points ∼51%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4869 Points ∼51% 0%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
4748 Points ∼50% -3%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
4432 Points ∼47% -9%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3343 Points ∼35% -32%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
3815 Points ∼64% +15%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3733 Points ∼62% +13%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3471 Points ∼58% +5%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
3306 Points ∼55%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3197 Points ∼54% -3%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3023 Points ∼51% -9%
PCMark 10 - Score
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
3678 Points ∼56% +11%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3664 Points ∼55% +11%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
3313 Points ∼50%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3295 Points ∼50% -1%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
3260 Points ∼49% -2%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3306 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
4885 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4149 points
Help

Storage Devices

All storage device options for the Spectre 13t—ranging from 256 GB to 1 TB—are NVMe SSDs, so no matter what you choose, it’s going to be fast. The 256 GB LITE-ON drive performed well in our tests, scoring 1998 in AS SSD and posting 2429 MB/s and 1029 MB/s sequential read/write scores in CDM 5.2, respectively.

AS SSD
AS SSD
CrystalDiskMark
CrystalDiskMark
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
AS SSD
14%
35%
10%
-30%
-41%
Copy Game MB/s
838.95
291.41
-65%
1123.25
34%
413.89
-51%
410.78
-51%
246.59
-71%
Copy Program MB/s
300.87
206.97
-31%
466.66
55%
106.17
-65%
310.37
3%
157.25
-48%
Copy ISO MB/s
1492.46
357.42
-76%
1671.5
12%
754.92
-49%
658.5
-56%
327.5
-78%
Score Total
1998
2437
22%
2219
11%
2427
21%
2378
19%
813
-59%
Score Write
590
1135
92%
832
41%
879
49%
572
-3%
340
-42%
Score Read
968
894
-8%
945
-2%
1049
8%
1200
24%
310
-68%
Access Time Write *
0.13
0.038
71%
0.031
76%
0.034
74%
0.33
-154%
0.055
58%
Access Time Read *
0.121
0.063
48%
0.036
70%
0.054
55%
0.49
-305%
0.11
9%
4K-64 Write
404.1
937.11
132%
565.52
40%
686.95
70%
345.52
-14%
216.53
-46%
4K-64 Read
724.86
656.76
-9%
640.82
-12%
828.17
14%
998.56
38%
235.46
-68%
4K Write
91.36
107.22
17%
118.49
30%
93.85
3%
107.95
18%
80.84
-12%
4K Read
29.84
33.81
13%
48.18
61%
35.88
20%
48.69
63%
25.48
-15%
Seq Write
945.31
907.16
-4%
1476.03
56%
977.07
3%
1182.07
25%
421.35
-55%
Seq Read
2133.49
2037.42
-5%
2555.63
20%
1851.99
-13%
1522.79
-29%
486.3
-77%

* ... smaller is better

Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
CDM 5 Read Seq Q32T1: 2429 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq Q32T1: 1029 MB/s
CDM 5 Read 4K Q32T1: 493.4 MB/s
CDM 5 Write 4K Q32T1: 410 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 1582 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 1008 MB/s
CDM 5 Read 4K: 37.8 MB/s
CDM 5 Write 4K: 129.5 MB/s

GPU Performance

The integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 in our Spectre x360 review unit once again fell short of its Core i5-8250U-equipped competitors, but the scores were at least still slightly above those of the previous-generation Spectre. To be fair, graphical performance isn’t exactly a sticking point with these razor-thin ultraportables, but even at its worst the Spectre was within 13% of the field leader (the Dell XPS 13 9370).

On a side note, the Spectre does in fact support external GPUs for those who are interested in pursuing some heavier-duty graphical activities such as gaming.

3DMark 06
3DMark 06
3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Ice Storm Extreme
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Sky Diver
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark Time Spy
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1743 Points ∼10% +10%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1600 Points ∼9% +1%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1586 Points ∼9%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1555 Points ∼9% -2%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1488 Points ∼8% -6%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1463 Points ∼8% -8%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1806 Points ∼4% +15%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1765 Points ∼3% +12%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1617 Points ∼3% +3%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1607 Points ∼3% +2%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1577 Points ∼3%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1569 Points ∼3% -1%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1200 Points ∼3% +13%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1112 Points ∼3% +5%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1064 Points ∼3%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1049 Points ∼3% -1%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
1030 Points ∼3% -3%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1029 Points ∼3% -3%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
9349 Points ∼5% +15%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
9252 Points ∼5% +14%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
8654 Points ∼5% +7%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
8631 Points ∼5% +6%
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
8112 Points ∼4%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
7636 Points ∼4% -6%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
44622 Points ∼6%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8250U
43057 Points ∼6%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
37394 Points ∼5%
3DMark 06 Standard
10406 points
3DMark 11 Performance
1175 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
7193 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
962 points
Help
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
8 fps ∼3%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
10.1 fps ∼4% +26%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
8.4 fps ∼3% +5%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7.4 fps ∼3% -7%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
8 fps ∼3% 0%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
25 fps ∼8%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
29.9 fps ∼10% +20%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
25.9 fps ∼8% +4%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
24.1 fps ∼8% -4%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
24.6 fps ∼8% -2%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
27 fps ∼8%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
34.5 fps ∼10% +28%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
31.4 fps ∼9% +16%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
29.3 fps ∼8% +9%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
29.9 fps ∼9% +11%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
57 fps ∼14%
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
70.9 fps ∼18% +24%
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
59.9 fps ∼15% +5%
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
54.3 fps ∼14% -5%
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
56.1 fps ∼14% -2%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 5727258fps

Stress Test

Our stress test results immediately revealed the reasons behind the Spectre x360’s inability to achieve and maintain high CPU performance results, even despite its top-end Core i7 CPU: temperature. Right from the start, under full CPU stress, we only ever witnessed a turbo clock rate of 3.4 GHz, which is below the specified max turbo rate across four cores simultaneously of 3.7 GHz. But within just seconds, this rate dropped further to a mere 2.4 GHz—this, because CPU core temperatures have already reached the mid to upper 90s C in our test unit. Thereafter, frequencies never budge beyond 2.3 GHz, and temperatures slowly subside to around the 80° C mark (after around 5 minutes). The XPS 13 also employs a similarly delayed fan speed curve (more on this in the next section) which likewise catapults the device’s temperatures into the upper 90s within a few seconds of load, but it nevertheless still manages higher CPU clock rates, probably as a result of the redesigned cooling system and what Dell refers to as its Dynamic Power Policy.

GPU stress sees similar behavior, with initial values near the boost clock rate of 1150 MHz, but shortly afterwards dropping all the way to 850 MHz. Obviously, combined stress is not any better, with CPU throttling to around 1.2 GHz and GPU remaining at 700 MHz semi-permanently.

Even for an ultra-thin notebook, these results are disappointing. Unless a firmware update might be able to correct them, it immediately raises the question of whether there is any real value to be had in the Core i7 CPU upgrade in this model. As it stands, it appears that the answer is no. With a more aggressive cooling strategy, this may have been a different story.

CPU stress (start)
CPU stress (start)
CPU stress (30 seconds in)
CPU stress (30 seconds in)
CPU stress (5 minutes in)
CPU stress (5 minutes in)
GPU stress
GPU stress
Combined CPU/GPU stress
Combined CPU/GPU stress
Idling
Idling
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.4 - 80 -
FurMark Stress - 850 - 75
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.2 700 73 73

Emissions

System Noise

As it ought to be given its aforementioned thermal struggles, the Spectre x360 13t is an amazingly quiet machine. In terms of fan noise, we measured a load maximum of just 32.9 dB(A) (against a background noise level of 28.2), and while idle or during everyday tasks, the fan never even ran. It seems obvious that HP has chosen a delayed fan speed curve to favor reduced noise levels over better cooling potential.

However, it is worth noting that the Spectre is afflicted by a detectable degree of coil whine. It isn’t terrible (not nearly as bad as some recent Dell notebooks), and it seems to be mostly prevalent while charging, but some particularly sensitive users will find this hard to ignore.

Noise Level

Idle
28.2 / 28.2 / 28.2 dB(A)
Load
30.7 / 32.9 dB(A)
 
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.2 dB(A)
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
UHD Graphics 620, 8250U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
Noise
-6%
-15%
-7%
-4%
-8%
off / environment *
28.2
29
-3%
28.7
-2%
30.5
-8%
28.2
-0%
30.4
-8%
Idle Minimum *
28.2
29
-3%
28.7
-2%
30.5
-8%
28.2
-0%
30.4
-8%
Idle Average *
28.2
29
-3%
34.2
-21%
30.5
-8%
28.2
-0%
30.4
-8%
Idle Maximum *
28.2
29
-3%
35.8
-27%
30.5
-8%
29.6
-5%
30.9
-10%
Load Average *
30.7
32
-4%
35.8
-17%
32.8
-7%
34
-11%
34
-11%
Load Maximum *
32.9
40.1
-22%
39.6
-20%
34.7
-5%
36
-9%
33.5
-2%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Indeed, while the heat is rather well confined to the upper center quadrants (on top and bottom), the Spectre x360 13t is a hot machine under load. Idling, values were perfectly comfortable (average: 25.3 °C / 27.2 °C). But when stressed, we measured averages of 32.9 °C and 35.1 °C, bolstered by very warm values in the top-center quadrants of 49.2 °C and 47.2 °C on top/bottom respectively.

Max. Load
 34.8 °C49.2 °C37.6 °C 
 27 °C36.6 °C29.6 °C 
 26.2 °C26.8 °C28 °C 
Maximum: 49.2 °C
Average: 32.9 °C
37 °C47.2 °C35 °C
35.2 °C38.4 °C32 °C
30.8 °C31.2 °C29.4 °C
Maximum: 47.2 °C
Average: 35.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  43 °C | Room Temperature 21 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
Top of base unit, idling
Top of base unit, idling
Top of base unit, underside
Top of base unit, underside
Top of base unit, load
Top of base unit, load
Top of base unit, load
Top of base unit, load

Speakers

The audio coming from the Spectre’s speakers is surprisingly positive given the size of the machine. There is very little bass, of course, but the volume level is quite good, and mids and highs are well balanced and fairly linear.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.929.934.92532.832.232.83131.730.531.74032.230.832.25031.132.131.16330.531.530.58028.929.428.910028.528.328.51253026.7301604126.54120050.625.950.625056.325.656.331558.125.258.140061.424.861.450061.123.461.163064.923.264.980066.623.566.6100064.423.364.4125065.62365.6160066.822.766.8200064.622.664.6250061.822.761.8315063.222.663.2400057.822.557.8500064.222.764.2630067.822.867.8800063.122.963.1100006722.8671250067.622.967.616000622362SPL76.835.176.8N40.72.440.7median 63.1HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000median 23median 63.1Delta5.61.25.635.242.233.240.935.641.433.941.331.439.431.442.831.244.829.9462948.627.953.62855.226.556.626.557.62658.525.460.224.562.124.16523.868.923.368.62365.722.963.42362.122.761.522.759.322.561.222.664.122.868.522.865.722.755.122.852.735.576.72.540.5median 23.3Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHDmedian 61.22.24.9hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.77 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 19% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (10% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 19% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 74% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 24% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 69% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (68.91 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 8.3% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.5% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (12.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 16% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 80% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 9% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 88% 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 Spectre x360’s idle power consumption is a bit on the high side, but this is surely a consequence of the demanding combination of NVMe SSD, 16 GB dual-channel memory, Core i7, and UHD panel. The situation isn’t too out of hand under full load, either; in fact, we measured 10 W higher consumption from the XPS 13, which is a massive margin. Of course, the XPS also manages significantly higher performance under load, so it’s a bit of a trade-off.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.4 / 0.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.9 / 9.8 / 10.6 Watt
Load midlight 36.6 / 34.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Liteon CA1-8D256-HP, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.3
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.3
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
7500U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 3840x2160, 13.3
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK), IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1200, 12.2
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.3
Power Consumption
-1%
4%
11%
-0%
20%
Idle Minimum *
5.9
4.3
27%
5.3
10%
3.8
36%
5.5
7%
3.9
34%
Idle Average *
9.8
8
18%
9.6
2%
8.4
14%
8.3
15%
8.2
16%
Idle Maximum *
10.6
8.1
24%
10.1
5%
9.7
8%
11.5
-8%
8.8
17%
Load Average *
36.6
46.6
-27%
34.4
6%
36
2%
38.3
-5%
28.5
22%
Load Maximum *
34.3
49.8
-45%
34.8
-1%
36
-5%
37.7
-10%
30.7
10%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The Spectre x360 lasted some 7 hours and 4 minutes during our Wi-Fi Websurfing benchmark, which is right in line with most other competitors. We’ve long expressed our position that runtimes much further beyond this truly come in the form of diminishing returns, as it’s rare that anyone would likely need more than 7 or 8 hours of unplugged operation under normal circumstances. Having said that, pushing the machine obviously lowers this value: we recorded battery life of 2:01 under load in the Battery Eater Pro Classic Test.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 04min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 01min
HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 60 Wh
Dell XPS 13 9370 i5 UHD
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 52 Wh
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
7500U, HD Graphics 620, 57.8 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
Lenovo Miix 520-12IKB 81CG
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 38 Wh
Acer Spin 5 SP513-52N-54SF
8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 53.9 Wh
Battery Runtime
-8%
11%
10%
-33%
18%
Reader / Idle
869
792
739
WiFi v1.3
424
408
-4%
537
27%
466
10%
335
-21%
500
18%
Load
121
106
-12%
114
-6%
66
-45%

Pros

+ visually stunning, lightweight design
+ high-quality input devices
+ nearly silent operation
+ fast general system performance
+ attractive, hi-res display is well-calibrated out of the box
+ edge-mounted fingerprint reader
+ full-sized USB Type-A port included

Cons

- Core i7 CPU provides no perceivable performance benefits due to thermal constraints
- high internal temperatures (under load)
- very warm surface temperatures (under load)
- high-gloss display leads to obstructive reflections
- difficult, inconvenient maintenance
- backlight brightness somewhat lacks uniformity
- minor coil whine
- moderate backlight bleed in corners

Verdict

In review: Spectre x360 13t-ae000 courtesy of Computer Upgrade King. Use coupon code NBC10 to get $10 off when purchased from CUKUSA.com
In review: Spectre x360 13t-ae000 courtesy of Computer Upgrade King. Use coupon code NBC10 to get $10 off when purchased from CUKUSA.com

Today’s $1,300 HP Spectre x360 13t undoubtedly ranks among the most aesthetically appealing devices we’ve ever had the pleasure of evaluating here at Notebookcheck; HP has truly outdone itself in this area, and heads are consequently guaranteed to turn when the machine is flaunted in public. It’s also comfortable to hold, lightweight, seemingly quite stable in its construction, and intelligently refined (as evidenced by such tactful revisions as the side-mounted fingerprint reader and high-quality input devices). Its functionality as a convertible is only hamstrung by the awkwardness of having to hold the machine with keyboard and touchpad facing outward in tablet form, but this is nothing new for the category.

Today’s $1,300 HP Spectre x360 13t undoubtedly ranks among the most aesthetically appealing devices we’ve ever had the pleasure of evaluating here at Notebookcheck. However, the reduced performance under load should be considered carefully before making the commitment.

It’s also surprisingly very close to silent under most circumstances, barring just a bit of coil whine for those who have especially sensitive hearing. However, this comes at the expense of significant operating heat, to the extent which the CPU reaches the upper 90s C within seconds of heavy computing load, with surface temperatures in one particular quadrant correspondingly uncomfortable to the touch. This obviously also means reduced performance under load, and the constraints are significant enough to disqualify our recommendation of the Core i7 as a rational upgrade over the Core i5 (which, according to our benchmarks, will likely perform just as well). Future firmware/BIOS updates may change this, but for the time being, we would recommend saving the $100 and springing for the cheaper CPU.

No shortage of worthy competitors exists; we’d also consider the Dell XPS 13 9370, Lenovo Yoga 720, and Acer Spin 5—and if convertibility isn’t a must (and perhaps screen resolution is negotiable as well), myriad other candidates are available too. But for the average user, the Spectre x360 should prove more than satisfying and capable enough.

HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000 - 02/07/2018 v6
Steve Schardein

Chassis
87 / 98 → 89%
Keyboard
83%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
49 / 80 → 61%
Weight
72 / 78 → 86%
Battery
89%
Display
86%
Games Performance
60 / 68 → 88%
Application Performance
84 / 87 → 97%
Temperature
89%
Noise
94%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
71 / 85 → 84%
Average
78%
87%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP Spectre x360 13t-ae000 (i7-8550U, 4K UHD) Convertible Review
Steve Schardein, 2018-02-12 (Update: 2018-02-14)
Steve Schardein
Steve Schardein - Review Editor - @othersteve
In grade school, my first computer—an Apple IIGS—started it all for me. Later, in the nineties, if I wasn’t repairing computers for family and friends, I was busy cooking up nifty Visual Basic projects and playing PC games like Command & Conquer and Heroes of Might and Magic. Soon, much of my free time was spent moderating popular gaming forums and covering the industry for various websites. All the while, I never stopped repairing computers, and in 2006, I started a technology consulting company in Louisville, KY—Triple-S Computers—which I have been fortunate to nurture to great success by specializing in not only repairs, but also new machine consultations and purchasing, data recovery, and malware/security. And since 2012, I have proudly contributed many dozens of reviews to Notebookcheck, a site which I have long considered to be the ultimate authority on laptops and related technology. Today, I am truly living my dream: still a child at heart, ever-curious, constantly learning, and thankful to you, our readers.