Notebookcheck

HP Spectre x360 15 (i7-8705G, Radeon RX Vega M GL) Convertible Review

Awesome hardware, mixed performance. Kaby Lake-G has been impressive thus far, but its overall performance depends wholly on how OEMs implement the hardware. The HP Spectre x360 15 is unfortunately not the best example of the Intel-AMD platform with its substantial throttling issues.

HP unveiled its latest refresh of the flagship Spectre x360 15 series at CES 2018 with not one, but two very distinct configurations. Users have the option of a Kaby Lake-R SKU with the same internal specifications as the 2017 model while the Kaby Lake-G SKU offers the rare Core i7-8705G CPU and discrete Radeon RX Vega M GL GPU. Other than the processor differences, the Kaby Lake-G SKU carries a nearly identical chassis with the same keyboard and touchscreen features as the Kaby Lake-R SKU.

We recommend checking out our existing review on the 2018 Kaby Lake-R version for more information on the Spectre x360 15 series. This review will instead focus on the performance of the Kaby Lake-G SKU and how it differs from the less expensive Kaby Lake-R configuration. The Spectre x360 15 Kaby Lake-G competes directly with the Dell XPS 15 9575 convertible and other high-performance multimedia laptops to a lesser degree like the Asus Zenbook Pro 15, Apple MacBook Pro 15, and Gigabyte Aero 15.

HP Spectre x360 15-ch000 (Spectre x360 Series)
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870 - 4096 MB, Core: 1011 MHz, Memory: 700 MHz, HBM2, 1.0.2.1
Memory
16384 MB 
, PC4-19200, 1300 MHz, 17-17-17-39, Dual-Channel
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 3840 x 2160 pixel 282 PPI, 10-point capacitive, native pen support, BOE0730, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel HM175 (Skylake PCH-H)
Storage
Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04, 2048 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Skylake PCH-H High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 2 USB 3.1 Gen2, 2 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 2 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: SD reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Gyroscope
Networking
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.3 x 359 x 250 ( = 0.76 x 14.13 x 9.84 in)
Battery
84 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD IR
Additional features
Speakers: Bang & Olufsen, Quad speakers, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Faux leather carrying case, Quick Start guide, Warranty card, WACOM stylus, HP Documentation, McAfee Anti-Virus, HP Pen Control, HP Audio Switch, Radeon Software, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.14 kg ( = 75.49 oz / 4.72 pounds), Power Supply: 423 g ( = 14.92 oz / 0.93 pounds)
Price
1600 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

There are no significant superficial differences between the Kaby Lake-G and Kaby Lake-R configurations. The few slight changes are that the Kaby Lake-G SKU comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports as opposed to just one on the Kaby Lake-R option and it's also slightly heavier by about 50 grams due to some internal changes to accommodate the CPU.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
178.4 MB/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
138 MB/s ∼77% -23%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
126.3 MB/s ∼71% -29%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
75.24 MB/s ∼42% -58%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
26 MB/s ∼15% -85%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
250.6 MB/s ∼100% +20%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
208.6 MB/s ∼83%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 UHS-II)
200.36 MB/s ∼80% -4%
Asus Zenbook Pro UX550VE-DB71T
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
93.96 MB/s ∼37% -55%
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
32 MB/s ∼13% -85%
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
693 MBit/s ∼100% +9%
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
662 MBit/s ∼96% +4%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
640 MBit/s ∼92% +1%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
634 MBit/s ∼91%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
625 MBit/s ∼90% -1%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GE73 8RF-008 Raider RGB
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
662 MBit/s ∼100% +31%
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
Intel Wireless-AC 9560
584 MBit/s ∼88% +15%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1435 Wireless Network Adapter
521 MBit/s ∼79% +3%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
506 MBit/s ∼76%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
503 MBit/s ∼76% -1%

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Security

Unlike the 2017 model, the 2018 refresh includes a fingerprint reader along the right edge. The main issue is that it feels less ergonomic to use than the usual top-facing fingerprint readers found on most other laptops. The combo Power button-fingerprint reader on the XPS 9570, for example, is a more streamlined approach.

Accessories

Included extras are a Quick Start guide, faux leather case, and an active WACOM stylus worth $50 USD. There is no convenient area around the system or leather case for stowing the stylus.

Maintenance

The bottom panel is secured by two Torx screws and four Philips screws hidden underneath the rear rubber footing. Even with these screws removed, however, the bottom panel is still very difficult to detach without damaging the chassis. Its edges and corners are attached tightly (and sharply) to the base to make it clear that end-user servicing wasn't a top priority for HP when designing the latest Spectre.

Once inside, upgradeability is limited. There is more adhesive than expected and the M.2 slot is buried underneath tape and ribbons.

HP Spectre x360 15 (2018)
HP Spectre x360 15 (2018)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100 (2017)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100 (2017)

Display

A glossy 4K UHD touchscreen comes standard on the Spectre x360 15 2018 with no other resolution options available. Perhaps unsurprisingly, our Kaby Lake-G configuration utilizes the same BOE0730 4K UHD panel as on the Kaby Lake-R SKU and so contrast, response times, and colors are consequently very similar between them. This unfortunately means that PWM is still present and users sensitive to onscreen flickering may want to avoid this convertible altogether. See our existing review on the Kaby Lake-R configuration for more information on the display.

Backlight bleeding is present on the corners of our test unit as shown by the image below. It's actually more acute than on our Kaby Lake-R unit, though thankfully not significant enough to be distracting or very noticeable during video playback.

Interestingly, the display on our Kaby Lake-G SKU is better calibrated out-of-the-box than our Kaby Lake-R SKU. We still recommend an end-user calibration for the best possible grayscale and colors.

Subpixel array (282 PPI)
Subpixel array (282 PPI)
Slight backlight bleeding on top corners
Slight backlight bleeding on top corners
330.4
cd/m²
349.2
cd/m²
327.4
cd/m²
313.7
cd/m²
349.5
cd/m²
331.3
cd/m²
314.7
cd/m²
342.1
cd/m²
316.2
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 349.5 cd/m² Average: 330.5 cd/m² Minimum: 18.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 349.5 cd/m²
Contrast: 1205:1 (Black: 0.29 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.06 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2, calibrated: 4.22
ΔE Greyscale 4.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
86.9% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 56.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.11
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
BOE0730, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
AU Optronics B156ZAN03.1, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Sharp SHP148D, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
BOE0730, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
AU Optronics B156HAN08.0 (AUO80ED), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
-10%
-25%
-8%
49%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
36 (18, 18)
44 (22, 22)
-22%
48.4 (23.2, 25.2)
-34%
38 (20.4, 17.6)
-6%
17.6 (9.2, 8.4)
51%
Response Time Black / White *
23.6 (12, 11.6)
22.8 (12, 10.8)
3%
34.8 (19.2, 15.6)
-47%
27.6 (15.6, 12)
-17%
12.8 (7.6, 5.2)
46%
PWM Frequency
943.4 (99)
1000 (25)
6%
943.4 (99)
0%
Screen
6%
17%
-15%
17%
Brightness middle
349.5
357.6
2%
488
40%
329.3
-6%
254
-27%
Brightness
331
350
6%
440
33%
316
-5%
262
-21%
Brightness Distribution
90
85
-6%
81
-10%
84
-7%
89
-1%
Black Level *
0.29
0.35
-21%
0.3
-3%
0.31
-7%
0.22
24%
Contrast
1205
1022
-15%
1627
35%
1062
-12%
1155
-4%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.06
4.12
-1%
3.16
22%
4.78
-18%
2.37
42%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
7.68
9.91
-29%
8.8
-15%
11.75
-53%
4.71
39%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.22
4.23
-0%
3.51
17%
1.84
56%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.4
1.8
59%
3.3
25%
7.9
-80%
1.58
64%
Gamma
2.11 104%
2.17 101%
2.178 101%
2.24 98%
2.48 89%
CCT
7422 88%
6613 98%
6811 95%
8323 78%
6785 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
56.5
87.5
55%
71.7
27%
58.8
4%
60
6%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86.9
100
15%
97.9
13%
90.4
4%
92
6%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-2% / 4%
-4% / 7%
-12% / -13%
33% / 22%

* ... smaller is better

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
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
23.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 12 ms rise
↘ 11.6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 32 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
36 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 18 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. » 27 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 943.4 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 943.4 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 943.4 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8929 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

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

Performance

Unlike the XPS 15 9575 and its two Kaby Lake-G options, the Spectre x360 15 does not carry the slower i5-8305G CPU. Nonetheless, it aims for a similar audience who may desire very fast multimedia performance in a versatile 2-in-1 form factor. Most convertible notebooks are limited to integrated UHD Graphics and are thus very slow for gaming and video editing purposes compared to our Spectre.

There is no Optimus graphics switching since both the integrated Intel GPU and discrete AMD GPU are always active.

 

Processor

The 65 W Core i7-8705G stands neck-to-neck with the 45 W Core i7-7700HQ in both single- and multi-threaded benchmarks. The i7-7700HQ was a very popular CPU on gaming laptops before the introduction of Coffee Lake-H and so it's impressive to see the Spectre x360 15 offer a similar level of CPU performance in a much more portable form factor. It's worth mentioning that overall performance is just a few percentage points higher than the i5-8305G while the 100 W i7-8809G is faster by about 22 percent in multi-threaded workloads. Meanwhile, the less expensive Spectre SKU with the i7-8550U is 26 percent slower than our Kaby Lake-G configuration.

Unfortunately, performance sustainability is quite poor. By running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop, we can observe how the CPU can perform over time when exposed to non-stop stress. Our graph below reveals a steady decline in performance from the initial score of 732 points to a low of only 593 points by the 10th loop to represent a drop of 19 percent. Scores cycle from about 600 to 650 points thereafter, but they never quite return to the initial peak at the start of the test. The results are disappointing because the i7-8550U Spectre SKU does not suffer from as sharp of a performance drop even though Kaby Lake-R CPU is generally slower than the i7-8705G.

See our dedicated CPU page on the Core i7-8705G for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580590600610620630640650660670680690700710720730740Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
178 Points ∼82% +8%
Dell G7 15-7588
Intel Core i7-8750H
176 Points ∼81% +7%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Intel Core i7-8705G
174 Points ∼80% +5%
HP Omen 15-dc0001ng
Intel Core i5-8300H
173 Points ∼79% +5%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Intel Core i7-8705G
165 Points ∼76%
HP Omen 15t-ce000
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
161 Points ∼74% -2%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Intel Core i5-8305G
157 Points ∼72% -5%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
Intel Core i7-8550U
149 Points ∼68% -10%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBA-80WY001VGE
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
147 Points ∼67% -11%
HP EliteBook 755 G5 3UN79EA
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
134 Points ∼61% -19%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell G7 15-7588
Intel Core i7-8750H
1079 Points ∼25% +53%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
864 Points ∼20% +22%
HP Omen 15-dc0001ng
Intel Core i5-8300H
805 Points ∼18% +14%
HP Omen 15t-ce000
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
730 Points ∼17% +3%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Intel Core i7-8705G
707 Points ∼16%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Intel Core i7-8705G
699 Points ∼16% -1%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Intel Core i5-8305G
681 Points ∼16% -4%
HP EliteBook 755 G5 3UN79EA
AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
623 Points ∼14% -12%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
Intel Core i7-8550U
523 Points ∼12% -26%
Lenovo Legion Y520-15IKBA-80WY001VGE
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
501 Points ∼11% -29%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
1.99 Points ∼82% +5%
Dell G7 15-7588
Intel Core i7-8750H
1.99 Points ∼82% +5%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Intel Core i7-8705G
1.97 Points ∼81% +4%
HP Omen 15-dc0001ng
Intel Core i5-8300H
1.94 Points ∼80% +3%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Intel Core i7-8705G
1.89 Points ∼77%
HP Omen 15t-ce000
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.83 Points ∼75% -3%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Intel Core i5-8305G
1.79 Points ∼73% -5%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell G7 15-7588
Intel Core i7-8750H
12.08 Points ∼45% +59%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Intel Core i7-8809G
9.41 Points ∼35% +24%
HP Omen 15-dc0001ng
Intel Core i5-8300H
8.68 Points ∼32% +14%
HP Omen 15t-ce000
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.08 Points ∼30% +6%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Intel Core i7-8705G
7.65 Points ∼28% +1%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Intel Core i7-8705G
7.59 Points ∼28%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
Intel Core i5-8305G
7.47 Points ∼28% -2%
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.89 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
7.59 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
104.31 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
165 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
707 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
124.1 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Help

System Performance

PCMark scores rank our Kaby Lake-G Spectre 5 to 26 percent faster than the Kaby Lake-R Spectre depending on the benchmark. Results are almost exactly the same as on the XPS 15 9575 and over 30 percent higher than the average Multimedia notebook in our database due to the relatively fast GPU for the category.

We experienced no strange software hitches on our test unit save for a single crash when waking from Sleep that we were not able to reproduce.

PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated
PCMark 10 - Score
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8950HK, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
5358 Points ∼69% +8%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
5001 Points ∼64% +1%
Average Intel Core i7-8705G, AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
  (4958 - 5001, n=2)
4980 Points ∼64% 0%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04
4958 Points ∼64%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
3938 Points ∼51% -21%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2046 - 5358, n=69)
3820 Points ∼49% -23%
PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
4469 Points ∼69% +3%
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8950HK, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
4456 Points ∼68% +3%
Average Intel Core i7-8705G, AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
  (4329 - 4469, n=2)
4399 Points ∼68% +2%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04
4329 Points ∼66%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
4323 Points ∼66% 0%
Average of class Multimedia
  (2213 - 5651, n=254)
4239 Points ∼65% -2%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
4235 Points ∼70% +7%
Average Intel Core i7-8705G, AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
  (3946 - 4235, n=2)
4091 Points ∼67% +4%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04
3946 Points ∼65%
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8950HK, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
3661 Points ∼60% -7%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
3482 Points ∼57% -12%
Average of class Multimedia
  (1740 - 4693, n=274)
3352 Points ∼55% -15%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3946 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4329 points
Help

Storage Devices

The M.2 2280 slot can be tricky to reach
The M.2 2280 slot can be tricky to reach

Our test unit is configured with a 2 TB Toshiba NVMe SSD for sequential read and write rates of 3000 MB/s and 1000 MB/s, respectively, according to CrystalDiskMark to suggest a PCIe x4 interface instead of PCIe x2. The write rate is disappointingly just half of the 2200 MB/s specification that Toshiba advertises for this particular drive.

Only a single internal M.2 2280 slot is available. Drive space can thus become pricey since there is no secondary HDD option that many other 15-inch multimedia laptops tend to have.

See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

CDM 6
CDM 6
AS SSD
AS SSD
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
Apple SSD AP0512
HP Omen 15t-ce000
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW128HEGR
AS SSD
30%
1%
0%
-60%
-19%
Copy Game MB/s
697.83
728.25
4%
944.26
35%
1041.75
49%
735.83
5%
Copy Program MB/s
463.66
430.94
-7%
487.91
5%
486.79
5%
195.39
-58%
Copy ISO MB/s
1674.47
1045.16
-38%
1522.88
-9%
1667.62
0%
1086.72
-35%
Score Total
2720
4065
49%
2132
-22%
2037
-25%
2119
-22%
1515
-44%
Score Write
1145
1547
35%
807
-30%
757
-34%
347
-70%
361
-68%
Score Read
1087
1679
54%
921
-15%
859
-21%
1199
10%
789
-27%
Access Time Write *
0.065
0.036
45%
0.051
22%
0.051
22%
0.034
48%
Access Time Read *
0.047
0.04
15%
0.044
6%
0.054
-15%
0.225
-379%
0.071
-51%
4K-64 Write
950.02
1272.75
34%
637.4
-33%
544.89
-43%
163.46
-83%
175.85
-81%
4K-64 Read
839.57
1431.02
70%
649.44
-23%
646.23
-23%
965.14
15%
568.28
-32%
4K Write
96.87
100.89
4%
94.25
-3%
93.24
-4%
18.78
-81%
111.16
15%
4K Read
20.21
37.78
87%
41.38
105%
38.76
92%
9.46
-53%
43.09
113%
Seq Write
979.74
1728.67
76%
752.11
-23%
1188.51
21%
1643.8
68%
743.4
-24%
Seq Read
2268.6
2098.63
-7%
2302.4
1%
1738.6
-23%
2239.35
-1%
1774.03
-22%

* ... smaller is better

Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04
CDM 5/6 Read Seq Q32T1: 3040.4 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write Seq Q32T1: 1046 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K Q32T1: 893.8 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K Q32T1: 1037 MB/s
CDM 5 Read Seq: 344 MB/s
CDM 5 Write Seq: 288.2 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Read 4K: 16.29 MB/s
CDM 5/6 Write 4K: 127.3 MB/s

GPU Performance

The Radeon RX Vega M GL sits comfortably in between the GTX 1050 and GTX 1050 Ti in raw graphics performance. The result is an astounding 100 percent performance boost over the GeForce MX150 in the less expensive Kaby Lake-R SKU while being about 35 percent slower than the Vega M GH and GTX 1060 Max-Q. When considering that it takes Nvidia an entirely separate processor to achieve the same graphical horsepower, it's impressive to see what Intel and AMD have accomplished with the very efficient Kaby Lake-G platform.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
10391 Points ∼57% +24%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
8935 Points ∼49% +6%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8300H
8786 Points ∼48% +5%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8705G
8633 Points ∼48% +3%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8705G
8405 Points ∼46%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
  (7788 - 8633, n=3)
8275 Points ∼46% -2%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8305G
7788 Points ∼43% -7%
MSI GL63 8RC-069US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
7385 Points ∼41% -12%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
5417 Points ∼30% -36%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4296 Points ∼24% -49%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2609 Points ∼14% -69%
HP EliteBook 755 G5 3UN79EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
1837 Points ∼10% -78%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
14302 Points ∼28% +48%
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
14180 Points ∼28% +47%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8705G
10118 Points ∼20% +5%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
  (9632 - 10118, n=3)
9871 Points ∼19% +2%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8305G
9862 Points ∼19% +2%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8705G
9632 Points ∼19%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8300H
9147 Points ∼18% -5%
MSI GL63 8RC-069US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
7693 Points ∼15% -20%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
4938 Points ∼10% -49%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4708 Points ∼9% -51%
HP EliteBook 755 G5 3UN79EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
2728 Points ∼5% -72%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2576 Points ∼5% -73%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
11315 Points ∼28% +60%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
10248 Points ∼25% +45%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8300H
7610 Points ∼19% +8%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8305G
7355 Points ∼18% +4%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8705G
7348 Points ∼18% +4%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
  (7059 - 7355, n=3)
7254 Points ∼18% +3%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8705G
7059 Points ∼17%
MSI GL63 8RC-069US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
6145 Points ∼15% -13%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
4239 Points ∼10% -40%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
3622 Points ∼9% -49%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2115 Points ∼5% -70%
HP EliteBook 755 G5 3UN79EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
1713 Points ∼4% -76%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H
80748 Points ∼44% +113%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH, 8809G
59162 Points ∼32% +56%
Acer Predator Helios 300 PH317-52-51M6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8300H
51038 Points ∼28% +35%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i5-8305G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8305G
44796 Points ∼24% +18%
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8705G
42351 Points ∼23% +12%
Average AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
  (37915 - 44796, n=3)
41687 Points ∼23% +10%
MSI GL63 8RC-069US
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H
38631 Points ∼21% +2%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870, 8705G
37915 Points ∼21%
MSI GL62-6QFi781H11
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ
29742 Points ∼16% -22%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
19900 Points ∼11% -48%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
11821 Points ∼6% -69%
HP EliteBook 755 G5 3UN79EA
AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 2700U
10578 Points ∼6% -72%
3DMark 11 Performance
9380 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
19473 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
5951 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Real-world gaming performance is much more variable. While Fire Strike scores suggest a performance level similar to the GTX 1050, frame rates when running actual games can be almost as slow as the last generation GTX 960M depending on the title. Expect gaming performance to be about 50 percent faster than the GeForce MX150 even though the synthetic tests above suggest higher deltas.

See our dedicated GPU page on the Radeon RX Vega M GL for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, 8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
81.4 fps ∼100% +57%
Alienware 13 R3 (i5-7300HQ, GTX 1050 Ti)
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 7300HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
69.8 fps ∼86% +35%
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
69.5 fps ∼85% +34%
Dell G3 15 3579
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LX015-1U7172
65.4 fps ∼80% +26%
Average Intel Core i7-8705G, AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
  (51.7 - 52.5, n=2)
52.1 fps ∼64% +1%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04
51.7 fps ∼64%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
49.5 fps ∼61% -4%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
35.2 fps ∼43% -32%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x
Asus Strix GL502VT-DS74
GeForce GTX 970M, 6700HQ, Lite-On CV1-8B128
42.8 fps ∼100% +59%
Intel Hades Canyon NUC8i7HVK
Vega M GH, 8809G, Intel Optane 120 GB SSDPEK1W120GA
40.8 fps ∼95% +52%
Dell G3 15 3579
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8300H, Seagate Mobile HDD 1TB ST1000LX015-1U7172
33 fps ∼77% +23%
Average Intel Core i7-8705G, AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
  (26.9 - 32.8, n=2)
29.9 fps ∼70% +11%
Alienware 13 R3 (i5-7300HQ, GTX 1050 Ti)
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 7300HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
27.8 fps ∼65% +3%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04
26.9 fps ∼63%
Asus GL552VW-DH74
GeForce GTX 960M, 6700HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO M.2 500GB
25.2 fps ∼59% -6%
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
18.5 fps ∼43% -31%
low med. high ultra4K
BioShock Infinite (2013) 208177.315751.7fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 7940.821.513fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 80.23526.912fps

Stress Test

We stress the Spectre with synthetic benchmarks to test performance sustainability and it is here where the system begins to crumble. When running Prime95, the CPU can be observed operating as high as 3.6 GHz for the first few seconds until core temperature reaches 97 C. Once this temperature threshold is reached, clock rates steadily fall to the 2.0 GHz to 2.7 GHz range — far below the base 3.1 GHz clock rate — with core temperature cycling between 67 C and 74 C. The strange behavior mirrors our CineBench loop test above where scores are highest only on the first few runs before dropping and stabilizing in a sinusoidal behavior. This is uncommon on most notebooks where core clock rates and temperatures usually fall to flat rates should throttling be necessary. Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously to stress the CPU and GPU results in steeper throttling and a core temperature in the low 70 C range for both processors.

Running Witcher 3 is more representative of real-world gaming load. Unfortunately, the Spectre is unable to maintain steady performance yet again and frame rates suffer as a result. As shown by our screenshot below, GPU clock rates start out at 985 MHz before inexplicably falling to as low as 400 MHz. Frame rates fall from 40 FPS to just 20 FPS after 10 or 15 minutes of gameplay.

The results are disappointing and do not change despite updating our unit with the latest drivers from HP, Windows, and Intel and disabling the Radeon Chill feature. We double-checked our findings by running our Witcher 3 stress test thrice and recorded no differences. The system even fails the 3DMark Fire Strike Stress Test with a score of just 61.3 percent.

Running on battery power limits overall performance. A 3DMark 11 run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 8273 and 6030 points, respectively, compared to 8907 and 9632 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Prime95+FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041Tooltip
The Witcher 3 high
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.0 - 2.7 -- 67 - 74 --
FurMark Stress -- 400 - 464 -- 69
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.5 400 74 68
Witcher 3 Stress ~4.0 400 - 535 75 66
Fire Strike Stress Test fail
Fire Strike Stress Test fail

Emissions

System Noise

As suspected, the system is louder than the Kaby Lake-R SKU when gaming. Running Witcher 3 induces a fan noise of 48 dB(A) compared to just 38 dB(A) on the Kaby Lake-R alternative. The difference is significant to the point where volume will have to be turned up in order to overpower the fans. This may not be a gaming laptop per se, but its fans are definitely as loud as one.

The internal fans are always active no matter the loud. Fortunately, they're hardly noticeable during low loads like browsing or streaming. Background activity like OS updates or installations will quickly bump fans to higher nosie levels in the mid 30 dB(A) range.

We can notice no electronic noise or coil whine from our test unit.

Twin ~45 mm fans
Twin ~45 mm fans
Fans are always active and can become quite loud when gaming
Fans are always active and can become quite loud when gaming

Noise Level

Idle
30.8 / 30.9 / 30.9 dB(A)
Load
31.8 / 44.2 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.1 dB(A)
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 8950HK, Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0)
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
GeForce MX150, 8550U, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
Vega M GL / 870, 8705G, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB
MSI GS65 8RF-019DE Stealth Thin
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ
Dell G7 15-7588
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 8750H, SK hynix SC311 SATA
Noise
-2%
6%
5%
-5%
-4%
off / environment *
28.1
28
-0%
28.6
-2%
28.2
-0%
30
-7%
28.1
-0%
Idle Minimum *
30.8
28.6
7%
29.2
5%
28.2
8%
30
3%
29
6%
Idle Average *
30.9
29.9
3%
29.2
6%
28.2
9%
31
-0%
29
6%
Idle Maximum *
30.9
30.5
1%
29.2
6%
28.2
9%
34
-10%
29.2
6%
Load Average *
31.8
42.5
-34%
29.2
8%
29
9%
43
-35%
40.6
-28%
Witcher 3 ultra *
48.1
44.8
7%
38.4
20%
44.7
7%
42
13%
49.8
-4%
Load Maximum *
44.2
44.8
-1%
45.7
-3%
47.4
-7%
44
-0%
49.8
-13%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Side exhaust under high loads
Side exhaust under high loads

Surprisingly, surface temperatures are very similar to the Kaby Lake-R SKU even though the Kaby Lake-G configuration is equipped with much faster hardware. The louder fan noise from above is likely the culprit here for the balanced temperature gradient. The palm rests can become quite toasty while the WASD keys remain relatively cool no matter the load for comfortable gaming. This symmetrical temperature profile is in contrast to the XPS 15 9575 where the left half of the system will become much warmer than the right when under similar loads.

One interesting characteristic of the Spectre worth mentioning is its exhaust ports. While most high-performance laptops have dual rear-facing ventilation ports, the Spectre has them towards the left and right hand edges instead. Expect a warm hand if gaming with an external mouse.

System idle (top)
System idle (top)
System idle (bottom)
System idle (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (top)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Witcher 3 stress (bottom)
Maximum stress (top)
Maximum stress (top)
Maximum stress (bottom)
Maximum stress (bottom)
Max. Load
 39.2 °C
103 F
46.4 °C
116 F
43.4 °C
110 F
 
 34 °C
93 F
42 °C
108 F
35.2 °C
95 F
 
 30.4 °C
87 F
27 °C
81 F
32 °C
90 F
 
Maximum: 46.4 °C = 116 F
Average: 36.6 °C = 98 F
47.4 °C
117 F
49.2 °C
121 F
41.4 °C
107 F
40 °C
104 F
41 °C
106 F
38.2 °C
101 F
35.2 °C
95 F
34.2 °C
94 F
34 °C
93 F
Maximum: 49.2 °C = 121 F
Average: 40.1 °C = 104 F
Power Supply (max.)  43 °C = 109 F | Room Temperature 21.2 °C = 70 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.6 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 30.9 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 46.4 °C / 116 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 49.2 °C / 121 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28 °C / 82 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(±) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 36.8 °C / 98 F, compared to the device average of 30.9 °C / 88 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (32.4 °C / 90.3 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (-3.3 °C / -5.9 F).

Speakers

 

Bang & Olufsen audio software
Bang & Olufsen audio software
Pink noise at maximum volume
Pink noise at maximum volume
Great sound quality from the internal speakers
Great sound quality from the internal speakers
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2038.837.32536.337.23135354031.835.15032.433.76332.9328030.631.510030.130.112528.933.516027.941.920027.651.725026.958.731526.86340025.666.650025.165.563024.673.78002577.6100024.771.5125024.668.5160024.476.7200024.373.2250024.169.5315023.569400023.671.6500023.477.1630023.378.6800023.374.31000023.273.11250023.172.51600023.171.2SPL36.386.1N2.768.4median 24.6median 71.2Delta1.67.235.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseHP Spectre x360 15-ch000Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (78.57 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 50% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 39% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 36% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 58% 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
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Kaby Lake-G Spectre exhibits odd behavior when idling on desktop. The system would have periodic spikes in power consumption every 30 seconds or so possibly due to background activity. Such a behavior never occurred on our Kaby Lake-R SKU or XPS 15 9575 and so our power consumption readings for our Kaby Lake-G Spectre below are generally higher.

When under medium to high loads, average power consumption is just 11 to 22 percent higher than the Kaby Lake-R SKU. The results are actually very impressive considering that the i7-8705G CPU and Vega M GL GPU are roughly 35 percent and 100 percent faster than the i7-8550U and GeForce MX150 on paper, respectively. Its performance-per-Watt scales very well when compared to competing laptops with GTX 1050 or GTX 1050 Ti graphics. 

The system ships with a 150 W AC adapter as opposed to the 90 W adapter on the Kaby Lake-R configuration. To our surprise, it's the same small physical size (~13.8 x 6.5 x 2.3 cm) as the 90 W adapter for the Kaby Lake-R configuration. We are able to record a draw of 160 W for a very short period when the system is subjected to extreme (prime95+FurMark) load.

Witcher 3 stress. Consumption steadily falls over time from 89 W at the start of the test to 79 W after about 5 minutes. The results support the throttled GPU clock rates from above when gaming
Witcher 3 stress. Consumption steadily falls over time from 89 W at the start of the test to 79 W after about 5 minutes. The results support the throttled GPU clock rates from above when gaming
Prime95 and FurMark initiated at the 20s mark. Consumption is unsteady for the first few minutes before Turbo Boost ends
Prime95 and FurMark initiated at the 20s mark. Consumption is unsteady for the first few minutes before Turbo Boost ends
Prime95 initiated at the 20s mark. Note that consumption is highest for the first few seconds before steadily declining due to throttling clock rates. The results mirror our CineBench loop test from above
Prime95 initiated at the 20s mark. Note that consumption is highest for the first few seconds before steadily declining due to throttling clock rates. The results mirror our CineBench loop test from above
FurMark initiated at the 20s mark. Consumption increases slightly over time
FurMark initiated at the 20s mark. Consumption increases slightly over time
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.09 / 0.89 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 11.7 / 16.8 / 18.9 Watt
Load midlight 82.3 / 94.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
8705G, Vega M GL / 870, Toshiba XG5-P KXG50PNV2T04, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
8705G, Vega M GL / 870, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
8550U, GeForce MX150, SK hynix PC401 NVMe 500 GB, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, Samsung SSD PM981 MZVLB512HAJQ, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), Samsung SSD PM961 1TB M.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (MZVLW1T0), IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
8850H, Radeon Pro 560X, Apple SSD AP0512, IPS, 2880x1800, 15.4
Power Consumption
17%
30%
-23%
-14%
27%
Idle Minimum *
11.7
6.2
47%
5.3
55%
14.9
-27%
11.7
-0%
3.4
71%
Idle Average *
16.8
12.9
23%
9.8
42%
17.5
-4%
18.5
-10%
11
35%
Idle Maximum *
18.9
13.6
28%
12.6
33%
19.2
-2%
22.8
-21%
14.9
21%
Load Average *
82.3
76.1
8%
73
11%
103.2
-25%
97.5
-18%
78.9
4%
Load Maximum *
94.9
99.4
-5%
80
16%
132.7
-40%
111.1
-17%
91.2
4%
Witcher 3 ultra *
87.2
84.3
3%
67.6
22%
123.1
-41%
102.9
-18%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes are significantly shorter than the Kaby Lake-R SKU by as much as several hours when subjected to similar WLAN loads. Expect about 6 hours of constant web browsing compared to over 10 hours on the Kaby Lake-R alternative.

Charging from near empty to full capacity takes just under 2 hours.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
9h 00min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 44min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 06min
HP Spectre x360 15-ch000
8705G, Vega M GL / 870, 84 Wh
Asus ZenBook Pro 15 UX580GE
8950HK, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Laptop), 71 Wh
Dell XPS 15 9575 i7-8705G
8705G, Vega M GL / 870, 75 Wh
HP Spectre x360 15-ch011nr
8550U, GeForce MX150, 84 Wh
Razer Blade 15 GTX 1060
8750H, GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 80 Wh
Apple MacBook Pro 15 2018 (2.6 GHz, 560X)
8850H, Radeon Pro 560X, 83 Wh
Battery Runtime
27%
14%
86%
17%
78%
Reader / Idle
540
842
56%
673
25%
927
72%
WiFi v1.3
344
375
9%
420
22%
625
82%
402
17%
614
78%
Load
66
76
15%
63
-5%
135
105%
Witcher 3 ultra
88

Pros

+ high CPU and GPU performance for a convertible
+ excellent build quality, strong first impressions
+ 4K UHD and WACOM pen come standard
+ dual Thunderbolt 3 ports
+ firm keyboard keys
+ great audio quality
+ full-size NumPad

Cons

- moderate to severe performance throttling issues when gaming
- pulse-width modulation on nearly all brightness levels
- edge fingerprint sensor takes some getting used to
- sensitive fans; very loud when gaming
- user-unfriendly serviceability
- shorter battery life

Verdict

In review: HP Spectre x360 15-ch000. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King
In review: HP Spectre x360 15-ch000. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King

A 15-inch convertible is hard to crack simply because the large screen size innately makes tablet mode more cumbersome compared to smaller options. The HP Spectre x360 15 may be slightly larger than the competing XPS 15 9575, but its design and quality feel second to none in its category.

Dig deeper into the performance of the Kaby Lake-G Spectre and the system begins to disappoint when compared to the Kaby Lake-R configuration. On paper, the Core i7-8705G and Radeon RX Vega M GL should be significantly faster than the i7-8550U and GeForce MX150. In practice, however, the Kaby Lake-G SKU suffers from considerable throttling issues that ultimately mitigate much of the performance advantages that the chipset brings to the table. Owners who intend to use the notebook for mostly word processing, streaming, or browsing will not notice the throttling, but running demanding sustained loads like games will bring the system to its knees.

The lower power profiles of the i7-8550U and GeForce MX150 also work in favor of the less expensive Kaby Lake-R configuration. Our Kaby Lake-G unit is generally louder and with a much shorter battery life than the Kaby Lake-R version.

If you plan on doing a lot of gaming or are sensitive to onscreen flickering, then you'd be better off with the XPS 15 9575 or a dedicated mainstream gaming laptop with GTX 1050 Ti graphics if the 2-in-1 functionality is of little interest. If browsing and light multimedia are your intention, then the Kaby Lake-R Spectre will be more than sufficient.

Kaby Lake-G is an impressive piece of technology as proven by the Intel Hades Canyon NUC and Dell XPS 15 9575. The Spectre x360 15 is the least impressive implementation of the chipset we've seen thus far. If you want Kaby Lake-G, then the Dell equivalent is the better option. Otherwise, spare yourself from the performance throttling issues by going for the less expensive and more stable Kaby Lake-R Spectre x360 15 configuration.

HP Spectre x360 15-ch000 - 08/20/2018 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
89 / 98 → 91%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
69 / 81 → 85%
Weight
62 / 20-67 → 90%
Battery
86%
Display
81%
Games Performance
80 / 85 → 94%
Application Performance
91 / 92 → 99%
Temperature
85%
Noise
84 / 95 → 88%
Audio
63%
Camera
40 / 85 → 46%
Average
77%
86%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP Spectre x360 15 (i7-8705G, Radeon RX Vega M GL) Convertible Review
Allen Ngo, 2018-08-21 (Update: 2018-08-21)
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.