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HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100 (i7-8550U, MX150) Convertible Review

Quiet refresh. HP's large Spectre 2-in-1, the Spectre x360 15t, now comes with eighth-generation quad-core i7 processor, refreshed Nvidia graphics and a faster SSD. The striking aluminum chassis remains unchanged. How the updated hardware components affect the performance, temperature, fan noise and the battery life is the the subject of our review update.

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HP has earned nothing but praise for their Spectre-series of convertibles, as the premium 2-in-1s strike just the right balance of design, features and performance - and they do so at a price point that isn't too hard to swallow for the features you get. We reviewed a second-generation HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx with Intel Core i7-7500U and Nvidia GeForce 940MX back in February of this year and didn't find a lot to criticize: the large 15.6-inch 2-in-1 is as well-built as it is attractive and backs up the good looks with great performance, a bright, high-resolution display, decent input devices and impressive battery life. 

Our late 2017 update features brand-new Kaby Lake R hardware in the form of the quad-core Intel i7-8550U, an updated GeForce MX150 graphics card and a faster SSD as well. The chassis itself, the UHD IPS display panel with 4K resolution and the amount of RAM remain unchanged. The lowest-end SKU on HP's website with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB PCIe NVMe SSD starts at $1300 at the time of writing; the highest-end version with 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB SSD sells for $1750. The review convertible with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB SSD costs $1550. Our supplier CUKUSA (Computer Upgrade King) only carries the 512 GB and 1 TB SKUs, but will upgrade the 16 GB of RAM to a total of 32 GB for $145. 

Since this is essentially a hardware update, overall experience will likely not change significantly between this and the previous model, so we will omit certain sections while combining others and focus on the differences in performance as well as observed temperatures, noise level and of course battery life. Competitors include other large convertibles like the Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 Convertible, the powerhouse Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB with GeForce GTX 1050, HP's own lower-tier HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng , but also the just recently reviewed Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB, which features a smaller 13.9-inch display and consequently a smaller footprint.

Note: With its 360-degree-hinge, the HP Spectre x360 15t is clearly a convertible, but given its overall size and weight in combination with dedicated graphics, it happens to be a very decent multimedia notebook as well. As before, we have therefore decided to classify the Spectre x360 15t as a multimedia notebook with 2-in-1 capabilities.

HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100 (Spectre x360 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce MX150 - 2048 GDDR5 MB, Core: 1468 MHz, Memory: 1502 MHz, 22.21.13.8569 (GeForce 385.69), Optimus
Memory
16384 MB 
, Samsung DDR4-2400 PC4-19200
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 3840 x 2160 pixel 282 PPI, 10-point, native pen support, BOE06C3, IPS, UHD UWVA eDP BrightView WLED-backlit , glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U + iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, 512 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
2 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 USB 3.1 Gen2, 1 Thunderbolt, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo-jack, Card Reader: multi-format SD media card reader, Brightness Sensor
Networking
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.8 x 355.6 x 251 ( = 0.7 x 14 x 9.88 in)
Battery
79.2 Wh Lithium-Ion, 6-cell, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 12.8 h
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD
Additional features
Speakers: Bang & Olufsen , Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.03 kg ( = 71.61 oz / 4.48 pounds), Power Supply: 432 g ( = 15.24 oz / 0.95 pounds)
Price
1550 USD

 

Case

With its copper-colored flanks, the super-slim chassis in dark ash silver - not a very accurate description of the color in our opinion - is anything but drab. Despite its size, the convertible is extremely rigid and resists twisting very well. The display lid is even stiffer than that of the smaller Yoga 920, although it does require less pressure on the back to induce ripples on the screen. Overall build quality is superb, although the notch on the front lip of the display is too small for our liking. Even with two hands, unnecessary fumbles are unavoidable when trying to open the lid.  

The hinges could be stiffer as well to hold the heavy display more securely during touchscreen use and when carrying the convertible. Just like the Yoga 920, the Spectre lacks protective bumpers of any kind, so care needs to be taken as to avoid scratches in the finish. Fingerprints are also much more of an issue than on the Yoga 920, so users concerned with appearance need to keep a cleaning cloth handy.

Even with the narrow bezel design - HP calls them "micro-edge bezels" - the Spectre x360 15t is certainly a large machine when compared to the 13.9-inch Yoga 920 as can be seen in our footprint comparison below. Width-wise, the Spectre is smaller than other 15-inch convertibles by up to 25 mm, but it's just about as deep. At just under 18 mm, the 2-in-1 undercuts the other large convertibles as well as far as the thickness is concerned, although a couple of mm here won't make a lot of difference in terms of ergonomics and transportability. Despite the reduced footprint and the thin design, the Spectre x360 15t isn't much lighter than the immediate competition because of the solid all-metal construction and thus not particularly convenient to carry around in tablet mode. Users who plan to use tablet mode frequently while carrying their device are better off with 13.3-inch systems like the smaller Spectre x360 13, as they can be cradled much more comfortably and for longer periods of time.

Connectivity

Connectivity remains unchanged and is rather sparse as typical for convertibles: the x360 has two USB Type-C connections (one of them supports Thunderbolt as well) on the right side and an USB 3.1 port, SD card reader, and HDMI on the left. All ports except for the SD card reader are towards the very far rear and thus "out of harms way" during normal operation.

Right: volume, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 port, USB Type-C
Right: volume, HDMI, Thunderbolt 3 port, USB Type-C
Left: USB 3.1 Type-A, 3.5 mm audio combo-jack, power button, SD card reader
Left: USB 3.1 Type-A, 3.5 mm audio combo-jack, power button, SD card reader
Front: no connectivity
Front: no connectivity
Rear: no connectivity
Rear: no connectivity

SD Card Reader

SD Card Reader performance, which we establish using the Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference card, is once again very impressive with our jpeg copy test taking place at almost 160 MB/s - one of the best results in our database regardless of the type of device. A transfer of 1 GB of data happens at almost 218 MB/s according to the tool AS SSD, so the Spectre is slower here than the Dell XPS 15 9560

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
 
157.5 MB/s ∼100%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
 
120.5 MB/s ∼77% -23%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
 
60.5 MB/s ∼38% -62%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
 
26.5 MB/s ∼17% -83%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
 
252.6 MB/s ∼100% +16%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
 
217.6 MB/s ∼86%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
 
87 MB/s ∼34% -60%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
 
31 MB/s ∼12% -86%

Communication

Our review notebook is equipped with the same 2x2 Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 module as the Kaby Lake predecessor. We measured receive transfer rates of about 664 Mbps , which is within the expected range, but only about 62 Mbps for send when one meter away from our Linksys EA8500 reference router. As of yet, we have no explanation for the dismal transmit rates. Even after a complete uninstall and reinstall of the wireless drivers and a check of the WLAN card/antennas, the performance didn't improve. We also tried a different router to no avail. Since the predecessor with the same WLAN module performed admirably, we suspect that this issue is isolated to our review 2-in-1.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼100% +963%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
648 MBit/s ∼98% +940%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
625 MBit/s ∼94% +903%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
352 MBit/s ∼53% +465%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
178 MBit/s ∼27% +186%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
62.3 MBit/s ∼9%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
664 MBit/s ∼100%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
Atheros/Qualcomm QCA6174
566 MBit/s ∼85% -15%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel 8265 Tri-Band WiFi (Oak Peak) Network Adapter
512 MBit/s ∼77% -23%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
503 MBit/s ∼76% -24%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168
314 MBit/s ∼47% -53%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165
313 MBit/s ∼47% -53%

Accessories

While the Spectre still ships with the faux leather sleeve and the HP Active Stylus, our review convertible came without the three adapters we found included before (USB Type-C to VGA, USB Type-C to USB Type-A, and a USB Type-C to RJ45 dongle). The box also includes the 90 W power adapter, a warranty pamphlet and the setup instruction.

Maintenance

RAM modules under a heat shield
RAM modules under a heat shield

Taking off the the bottom cover requires the removal of six Torx screws around the perimeter and two Phillips screws under the rear plastic feet. The tabs hold the bottom panel quite securely even with the screws removed, so we had to use an old credit card to assist in the process. The user then has access to the two RAM slots (both occupied in our case) under an aluminum shield, the M.2 SSD under the ribbon cable, the WLAN-module as well as the two system fans. 

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Warranty

The Spectre x360 15 comes with a standard one year warranty against manufacturers defects. When buying through HP, additional coverage can be selected at the time of purchase. Upgrades are fairly reasonable: a 3-year warranty with Accidental Care, which protects against accidental drops, spills or surges, costs $192 at the time of writing.

Display

As with the predecessor, the only panel choice is the 15.6-inch WLED-backlit IPS display with UHD/4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels). According to our measurements, the RGB panel from BOE performs slightly worse than during the last round, but this could be due both to panel variation as well as measurement inaccuracies. Average brightness is reasonable at 325 cd/m², which bests most direct competitors. Given the pixel density of 282 ppi, text is very sharp although the necessary scaling - Windows applies a default of 250 % - can make certain applications and windows look quite fuzzy.

PWM is used to control the brightness all the way up to 99 %, although the frequency of 1 kHz likely won't present a problem for most users. 

The contrast ratio of 1210:1 is good as well and movies look great thanks to the uniform and saturated blacks. There's some minor clouding particularly in the upper corners, but it's not severe enough to be noticeable or distracting during normal use.

Subpixel array
Subpixel array
Minor clouding in the upper corners
Minor clouding in the upper corners
310.9
cd/m²
341.1
cd/m²
329.9
cd/m²
308.8
cd/m²
338.7
cd/m²
324.6
cd/m²
318.7
cd/m²
329.9
cd/m²
325.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 341.1 cd/m² Average: 325.4 cd/m² Minimum: 16.66 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 338.7 cd/m²
Contrast: 1210:1 (Black: 0.28 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 4.9 | 0.8-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 5.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.6
86.92% sRGB (Argyll) 63.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll)
Gamma: 2.08
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
BOE06C3, IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
LG Philips (Dell 156WF7), IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Chi Mei CMN N156HCE-EN1, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
LG Philips, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
AU Optronics B139HAN03.0, IPS, 13.9, 1920x1080
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
LG Philips LGD054D, IPS, 13.3, 3840x2160
Response Times
-1%
830%
-39%
-10%
-5%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
41.2 (23.2, 18)
55 (20, 35)
-33%
29.6 (15.6, 14)
28%
55 (23, 32)
-33%
46 (20.8, 25.2)
-12%
42 (20.8, 21.2)
-2%
Response Time Black / White *
29.6 (16.4, 13.2)
20 (4, 16)
32%
26.4 (15.6, 10.8)
11%
26 (10, 16)
12%
31.6 (18.4, 13.2)
-7%
32 (18, 14)
-8%
PWM Frequency
1000
25510 (69)
2451%
50 (20)
-95%
Screen
-10%
-5%
-34%
-18%
14%
Brightness middle
338.7
244
-28%
300.9
-11%
205
-39%
297.9
-12%
302.6
-11%
Brightness
325
242
-26%
285
-12%
191
-41%
278
-14%
282
-13%
Brightness Distribution
91
93
2%
92
1%
74
-19%
81
-11%
83
-9%
Black Level *
0.28
0.25
11%
0.24
14%
0.3
-7%
0.44
-57%
0.25
11%
Contrast
1210
976
-19%
1254
4%
683
-44%
677
-44%
1210
0%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
4.9
4.94
-1%
5
-2%
7.2
-47%
5.1
-4%
2.4
51%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.7
7.3
16%
10.2
-17%
12.7
-46%
11
-26%
4.9
44%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.5
4.93
10%
7
-27%
6.86
-25%
6.7
-22%
2.8
49%
Gamma
2.08 115%
2.7 89%
2.34 103%
2.27 106%
2.9 83%
2.2 109%
CCT
7498 87%
7401 88%
6578 99%
6983 93%
6839 95%
6333 103%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
63.5
40
-37%
59
-7%
38
-40%
64.1
1%
65.5
3%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
86.92
63
-28%
90
4%
59
-32%
91.7
5%
97.1
12%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-6% / -8%
413% / 187%
-37% / -35%
-14% / -17%
5% / 11%

* ... smaller is better

Color space coverage is approximately 87 percent and 64 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, which is comparable to other higher-end consumer-grade IPS panels. Both the Dell Inspiron 15 2-in-1 and HP's own - and admittedly much less expensive - HP Pavilion x360 15, which are both equipped with Full HD panels, offer sRGB coverage of just 59 and 63 percent, respectively, which make them entirely unsuitable for photo editing. That said, the smaller HP Spectre x360 13 with the 4K panel one-ups the bigger sibling and reaches 97 percent of the sRGB standard.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Inspiron 15 2-in-1
vs. Inspiron 15 2-in-1

Measurements with the X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal reasonably accurate grayscale and color out of the box with DeltaE-deviations of just under 5 and 5.5, respectively. On the plus side, color inaccuracies are not noticeably worse at higher saturation levels. A quick calibration improves the average color DeltaE to 3.3 with grayscale dropping to 2.7. The Lenovo Yoga 720 is even more accurate after calibration, but the smaller 13-inch Spectre x360 with LG Philips panel requires no calibration to match the 15-inch Spectre x360. That said, subjectively colors are very vibrant and the screen is a pleasure to look at.

ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
29.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 13.2 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 71 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (26.1 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
41.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 23.2 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. » 51 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.7 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 1000 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 1000 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

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

In comparison: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 10415 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 588200) Hz was measured.

Outdoor usability is acceptable thanks to the good contrast and since the average brightness of 325 nits is able to overcome the reflections of the glare-type glass panel for the most part. Working under direct sunlight is of course out of the question - particularly in tablet mode - but working in the shade or under cloud cover isn't too straining for the eyes as long as the panel is adjusted properly to avoid most of the glare. 

As it is typical for an IPS panel, the viewing angle stability is very good with no noticeable color changes or significant dimming even at very shallow angles.

Outdoor use - shade
Outdoor use - shade
Outdoor use - shade
Outdoor use - shade
Outdoor use - overcast sky
Outdoor use - overcast sky
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The biggest news of course is the move to an 8th-generation i7-8550U CPU and the integration of Nvidia's newest entry-level mobile graphics card for laptops in form of the GeForce MX150. While HP sells the smaller Spectre x360 13t with iGPU either with the i5-8250U or the i7-8550U processor, the 15.6-inch model is only offered with the latter CPU. RAM for the 15t ranges from 8 GB (2x 4 GB) to 16 GB (2x 8 GB) DDR4-2133 SDRAM, while hard drives start at 256 GB and top out at 1 TB. The least expensive model with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD costs  $1300, while our configuration with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD sells for $1550. Upgrading to a 1 TB SSD costs $200, which seems comparatively reasonable.

 

Processor

We've seen Intel's quad-core 15 W Kaby Lake R processor in action a few times now and the results have been very impressive thus far. The CPU operates at a base clock of 1.8 GHz with a rated Turbo Boost of up to 4.0 GHz, which provides a wider operating range than previous CPUs in the i7 series. Compared to the predecessor with dual-core Intel Core i7-7500U, the new convertible offers a single-core performance plus of at least 5 percent; multi-core performance is up a staggering 50 percent. Just like in our previous reviews of the CPU, we can observe declining Turbo Boost clock rates soon after heavy load is applied. Running the Multi-Thread test of the Cinebench R15 benchmark in a loop, for example, leads to diminishing scores (-6 percent) after the first run as seen below. Even running the R15 Multi-Core portion on its own without running the OpenGL benchmark first yields a higher score.

Both the Lenovo Yoga 720 as well as the Dell XPS 15 are equipped with the high-end previous-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ and offer even higher multi-core performance, although the single-core performance is almost identical - quite a feat given the fact that the i7-7700HQ has a much higher TDP of 45 W. 

For more technical information and various benchmarks please see our dedicated Intel Core i7-8550U CPU page

CineBench R15
CineBench R15
CineBench R15 Multi-Thread only
CineBench R15 Multi-Thread only
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
157 Points ∼76% +2%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
154 Points ∼75%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
146 Points ∼71% -5%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
143 Points ∼69% -7%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
126 Points ∼61% -18%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
Intel Core i5-7200U
126 Points ∼61% -18%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
120 Points ∼58% -22%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
735 Points ∼25% +42%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
603 Points ∼20% +16%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
519 Points ∼18%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
339 Points ∼12% -35%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
326 Points ∼11% -37%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
Intel Core i5-7200U
326 Points ∼11% -37%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
317 Points ∼11% -39%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.78 Points ∼76% +1%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.77 Points ∼76%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.66 Points ∼71% -6%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.65 Points ∼71% -7%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.36 Points ∼58% -23%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.14 Points ∼34% +41%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
6.67 Points ∼28% +16%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
5.76 Points ∼24%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.76 Points ∼16% -35%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.53 Points ∼15% -39%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
6501 Points ∼60%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5942 Points ∼55% -9%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5825 Points ∼54% -10%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
5663 Points ∼52% -13%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
5614 Points ∼52% -14%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
Intel Core i5-7200U
4976 Points ∼46% -23%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
4787 Points ∼44% -26%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
23239 Points ∼47% +42%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
21671 Points ∼44% +33%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
16329 Points ∼33%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
11874 Points ∼24% -27%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
11366 Points ∼23% -30%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
Intel Core i5-7200U
11328 Points ∼23% -31%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
Intel Core i5-7200U
11078 Points ∼22% -32%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
496.7 s * ∼6% -23%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
480.096 s * ∼6% -19%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
402.56 s * ∼5%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
275.4 s * ∼3% +32%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
214.927 s * ∼3% +47%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
921.1 Seconds * ∼4% -81%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel Core i7-7500U
569.077 Seconds * ∼3% -12%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Core i7-7500U
543.1 Seconds * ∼2% -7%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
522.024 Seconds * ∼2% -2%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
509.5 Seconds * ∼2%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
6801
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
16329
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
6501
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
59.67 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
5.76 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.77 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
102.95 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
519 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
154 Points
Help

System Performance

Although the scores are not bad by any means, PCMark 8 performance is below expectations with the Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L (same CPU and GPU) outperforming our review candidate by up to 20 percent. A quick investigation revealed that the Program Settings within the Nvidia Control Panel defaults to the integrated GPU for this PCMark-executable with no way to change the setting. PCMark 10 can utilize the dedicated GPU, but performance still trails the competitors slightly. The Lenovo Yoga 920 with Full HD display outperforms many competitors when it comes to the synthetic benchmarks despite the fact that it only has the integrated Intel GPU at its disposal. 

PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3032 Points ∼32%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
2971 Points ∼32% -2%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
2971 Points ∼32% -2%
Productivity
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
6961 Points ∼73% +17%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
6812 Points ∼72% +15%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
5946 Points ∼63%
Essentials
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
8660 Points ∼86% +16%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
7881 Points ∼78% +6%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
7464 Points ∼74%
Score
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4012 Points ∼52% +9%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
3916 Points ∼50% +7%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3673 Points ∼47%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3457 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
5083 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4217 points
Help

Storage Devices

Samsung PM961 under the ribbon cable
Samsung PM961 under the ribbon cable

Unlike the predecessor Spectre x360 15t , which featured a somewhat slower 512 GB Toshiba XG4 SSD, our late 2017 model is equipped with a 512 GB Samsung PM961. This particular PCIe NVMe drive is know to be one of the fastest ones available and delivers blistering sequential read and write rates according to both AS SSD and CrystalDiskMark 5. The SSD makes quick work of file transfers and program launches and booting is also very quick at around 12 seconds.  

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


CMD 5
CMD 5
AS SSD
AS SSD
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
AS SSD
-96%
-1505%
-27%
-649%
-20%
Copy Game MB/s
1134.11
150
-87%
319.2
-72%
726.5
-36%
1123.25
-1%
Copy Program MB/s
534.36
77.34
-86%
463.32
-13%
475.1
-11%
466.66
-13%
Copy ISO MB/s
1936.38
325.71
-83%
1340.54
-31%
1126
-42%
1671.5
-14%
Score Total
3781
920
-76%
942
-75%
2536
-33%
426
-89%
2219
-41%
Score Write
1556
241
-85%
48
-97%
608
-61%
20
-99%
832
-47%
Score Read
1493
443
-70%
646
-57%
1316
-12%
307
-79%
945
-37%
Access Time Write *
0.026
0.083
-219%
4.15
-15862%
0.028
-8%
2.179
-8281%
0.031
-19%
Access Time Read *
0.04
0.128
-220%
0.08
-100%
0.044
-10%
0.044
-10%
0.036
10%
4K-64 Write
1262.39
144.61
-89%
15.3
-99%
391.27
-69%
2.08
-100%
565.52
-55%
4K-64 Read
1206.47
371.14
-69%
371.6
-69%
1039.22
-14%
113.73
-91%
640.82
-47%
4K Write
141.05
50.43
-64%
1.2
-99%
128.14
-9%
1.91
-99%
118.49
-16%
4K Read
51.93
27.09
-48%
47.1
-9%
48.46
-7%
35
-33%
48.18
-7%
Seq Write
1530.14
460.34
-70%
311.7
-80%
885.3
-42%
160.4
-90%
1476.03
-4%
Seq Read
2342.26
451
-81%
2276.6
-3%
2281.75
-3%
1599
-32%
2555.63
9%

* ... smaller is better

Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Sequential Read: 1248 MB/s
Sequential Write: 1476 MB/s
512K Read: 849.1 MB/s
512K Write: 1118 MB/s
4K Read: 58.85 MB/s
4K Write: 155.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 644.9 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 547.1 MB/s

GPU Performance

While the HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx was equipped with the Nvidia GeForce 940MX, which was already outdated at the time of the previous review, the successor features the replacement in form of the new entry-level Nvidia GeForce MX150. The Pascal-based GPU is equipped with 384 Shaders, features 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM and runs at up to 1532 MHz. 

The older Spectre with the GeForce 940MX trails the review convertible by about 40 percent depending on the 3DMark subtest, while notebooks equipped with the entry-level gaming GPU GTX1050 like the Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7 are between 65 and 80 percent faster.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Cloud Gate
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark Fire Strike
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4184 Points ∼24%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2609 Points ∼15% -38%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U
1838 Points ∼10% -56%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1640 Points ∼9% -61%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1555 Points ∼9% -63%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1126 Points ∼6% -73%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1011 Points ∼6% -76%
1280x720 Performance GPU
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
4564 Points ∼9%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2576 Points ∼5% -44%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U
2124 Points ∼4% -53%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1709 Points ∼3% -63%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1569 Points ∼3% -66%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1422 Points ∼3% -69%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7200U
1355 Points ∼3% -70%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
5885 Points ∼14% +65%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
3563 Points ∼9%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2115 Points ∼5% -41%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U
1369 Points ∼3% -62%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
1150 Points ∼3% -68%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1029 Points ∼3% -71%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
37388 Points ∼20% +83%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
20470 Points ∼11%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
11821 Points ∼6% -42%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U
11232 Points ∼6% -45%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
9678 Points ∼5% -53%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
7636 Points ∼4% -63%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
64188 Points ∼9% +68%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
Intel UHD Graphics 620, 8550U
54785 Points ∼8% +43%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 8550U
38250 Points ∼5%
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
37394 Points ∼5% -2%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
33758 Points ∼5% -12%
3DMark 11 Performance
4825 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
13664 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
3217 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The advantage the new GPU has over its predecessor 940MX extends to real-world gaming performance as well. Still, while the GeForce MX150 can handle older games like Bioshock Infinite at Full HD with the settings on medium or high, somewhat newer games - Rise Of the Tomb Raider, for example - are only playable at HD resolution and the medium preset. Note that the Spectre x360 15t has slightly higher frame rates than the Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L, which is equipped with the same CPU/GPU combo. Notebooks equipped with the GTX 1050 like the Lenovo Yoga 720 offer roughly double the frame rate performance and are a much better choice if more than casual gaming should be on the agenda.

We run Witcher 3 (the character does not move) to see whether frame rates drop significantly when running a game for longer periods of time. Fluctuations are expected because of the day/night cycles - but we can't quite explain the dip in the middle of our extended test run. Frame rate reductions during normal gaming due to throttling are unlikely to occur, however.

01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041Tooltip
The Witcher 3 medium
BioShock Infinite
1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF) (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
34.8 fps ∼13%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
31 (min: 1.4, max: 246.9) fps ∼12% -11%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
6.3 fps ∼2% -82%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
60 fps ∼23% +72%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
10.1 fps ∼4% -71%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
21.6 fps ∼8% -38%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0
5.8 fps ∼2% -83%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
10.7 fps ∼4% -69%
1366x768 High Preset (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
94.3 fps ∼31%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
78.9 (min: 5.8, max: 284.4) fps ∼26% -16%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
19.9 fps ∼6% -79%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
30.5 fps ∼10% -68%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
59 fps ∼19% -37%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0
18.2 fps ∼6% -81%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
33.5 fps ∼11% -64%
1366x768 Medium Preset (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
112.9 (min: 94.3, max: 34.8) fps ∼33%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
93.3 (min: 5, max: 274.1) fps ∼27% -17%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
24.3 fps ∼7% -78%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
36.2 fps ∼10% -68%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
69.8 fps ∼20% -38%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0
22.6 fps ∼7% -80%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
40.2 fps ∼12% -64%
1280x720 Very Low Preset (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
201 fps ∼50%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
162.1 (min: 9.5, max: 280.3) fps ∼41% -19%
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
40.3 fps ∼10% -80%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
67.1 fps ∼17% -67%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
127.5 fps ∼32% -37%
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0
39 fps ∼10% -81%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
61 fps ∼15% -70%
Rise of the Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
17.6 fps ∼11%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
17.4 (min: 16, max: 20) fps ∼11% -1%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
32 fps ∼20% +82%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
13.8 fps ∼9% -22%
1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
23.1 fps ∼13%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
20.6 (min: 18, max: 23) fps ∼11% -11%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
6.8 fps ∼4% -71%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
15.3 fps ∼9% -34%
1366x768 Medium Preset AF:2x (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
40.8 (min: 23, max: 17.6) fps ∼18%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
37.2 (min: 34, max: 42) fps ∼17% -9%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
12.7 fps ∼6% -69%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
18.4 fps ∼8% -55%
1024x768 Lowest Preset (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
72.3 fps ∼25%
Acer Aspire 5 A517-51G-80L
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Micron 1100 MTFDDAV256TBN
67.1 (min: 62, max: 74) fps ∼23% -7%
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
22.9 fps ∼8% -68%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
38.5 fps ∼13% -47%
The Witcher 3
1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+) (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
12.8 fps ∼11%
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
23 fps ∼20% +80%
1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off) (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
22.8 fps ∼12%
1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
39.5 fps ∼17%
1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing (sort by value)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
68.3 fps ∼19%
Dell XPS 13 9360 FHD i7 Iris
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7560U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
17.5 fps ∼5% -74%
low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 201112.994.334.8fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 68.339.522.812.8fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 72.340.823.117.6fps

Stress Test

As always, we subject the notebook to unrealistic stress with synthetic benchmarks to reveal throttling or stability issues. Under Prime95 load, the CPU cores start at around 2.8 Ghz but drop to 2.2 GHz within 15 seconds, at which point the fan kicks in and the temperature drops from a high of over 80 C to about 65 C. Clock speeds drop further to about 2.1 GHz over the next few minutes with the temperature stabilizing at 68 C. Note that the Lenovo Yoga 920 with the same CPU maintains between 2.2 - 2.3 GHz on average, which helps explain the slightly higher Cinebench scores during the R15 loop test.

Running Furmark on its own yields GPU speeds between 1455 - 1480 MHz a maximum temperature of 80 C. Simultaneous CPU and GPU stress has the GPU running at 1455 - 1468 MHz and around 80 C, but the CPU immediately drops to 1.2 - 1.3 GHz with the temperature rising to about 75 C. At around 15 minutes, the CPU remains between 1.1 - 1.3 GHz at 74 C with the GPU now maintaining 1455 MHz still at a temperature of 80 C. The 940MX in the predecessor remained cooler at 73 C under the same stress conditions, although the CPU was slightly hotter at 85 C. 

Witcher 3 is a more realistic representation of what happens when running real-world applications for prolonged periods of time. Initially, the CPU sits at its upper Turbo limit of 4.0 GHz at about 80 C with the GPU running at 1657 MHz - so above the rated clock speed - and 76 C. About 15 minutes later, the individual CPU cores start dipping down to as low as 3 GHz with the average now around 3.2 GHz at temperatures of between 71-75 C; the GPU maintains its speed with the temperature dropping slightly to about 75 C. No further changes occur.

A repeat of 3DMark 11 on battery shows lower Physics (-12 %) and slightly lower Graphics scores (-3.5 %) and results in a total point reduction of about 230 points (-4.7 %). 

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95 + FurMark stress
Prime95 + FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C) Average GPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 2.2 - 68 -
FurMark Stress - 1455-1480 - 80
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.1-1.3 1455 75 79
Witcher 3 Stress 3.3 1657 73-75 77-78

Emissions

System Noise

The Spectre x360 15t is equipped with dual system fans which exhaust hot air through grills on the left and right side. The convertible is noiseless at idle and during light workloads like word processing and general browsing, so it's very suitable for noise sensitive areas. Average load with 3DMark 06 as well as high loads (stress test with Prime 95 and Furmark) can bump the fan noise to about 42 dB, which is towards the upper range in our comparison. Still, maximum fan noise occurs around 2 kHz, so the fans are not nearly as noticeable or annoying as they are on some smaller Ultrabooks and subnotebooks. The predecessor produces slightly more noise, but the Yoga 720 with GTX1050 gets nosier still and can reach 46 dB.

Witcher 3 noise is well-controlled however at about 36 dB, so gaming isn't affected as much, although we still recommend headphones for extended session. Coil whine is audible when running hard drive benchmarks and placing the ear close to the keyboard, but inaudible at normal distances.

Fan noise HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Fan noise HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Fan noise HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx (predecessor)
Fan noise HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx (predecessor)
Fan noise Lenovo Yoga 720
Fan noise Lenovo Yoga 720

Noise Level

Idle
28.4 / 28.4 / 28.4 dB(A)
Load
41.6 / 41.6 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 (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.4 dB(A)
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G)
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0
HP Spectre x360 13-ac033dx
HD Graphics 620, 7500U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
Noise
1%
-0%
5%
-6%
-3%
-5%
off / environment *
28.4
30.6
-8%
28.2
1%
28
1%
28.5
-0%
28.7
-1%
Idle Minimum *
28.4
30.4
-7%
28.2
1%
28
1%
28.5
-0%
31.7
-12%
28.7
-1%
Idle Average *
28.4
30.4
-7%
28.2
1%
28.8
-1%
28.5
-0%
31.7
-12%
34.2
-20%
Idle Maximum *
28.4
30.4
-7%
28.2
1%
30.3
-7%
36.3
-28%
31.7
-12%
35.8
-26%
Load Average *
41.6
32.3
22%
39
6%
34.5
17%
42.7
-3%
38.8
7%
35.8
14%
Witcher 3 ultra *
36.1
Load Maximum *
41.6
35.2
15%
46.3
-11%
34.3
18%
42.7
-3%
36.8
12%
39.6
5%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Surface temperatures on the new Spectre x360 15 are minimally warmer compared to the older version with 7th-generation processor and GeForce 940MX. Idle temperatures are fairly flat with no obvious hotspots, while the temperature under load has increased by a couple of degrees to a maximum of 52 C on the bottom rear - presumably because of the increase in GPU temperature as seen during the stress test. The keyboard closest to the display also gets quite warm at 50 C under maximum load, but the palm rests stay comparatively cool at 34 C, although sweaty palms can't be avoided completely. Temperatures when running Witcher 3 are slightly lower,  but the keyboard area still gets quite warm.  

Idle (top)
Idle (top)
Idle (bottom)
Idle (bottom)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 40 °C49.2 °C46 °C 
 41 °C39.2 °C42.8 °C 
 33.6 °C29 °C34.2 °C 
Maximum: 49.2 °C
Average: 39.4 °C
45.2 °C52 °C41.4 °C
40.8 °C41.2 °C44 °C
35.2 °C34.6 °C35.6 °C
Maximum: 52 °C
Average: 41.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  47 °C | Room Temperature 21.6 °C | Raytek Raynger ST

Speakers

The two speakers hidden under the perforations to the left and right of the keyboard provide adequate, but not necessarily very full-bodied sound. Mids and highs are very-well balanced, but the bass drops of somewhat steeply below 250 Hz, so the Spectre can't quite compete with full-sized multimedia notebooks and especially notebooks with a subwoofer when it comes to the lower frequencies. Speaker volume is sufficient and loud enough for average-sized rooms with no distortion even at maximum volume. The chassis does vibrate a little when the volume is turned all the way up, but thanks to the excellent built quality, there's no rattling of any kind.

HP still includes the "Bang & Olufsen Audio" application, which allows minor tweaking of the settings, although there's no equalizer for full manual control. A always, we recommend headphones when listening to music or playing games.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2039.539.22536.936.93132.935.24032.634.15034346334.233.38032.232.610030.731.312533.430.716044.730.320051.528.725056.928.13156127.740061.326.65006025.763058.225.480063.524.4100066.324.4125066.124.1160065.923.820006523.7250063.223.5315059.223.4400059.323.5500064.523.3630064.823.4800065.423.31000059.923.21250057.823.21600058.523.2SPL75.836.2N382.7median 60HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100median 24.1Delta5.51.635.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHzmedian 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (66.31 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3.7% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (16.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 38% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 54% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 18%, worst was 41%
Compared to all devices tested
» 24% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 70% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 1% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 9%, average was 19%, worst was 47%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

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

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power consumption is up across the board at idle and medium loads not only when compared to the predecessor, but also when compared to the immediate competition. The increase at idle compared to the older HP Spectre x360 15 with i7-7500U and GeForce 940MX  is bewildering, as we can't find an obvious reason - the new components aren't any less efficient, so there shouldn't be a significant change. Medium and load power draw is right where expected it to be with the given hardware. Systems with integrated GPU naturally consume up to 50 percent less under heavy loads, while the Lenovo Yoga 720 with GTX 1050 draws up to 50 percent more.

The AC adapter is rated for 90 W and has enough headroom to cope with the maximum draw of 77 W.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.49 / 0.78 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 11.6 / 13.8 / 14.2 Watt
Load midlight 67.9 / 76.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
8550U, GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
7200U, HD Graphics 620, SanDisk X400 256GB, SATA (SD8SB8U-256G), IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
7500U, GeForce 940MX, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK), IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
7200U, HD Graphics 620, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-21KHST0, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 13.9
Power Consumption
51%
-6%
20%
44%
56%
Idle Minimum *
11.6
4.3
63%
8.3
28%
8.14
30%
5.9
49%
3.1
73%
Idle Average *
13.8
7.6
45%
10.2
26%
10.91
21%
9.2
33%
6.6
52%
Idle Maximum *
14.2
9.8
31%
10.4
27%
12.26
14%
9.3
35%
7
51%
Load Average *
67.9
32.6
52%
67.5
1%
45.67
33%
35.6
48%
35.2
48%
Load Maximum *
76.9
28.4
63%
117.2
-52%
74.94
3%
32.9
57%
34.6
55%
Witcher 3 ultra *
59.04
96.5
-63%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The increased power consumption at idle should affect the maximum runtime, but that's actually not the case: the review convertible lasted for 15 hours and 30 minutes on the Battery Eater Reader's test before we had to plug it back in. Real-world WLAN runtimes provided by the 79 Wh battery have decreased by about 30 minutes compared to the predecessor and are now down to about 8.5 hours, which is still a decent result. The 13.9-inch Yoga 920 lasts a solid 3 hours longer, however and might be a  better choice for road warriors who spend most of their time away from outlets.

HP's Fast Charge can charge the laptop to 50 % in just 30 minutes. It took about 30 minutes for our review convertible to charge from 40 % to 65 % with the screen turned up to maximum brightness and while we were actively using it.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 34min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
8h 31min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 16min
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
8550U, GeForce MX150, 79.2 Wh
Dell Inspiron 15 5578-1777 2-in-1
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 42 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 72 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB-80Y7
8550U, UHD Graphics 620, 70 Wh
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
7500U, GeForce 940MX, 79.2 Wh
HP Pavilion x360 15-bk102ng
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 48 Wh
Battery Runtime
-23%
-7%
38%
2%
-32%
Reader / Idle
934
1066
14%
1655
77%
866
-7%
WiFi v1.3
511
394
-23%
484
-5%
685
34%
535
5%
348
-32%
Load
136
96
-29%
140
3%
148
9%

Pros

+ elegant & thin design
+ outstanding build quality
+ dedicated GPU
+ good system performance
+ bright 4K display
+ Thunderbolt 3 port
+ supports active stylus (included)
+ good backlit keyboard
+ extra-wide, ultra-smooth touchpad
+ decent battery life
+ Fast Charge technology

Cons

- hinge not quite stiff enough
- charger takes up one of the Type-C ports
- both the Type-C as well as the Type-A USB ports are Gen 1
- glossy display with lots of glare
- power adapter is heavy
- fingerprints are hard to avoid
- no adapters are included
- can get quite warm

Verdict

In review: HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King
In review: HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100. Test model provided by Computer Upgrade King

The 15.6-inch Spectre x360 15 is a great 2-in-1 with enough processing chops to handle even demanding applications. HP left the chassis untouched, but updated the hardware with a more powerful Kaby Lake-R CPU and new GeForce entry-level graphics. The big news are of course the improvements in CPU and GPU performance and here the new Spectre outperforms the predecessor by quite a margin - at least when the application can take advantage of the two additional cores. As such, the convertible with its vivid 4K display, 16 GB of RAM and an even faster 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD might be very appealing to users who are looking for a productivity machine that can also fulfill light gaming duties.

Battery runtimes have suffered slightly, but with judicious use, the Spectre will still last an entire workday. Otherwise, the pros and cons from our previous review still apply: the hinges aren't quite stiff enough to hold the display securely in all positions, the 4K panel might be overkill for some especially in light of the occasional scaling issues, and a 15.6-inch convertible is quite large and heavy, which might limit its usefulness while in tablet mode.

After the hardware-only refresh, the HP Spectre x360 15t remains a solid, well-performing 2-in-1 and still remains one of the best choices when considering a large convertible.

Users who don't require the dedicated GPU and would prefer a longer battery life instead should also take a look at the slightly smaller Lenovo Yoga 920.

HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100 - 11/16/2017 v6
Bernie Pechlaner

Chassis
86 / 98 → 87%
Keyboard
85%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
73 / 81 → 90%
Weight
63 / 20-67 → 91%
Battery
91%
Display
82%
Games Performance
78 / 85 → 91%
Application Performance
89 / 92 → 97%
Temperature
85%
Noise
91 / 95 → 95%
Audio
56%
Camera
40 / 85 → 46%
Add Points
+1%
Average
72%
88%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100 (i7-8550U, MX150) Convertible Review
Bernie Pechlaner, 2017-11-17 (Update: 2017-11-17)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).