HP’s Spectre x360 14 Ditches the Widescreen for 3:2 and I Think I’m In Love

HP’s Spectre x360 14 Ditches the Widescreen for 3:2 and I Think I’m In Love
Photo: HP

HP’s premium Spectre x360 systems are already some of the most full-featured and eye-catching 2-in-1s on the market. But now HP is adding a new 14-inch convertible to the line sporting a bigger and taller 3:2 display along with updated specs for even better productivity.

For the newest member of the Spectre line, it seems like HP is really trying to create the perfect work-from-home machine by combining the flexibility of a 2-in-1 with the extra screen real estate you get from a 14-inch 3:2 display. HP says that with the Spectre x360 14, you get the viewability of a 15-inch notebook in a system that’s closer in size to the standard 13.5-inch laptop, and thanks to its ability to transform into tablet and presentation modes, the x360 14 should be equally adept at working on a desk, couch, or bed.

Photo: HP Photo: HP

When it comes to performance, the Spectre x360 14 is also Intel Evo certified, which means it includes a range of 11th-gen Intel processors, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and has been tested to deliver qualities like instant wake times (of less than a second), fast charging, long battery life (at least nine hours at FHD resolution), and support for Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt 4.

That said, the most impressive thing to me about the Spectre x360 14 are all the little features and refinements HP has added to make the laptop simpler and hopefully easier to use. So not only is the x360 14’s touchpad more than 16% larger than before, its bezels have also gotten smaller resulting in a strong screen-to-body ration of over 90%. HP even includes two types of blue light filter certifications (Eyesafe and TUV Rheinland) to help prevent unnecessarily vivid colours from ruining your sleep patterns.

Meanwhile, for people who go for one of HP’s optional OLED screens, the Spectre X360 14 includes an Auto Colour feature so you don’t have to wonder if the picture you’re seeing has more exaggerated colours than you’d see on a traditional LCD display. And to help balance performance, the Spectre also includes Smart Sense which supposedly can identify the position of the laptop, what kind of surface it’s sitting on (like a table or your lap), and what software you’re using to do things like reduce heat to protect your groin from overheating or turn down performance while watching a movie to help preserve battery life.

Photo: HP, Other

Photo: HP, Other

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And to make sure your work-life stays separate from your private life, HP includes dedicated buttons to shutter the Spectre’s webcam and mute its mic. These have been pretty standard on Spectre devices of late and hopefully, it will inspire other laptop makers to follow suit.

Honestly, the Spectre x360 14 is one of the most well-rounded systems slated to hit the market fall. The only thing it doesn’t have is a built-in IR camera for use with Windows Hello, though you do get a fingerprint sensor instead.

While Spectre x360 14’s design is continuing the same general language HP has been using on its premium laptops for the past couple years, I also have to give HP credit for having one of the most unique and attractive chassis on the market. And with three paint jobs to choose from (Nightfall Black with copper, Poseidon Blue with pale brass, and Natural Silver), the Spectre x360 14 will never get confused for anything else on the market.

The HP Spectre x360 14 is scheduled to go on sale sometime in October starting at $US1,200 ($1,670). And if you prefer something a little smaller or want a more traditional clamshell design, HP has also refreshed the Spectre x360 13, the Envy 13, and the Envy x360 13 with new Intel 11th-gen chips, which will also go on sale this fall in October and November.

Finally, in case you really, really want 5G in your Spectre, HP is working on that too with a 5G version of the Spectre x360 13, though that won’t go on sale until sometime in early 2021.