HP Spectre X2 review: A more refined Surface clone

HP Spectre X2 review: A more refined Surface clone
From Engadget - July 10, 2017

The Spectre X2's screen is also a significant leap over that of its 1080p predecessor. The 12.3-inch display packs in a 3,000 x 2,000pixel resolution, amounting to 293 pixels per inch. Basically, that means you wo not notice any fuzziness around text and images, even if you really try. The Surface Pro, in comparison, sports a 2,736 x 1,824 resolution. You likely wo not notice the difference between them, but they'd both count as "Retina" displays, in Apple's parlance.

Quality-wise, the X2's display looks good when viewing photos, text and movies. Personally, I still prefer the way colors pop on the Surface Pro's Pixelsense screen, but most consumers will be satisfied with what HP is offering. The X2's display is also bright enough to use in direct sunlight, although you will have to deal with plenty of reflections, thanks to its glass screen.

HP shaved off a bit of the bezel around the screen, which allowed it to fit in a slightly bigger display. Another useful change: It now features a 3:2 aspect ratio, which makes it a bit taller than the previous model's widescreen. That makes the X2 better suited for viewing webpages and working on documents, but in exchange you will have to live with black bars when watching movies.

Keyboard and pen

The best thing about the Spectre X2 is its keyboard. It's simply great to type on. There's a surprising amount of travel for such a slim machine, and it offers a satisfying amount of responsiveness (unlike the mushy keys on the ASUS Zenbook 3). We also praised it in the last model, so there was not much for HP to change. Still, it's nice to see thin hybrid laptops packing in keyboards that are better than the ones on some full-size notebooks.

Thanks to its sturdy design, the X2 also felt great to use in my lap. It will take you a while to find a comfortable kickstand position, but it's possible. I had no trouble typing out most of this review with the computer balanced on my lap -- even on an uncomfortable park bench.

Unfortunately, the X2's touchpad is a lot more finicky. While it's usually smooth, it sometimes requires multiple clicks and swipes to get it to do what you want. And if your fingers have a little bit of sweat or grease on them, it gets even worse. This is something we complained about with the last model, and it's unfortunate that HP has not made much progress here.

Performance and battery life

Configuration options and the competition



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