The HP Spectre x360 16 doesn’t have “pro” in its name, but it deserves to. It’s not a business laptop, so you won’t find an Intel vPro processor or IT management features. However, its premium features, beautiful OLED display, good looks and speedy performance are just about perfect for anyone looking for a versatile laptop with an awesome work-play-and-create design — as long as you don’t mind the size and weight.
Configurations for the HP Spectre x360 16 start at $1,640 while my review model is $2,030. A similar configuration to what I tested is £1,900 in the UK and AU$3,799 in Australia. All models include an 11th-gen Intel Core i7-11390H processor, at least 16GB of memory and a 512GB SSD; memory can be bumped up to 32GB (it’s onboard so you have to add before you buy) and up to a 2TB SSD. The base model has integrated Intel graphics but an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 discrete GPU is also an option and is required if you want it configured with a stunning 16-inch 3,840×2,400-pixel OLED touch display.
- Beautiful design
- Lots of features for home and office work
- Great webcam
- Active pen and laptop sleeve included
- Top-end configuration performance underwhelms
HP, like most other PC makers, has moved toward taller 3:2- or 16:10-ratio displays and away from 16:9 widescreens; the 16-inch display on the Spectre x360 16 is 16:10. Combined with thinner bezels framing the display, it gives you more vertical space to work with little impact on the laptop’s overall footprint.
With a trimmed-down chassis, too, this means you can have a 16-inch laptop that’s roughly the same size of an older 15.6-inch widescreen laptop. While the OLED is the top choice, it does add to the cost, especially since it has to be paired with the RTX 3050 graphics, and can shorten battery life. HP said with integrated graphics and the base 3,072×1,920-pixel IPS display, the laptop can get up to 17 hours. I reached 9 hours, 45 minutes on our video-streaming battery test with the OLED display.
The 16-inch size is rare for a two-in-one and makes the Spectre x360 16 more of a desktop replacement than an ultraportable (it has the ports to accommodate a desk setup without a hub, too). It’s not too heavy at 4.5 pounds (2 kilograms), although it’s definitely not a toss-in-your-bag-and-forget-it’s-there weight, either. The laptop requires a big power supply for full performance, too, but it can be charged with a smaller USB-C charger as well.
The smooth, sturdy body — made from recycled aluminum — and additional screen space compared to a 13- or 14-inch is worth the extra heft, though, especially if you’re splitting time between working from home and hot-desking or hoteling at an office mixed with occasional pit-stops for coffee-shop conferences. The Spectre x360 16 can of course be used as a laptop, but the larger two-in-one design makes it good for giving presentations, using it as a whiteboard, sketching or notetaking with the included pen or kicking back and watching videos or gaming.
The configuration I tested is almost fully loaded and includes a high-quality OLED touch display that’s factory calibrated and covers 100% sRGB, 100% P3, 97% Adobe RGB and 95% NTSC color gamuts with a max brightness of 383 nits according to our tests. If you’re doing color-critical work, this display is what you want (though it’s not bright enough to fight reflections outdoors).
HP Spectre x360 16
|Price as reviewed||$2,030|
|Display size/resolution||16-inch 3840 x 2400 OLED touch display|
|CPU||3.4GHz Intel Core i7-11390H|
|Memory||16GB 3,200MHz DDR4|
|Graphics||4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050|
|Connections||USB-C Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 (x2), USB-A (10Gbps), HDMI 2.0, AC in, 3.5mm combo|
|Storage||1TB NVMe PCIe TLC M.2 SSD|
|Networking||802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6E), Bluetooth 5.2|
|Operating system||Windows 11 Home|
For the $2,030 price, the performance is somewhat underwhelming when looked at away from the rest of the package. In fact, price is really my only hang-up with recommending this laptop. That’s simply because you can find better performance for less money with something like the Dell Inspiron 16 Plus.
The Dell is a clamshell, not a two-in-one, and while its features, body and display are excellent for the money, they don’t compare to the HP. But if you’re looking for a 16-inch laptop that’s closer to $1,000 than $2,000, consider the Inspiron 16 Plus. The HP might not be a bargain, but it does deliver a more premium experience. Also, in my anecdotal testing, which included editing raw image files with DxO PureRaw 2.0, performance was speedy and smooth. And it can even do some gaming if you dial back on the quality settings.
All the little extras
The increase in people video-chatting on their laptops during the pandemic really shone a spotlight on how poor most built-in webcams are. For the Spectre x360 16, HP put in a 5-megapixel camera and some software to help you look your best. HP GlamCam touches up your skin, teeth and eyes, for example, while Lighting Correction adjusts your video for poor lighting conditions. There’s also Auto Frame, which uses the extra resolution to track your face if you move off-center on camera. It’s a little slow to respond compared to Apple’s Center Stage. However, HP said its slight delay is intentional so it doesn’t constantly adjust, which makes sense — you wouldn’t want it jumping around for every little movement.
Also, along with a privacy shutter to block the webcam and mic mute button, you can also have your computer lock automatically if you walk away from the laptop. It will dim the display, too, when you stop looking directly at it. HP also added a setting to have the display blur if it sees someone shoulder surfing behind you as you work.
There are also things like Wi-Fi 6E for the fastest wireless performance; an IR camera for face recognition, as well as a fingerprint reader to simplify sign-ins; and helpful software for managing system performance and content creation. Even if you’re not a creative, all of the Spectre x360 16’s features add up to a great two-in-one experience. It’s something you likely won’t mind working on every day. And with the additional graphics boost, you can do a little gaming in your downtime, too.
|HP Spectre x360 16||Microsoft Windows 11 Home (64-bit); 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-11390H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics; 1TB SSD|
|Dell Inspiron 16 Plus||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-11800H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050; 512GB SSD|
|Lenovo Legion 5 Pro||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.2GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070; 512GB SSD|
|Acer Swift X SFX14-41G-R1S6||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.9GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800U; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM; 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050Ti; 512GB SSD|
|Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5||Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 3.2GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800H; 16GB DDR4 SDRAM 3,200MHz; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060; 512GB SSD|