You can never get too much battery life from your laptop. Even if you rarely take your computer out of the house, it's important to be able to work from the couch or the dining room table, without having to dangle a wire over to the nearest outlet. So, when HP says that its upcoming Spectre x360 13-inch can last for 22.5-hours on a charge, that's exciting news (in theory, anyway).
Announced today and due out in November for a starting price of $1,149, the latest version of the 13-inch Spectre x360 an attractive new design, a webcam kill switch and, of course, the latest Intel Whiskey Lake CPUs. But the big headline here is the company's claim that its 2-in-1 will have the longest battery life of any quad-core convertible on the market. (The 15-inch model is also getting a refresh; see below).
|Spectre X360 (13-inch)||Spectre x360 (15-inch)|
|CPU||Core i5 8265U / Core i7-8565U||Core i7-8565U|
|Screen Res||1080p / 4K||1080p / 4K|
|RAM||8GB / 16GB||8GB / 16GB|
|SSD||256GB / 512GB||256GB / 512GB|
|GPU||Intel UHD 620||Nvidia MX150 / Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti|
|Weight||2.9 pounds (1.3 kg)||4.8 pounds (1.3 kg)|
|Thickness||14.5 mm||14.5 mm|
Can You Trust the Number?
Just how believable is HP's claim? Until we get the x360 in our lab and benchmark it, we can't say how close to the 22.5-hour claim this laptop gets under different test conditions. However, we can provide some context.
HP claims that it is able to achieve this battery life, which is 6 hours more than what it touted for last year's model, primarily through increased energy efficiency. The battery itself goes up by just 1 watt-hour from 60 Whr to 61 Whr, barely enough to make a dent on its own.
As far we know, no other 2-in-1 with a quad-core chip makes a battery life claim that's higher than 22.5 hours. But there are certainly some non-2-in-1s that make this claim and some 2-in-1s with claims that are in this range.
|Laptop||Manufacturer Claim||Our Test (hh:mm)|
|HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017)||Up to 16 hours||8:26|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T580||Up to 26.8 hours||11:56|
|HP Envy x2 (Qualcomm)||Up to 22 hours||14:22|
|Dell XPS 13 9370||Up to 19.75 hours||12:37|
Lenovo says that its ThinkPad T580, a 15-inch business system, can get 26.8 hours when using its optional, extended battery. Granted, that laptop weighs a well over 4 pounds and it actually lasted only 11 hours and 56 minutes on our battery test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits.
HP itself claims that its Envy X2 2-in-1 lasts up to 22-hours, but that claim is for looping video only (it lasted 14 hours and 22 minutes on our test). The company says that its Spectre x360 hit its 22.5-hour number by running MobileMark 14, an industry standard benchmark that's meant to be run offline (connected to a router but not surfing the web).
Because it doesn't download data, one of the main things that users do in real life, MobileMark 14 always returns higher numbers than our web surfing test or any test that involves a more realistic workload. HP claims that the 2017 version of the Spectre x360 13-inch can last up to 16 hours on a charge and it endured for only 8 hours on our benchmark. By that standard, we hope the new model will last 10 to 12 hours on our test, which would be a few hours better than the average premium laptop.
New Design, Webcam Kill Switch
Battery life isn't the only selling point for the new Spectre x360. It also has an attractive new design that comes in two colors: Dark Ash Silver with Copper Luxe accents and Poseidon Blue with Pale Brass Accents. The accent colors dominate the sides, which have chamfered edges while the main color is visible on the lid and deck. Offering a shade of blue is a bold move that should make this system stand out from the crowd.
HP's also cutting corners on its new Spectre x360 13-inch, but not how you'd think. The back edges are tapered, with the USB Type-C power receptacle living on the right side edge. This unique placement makes it easy to run your charging cable behind the laptop without having to reach around the back to plug it in.
The bezels on the new model are narrower, but the chassis itself is 0.05 pounds (22 grams) heavier and 0.9 millimeters thicker. Overall, the Spectre x360 weighs 2.9 pounds (1.3 kg) and is 14.5mm thick.
There's now a webcam cutoff switch on the side, which makes the camera disappear from the Windows device manager, but doesn't physically cover the lens like Lenovo's ThinkShutter does. Other key features of the new Spectre x360 13-inch include a choice of Whiskey Lake Core i5 / Core i7 CPUs, 8 or 16GB of RAM, a 256 or 512GB NVMe SSD and a 1080p or 4K display.
HP Spectre x360 15-inch
Along with the x360 13-inch, HP announced a refresh of its 15-inch x360. This larger sibling not only gets the same color choices and chamfered edges but also does promises much better performance than its predecessor, thanks to its Core i7-8565U CPU and optional Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti discrete graphics.
The Spectre x360 15-inch weighs 4.8 pounds and promises up to 17 hours of battery life. HP also bases that number on results from Mobile Mark 14. It's available with your choice of 1080p or 4K displays, up to a 512GB SSD, up to 16GB of RAM and Nvidia MX150 or GTX 1050 Ti graphics.
The Spectre x360 15-inch will launch in November for a starting price of $1,389.
Correction (10/24): A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the HP Spectre x360 15-inch would not have chamfered edges or come in the same new colors as the 13-inch model.