HP Spectre x360 13.5 review: back on top

HP Spectre x360 13.5

MSRP $1,700.00

“The HP Spectre x360 13.5 has the whole lot you can want in a high-end Windows convertible 2-in-1.”


  • Elegant aesthetic
  • Excellent productivity performance
  • Rock-solid construct
  • Superior keyboard and touchpad
  • Stunning OLED display
  • Surprisingly good battery life


  • Creativity performance is lacking
  • Barely expensive

The HP Spectre x360 has long been a few of the very best laptops through the years, especially within the category of convertible 2-in-1.

Last yr’s 14-inch model, which was excellent, has now been rebranded because the Spectre x360 13.5, still carrying the identical size screen but sporting a clean latest design.

It’s a bit expensive, however it’s much more attractive this time around, a bonus to the improved performance and battery life. The competition has stiffened, but HP still managed to climb its way back to the highest with its flagship.

Price and configurations

I reviewed a $1,700 configuration of the Spectre x360 13.5 with a Core i7-1255U and a 13.5-inch 3:2 3000×2000 OLED display.

The Spectre x360 13.5 is obtainable in several configurations, starting at $1,200 for a Core i5-1235U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe 4.0 SSD, and a WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280) IPS touch display. On the high end, you’ll spend $1,840 for a Core i7-1255U, 16GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD, and a 13.5-inch 3:2 3K2K (3000 x 2000) OLED display. When you want the utmost RAM, a $1,780 configuration is obtainable with a Core i7-1255U, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB SSD, and the WUXGA+ display.

I’m unsure why HP hasn’t enabled each the utmost RAM and the OLED display, and maybe that’s something that can change. My review configuration was $1,700 for a Core i7-1255U, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and the OLED display.

Probably the most pertinent competitive laptop at around the identical price is the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7, although that 2-in-1 is heavily discounted and just a few hundred dollars lower than the Spectre. The Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7 is cheaper and offers the identical CPU but, in the intervening time, no OLED display option.


HP Spectre x360 13.5 front angled view showing display and keyboard deck.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Spectre x360 14 featured HP’s dramatic gem-cut design with sharply angled edges and notches cut into the rear display and chassis corners. With its rose gold or copper accents, the 2-in-1’s aesthetic was a stunning laptop that stood aside from the group. HP scaled back that design with the Spectre x360 13.5, identical to it did with the Spectre x360 16, rounding off and slimming the sides and toning down the extravagance. The chassis notches remain functional, with the left hosting the three.5mm audio jack and the suitable a USB-C port for keeping the charging cable out of the best way.

The result’s a more refined look that’s just as elegant and distinctive but not as loud. The rounded edges are also a bit more comfortable to carry in tablet mode, although not as comfortable because the much more rounded edges of the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7.

My review unit sported the Nightfall Black color with brass accents, with optional Natural Silver and Nocturne Blue color schemes with matching edges. In each case, the keyboard matches the first color. The Spectre x360 13.5’s only aesthetic equals within the 14-inch 2-in-1 crowd are the Yoga 9i Gen 7 and Yoga 7i Gen7, which have rounded and sculpted chassis which can be just as attractive in their very own way. I’m not saying the remainder of the sphere is boring, exactly, but none are as attractive as these three machines.

Constructed of CNC machined recycled aluminum, the Spectre x360 13.5 is rock-solid.

Constructed of CNC machined-recycled aluminum, the Spectre x360 13.5 can also be rock-solid, with no bending, flexing, or twisting anywhere within the lid, keyboard deck, or bottom chassis. It joins the best-built laptops just like the Dell XPS 13 and the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7. The one laptop I’ve handled that really feels more solid is the Apple MacBook Pro 14, and the difference is marginal. Unfortunately, the hinge is just the tiniest bit too stiff to open the lid with one hand, however it holds the display firmly in place in clamshell, tent, media, and tablet modes.

I include the Spectre x360 13.5 within the 14-inch category, however it could easily be lumped in with 13.3-inch laptops just as easily. With the taller display, though, it appears like a 14-inch machine, in order that’s how I’m going to treat it. Because of narrow bezels and a 90% screen-to-body ratio, the Spectre x360 13.5 is a compact machine. In comparison with the Yoga 9i Gen 7, the HP is sort of an inch narrower and half an inch shallower, and it’s 0.67 inches thick and three.01 kilos in comparison with the Yoga at 0.60 inches and three.09 kilos.

The most recent Dell XPS 13 is smaller, with the Spectre x360 13.5 being an inch wider and deeper. The XPS 13 is thinner at 0.58 inches and lighter at 2.8 kilos. That slots the Spectre x360 13.5 between the Yoga and XPS 13 in every dimension except thickness.

Ports and connectivity

HP Spectre x360 13.5 left side showing ports.

hp spectre x360 13 5 review right side

The Spectre x360 13.5 has decent connectivity, with two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4 support, a single USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 port, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. That’s greater than the standard 13-inch laptop but lower than many 14-inch laptops that include an HDMI port. HP throws in a USB-C hub with two USB-A ports and an HDMI port, which is sweet to have, however it doesn’t substitute for built-in connections.

Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 provide the most recent in wireless connectivity.


The lid of the HP Spectre x360 13.5.

HP opted for a lower-power CPU with the Spectre x360 13.5, specifically the 15-watt 10-core (two performance and eight Efficient), 12-thread Core i7-1255U with a Turbo Boost of 4.7GHz. The Core i5-1255U with a Turbo Boost of 4.4GHz can also be available. My review unit equipped the Core i7-1255U, and it performed well in comparison with the opposite similarly equipped laptops we’ve reviewed. It was also an enormous improvement over the Eleventh-gen Core i7-1165G7 within the Spectre x360 14. At the identical time, unsurprisingly, the Spectre x360 13.5 wasn’t as fast because the Yoga 9i Gen 7 and Acer Swift 3 which were equipped with the 28-watt, 12-core (4 Performance and eight Efficient), 16-thread Core i7-1260P.

I used the HP Command Center utility to check each balanced and performance modes. The utility made a big difference within the CPU-intensive benchmarks, but I did notice that the fans were never extremely loud in either mode. HP updated the thermal design of the Spectre x360 13.5, including adopting latest fans that were designed to provide less noise. They did the job. The laptop also didn’t throttle much in either mode, hitting 91 degrees C at most and spending the vast majority of time within the mid-70s. Given the skinny chassis, I think HP tuned the machine to avoid generating an excessive amount of heat, which likely limited performance a bit in comparison with laptops which can be tuned to run hotter but throttle on the high end.

The Spectre x360 13.5 provided excellent productivity performance while running cool and quiet.

Within the Geekbench 5 benchmark, the Spectre x360 13.5 fell behind the Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7 but was faster in multi-core than the Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1. It was well behind the Core i7-1260P machines and ahead of the Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED with a 28-watt, eight-core/16-thread AMD Ryzen 7 6800U. In our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265, the Spectre was the fastest amongst its peers and only barely behind the higher-watt laptops (in performance mode). In Cinebench R23, the Spectre x360 13.5 was in keeping with its peers, again in performance mode but well behind the faster machines. Finally, in PCMark 10 Complete, which tests quite a lot of productivity, multimedia, and inventive tasks, the Spectre was competitive with the remainder of the comparison group.

Overall, the Spectre x360 13.5 provided excellent productivity performance while running cool and quiet, but as with other laptops with the identical CPU, it fell behind in creative tasks. It’s significantly faster than Intel’s previous generation, though, and may tackle some lightweight creative work in a pinch. As we’ll see within the battery life section, the Spectre leveraged the lower-watt CPU’s efficiency higher than the opposite laptops I’ve reviewed.

(single / multi)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
PCMark 10
HP Spectre x360 13.5
(Core i7-1255U)
Bal: 1,566 / 7,314
Perf: 1,593 / 7,921
Bal: 169
Perf: 120
Bal: 1,623 / 5,823
Perf: 1,691 / 7,832
HP Spectre x360 14
(Core i7-1165G7)
Bal: 1,214 / 4,117
Perf: N/A
Bal: 230
Perf: 189
Bal: 1,389 / 3,941
Perf: 1,404 / 4,847
Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7
(Core i7-1255U)
Bal: 1,652 / 8,194
Perf: 1,692 / 8,443
Bal: 200
Perf: 141
Bal: 1,679 / 7,176
Perf: 1,748 / 7,701
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1
(Core i7-1255U)
Bal: 1,703 / 6,520
Perf: 1,685 / 6,791
Bal: 153
Perf: 141
Bal: 1,729 / 6,847
Perf: 1,773 / 7,009
Acer Swift 3 2022
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,708 / 10,442
Perf: 1,694 / 10,382
Bal: 100
Perf: 98
Bal: 1,735 / 9,756
Perf: 1,779 / 10,165
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
Bal: 1,717 / 9,231
Perf: 1,712 / 10,241
Bal: 130
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,626 / 7,210
Perf: 1,723 / 8,979
Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
Bal: 1,417 / 6,854
Perf: 1,404 / 7,223
Bal: 112
Perf: 111
Bal: 1,402 / 8,682
Perf: 1,409 / 8,860

The Spectre x360 13.5 scored about as expected within the 3DMark Time Spy test, with its rating in performance mode being at the highest end of the category. In fact, the laptop is restricted to Intel’s Iris Xe and won’t give you the option to play modern titles at anything except 1080p and low graphics. I couldn’t get Fortnite to put in, so I couldn’t test the Spectre’s performance in our go-to game for integrated graphics. I’m sure, though, that it wouldn’t have performed any higher than other Iris Xe machines.

Time Spy
(1080p/1200p Epic)
HP Spectre x360 13.5
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,582
Perf: 1,815
HP Spectre x360 14
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,457
Perf: 1,709
Bal: 19
Perf: 23
Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,790
Perf: 1,716
Bal: 18
Perf: 18
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,492
Perf: 1,502
Bal: 12 fps
Perf: 12 fps
Acer Swift 3 2022
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,967
Perf: 1,967
Bal: 19
Perf: 19
Lenovo Yoga 9i 14 Gen 7
(Intel Iris Xe)
Bal: 1,658
Perf: 1,979
Bal: 12 fps
Perf: N/A
Asus ZenBook S 13 OLED
(Radeon graphics)
Bal: 2,110
Perf: 2,213
Bal: 19 fps
Perf: 19 fps

Display and audio

The display of the HP Spectre x360 13.5.

As usual, the Spectre x360 13.5’s 13.5-inch 3:2 OLED display was gorgeous from the second I fired it up. It’s sharp enough at a resolution of 3000 x 2000 and colourful and brilliant with deep, inky blacks. HP also offers a WUXGA+ (1920 x 1280) IPS display and a WUXGA+ display with HP’s privacy screen.

My colorimeter loved this display. It was brilliant at 380 nits, above our 300-nit standard, and brilliant enough for any indoor setting. Its colours were wide at 100% of sRGB and 97% of AdobeRGB and incredibly accurate with a DeltaE of 0.61 (1.0 or less is indistinguishable to the human eye). And its contrast hit the OLED standard at 28,230:1. The three OLED displays within the comparison group were almost equal in quality, with the Spectre having the widest and most accurate colours.

Whether you’re doing productivity work, binging Netflix, or working with images and video, you’ll love this display. And it’s not only the brightness, colours, and contrast but additionally the aspect ratio, which at 3:2 is the closest to a physical piece of paper in portrait mode and thus optimal for tablet use.

Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is healthier)
HP Spectre x360 13.5
380 28,230:1 100% 97% 0.61
Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7
321 1,380:1 99% 80% 1.89
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
406 28,380:1 100% 95% 0.87
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
386 1,900:1 100% 81% 0.78
MSI Summit E14 Flip
516 1,320:1 100% 89% 1.10
Lenovo IdeaPad Slim 7 Carbon
397 27,590:1 100% 96% 0.88

4 downward-firing speakers provide loads of volumes, with crisp and clean mids and highs. There’s not quite a lot of bass, and so the Spectre x360 13.5’s audio can’t sustain with the very best around, Apple’s MacBooks. Still, the audio is sweet enough for binging Netflix and listening to the occasional tune. In fact, audiophiles will still prefer a great pair of headphones.

Keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard of the HP Spectre x360 13.5.

HP’s Spectre line has long offered a few of the very best keyboards in Windows laptops, with only Apple’s latest MacBook Pro Magic Keyboard being higher. That continues to be true with the Spectre x360 13.5, although the keyboard isn’t the exact same as previous models.

Interestingly, HP dropped the convenient row of navigation keys along the right-hand side, which I miss, but I appreciate the additional key spacing. The keycaps are also large, making for a really efficient layout. As before, the switches are light and snappy with a precise bottoming motion. It’s one of the vital comfortable keyboards I’ve used for long typing sessions. One nit to select is that HP dropped the suitable Ctrl key in favor of a fingerprint reader.

The touchpad is large and takes up many of the space on the palm rest, which is larger than usual due to the taller 3:2 display. The touchpad surface is smooth and provides a precise surface for Windows 11’s multitouch gestures, and the buttons have a pleasant click without being too loud. Outside of Apple’s Force Touch touchpad or Dell’s haptic touchpad on the XPS 13 Plus, it’s top-of-the-line touchpads you’ll find.

The display is touch-enabled, in fact, and supports HP’s energetic pen that’s included within the box. I discovered the pen’s Windows Ink support to be excellent due to 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support, and it conveniently attaches magnetically to the suitable side of the display. The pen charges via USB-C, which is one other convenience.

Windows 11 Hello passwordless login is supported by an infrared camera, facial recognition, and the fingerprint reader mentioned previously. Each methods worked quickly and reliably.


HP Spectre x360 13.5 front view showing webcam.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

HP has outfitted the Spectre x360 13.5 with a 5MP webcam that gives a high-resolution image, and a number of other software tools optimize the videoconferencing experience. HP Presence provides Auto Frame to maintain the user’s face in view as they move across the office during a call, Backlight Adjustment that ensures consistent lighting regardless of the ambient environment, and Appearance Filter that smooths out blemishes that other webcams might highlight. Several audio enhancements also improve the experience, including directional beamforming mics and bi-directional AI noise reduction.

There’s a key to electronically close a physical shutter over the webcam, together with a key to show off the microphones. That gives for some extra privacy.

Battery life

HP Spectre x360 13.5 side view showing angle and port.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The Spectre x360 13.5 has 66 watt-hours of battery capability, a slight decrease from the previous generation’s 67 watt-hours. That’s a good amount, greater than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7’s 57 watt-hours but lower than the Yoga 9i Gen 7’s 75 watt-hours. Each the Spectre and Yoga 9i used power-hungry OLED displays, and so I used to be looking forward to seeing if HP managed to take advantage of the lower-watt CPU’s presumed efficiency advantage.

Based on our suite of benchmarks, HP did something right — the Spectre x360 13.5 lasted surprisingly long in our suite of battery tests. Looking back on the performance section, it’s clear that HP tuned the laptop to run more efficiently in balanced mode on the expense of performance. That’s an affordable tradeoff, with the Spectre being greater than fast enough for typical productivity tasks while achieving excellent battery life.

In our web browsing test, for instance, it lasted for 10 hours, which is a wonderful rating, particularly for a laptop with an OLED display. The Spectre made it to 11 hours within the PCMark 10 Applications battery test, which is the very best predictor of battery life running a typical (i.e., non-demanding) productivity workflow. And in our video test that loops an area 1080p movie trailer, it lasted for 14 hours, one other strong showing given the OLED display. The one laptop in our comparison group that competed with the Spectre x360 13.5 in all but the net browsing test, where it was almost three hours behind, was the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7, and it benefitted from a low-power Full HD+ IPS display.

You don’t often get OLED quality and long battery life, however the Spectre x360 13.5 delivers. It is best to give you the option to work for a full day of typical productivity tasks and perhaps even have a bit of time left over.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10
HP Spectre x360 13.5
(Core i7-1255U)
9 hours, 58 minutes 13 hours, 59 minutes 10 hours, 52 minutes
HP Spectre x360 14
(Core i7-1165G7)
6 hours, 57 minutes 10 hours, 16 minutes 9 hours, 8 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 7i Gen 7
(Core i7-1255U)
7 hours, 7 minutes 13 hours, 53 minutes 10 hours, 41 minutes
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1
(Core i7-1255U)
6 hours, 42 minutes 10 hours, 6 minutes 8 hours, 43 minutes
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
6 hours, 57 minutes 10 hours, 16 minutes 9 hours, 8 minutes
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 7
(Core i7-1260P)
10 hours, 10 minutes 16 hours, 12 minutes 10 hours, 33 minutes
 Asus Zenbook S 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 6800U)
8 hours, 4 minutes 13 hours, 13 minutes N/A

Our take

The Spectre x360 13.5 is precisely what HP needed to provide to follow up on the success of the Spectre x360 14. The brand new 2-in-1 is quicker, offers significantly higher battery life, has a more refined look, and retains the superb keyboard and touchpad of the previous model.

I’m giving the Spectre x360 13.5 a 9/10 rating, one notch lower than the Spectre x360 14, not since the update isn’t pretty much as good. It’s since the competition has gotten so a lot better. HP’s latest regains its spot as the very best convertible 2-in-1, however the gap between it and the subsequent best isn’t quite so large.

Are there any alternatives?

The strongest alternative is the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7. It’s just as good-looking, as well built, and barely faster. But its battery life isn’t nearly pretty much as good, and its keyboard and touchpad are a step behind. It’s a bit of cheaper, though, and so makes for a solid alternative.

When you don’t need a 2-in-1, then Dell’s latest XPS 13 Plus is a sexy option. It’s faster and enjoys its own stunning latest design, incorporating innovations like a wonderful haptic touchpad. You’ll spend in regards to the same money and get a clamshell that’s amongst the very best available today.

My final suggestion is the Apple MacBook Air M2. It’s equally solid, if not barely more so, it offers higher performance and battery life, and its display is superb even when not quite as much as OLED standards. You’ll spend around the identical money, and the MacBook is a compelling alternative should you’re okay with MacOS.

How long will it last?

The Spectre x350 13.5 is incredibly well-built and can last for years, which its modern components will even support. The industry-standard one-year warranty is a disappointment, as at all times.

Must you buy it?

Yes. Solid productivity performance and excellent battery life in a nicely sized, thin and lightweight 2-in-1 with a spectacular OLED display — what’s not to love?

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