Hybrid laptops tend to either be very expensive, or a bit on the novelty side. On one hand, you have a high power and speed capability at a high price, and on the other, a hybrid that looks cool and seems to offer a lot, but suffers from slow speeds and not enough memory or storage space.
The HP Spectre X2 12 walks a fine line between being a budget hybrid laptop, while still offering just enough performance for serious users. While it doesn’t offer the same level of performance as products like the Microsoft Surface Pro 4, it does offer enough performance at reasonable price.
The result is a fairly-priced laptop hybrid that has enough capability to be used while on the go, but stops short of being suitable for power users who need more out of their laptop. The key is understanding what your personal needs are to determine which one you’ll need.
The HP Spectre X2 12 is intended for the more casual user who still wants to be able to handle daily tasks and uses when away from their workstation or home, while still offering enough performance to avoid lagging. That said, it does include some noteworthy features that helps to set it apart.
We’ll start with the processor. The Intel M5 processor offer 1.1GHz, which is on the lower end among similar laptop hybrids. Regardless, the power seems to be enough to keep the HP Spectre X2 12 running smoothly when you have a few different programs going at once. You can get a 2.7GHz version if you want to spend the money.
Available memory comes in at 4GB total, which also trends towards the lower end, but is still enough to handle a small amount of programs and tasks at once. If you’re running a browser, an audio program, and have a few tabs open, you won’t notice any lagging at all.
Graphics are quite good for this price range, thanks to the Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU. You aren’t going to be able to play high-end games on the Spectre X2 12, but any streaming media and videos will play at a high frame rate.
The screen itself is a good size for a tablet hybrid, measuring 12 inches diagonally, with a 1920 x 1280 IPS resolution. The touchscreen is very accurate, and maintains a crisp response during any form of use. It’s one of the more appealing aspects, and make using the Spectre X2 12 very enjoyable.
Like most hybrids, the external sound isn’t going to blow you away, but the sound processing is certainly a good quality when using headphones. Music sounds rich and full, and the audio clarity of the Spectre X2 12 is evident when using headphones to converse with someone via video chat.
The 128 SSD may be a drawback for anyone wanting to use this as a main computer, but if you’re just using it as your work or study computer on the go, it’s plenty of space to hold essential files and a few of your favorite playlists and videos. The SSD itself is very fast, and offers a quick startup.
Perhaps one of the biggest advantages with the Spectre X2 12 is it’s massive battery life. 10 hours is what it’s listed as, but you can usually get more out of it if you limit your use to some simple browsing and word processing. Using the LTE connection will drain it faster, however.
Although the Spectre X2 12 is suitable for just about anyone, I noticed a huge amount of students who were very impresses with how fast it was for classroom use, and how much fun the included 3-D camera can be when using some of the compatible apps.
Other users were happy with the keyboard quality, not just in terms of how it attaches to the screen, but how sturdy and high-quality it felt when typing. I’d have to agree with both of these aspects. It’s a joy to type on.
The Spectre X2 12 is priced under $600, so that leaves you with enough money left over for some external hardware. I’d recommend getting an HP mouse, and also a stylus pen to use on the screen if you’ll be using it for note-taking.
A damage protection plan is also recommended for students who will be hauling the Spectre X2 12 in their backpacks or bags on a regular basis.
The Spectre X2 12 is definitely one of the better hybrids available for under $600. Students and professionals who are out on the go a lot for most of the business day can take advantage of the Spectre X2 12’s long battery life and quick-enough operation.
The external keyboard is one of the best you’ll use, and the other included features such as the camera and LTE connectivity makes the Spectre X2 12 a quality buy for those that need a high level laptop hybrid, but can’t spend a lot of money.