Review: HP's convertible laptop

The Spectre x360 is available in New Zealand and costs $2600 with an Intel Core i7 2.7GHz, 16GB RAM, and 1TB hard drive.

The Spectre x360 is available in New Zealand and costs $2600 with an Intel Core i7 2.7GHz, 16GB RAM, and 1TB hard drive.

The second generation HP Spectre x360 has dethroned Microsoft's Surface Book as the best convertible PC on the market.

Just like the Surface, it's definitely a laptop first, but here tablet mode feels far more useful, rather than an optional extra.

The unit is surprisingly thin and light for a two-in-one. It's just a little bit thicker than the current MacBook Pro, and, like Apple's laptops, the attention to details elevate the Spectre above its competitors, such as the comfortable back-lit keyboard, or the fast, responsive glass trackpad.

The model comes with two USB-C ports and one traditional USB-A port, making the laptop future-friendly without the need for dongles.

Above the screen are infrared cameras that power Windows Hello – Microsoft's facial recognition software that allows users to log in without a password. The cameras are lightning fast: look at the screen and your desktop appears.

The Spectre x360 made it through long days with heavy use. The battery supports fast charging, giving you a few extra hours after just a few minutes plugged in.

As a convertible, you can flip the screen over and scribble notes on glass with the included pen, and using Microsoft's OneNote, those scribbles become indexed and searchable. Of course, you can use the pen for more artistic pursuits – the stylus supports 2048 levels of pressure for intricate drawing.

Once you're done with work, the 13.3-inch Spectre x360 makes a fantastic Netflix machine, in laptop or in tablet mode.

The high resolution screen and Bang and Olufsen speakers make it one of the better personal media players on the market.

I'd always thought a two-in-one could never beat the combination of a powerful laptop and an iPad, but now I'm not so sure.

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The Spectre x360 is available in New Zealand and costs $2600 with an Intel Core i7 2.7GHz, 16GB RAM, and 1TB hard drive. 

 - SMH

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