HP Spectre x360 13 (Late 2019; Ice Lake) Owner's Thread

Discussion in 'HP' started by ikjadoon, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Notebook Deity

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    Since we didn't have an owner's thread, I thought I'd make one! I imagine after Black Friday / Cyber Monday, this laptop will get a good bit more popular.

    This is for the late 2019 (not early 2019) HP Spectre x360 13 that uses Intel's 10th-gen Ice Lake CPUs (i5-1035G4 or i7-1065G7).

    I don't expect to post very often, but it'd be nice to have our information in one thread. If/when there's notable postings or guides, I'll happily update this OP with links to notable posts. In the next few days, I'll try to get a proper spec list written out here.

    HP Spectre x360 13 (Late 2019) Official Specifications:
    • CPU: i5-1035G4 or i7-1065G7 (Intel Ice Lake 10th-generation, 10nm+)
    • RAM: 8 GB or 16 GB LPDDR4X-3733 (soldered; not LPDDR4-3200 as erroneously reported)
    • Display: all 13.3" diagonal 16:9 ratio + 90%+ screen-to-body ratio + micro-edge multitouch-enabled edge-to-edge glass with anti-reflection Corning® Gorilla® Glass NBT™. Option 1 IPS FHD: 1W low-power IPS WLED panel, 400 nits (1920x1080). Option 2 OLED 4K: 4K UWVA AMOLED, 400 nits, 100% DCI-P3, VesaCertified DisplayHDR Tru Black, TUV-certified low blue light (3840 x 2160)
    • Storage: all PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSDs. Option 1 TLC SSD: 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB. Option 2: Intel H10 QLC/Optane SSD: 512 GB + 32 GB, 1 TB + 32 GB
    • Color: Natural Silver, Nightfall Black with Copper Luxe accents, Poseidon Blue with Pale Brass accents
    • Included on all models:
      • Windows Hello IR camera + webcam
      • Windows Hello fingerprint reader
      • 60.76 Wh Li-On 4-cell battery (user-replaceable; Torx screwdriver required; fast charge to 50% in 30 minutes)
      • Intel WiFi AX201 2x2 WiFi 6 + Bluetooth 5 w/ MU-MIMO (soldered)
      • Microsoft Precision touchpad
      • Full-size island-style two-stage-backlit 1.3mm travel keyboard (body color)
      • Integrated dual array digital microphones
      • Audio by Bang & Olufsen, dual speakers
      • Accelerometer; Gyroscope; eCompass
      • 360-degree rotating hinge
      • 3x heatpipe, dual-fan cooling, with graphite sheet insulation + keyboard air inlets; plus 34% open-ratio of D-cover inlet, 2.8mm outlet height, added rear opening for inlet
      • Dual-chamfer, CNC-machined, faceted edge (power button w/ light & one of two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
      • Intel Project Athena Certification ("Engineered for Mobile Performance")--the minimum requirements for certification are listed below
        • Instant wake from sleep (<1 second) with biometric login
        • Fast wake up to Internet browsing time (<2 seconds)
        • i5/i7 with Intel Dynamic Tuning, 256 GB or larger NVMe SSD, 8 GB or more in dual-channel mode, optional Optane
        • 16+ hours of local video playback (150 nit, airplane mode) & 9+ hours of real-world battery life (250 nits, multiple live website tabs in Google Chrome, WiFi on, and Microsoft Office 365 tasks)
        • Thunderbolt 3, WiFi 6 Gig+, Gigabit LTE option
        • USB type-C fast-charging to 4 hours of battery in >30 minutes
        • Backlit keyboard, Precision touchpad, pen support
        • 1080p or higher touch 12" to 15" display with 3-sided narrow bezel and stylus support
        • Far field voice, OpenVINO AI, and WinML support
        • Modern Connected Standby/Lucid Sleep
        • "Consistent responsiveness on battery and power outlet"
    • Ports:
      • 2x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C™ with Thunderbolt™ 3 (40 Gb/s signaling rate, Power Delivery 3.0, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort™ 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge)
      • 1x USB-A 3.1 Gen1 (also HP Sleep and Charge)
      • MicroSD card reader
      • 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo port
      • Webcam kill switch (microphone kill switch on keyboard)
      • OPTIONAL: WWAN 4x4 antenna w/ eSIM and micro-SIM for LTE
    • What's in the box:
      • HP Spectre x360 13 laptop
      • 65W fast-charge USB-C power adapter (w/ braided cable) + extension
      • Leather-esque laptop sleeve (w/ slot for included stylus)
      • HP Pen Windows Ink-certified (dark ash silver)
    I just ordered the Nightfall Black i7-1065G7 / 16 GB / low-power FHD display / 512 GB non-Optane SSD. It says "shipping on Dec 16th" and "arriving on Dec 24th"; my first laptop purchase in 3+ years and I'm pumped.

    My only useful buying advice, haha: if you care significantly about SSD performance, I'd recommend avoiding the Optane SSDs, which are the abysmal Intel H10 SSDs. It's a very slow QLC SSD with a bit of Optane caching. Not as terribad as a SSD/HDD hybrid of yesteryear, but still much worse than a TLC-based SSD. Anything non-Optane = a TLC SSD. I've seen two people with non-Optane drives (both 2 TB straight from HP): one got a Toshiba TLC and one got a Samsung TLC.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  2. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Notebook Deity

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    List of Reviews for the late 2019 HP Spectre x360 13
    (updated 12/6/2019)

    Review Articles
    Review Videos
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019 at 10:16 PM
  3. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Notebook Deity

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    Well, that's a clean sweep: 3x Review Articles + 3x Editor's Choice Awards. Looks like this is the best 2-in-1 for 2019 so far: we'll see what else comes out soon.

    Today, both CNET and PC World gave it the Editors' Choice.
     
  4. freemanzhu

    freemanzhu Notebook Enthusiast

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    Tempted by this. I do wish HP would add their "battery care" function to this so as not to charge to 100% (I use as desktop majority of the time). I'm used to having this function on all Dell laptops (via their Power Manager). Apparently the late-2018 Spectre x360 has it, and some ProBooks and presumably EliteBooks have a similar setting. But not on this latest Spectre x360, at least not yet.
     
  5. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Notebook Deity

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    Oh, that'd a great tool: I never thought about it. I usually use my laptop on-the-go, but for some days, it might sit plugged in for a while. Not the end of the world, but definitely nice to have a limiter to 80%!

    If there's a thread on HP's Community forums, maybe we could put a "feature request" in. If they've added it to previous Spectre x360 models, they probably could add it to this one, too.
     
  6. freemanzhu

    freemanzhu Notebook Enthusiast

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    Lots of threads on the HP forums asking for that feature (on various models), invariably they answer with "oh don't worry it's safe to charge to 100%, charging will stop automatically, it doesn't harm the battery." Technically true but missing the point.

    BTW thanks for the very comprehensive list reviews/videos you compiled!
     
  7. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Notebook Deity

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    Typical corporate speak. We used to have a Dell rep on the old XPS 16 actually here on NBR forums that could get actual answers. You weren't kidding. For whatever unknown reason, some HP laptops did get it in a BIOS update.

    Yeah: the idea is to not leave the battery full at 100% for long. Alas, maybe better not to hold my breath for HP here and maybe remind myself to unplug after 100% (or 80%). Maybe there's like an app that can send a notification, "sufficiently charged", so I'll remember to unplug.
     
  8. freemanzhu

    freemanzhu Notebook Enthusiast

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    Agree with the reviews the new model is almost perfect. HP was smart not to go Dell's way and instead keep decent keyboard travel and USB-A. If they could do on more "retro" thing and make the display 16:10 like on the XPS 2-in-1, it would be perfect.
     
  9. Skylake_

    Skylake_ Notebook Consultant

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    Oh I was concerned about lack of Intel Optane option in Italy: we can choose between three models at the moment (Full HD, 4K OLED w/ 512 GB and 1024 GB).
    After reading this topic, I'm not concerned anymore.
    This means that if you haven't Intel Optane, you can add a second SSD?

    What about the display digitizer for pen input? The usual average jittering digitizer?
    There is another topic blaming about the digitizer grid that's visible above the display.

    My unit is arriving on December 20th (4K OLED, 1 TB SSD Nvme, i7).
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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  10. ikjadoon

    ikjadoon Notebook Deity

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    Happy to add them! It was hard to find reviews as the sales started, so I wanted to compile them. I didn't expect such good reviews, honestly, but I'm hopeful the holistic experience is as good as described.

    Very, very true. Dell took one step forward with the 16:10 display (and strong CPU performance), but about 5 steps back with that keyboard. I don't know about other people but the keyboard is the major selling point for a laptop these days. Otherwise, to me, they feel like tablets-with-bad-keyboards-permanently-attached.

    Oh! That's interesting: in the US, the stores seem to only carry the QLC/Optane SSDs, while on HP's site you can customize with TLC SSDs, too.

    There is actually just one SSD M.2 NVMe slot (I used to think there were two, too!). HP is not using the standard retail standalone Optane M.2 + normal SSD M.2, but the QLC+Optane hybrid SSDs (the Intel H10 SSD to be exact, OEM-only). It's both technologies on one M.2 stick. I mentioned this briefly, but the QLC+Optane SSDs HP uses (and charges more for) are quite slow and likely slower than their normal SSDs: they use just a bit of Optane caching to hide the big performance degradation inherent to QLC NAND. QLC NAND is significantly slower than TLC NAND and sometimes even slower than spinning HDDs.

    A review of the Intel H10 512 GB QLC + 32 GB Optane SSD by Anandtech is here, if you want the data:

    Even if you just use the 32 GB Optane cache alone, it's still a quite slow SSD for 2019.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you look at a holistic test series, it's even more clear (and the QLC/Optane drives are terrible once you fill them up--much worse than a normal TLC SSD). Here they test 512 GB QLC only (top blue), hybrid mode (orange, default mode), and 32 GB Optane only (bottom blue).

    [​IMG]

    HP/Intel market "Optane" as fast, but they don't tell you that it's not pure Optane: it's a QLC/Optane Hybrid that is 95% QLC and 5% Optane. The Optane is only there to fix this-slower-than-a-spinning-hard-disk (sequential write speeds) QLC-based SSD. :(

    If you were after SSD performance, I'd definitely go for the other normal TLC SSD. They'll likely be more performant, have longer longevity, and perform more consistently (at higher levels to boot) than the QLC/Optane hybrids. People seem to be getting either Toshiba or Samsung SSDs, which are both good signs.

    But, if you want the QLC/Optane hybrid, it's definitely won't be as slow as a HDD overall: no way. It's still an SSD.

    //

    On the jitter: I think MobileTechReview addressed this, as did TheDigitalDigest: the normal jitter is still there, esp. in diagonal lines, if that's something you're wary of. :(
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
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