HP Spectre x360 Owner's Thread (2017)

Discussion in 'HP' started by muzicman82, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Microsoft Surface Book 2 vs. HP Spectre x360 Comparison Smackdown
     
  2. orionz

    orionz Notebook Consultant

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    I've been living with this lappy for about a month now and wrote this for the Best Buy website but will share it here too. Specs in Sig line. Pros: brilliant 4k display (to which you can stream HDR video from Netflix or other providers!)...works with my Razer Core gaming dock letting me game almost like a desktop when connected to the Core on my desk...solid keyboard with good feel and travel on the keys...large touchpad with good feel and control...good sound level (with tricks...see below) although like almost every lappy without a subwoofer it's a bit base deficient. Cons...often runs a bit warm on your lap streaming 4k HDR vid (a lapboard of some type eliminates this and helps the sound)...no HDMI port for monitor output (requires a usb-c to hdmi dongle if you need this)...a bit klunky @ 2.8 lbs in tablet mode. Exploits: YEAH it works with the Razer Core out of the box allowing me to drive a GTX 1080 external video card and 4k HDR external display. No add'l drivers for the Core are required but you will have to load the NVIDIA drivers for whatever video card you have in the Core before it will work as designed...not a hard process. ANY OF THIS 4K HDR STUFF REQUIRES THAT WINDOWS 10 BE (free through Windows Update) UPGRADED TO VERSION 1709xx or better. To do full 4k HDR on the external display you will need to shift to 10 bit color (YCbCr422 color format & 10bpc color depth in Nvidia Control Panel) and of course your external display must be at least capable of YCbCr422/10bpc. If all this is met 4k UHD HDR gaming is possible! On the INTERNAL DISPLAY forget anything but light gaming...to be expected on a 2.8 lb laptop. BUT 4k UHD HDR video streaming to the internal display possible IF you completely remove the HP provided driver (do this from APPS page of settings and restart otherwise the Intel driver refuses to install) for the integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics card and then install the latest graphics driver for the UHD 620 from the intel website (23 series or better) and PRESTO you will see the 4K UHD and HDR tags appear (assuming you have upgraded your Netflix acct. to subscribe to this and don't forget to change the settings to allow high data usage/high quality vid...FIGURE ON 5-7 GB/HR DATA USAGE FOR THIS!!) on your Netflix faves like Stanger Things, Marco Polo etc. Then make sure the windows settings for HDR are turned on in the Display Settings page...one at the top for Stream HDR Video and one at the bottom...UNCHECK the box for Don't Stream HDR Video on Battery. Choose your show...watch screen brightness jump to full if you're on AC power...on battery you have to do it manually...and sit back and watch the beautiful video stream! Ok...full disclosure: Intel says this is NOT full HDR video but EDR (Extended Dynamic Range) since the integrated display is only an 8-bit panel...but I gotta tell you it's GOOD! I can hardly distinguish it from the real thing on my fully 10 bit capable eternal monitor. NOTHING I have recommended or described here should affect your warranty status...it's all software driven except the acquisition of the Core and whatever video card you put in it...IF YOU WANT HDR ON YOUR EXTERNAL MONITOR IT'S GOTTA BE A 10xx SERIES CARD WITH AT LEAST 3GB OF RAM!! Next one: the sound. Go into an app called Bang & Olufsen Control (already installed by HP) click the OUTPUT tab and shift it to the mode of your choice (movie/music/voice) and turn all the sliders up full. Volume will increase DRMATICALLY! It will be skewed to the high end of the spectrum but there will actually be some bass audible now. Adjust sliders to taste. If the sound level drops...which mine does occasionally after a system restart just go to the GENERAL tab and click DEFAULT SETTINGS. Then repeat the above OUTPUT setting procedure and the (otherwise deficient)volume returns! And if none of this does it for you, I can tell you that the sound with my AKG earbuds plugged in is excellent! Ok...last one. I purchased a generic usb-c dongle to provide an extra usb-a 3.0 port/hdmi out/additional usb-c port. This machine ONLY has 2 usb-c's (one of which will be your power connector when plugged in) one usb-a 3.0 port and micro SD card slot. That's it! You might not need more but I do. Hope this helps someone. A lot of the above is advanced work but it CAN be done if you want. It took me about a week to get it all up and operating. BOTTOM LINE: THIS IS A FANTASTIC LITTLE LAPTOP which will do so much more than you think if you want to put a little work into it. Otherwise just open the box and use it...with the sound exploit...and the 4k display and the Coffee Lake (8th gen) processor it will leave you impressed!!
     
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  3. HPCJohn

    HPCJohn Newbie

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    Orionz, thankyou for all the tips.
    One small point - you mention the two USB-C ports and using one for charging whilst an adapter is connected to the other.
    Never fear - USB-C adapters which have power passthrough are available. For instance the Hyperdrive product https://www.hypershop.com/products/hyperdrive-usb-type-c-hub-with-4k-hdmi-support

    So to set up your home or office docking station, all you need is a hub lik ethis, with a USB-C power supply already hooked up, plus the HDMI to the monitor. One connection will dock you.

    I would really like a USB-C monitor though. Does anyone have good recommendations?
     
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  4. -Louie-

    -Louie- Newbie

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    Hi everyone, glad to have found this thread!

    I've just got myself one of the new x360s (i7, 16GB ram, 1tb SSD). (Merry Christmas everyone!)

    So far I have used Windows Update and the HP Support Assistant app to update drivers etc.

    I was just looking through settings and noticed the 'Fresh start' option in Windows Defender which looks like it does something like a clean install of Windows and will get rid of some of the bloatware. I was just wondering whether anyone has used this feature before, and whether they'd recommend me using it on my new laptop? I'm currently a bit concerned it might clear some important software that I might not know to reinstall afterwards... have I got anything to be worried about?

    Cheers!
     
  5. orionz

    orionz Notebook Consultant

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    Haven't used the FRESH START option...so I have no opinion on that. BUT...if you download Win10 ver 1709 (Fall Creators Update) via Microsoft's Media Creation Tool when you run the install program there is an option to install without saving files, apps or settings...that's a CLEAN INSTALL. The other thing to look for is a folder on your C: drive called SWSetup. It has all the HP proprietary software (you might call it bloat...or not). Save that folder on a usb drive or microSD and it can be used to restore the HP software after you do that clean install! Most of the HO stuff is optional...except for the software for Thunderbolt 3...thunderbolt devices won't work without it. Of course if you're not using thunderbolt devices it becomes optional too!
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  6. Joshva

    Joshva Notebook Consultant

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    Does anyone find the new HP Spectre x360 8th gen to run very hot and therefore hard to sit on your lap?

    I see numerous different opinions on the topic
     
  7. orionz

    orionz Notebook Consultant

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    There is no doubt this thing gets warm sitting on your lap. I don't have a heat gun so I can't give you a temperature fo60 r the exterior of the lappy. HWINFO64 shows the cores of the chip running about 60 Degrees C as I type this. They of course will run warmer during more intense tasks...in my case 90C while streaming 4K video in a 74 degree room. That's (at least bordering on) hot especially if it's sitting on your skin. BUT the case is thin and the chip sits right in the center of the base at the screen edge...so if the chip gets warm so will your lap. I switch to tent mode to mitigate this when it bothers me. Temperature is a highly subjective thing...no two people sense it alike. I suggest trying viewing video on it in a store with it on your lap before deciding whether it works for you or not.
     
  8. Joshva

    Joshva Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for that. Yes I did try it in the store. It didn't seem that much hotter to the touch than my 2016 Macbook Pro 13 i7. I was quite surprised given how much smaller the chasis is and how much more powerful the CPU is
     
  9. muzicman82

    muzicman82 Notebook Consultant

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    Hi all, I'm back.

    I still love this system. I just got a ASUS MB16AC portable USB-C monitor for being on the road.

    I haven't looked that closely... is anything different on the newest models other than the fingerprint reader and the 8th Gen processors? The specs (while could be wrong) say there's 1x USB-C and 1x Thunderbolt...

    Next step for me is to change the SSD to a Samsung 960 PRO.
     
  10. franky_402

    franky_402 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Does anyone know here, I've seen multiple reviews talking about the 8th gen units now come with a rechargeable pen instead of the AAAA battery. Most reports I see talk about the Spectre 13 getting the new pen. According to hps website they come with the same pen so just curious. Ordered mine a week or so ago says it will ship the 11th.

    Got the 15 with 4k 16gb ram 512 SSD in Ash silver. Won't use the pen a whole lot which is why I'm really hoping its rechargeable instead of requiring a battery!

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk


    *****EDIT*****

    Figured I would ask another question while no one has responded yet.

    Has anyone disassembled the laptop and replaced the heatsink paste right away? Is there any benefit? Not sure how great hp stuff is from the factory I think I have some Arctic 5 left over from when I built my desktop and also redid the paste on my older hp laptop from about 8yrs ago (dv7t-3300cto quad i7) and that seems to run cooler and as a result smoother.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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