HP Spectre x360

Discussion in 'HP' started by stuckat1, Mar 4, 2015.

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  1. gizmodian

    gizmodian Notebook Evangelist

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    I am returning my QHD Spectre (13-4183nr), and got the FHD Spectre (13-4163nr). While I have both laptops, I did some comparisons side-by-side.
    Both have the same specs (same processor, same SSD), except for the display.

    A few differences I noticed:
    1. QHD model has in Intel HD Graphics Control Panel>Power>On Battery a Panel Self Refresh option that is not available on the FHD model. I suppose the FHD display doesn't have PSR.
    2. Colors seem more accurate on FHD (I didn't have any objective way of testing, however). FHD has better white point while QHD has a yellow-green tinge. Note that the difference in real life is more subtle, though still noticeable; the camera really accentuates the difference.
    3. FHD model flickers on all brightness levels. You can't see it with the naked eye though and there's less flickering with brighter settings. QHD doesn't have flickering at all. See slow-mo video (taken on iPhone 6s so 240FPS I believe):
    4. The battery seems to last significantly longer on FHD vs QHD, though I didn't have time for timed battery tests.

    Pics (Display comparisons and side-by-side pics to show ash silver vs natural silver )
    Videos (slow-mo @ lowest and highest brightness levels, sorry about crap quality - Apple doesn't provide a built-in way to export slow-mo at full resolution)
     
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  2. gizmodian

    gizmodian Notebook Evangelist

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    I just noticed today that there are apparently 4 different display options on HP.com (QHD BrightView, QHD Radiance Infinity, FHD Radiance Infinity and just FHD). Might be just Marketing messing up, but does anyone know what the actual differences between BrightView and Radiance Infinity are (if any)?

    Sales chat rep told me this, but they rarely really know anything.. This info doesn't seem to be specific to the Spectre and I think it may be referring to older models that actually had different types of panels for the same resolution display.
     
  3. RUGGLES99

    RUGGLES99 Newbie

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    This is my first posting here. I'm mainly a Mac guy. I have the relatively new retina macbook 12" and a few other Macs. But just recently I began showing an interest in the yoga-style, 2 in 1, laptops, did a bunch of research online and decided the spectre x360 was the one I wanted (and its the most like the macbooks, at least in looks and elegance.) So the other day I ordered the 8gb, 256 gb ssd, i7 (5th gen i assume), fhd version. It's a factory refurb, from Amazon, with the 90 day warranty. It's to arrive in a few days. But now, having read these pages in the forum, I fear what's actually to come, having seen all the problems you guys have dealt with. Now I've been using computers for years to know that the people who voice their issues and concerns on forums -- be they computers or cars -- are a very tiny minority, and usually are of the OSD persuasion (like me.) That said, did I make a big mistake? Has anyone here bought a refurb spectre and had good luck with it? Are they pretty much like new? What tests and what apps should I use when it arrives to see how strong the battery is, how much time there is on the ssd etc? Have any of you who bought a refurb of this machine gotten the HP extended warranty. I gather I can get one within the 90 day warranty. Which would be the best. Or should I just not get involved and ship it back. Any thoughts, advice, etc most welcome.
     
  4. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Notebook Deity

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    Welcome to the forum/owner's club! Hope you have a positive experience and end up hanging out with us!

    Having owned a new unit for about ~8 months, here are a few thoughts: first, I don't know the general quality of x360 factory refurbs, but I think there's a very high chance that yours will be in good shape. Is the seller Amazon or a third-party Marketplace seller? Either way, if you don't love it within the first week you should have no problem returning it (Amazon is great about this). I don't mean "buyer's remorse," but rather, "lots of little things that don't seem right." Love it or return it!

    Second, even new units seem to have some minor issues, including the rattly trackpad. However, I posted many moons ago about going into Best Buy, and realizing that my HP was MUCH LESS rattly than most machines on the floor, including (HORROR!) many Macs. I haven't really seen many consistent issues (certainly not major ones) here, other than things like figuring out how to improve battery life, Win 10 concerns/questions, etc.

    As for running it through its paces once you get it, I'm a big fan of HWInfo64, which gives you lots of data about temps and internal sensors. My preferred strategy would be to throw all things you like to do...spreadsheet processing, word processing, video streaming, file transfer, music, and so on, at the machine at the same time and see how it holds up. Also make sure, of course, to frequently try out the different display "modes" and confirm that the screen rotates, it goes in and out of tablet mode, etc. Remember though that software wonkiness (e.g., crashing and blue-screens) might be a function of not having the latest drivers, so you should also spend some time making sure Windows is up to date. Actually, if you're comfortable doing it, I'd suggest wiping the machine and doing a clean install, so you can be confident that the OS is fully updated.

    Finally, as for the warranty question, remember that many credit cards will double your product warranty. Not sure how that works on refurbs though, so you might double-check that.

    I think the wildcard here might be your predisposition to work with Macs. Is this your first Windows machine? That can really be hit-or-miss for some people. I happen to be fine with Windows 8/8.1 and even more so with 10, but it seems if someone hates Windows, they often don't have the patience to configure their machine to their tastes and spend the time learning how to optimize it. You're here, so I suspect that's not the case for you!

    Keep us posted on how it goes!

    -Matt
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016
  5. RUGGLES99

    RUGGLES99 Newbie

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    Matt,
    Many thanks for your quick and detailed response. I'll do a quick and dirty update when it arrives, re physical condition etc. And then go from there. I'll register it and see what kind of extended warranties are offered for a refurb, and the cost. Since I'm using my amazon card ( 12 months, no interest), rather than Amex etc., there's no built-in additional warranty coverage so if I decide to keep it, I'd get the extended warranty (if reasonable) from HP. BTW, it cost $799 (free shipping, no tax.) Nice thing though is that Amazon, as you noted, is great, and if I have negativity about it, I'll ship it back.
    HP Spectre x360 13-4003dx L0Q51UA 2-in-1 Intel Core i7 256GB Solid State Drive 8GB Memory 13.3-Inch Touch Screen Laptop Windows 8.1 - Natural Silver/Black (Certified Refurbished)
    by HP
    124 customer reviews
    | 38 answered questions


    List Price: $1,369.96
    Price: $789.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members
    You Save: $579.97 (42%)
    Item is eligible for 12 Month Special Financing with your Amazon.com Store Card. Learn more

    In Stock.

    Want it tomorrow, March 3? Order within 1 hr 19 mins and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details

    Sold by

     
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  6. Styptic

    Styptic Notebook Enthusiast

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    Don't know what I just did (haven't purposely made any changes), but somehow my function buttons are working as F buttons, and to use them as hotkeys I need to hold down the "Fn" key.

    Haven't tried a reboot, but I know some people prefer to be able to use the F buttons naturally, rather than pressing "Fn" first. So it appears that it is possible to achieve this usage.

    I suppose, though, that it means there is some kind of bug in the system, that the function has swapped without user selection. Anyone know a way to make this selection?

    On a 13" Broadwell, i7 model.
     
  7. gizmodian

    gizmodian Notebook Evangelist

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    The setting is in the BIOS. Not sure how it changed modes all by itself.
     
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  8. gizmodian

    gizmodian Notebook Evangelist

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    I don't have any experience with HP refurbs but I wouldn't be so concerned to not even give it a try. Do check out the machine thoroughly during the return period. I'm on my second Spectre and neither had any major problems (the QHD version had color calibration that was off, but many people are probably happy with it).
    I have read a troubling number of reports of the glass cracking seemingly spontaneously (see http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebo...ed-screen-on-spectre-x360/td-p/5112381/page/4). So you may want to invest in buying some form of accidental coverage.
     
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  9. RUGGLES99

    RUGGLES99 Newbie

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    Thanks for the alert about the cracked screen syndrome. Very scary, especially how hp is refusing to acknowledge its their issue for the most part. My refurb is due to arrive tomorrow, and the more I read about all the issues -- wifi, cracked screens etc -- the more I'm hesitant about keeping it, let alone even opening the box before telling amazon I'm returning it. It seems like a crapshoot. Interestingly, I had decided to buy it after reading ALL the rave reviews by the usual suspects, including the likes of Lisa Gade, etc. The thing is those reviews are based usually on a one-time test before they move on to the next hot thing, but with no followup. So they really dont know whether after two months the screen will mysteriously crack, or suddenly the wifi will start acting crazy, and all the other craziness that actual users are reporting after the initial love affair wears off. If anyone wants to chime in on anything I've mentioned here, please do.

     
  10. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Notebook Deity

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    After @RUGGLES99 joined the forum I checked out the Amazon listing for the refurb unit. Reading through the reviews, I was surprised to see a bit of a mutiny regarding battery life, which led me to the HP forum:

    http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebo...stions/Spectre-x360-Battery-Life/td-p/4939650

    My first reaction was "this is an outrage!" but then it occurred to me...I think many/most/a lot of us are getting in the vicinity of 6 hours/charge, some as high as 8, but in that case it involves some unique choices like only running a few tabs in the browser. I found it difficult to reconcile that the posts at the HP forum were livid with 6ish hours, while most users here are OK with it. An important clue was that (I think) the consensus here is that you need to stay well under 40% brightness, while several owners on the HP forum mentioned being at 50, 60, or even 70% during their rundown tests. I haven't really reached a conclusion about all this, but I'm inclined to think we're all talking about the same machine and the difference in tone between here and the HP forum is related to level of experience/expectations, and not an underlying battery/hardware issue.

    -Matt
     
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