HP Spectre x360

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

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  1. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    Hi. Been around the block with a number of the current 13" Ultrabooks with QHD and QHD+ screens - including the HP Spectre 13t-3000, which I adored and which had a screen which was quite bright enough for any indoor use, regardless of how bright the ambient light was and which delivered battery life in the 7-8 hr. range, under "real" conditions (75% brightness, plenty of multitasking and videos) - and I can mostly report that as of now the vast majority of programs and apps for Windows scale beautifully on both QHD and QHD+ screens. As for the other two "bugaboos" of UHD screens - diminished brightness and greatly reduced battery life, my present daily driver, a Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus produces 310 nit (using my Spyder 4 calibrator) and battery life is in the 8-9 hr. range, again under aggressive "real life" usage scenarios. This is what I would call the exception that disproves the "rule" commonly held that UHD screens rob brightness and battery efficiency (my Ativ Book 9+ only has a 47Wh ). I have to say that, once I became accustomed to the QHD+ resolution and touchscreen I find any Ultrabook without these attributes just disappoints. I do own a Sony Flip 13A - which I picked up for a song on eBay for its active digitizer/pen and convertible features - has an absolutely lovely FHD screen with 100% sRGB color gamut at 340 nits. Nonetheless, on a number of apps - 2-4k videos, UHD photos and even text, which is so exquisitely sharp when you drop the resolution to 1600x900 and get 4/1 pixel ratio for text compared to a native FHD screen - the Ativ 9+ has spoiled me rotten compared to other phenomenal screens with what I would have called "excessive" resolution at FHD/13" only 2 years ago. As to why Samsung can deliver such stunning resolution, colors, brightness and battery life (on most tables of battery life, it comes in just below the various Apples as the top Windows battery life performer excluding Sony machines with sheet batteries when others apparently are felled by their overly ambitious specs. (Especially perplexing: Samsung's own new Core M, 12" , non-touch /QHD gets no more than 7 hrs battery life, though for purposes of weight savings they went with a fairly small (35Wh) battery - Query: how can Apple fit a 20% larger battery in a notebook at about the same weight??. Clearly even within a single manufacturer using it's own parts through its vertically integrated manufacturing capability, the challenge can appear easily surmountable or clearly difficult, depending, I guess, upon what the starting template is. (Final "put to rest:" using Samsung's firmware patch and using Spyder calibration, the infamous "yellowgate" color problem of "mustardy" yellows is truly a non-issue.)

    Sorry to blab on so continuously (those of you who know me know this is a comparatively short post for me!) My concluding point is that, after many mfrs jumped the gun on UHD Ultrabooks - because they could, rather than because they should! - 1.5 years later the screen technology, catch-ups by software developers, better power engineering and greater understanding of managing the tradeoffs of image density, power efficiency, other display capabilities make it a more reasonable consideration than ever to buy UHD screen products if they are made well, have the power you need for your work (ie, Haswell or Broadwell U cpu/gpus with 2.0-3.0 gHz clock speed cpus with cooling systems that can both keep the cpu/gpus from throttling and keep the noise from becoming, well, annoyingly "low rent." If you plan to keep a laptop for 3+ years, I'd seriously consider a high PPI screen, "full" ULV silicon and - I'm looking at you, HP x2-360 - don't sacrifice ports and don't overpay for 8GB, 512GB, QHD, touch screen (believe me, it becomes addictive!) models, which you can obtain for under $1,400 - a true no-compromise purchase - unless you find anything over 2.2 lbs to be too heavy to carry!

    Cheers. Comments welcomed.
     
  2. Vsxp

    Vsxp Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks so much for your input. I completely agree on how QHDs will become the standard really soon. Since I'm - hopefully - planning to keep the laptop for at least 3-4 years, buying something with the best possible current specs is important for me. Also working on the field of image I need the best possible display for the money that I can afford to spend. I hope that a true QHD will not be a compromise, on the brightness field, since 7-8hrs of battery life seem exquisite for me now. I think that x360 is the best Windows option for my needs, my next best thing is a Macbook Pro Retina but I'm hesitating going that path for different reasons.
     
  3. shizzle

    shizzle Notebook Guru

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    @lovelaptops

    I am not sure which ATIV book you have. But it sounds like you dont have the new M Core version.
    If that is the case you have an old intel graphics 4400, only 12 inch and no option to flip the screen over to make it a convertible. These are three MAJOR cons.

    So how would you compare this ultrabook to a convertible like the x360?

    I would like QHD but I decided to buy the FHD option (battery, brightness, price). The only other laptop I considered was the XPS 13 which is just so much better than the ATIV book it isnt even fair. But it is not a convertible so I chose the x360.

    I seriously wonder if you never tried the XPS13 or Aspire S7. Since you dont seem to care about the convertible functionality: How could you choose the ATIV book over the XPS or Aspire S7? That is just crazy :)
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2015
  4. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops MY FRIENDS CALL ME JEFF!

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    You are absolutely correct. I do have a Sony Flip 13A and Thinkpad Yoga 12.5 (FHD, matte, Wacom) to handle my convertible, tablet, handwriting duties. The exciting thing about the x360 is that it does it all, though the Synaptics pen may not be as good as the Wacom or N-trig options of my other two devices. For note taking alone, I thing the Synaptics will do just fine, and thus an x-360 would do the job of my 3 devices! Again, I am very, very pleased with the 3200x1800 screen in my Samsung Ativ 9+ and find its brightness, color depth and battery life to be superb. I also find it to be as well made a device as I have ever owned. That said, I read that the x360 meets the high bar I feel the Samsung established, while also having the Broadwell IGP which is far better than the 440 as well as having the multiple screen configurations and compatibility with the Synaptics pen. (Though on the latter, I read that several technologies will bring digitizer-like pen support to any and all laptops, even those with purely capacitive screens; if so, this will be a boon to all consumers, as those of us who use One Note heavily and want to write directly on our screens are limited to relatively few choices and sometimes to overpaying just to get the functionality needed.

    Hope that helps. A big part of me wants to sell most of what I own and buy the x360!
     
  5. shizzle

    shizzle Notebook Guru

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    The more I read, the more I get confused :)
    Maybe I should go for the XPS 13 and get the new Ipad Pro for note taking etc in autumn.
    x360 is nice but I would really like to have the QHD ...
     
  6. notebook101lol

    notebook101lol Newbie

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    XPS 13 has pretty crappy battery life. I've only gotten around 5 hours max out of it. Same usuage with x360 I get 7 hours. Sure, it's not QHD+, but that's so unnecessary. Another issue is the fact that it's so high resolution it actually makes the performance sloppy in chrome and some other programs. The stupidly placed webcam (even if it is to make the bezel thinner) makes it basically useless for any type of interaction besides with friends or family who won't mind staring at your chin lol
     
  7. shizzle

    shizzle Notebook Guru

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    What other convertibles similar to x360 are out there?
    After some thinking i either want a convertible ultrabook or an ultrabook with dedicated graphics. Unfortunately I dont know of any ultrabooks with dedicated graphics.

    I had high hopes for thw new lenovo lavie 360 but it turns out battery life and even stand tent mode have problems
     
  8. hawkeye62

    hawkeye62 Notebook Evangelist

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    Maybe UX303LN?

    Regards, Jim
     
  9. shizzle

    shizzle Notebook Guru

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    I thought about it but it has that yellow mustard problem.
    What battery settings are you guys using on your spectre x360?
    I am on power saver, 75% brightness and use it in tablet mode. Battery Bar tells me i only got 2h23min from 90%battery. That seems low ...
     
  10. henrydb

    henrydb Newbie

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    I took another look today at the FHD and QHD models. I'm now slightly inclining again towards the QHD model...

    I brought my old iPad 2 3G with me to do a rough screen brightness comparison. Comparing predominantly white backgrounds on both devices, the FHD screen was as bright (perhaps a touch brighter) than my iPad 2 at full brightness, and I was able to match the brightness of the QHD screen pretty closely with the brightness slider on the iPad positioned two thirds of the way across.

    For me, the resolution difference between the QHD and FHD screens was again quite noticeable when reading text. At a normal viewing distance, with 200% scaling on the QHD and 150% scaling on the FHD, I can clearly discern a certain amount of font pixelation on the FHD screen which is not really visible on the QHD screen - i.e. to my eyes at least, the QHD is for all practical purposes a 'retina' display. For me this is a really appealing feature.

    Using my iPad 2 at full and 2/3 brightness as a rough proxy for the FHD/QHD screens, I've come to the conclusion (as others here and elsewhere have indicated) that the QHD screen is plenty bright enough for pretty much any indoor lighting scenario where you are able to position yourself so you do not see direct reflections of the sky (or bright lights) on the screen. Furthermore, in the event you can't avoid these reflections, I don't think even the FHD screen is really bright enough for comfort, and in my case I would not really want to use either model in that situation for very long.

    I think I am just going to go ahead and get the QHD model now. I don't think the brightness will be an issue for me in 95% of the situations I'd want to use it, and the QHD resolution is too nice a feature for me to want to give up lightly. As long as the battery life is reliably above 5 hours I don't mind losing a bit of that too.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
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