HP Spectre x360 The HP Spectre x360 has a solid aluminum body, smooth 360-degree hinges, an excellent display and very long battery life. The Spectre x360 is one of our new favorite laptops, thanks to its premium design, fast performance, vibrant screen and comfortable keyboard. It's relatively heavy compared to competing laptops, but it mostly makes up for it with nearly best-in-class battery life. Performance and battery With dual video outputs, HDMI and mini-DisplayPort, the Spectre x360 can drive two external monitors at once, and the system also follows a welcome recent trend of dropping older USB ports and making every port a USB 3.0 version.
But, before you expect too much in terms of performance from the new Intel CPUs, a MacBook with last year's Core i5 CPU, was still in the running (and led in one test), while a different Broadwell-generation chip, the ultra-low-voltage Core M found in the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, was slower in all tests by a noticeable margin.
It's battery life that really makes this system stand with the best in its category, with the Spectre x360 running for exactly 12 hours in our video playback battery drain test. That's not as rare a score as it might have been even last year, but having more laptops that top a dozen hours of battery life is not a trend anyone should argue with.
A pair of Dell XPS 13 systems, with substantially similar hardware configurations (including the same fifth-gen Intel Core i5 CPU), showed the wide range of possible battery life, with a higher-res touchscreen model running for about seven hours, while a non-touch 1,920x1,080 screen model running for about 12 hours, closely matching the Spectre x360.
The midrange x360 I reviewed featured Intel’s popular 5th-generation “Broadwell” Core i5-5200U, 8GB of DDR3/1600, a 256GB M.2 SATA SSD and an IPS 1920x1080 screen. This configuration will set you back $1,000, but you can step it down to $900 by halving the SATA SSD and RAM. Personally, I’d say spend the extra $100.
This configuration is actually fairly competitive. Outfitted with similar components, Dell’s XPS 13, for example, is $800—but it’s not a convertible and it even lacks the touchscreen at that price. Also, the XPS 13’s smaller, lighter form factor feels great until you touch the keyboard. The Spectre x360’s keyboard is far more comfortable to type on than the XPS 13’s. Frankly, I’d probably trade the XPS 13’s compact size for the Spectre x360’s keyboard in a second if it were my everyday driver.
Other details of the Spectre x360 also impressed me. The tiny power button on the left side of the frame is a bit annoying—you have to hunt for it. However, it takes just enough pressure that you can’t easily activate it by accident. On the convertible Yoga 3 Pro, I’d put the machine to sleep all the time just by picking up the chassis.
The clickable trackpad is superwide. While that can leads to false taps (I flail my thumbs when typing at full speed and mash my palms, too), I didn’t have any issues with it—my measured typing speed was comparable to what I’d achieve on a full-size laptop keyboard. I can’t say that about Dell’s XPS 13. One issue on the Spectre x360 worth noting: On occasion, I found it didn’t detect my right mouse-click.
In port selection, HP plays it safe and sane with three USB 3.0’s, mini DisplayPort and a full-sized HDMI. There’s also an SD card reader and a combo analog audio jack. Apparently HP doesn’t live in that bizarro MacBook world, where you get lauded for eliminating consumer choice in ports and forcing people to carry a bag of dongles.
The shell is milled from a solid block of aluminum. To add pizzazz, HP polished the edges of the body and screen. It gives this convertible a beautiful look that sets it apart from any other unit we’ve seen this year.
It's heavier than a MacBook Air, and like many similar hybrids, it leaves the keyboard exposed in tablet mode. Higher-end screen options could limit battery life.
THE BOTTOM LINE With long battery life, good performance and an attractive design, the HP Spectre x360 is one of the best convertible notebooks you can buy. While not as light, or convenient, in tablet mode as the , the x360 is less expensive, has a more powerful processor and lasts longer on a charge. If you're not interested in a convertible, the nontouch version of the offers similar performance and much longer battery life in a smaller package. But if you want something that can adapt with your needs, the Spectre x360 is a very good choice.
Price:$899.00 VS iPad Pro The iPad Pro is a much bigger device than the average tablet – with a 12.9-inch display, it's always going to be a bit hefty.The design language follows on strongly from the rest of the iPad family, with the same ceramic-like metal on the back, the curved edges and TouchID home button above the Lightning port.The new iPad Pro is the biggest and fastest Apple tablet to date. The pressure-sensitive Pencil stylus offers superior sketching and drawing, and the Pro's gorgeous giant screen and quad speakers are ideal for split-screen apps, multitasking and watching movies. PERFORMANCE: In terms of the engine Apple's stuck inside the iPad Pro, the company has gone all out here. The Pro features an A9X chip inside, coupled with 4GB of RAM (according to Geekbench, although Apple hasn't confirmed this).
This makes the iPad Pro easily the most powerful non-Mac device Apple's ever made by some distance. What that means in real life is two fold: you can execute multiple apps at once without a hint of slowdown, with heavy titles like Adobe Photoshop working in an instant and the ability to do many things at once a really slick experience.
The Split Screen mode of , introduced in June at WWDC 2015, seemed like an odd thing - the 9.7-inch size of the Air sort of made sense with two apps running at the same time, but now we've got this whopping screen to play with it makes a lot more sense.
If we're talking raw numbers, and I know that's why some of you cheeky people are here, then you're in for a treat. Using Geekbench 3 to test, the iPad Pro scores 5472, which is well ahead of the 4506 from the iPad Air 2 and the 4974 of the next-most powerful device, the Galaxy Note 5. That won't mean much in day to day use, but it gives the iPad Pro a massive boost in terms of future proofing it. The apps to come are going to make more and more of that impressive chipset running at the heart of the tablet, and having the raw grunt to keep up will mean that you're going to keep getting a decent performance for years to come.
The interface is nothing special though - I don't mean that critically, as the simplicity of iOS is something that's one of the selling points of Apple's devices. However, some people looking at the iPad Pro as a dedicated professional device will be a little disappointed as it still runs the same way as the iPad Air 2, albeit with a lot of accessories to play around with. The same grid of apps prevails, with the notifications shade above and the
for easy access to messages and commonly used actions. Control Center
The larger screen means you need to move your hand further to achieve these, but it's not like you're being asked to throw yourself over a waterfall in a barrel, just moving your finger a little further up and down.
However, it's worth noting as it is one of the drawbacks of having a larger device like this, and you'll need to be aware of them before purchase.
But,At launch, very few apps are currently optimized to take advantage of the iPad Pro's full potential. Its large size makes it less portable than other iPads. Once you've paid for the Pencil and keyboard peripherals, the iPad Pro costs as much as a good laptop, but lacks its flexibility.
The Bottom Line The iPad Pro is a dream machine for graphic designers and media mavens, but this elegant tablet needs more optimized apps and accessories before it can fully achieve laptop-killer status.
Key Features: 12.9-inch 2048 x 2732 screen; A9X 2.26GHz dual-core processor ; 4GB RAM; 8 megapixel rear camera; 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera; 4 stereo speakers; iOS 9