2023 HP’s Spectre x360 13.5 is nearly perfect, except for one thing
The latest Spectre model is a solid competitor to Dell’s high-end XPS, but there’s one area where it falls short.
If you're in the market for a top-notch 13-inch Windows laptop with exceptional build quality and a renowned brand name, chances are you've come across recommendations for the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 13.5.
These two laptops stand out as the best in the 13-inch category. They may be a bit expensive, but their lightweight design and attractive appearance make them worth considering. Let's delve into the differences between these laptops to help you decide which one suits you best.
Price: Making the Right Investment Let's start with the price aspect. The Spectre x360 13.5, featuring a Core i7, 16GB of memory, and 1TB of storage (the configuration tested), is priced at $1,434.99. On the other hand, the similarly specced XPS 13 has an MSRP of $1,449 but can currently be purchased at a discounted price of $1,299 on Dell's website.
It's important to note that the 1TB model of the XPS 13 comes with 32GB of RAM, which should be considered in your decision-making process. While the Spectre might cost you an extra $135.99, it does come with some distinct advantages that justify the price difference.
Look and Feel: Aesthetics and Portability The Spectre and XPS differ significantly in terms of aesthetics. The Spectre boasts a gorgeous and sophisticated design, particularly the black model with its stylish gold accents around the touchpad and hinges. It exudes a suave C-Suite look that's meant to stand out.
In contrast, the XPS is designed to blend in, with a more generic aesthetic and a slightly plasticky feel. It's not unattractive, but it lacks the elegance of the Spectre.
Additionally, the XPS wins in terms of portability. Weighing almost half a pound less than the Spectre, it's more convenient to carry around, making it a better choice for those who are frequently on the move.
Video Calling Experience: Superior Webcam and Audio When it comes to video calls, the Spectre outperforms the XPS. The Spectre's webcam produces a much clearer image with less graininess, and it handles bright backgrounds better. Moreover, the Spectre comes with HP's GlamCam suite, offering various beautification features, making your video calls more engaging.
The Spectre also excels in audio quality, thanks to its twice-as-many speakers, providing crisp sound and solid bass. On the other hand, the XPS's audio is decent but falls slightly short in volume and clarity.
Screen: An Impressive Visual Experience The Spectre takes the lead in the screen department with its 3000 x 2000 OLED display, offering vibrant colors, crisp details, and minimal glare even in bright settings.
In comparison, the XPS features a 1920 x 1200 IPS panel, and to access a higher-resolution OLED option, you'll need to opt for the more expensive XPS 13 Plus. Moreover, the Spectre's 3:2 aspect ratio provides slightly more vertical room, enhancing the overall viewing experience.
Battery Life: Where the Spectre Falls Short The Spectre's OLED screen comes at a cost – reduced battery life. With just over four hours of continuous use, the Spectre struggles to match the XPS's longevity. The XPS manages an average of six hours and 42 minutes under the same workload, making it the better choice for users seeking extended battery performance.
Performance: Comparable Power for Everyday Tasks Both laptops are designed for general use and not heavy workloads, but the Spectre has a slightly more powerful processor than the XPS. While the difference may not be substantial for regular tasks, the Spectre might edge ahead in gaming and video exporting.
However, for everyday tasks such as office work and entertainment, both laptops perform admirably. The Spectre does excel in noise control, staying quiet during regular use and only producing noticeable fan noise during heavy benchmarking.
Conclusion: The HP Spectre x360 13.5 Shines In conclusion, both the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Spectre x360 13.5 are exceptional laptops, offering premium features and build quality. However, the Spectre stands out as the preferable option due to its superior aesthetics, better webcam experience, impressive OLED screen, and satisfactory performance.
Although the Spectre's battery life may not be the best, its overall strengths make it an outstanding choice for those looking for a high-end, 13-inch Windows laptop. Consider your specific needs and preferences to make an informed decision, and you'll be rewarded with a top-of-the-line device that elevates your computing experience.