HP Spectre x360 15 (2020) review: beauty at the expense of battery life

The hp spectre x360 15’s stunning 4k display comes at the expense of battery life.

HP Spectre x360 15 2020

Laptop Mag Verdict

The HP Spectre x360 15 has a gorgeous 4K display and stylish aesthetics, but it sacrifices battery life for beauty.

Attractive, stylish chassis

Beautiful 4K display with amazing DCI-P3 coverage

Speedy file-transfer rates

Comfortable keyboard

Below-average battery life

Mixed performance

Touchpad needs more friction

Why you can trust Laptop Mag Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

Price : $1,849 CPU : Intel Core i7-10750H GPU : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q RAM : 16GB Storage : 1TB of SSD storage Display :15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160-pixel, 4K, AMOLED Battery : 2:51:07 Size : 14.17 x 8.91 x 0.79 in Weight : 4.23 pounds 

The HP Spectre x360 15 (starting at $1,599, reviewed at $1,849) must have approached Satan and said, “I want to have the most beautiful display in the world.” In response, the devil said, “I can do that for you, but in return, I want all of your battery life.” The Spectre x360 15 then shook Satan's hand and said, “You’ve got a deal!”

“Two hours and 51 minutes?!” That’s what I shouted when our Laptop Mag lab testers informed me about the Spectre x360 15’s less-than-impressive battery life. It seems as if the sleek and sexy HP convertible sold its soul for beauty and attractiveness, but strangely, I can’t help but think, “Perhaps it was worth it?”

The Spectre x360 15 has a luxurious aesthetic with its black-and-gold motif. It’s the type of laptop you’d expect to be in the hands of a wealthy Millennial who owns a private jet. Carrying this modern beauty around will certainly turn heads and attract envious glances that say, “I want that!” 

The HP 2-in-1 — equipped with a six-core Intel Core i7 H-series CPU and a discrete Nvidia GPU —  is ideal for photographers, digital artists and video editors seeking a color-accurate, speedy notebook with a 4K panel that will widen your eyes with awe.

The Spectre x360 15 will appeal to stylish, professional content creators, but they’ll have to make some sacrifices, especially when it comes to battery life.

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) price and configuration options 

The HP Spectre x360 15 base model costs $1,599 and comes with a 2.6-GHz Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, 8GB of RAM, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM, 256GB of SSD storage, and a 15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160- pixel (4K) display.

For an additional $110, you can bump up your RAM and storage to 16GB and 512GB, respectively.

My review unit, priced at $1,849, upgrades your system to 1TB of SSD storage with 32GB of Intel Optane memory; the 4K display gets spiced up with an AMOLED, ultra-wide viewing angle screen. For all configurations, you can choose between two color options: Nightfall Black with copper-luxe accents or Poseidon Blue with pale-brass accents.

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) design 

“Luxe!” That’s the first word that came to my mind when I first unwrapped the HP Spectre x360 from its black-and-gold package. The lustrous HP logo and golden dual hinges are striking against the Nightfall Black chassis. Rose-gold accents cloak all four sides of the sophisticated Spectre x360 15.

Open the lid, and you’ll discover slim bezels that offer a 90% screen-to-body ratio, or 10% more than its predecessor. The HP Spectre x360 15 is the only notebook in the HP lineup with this much screen real estate. HP whittled down the Spectre x360 15’s bezels by implementing the world’s smallest IR webcam; the last-gen Spectre x360 15 featured a six-millimeter webcam, whereas the current-gen model sports a 2.2mm webcam.

Two 360-degree golden hinges allowed me to easily transfigure the Spectre x360 15 into four different modes, including tablet and tent mode.

The Nightfall Black deck features angular, beveled edges known as the Spectre series’ signature “gem-cut design.” Above the keyboard, you’ll find an edge-to-edge, Bang & Olufsen speaker with diamond-shaped grilles. The keycaps, wrapped in an ebony finish, match the chassis’ color scheme. Below the space bar, you’ll discover a touchpad with a subtle rose-gold trim. On the bottom-right corner of the deck, you’ll find an unassuming square-shaped fingerprint reader .

On the bottom of the Spectre x360 15 is a large vent that intakes cool air while the vents on the side of the chassis expel hot air.

At 4.2 pounds and 14.2 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches, the Spectre x360 15 is thicker than its competitors: the Dell XPS 15 (4.5 pounds, 0.7 inches), the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (3 pounds, 0.6 inches) and the Asus ZenBook Flip S (2.4 pounds, 0.4 inches). 

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) ports 

At first, you’ll say, “Where’s the power button on this thing?” Power buttons are typically found somewhere on the top portion of the keyboard deck or somewhere on the side, but on the Spectre x360 15, the power button is camouflaged on the left beveled edge of the HP convertible.

Moving on to the ports , the Spectre x360 15 has a decent selection of connection options that will satisfy your needs. On the left side are an HDMI 2.0 port and a headset jack. On the right side, you’ll find two Thunderbolt 3 ports (one on the beveled edge opposite the power button), one USB Type-A port and a microSD card slot. 

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) display 

The Spectre x360 15 sports a 15.6-inch, 4K, AMOLED display that will take your breath away. The panel features VESA-certified true-black HDR, which is a fancy way of saying that the display offers richer shades of black, which increases contrast for better visual vibrancy. The colors really pop! 

I watched The Croods: New Age trailer in 4K, which follows the animated adventures of kooky cavemen navigating through a vibrant prehistoric paradise. Bright pinks, verdant greens and rich purples popped as I watched the Croods explore a lush, fruitful Eden. I could spot intentional details created by the animators, including the fluffy fur of a colorful Siberian tiger and the highly defined hair strands atop the Croods’ heads.

It’s worth noting that you can tweak the display to your liking using the HP Display Control app. It features five modes: Default, sRGB (optimized for web browsing), Adobe RGB (best for printing and imaging work), DCI-P3 (ideal for photo and video editing) and Native (no optimization applied). Native is my favorite mode because it provided the most vivid colors while sRGB is my least favorite because it seemed to strip away the display’s saturation. While experimenting with some light editing work in Adobe Photoshop , DCI-P3 mode was the best option, providing crisp, color-accurate visuals.

According to our colorimeter, the Spectre x360 15 covered a whopping 146.7% of the DCI-P3 color gamut , which crushes the 84% color-coverage score of the average premium laptop. The 4K displays of the Dell XPS 15 (93.7%), Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (133%) and Asus ZenBook Flip S (113.1%) paled in comparison to the Spectre x360 15’s vivid, AMOLED panel.

With a 0.3 Delta-E score, the Spectre x360 15 shares the same color-accuracy score as the category average, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga and the Asus ZenBook Flip S (the closer the score is to zero, the better). However, the Dell XPS 15 is more color accurate than all three 4K laptops with a Delta-E score of 0.26.

The Spectre x360 15’s 339-nit display is dim compared to the Dell XPS 15 (434 nits) and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (488 nits). The Spectre x360 15 is also dimmer than the average premium laptop (380 nits), but it is more brilliant than the Asus ZenBook Flip S’s paltry 254-nit display.

The Spectre x360 15’s display has a super responsive touchscreen panel that kept up with my gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom and left-to-right swipes to return to previous pages. 

Lastly, the Spectre x360 15 has an eye-safe display, which means it reduces harmful blue light without hurting color accuracy. This is beneficial for productivity users who spend countless hours on their laptops.

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) audio 

The Spectre x360 15 sports a mediocre Bang & Olufsen edge-to-edge speaker that takes up a quarter of the keyboard deck. You’ll find additional dual speakers on the laptop’s undercarriage.

I listened to “Diamonds” by Sam Smith at max volume, and while the snappy, vocal-heavy tune sounded decent, I wish it got a bit louder. Still, the sound was amplified enough to fill my medium-sized testing room. When I listened to music with more bass, however, the lows in these songs sounded too muddy for my taste.

There is a Bang and Olufsen Audio Control app, but it doesn’t offer any options to tune the speakers.

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) keyboard and touchpad 

I enjoyed typing on the HP Spectre x360’s edge-to-edge, white-backlit keyboard. On the 10FastFingers.com typing test, I reached a 93 word-per-minute average, which is far higher than my typical 85-wpm typing speed. In fact, this is the fastest I’ve ever typed on a review unit. The quiet keys are springy and provide clicky, tactile feedback that allowed me to tap away on the keyboard as if I were a masterful DJ with turntable dexterity. The HP Spectre x360 15’s keyboard also features a full-sized numpad.

While I love the HP Spectre x360 15’s keyboard, I’m not a fan of the touchpad. It has a silky-smooth texture, which feels nice, but it’s not optimal for cursor navigation. Touchpads need a bit of friction for a highly responsive cursor experience and I noticed that I needed to exert a tinge more energy than usual to direct the cursor around the display (but it’s nothing too alarming). On the plus side, Windows 10 gestures , such as three-finger tabbing and two-finger scrolling, worked like a charm. 

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) performance 

The Spectre x360 15, equipped with an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU and 16GB of RAM , stood firm against my attempts to wear it down as I flooded it with 40 Google Chrome tabs. I launched Adobe Photoshop and I edited a photo of a tiger without experiencing any lag.

On the Geekbench 5.0 overall performance benchmark, the Spectre x360 15 achieved a score of 3,353, which is less than the category average (4,029). The Spectre x360 15 also was outpaced by the Dell XPS 15’s Core i7-10750H CPU (6,174), Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s Core i7-10610U CPU (3,878) and Asus ZenBook Flip S’s Core i7-7500U CPU (3,880).

The Spectre x360 15 took 18 minutes and one second to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, which beats the category average (18:26). The HP convertible is also speedier than the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (19:22) and the Asus ZenBook Flip S (22:05). However, the Dell XPS 15 blew the Spectre x360 15 out of the water with a lightning-fast time of 10 minutes and six seconds.

The Spectre x360 15’s 1TB SSD copied 4.97GB of data in four seconds, which translates to a file-transfer rate of 1,161.3 megabytes per second. This is far speedier than the category average (747.55 MBps). The HP Spectre x360 15 also kicked butt against the Dell XPS 15’s 512GB SSD (726 MBps), Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s 512GB SSD (978.7 MBps) and the Asus ZenBook Flip S’s 1TB SSD (145.4 MBps).

On the PugetBench Photoshop test, a benchmark that analyzes how well laptops can handle an onslaught of image-manipulation tasks, the Spectre x360 15 offered a score of 588, which is lower than the premium laptop average (601). The Dell XPS 15 and the Asus ZenBook Flip S sport the same GPU as the Spectre x360 15, but those two laptops smoked the HP convertible with scores of 787 and 626, respectively. Unsurprisingly, the Spectre x360 15 outperformed the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga’s Intel UHD graphics (530).

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) graphics and gaming 

The HP Spectre x360 15 is electrified with a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM, which is ideal for graphics-intensive tasks, including light gaming and video editing.

On the 3DMark Fire Strike benchmark, the HP Spectre x360 achieved a stellar score of 7,518, beating the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (1,223) and the Asus ZenBook Flip S (967), but the HP 2-in-1 could not keep up with the Dell XPS 15 (8,397).

If you want to enjoy some light gaming on the HP Spectre x360, you must reduce the resolution on the 4K panel. On the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm benchmark (Very High, 1080p), the Spectre x360 produced 60 frames per second, which sailed past the category average (27 fps). The HP 2-in-1 also crushed the Dell XPS 15 (48 fps), the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (9 fps) and the Asus ZenBook Flip S (15 fps).

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) battery life 

The HP Spectre x360’s 15’s battery life is laughably short. On the Laptop Mag battery life test, which involves surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the Spectre x360 15 lasted 2 hours and 51 minutes, which is nearly seven hours less than the average premium laptop (9:56).

On one hand, I feel the need to excuse the HP Spectre x360 15’s poor battery life. After all, it’s packing a power-consuming 4K, AMOLED, touchscreen display with a discrete graphics card and a powerful processor. However, last year’s 4K model lasted 7 hours and 46 minutes on our battery life test. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (7:28), Dell XPS 15 (8:01) and Asus ZenBook Flip S (8:35) — all laptops with 4K displays — also offered at least 7 hours of battery life, so I am not quite sure why the Spectre x360 15’s battery life is significantly shorter.

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) webcam 

The HP Spectre x360 15 sports the smallest IR camera in the world at 2.2mm and this is bound to come with some drawbacks. The 720p webcam is grainy with poor clarity and subpar definition. Laptop cameras are usually pretty awful, but there’s more visual noise on this webcam than usual. A vibrant royal blue-and-yellow book on my nightstand looked washed out on the HP Spectre x360 15’s camera.

Although I’m dragging this webcam to hell and back, HP does deserve some praise for its camera security features. On the right side of the chassis, you’ll find a webcam kill switch. This kill switch impedes the webcam from being acknowledged by your PC. A hacker can’t hack your camera if your laptop doesn’t think it has one. Win!

Check out our best webcams page for something that won’t make it look like you’re joining video calls on your grandpa’s decades-old phone. 

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) heat 

The HP Spectre x360 is hot — and I’m not just talking about its sexy aesthetics. After the HP convertible streamed a 15-minute, 1080p video, the center of the keyboard hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is five degrees higher than our 95-degree comfort threshold. The underside of the Spectre x360 15 was the hottest location, climbing up to 111 degrees. The touchpad, on the other hand, remained cool at 85 degrees. 

HP Spectre x360 (15-inch, 2020) software and warranty

The Spectre x360 15 ships with some useful software, such as the HP Command Center, which has a dedicated key between F12 and Delete for quick launching. It offers a Thermal Profile section, which lets you set your temperature and cooling preferences. There are three thermal profiles: Default, Performance and Comfort. Default is best for web browsing. Performance is optimal for CPU and GPU-taxing activities such as gaming and video editing. As the system gets hotter, the fans will kick in. Comfort mode reduces performance and allows the system to run cooler and quieter. 

There’s also a Network Booster tab that lets you determine which apps should receive bandwidth priority. For example, if you’re running more than one program, you can tell the HP Spectre x360 15 which app you’d like to prioritize.

The Spectre x360 15 doesn’t come with too much pre-installed bloatware . There’s no Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga or Microsoft Solitaire Collection, but you’ll find Netflix , Skype and Groove Music. The black-and-gold HP convertible ships with free 30-day trials for ExpressVPN and LastPass.

The Spectre x360 15 comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how HP performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Laptop Brands ranking. 

Bottom line

The HP Spectre x360 15 is a work of art with its black-and-gold accents and angular-cut chassis. With this gorgeous convertible under your arm, you’ll turn heads. However, as the old saying goes, “Outer beauty attracts, but inner beauty captivates.” And, well, the Spectre x360 15 is having some difficulties with its inner-beauty captivation.

The Spectre x360 15 offered mixed, inconsistent performance on our benchmarks. When we tested its file-transfer rates and video transcoding speeds, it blew its rivals out of the water. It also did well on our gaming benchmarks. However, on the Photoshop and overall performance tests, the Spectre x360 15 did not impress. The Dell XPS 15 crushed the Spectre x360 15 in most categories so I’d recommend the Dell over the Spectre even though it will cost you about $200 more.

The next best laptop would be Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga , offering five more hours of battery life and impressive performance, but it lacks a discrete GPU.

Still, the Spectre x360 15 shines when it comes to its 4K display, covering more ground on the DCI-P3 color gamut than all of its competitors. If you’re a photo or video editor seeking a sexy productivity machine with a slamming screen and kickass graphics, I’d recommend the HP Spectre x360 15 in a heartbeat. However, you’ll have to accept that you’ll be tethered to an outlet all day.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!

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'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

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ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form .

HP's new Spectre x360 is already one of my favorite laptops of the year. Here's why

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ZDNET's key takeaways

  • HP's 2024 Spectre x360 nearly has it all; from a stunning display to room-filling speakers and a 9MP webcam.
  • It sports an Intel Meteor Lake processor and next-gen graphics card to become the ideal laptop for work and entertainment.
  • It has an interesting angular design, however some may find its lack of ports frustrating and its usage of docking stations awkward.

For years now, I've wanted an iPad. It's a premier tablet for multiple reasons, like the solid hardware and a wide array of features. But after trying out HP's 2024 Spectre x360 , I changed my mind -- I don't want an iPad anymore. 

While a 2-in-1 laptop is not nearly as comparable to a tablet as it is to, well, a laptop, it's better than any iPad model that I've tried out -- able to excel in multiple situations; be it entertainment or work. 

Also: Apple's next MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and iPad Air could launch as early as March

My great time with the Spectre x360 started the moment I lifted the lid open, unveiling a 14-inch 2.8K (2,880 x 1,800 pixels) OLED screen that was basically eye candy. Vibrant colors, deep blacks, and high-level on-screen detail greeted me, and it was as if I was looking at the Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED again . What if I told you that wasn't the best part of the latest laptop from HP?

At the top is an impressive, wide-angle 9MP webcam. It is, by far, the nicest webcam that I've had the pleasure of using. The image quality is unmatched and blows all of the 5MP and 7MP lenses I've experienced before out of the water. Thanks to the immaculate OLED display, the video feed remains crystal clear with good color balance even in low-light environments.

Also:  This Acer laptop surprised me with one of the best OLED screen and webcam pairings I've tested in a while

Supporting the webcam are several AI features powered by the internal NPU (neural processing unit). You have Windows Studio Effects, which can blur the background to maintain your privacy or toggle automatic framing to keep you in the center frame at all times. There's also noise removal on the microphone to prevent outside sound from leaking in, a feature I greatly appreciate as I type this review at a bustling cafe.

Putting everything together, HP has created one of the best laptops for video conferencing.

Speaking of audio, the Spectre x360 has a nice set of pipes. The machine comes equipped with a pair of IMAX-enhanced tweeters and two woofers. Laptops tend to struggle when it comes to outputting good-quality sound. Much of the time, manufacturers opt out of adding woofers, resulting in tinny audio. That's not the case with the Spectre. Due to its setup, music and movie audio sound punchy. There's depth to tracks since the speakers can properly output deep bass. The speakers have their own supporting features; most notably DTS:X Ultra, enabling immersive audio. Combined with the OLED screen, HP's device offers an entertainment experience second only to home theaters.

Also: The best feature on this Asus laptop is the one you'll stare at the least

Life is not all fun and games as people do have to work. Luckily, the Spectre has you covered with each model sporting a Meteor Lake CPU. My review unit came equipped with the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H and 32GB of RAM. To see what the hardware is capable of, I ran the laptop through Cinebench R23, earning a score of 8,643 points. Although it falls short of HP's purported benchmarking scores, it still manages to outclass most of Intel's other processors except for the higher-end models like the Intel Core i9-9880H. But even then, it's not a wide gap.

As impressive as the hardware may be, I don't recommend the Spectre x360 for gaming. Its Intel Arc graphics is a direct upgrade to the Iris Xe and does allow it to handle video games better than before, but it still can't compete on the same level as a GeForce graphics card. You will experience significant performance issues at high graphical settings. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't play the less graphic-intensive titles.

What's interesting about the Meteor Lake series is that Intel made a concerted effort to optimize efficiency. It certainly shows in the battery. I performed my usual battery test of playing a YouTube livestream at 720p at 50 percent brightness until the laptop died. The Spectre x360 lasted 10 hours straight, making it one of the longest-running laptops I have ever tested.

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Finally, let's talk about the design because I like what HP did with the laptop, although I can tell some people will have issues with it. The Spectre x360 has an interesting blocky aesthetic. Each of the keys is a near-perfect square, plus two of the corners are flat; not round. The corners house two of the Spectre's four ports: a USB-C input on the right and a headphone jack on the left. The other two are another USB-C input and a USB-A port for flash drives. Yes, that's all you get.

Also: You can now buy this AR laptop with 100-inch display - no monitor needed

HP's solution to this is packaging two docking stations with the Spectre, allowing users to expand their array of ports. With the docks, you can add extra USB inputs as well as an HDMI port. The good news is the charger still works through the docking station. Don't worry about feeling like you'll be forced to choose between connectivity or keeping the laptop. You can have both.

ZDNET's buying advice

It's early in the year, and already HP's 2024 Spectre x360 is in the running for one of my favorite laptops of the year. It checks off so many boxes for me: great display, bassy speakers, solid performance, and even the keyboard is great. The larger size compared to the previous model allows for bigger keycaps. The caps combined with the laptop's durable construction results in a comfortable typing experience.

Prices for the 2024 Spectre x360 start at $1,449.99 with multiple configurations available. The unit I reviewed was one of the higher-end models sporting the Intel Core i7 processor mentioned earlier and 2TB of storage. It costs $1,878.99.

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HP Spectre 13 to come in 18K gold limited edition SKUs

HP Spectre 13 to come in 18K gold limited edition SKUs

One way to improve public perception of an already high-end consumer gadget is to embellish it with gold and gems designed by renowned artists and designers. Thus, we shouldn't be too surprised to learn that the recently announced Spectre 13 has been made even more luxurious with special edition SKUs adorned in diamonds and 18-karat gold.

Designers Tord Boontje and Jess Hannah have taken HP's "thinnest laptop in the world" and worked closely with the manufacturer to create two luxurious skins for the already sleek notebook. VP of Design and Personal Systems at HP Stacy Wolff believes that spectacular art can be created from combining luxurious designs with high-performance notebooks.

HP Spectre by Tord Boontje

Boontje's vision of the Spectre 13 has dressed the notebook in cherry blossoms and flowers and even peacocks and butterflies around the outer lid. The final Midnight Blue design is coated with 18-karat gold accents to contrast the pattern and Swarovski crystals in the shape of a flower.

HP Spectre by J. Hannah

Jewelry designer Hannah has a comparatively brighter strategy for approaching the Spectre 13. Instead of the gingerly etched features of the Boontje design, her unit is instead coated from top to bottom with 18-karat gold. The Power button and HP logo are decorated with diamonds for an added level of luxuriousness.

The two designs will be auctioned in limited quantities starting next month at the Cannes festival. All proceeds  will go to the  Nelson Mandela Foundation , which is a non-commercial organization promoting the vision and legacy of the South African President.

HP Spectre by Tord Boontje

http://store.hp.com/GermanyStore/Merch/offer.aspx?p=c-hp-spectre

Related Articles

  • HP announces refreshed Spectre 13 featuring 8th gen Intel CPUs and a redesigned chassis News @ 10/04/2017
  • HP Spectre X2 12 (2017) images show up online News @ 05/22/2017
  • Hands-on with the new HP Omen gaming series News @ 06/11/2016
  • HP expands Omen gaming lineup with GTX 965M and 4K UHD options News @ 05/26/2016
  • HP: Spectre 13 Flagship Notebook and new logo announced News @ 04/05/2016
  • HP Spectre x360 now coming in a 15-inch screen size News @ 12/31/2015
  • HP Spectre x2 12 now available in parts of Europe News @ 12/27/2015
  • HP Spectre x2 refresh will have built-in stainless steel stand News @ 10/07/2015
  • HP Spectre x360 gets new Silver and Copper colors News @ 10/07/2015

Allen Ngo

Digital Trends

HP Spectre x360 14 review: they did it again

T he HP Spectre x360 has for many years maintained a top spot for me as one of the best laptops . But over time, the design hasn’t changed all that much, with multiple years of small CPU bumps. All that’s changed with the new Spectre x360 14, though.

I was able to conduct an early review of the laptop, which made its debut at CES 2024 . Sporting a slightly larger display, a smoother aesthetic, and a new haptic feedback touchpad, there’s nothing here but improvements. Everything considered, HP’s Spectre x360 14 is going to be hard to beat in 2024.

Specs and configurations

Pricing is still being finalized, but as of the writing of this review, the Spectre x360 14’s starting price is $1,650. Presumably, that’s for the entry-level configuration of an Intel Core Ultra 5 125H CPU, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. My review configuration with a Core Ultra 7 155H, 32GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD is $1,970, which would be a very reasonable price for a heavily upgraded machine.

These prices are subject to change when the laptop starts rolling out, but unless they drop considerably, the Spectre x360 14 is solidly in premium laptop territory.

Design and ports

From a distance, the Spectre x360 14 looks a lot like its predecessor. Up close, though, it’s a different story. The notched display corners remain, with one housing a Thunderbolt 4 port and the other a 3.5mm audio jack, retaining the Spectre’s most iconic — and convenient — design element.

But the chassis edges have been smoothed out and now carry the same color as the rest of the chassis, specifically Nightfall black, Slate blue, or Sahara silver. Those changes create a more minimalist aesthetic that I find even more attractive than the previous generation. You won’t mistake the Spectre x360 14 for a MacBook Pro , but I think it looks just as good. The Spectre also looks great with the display open, with thin speaker grills flanking a spacious, off-color keyboard with large lettering and a large haptic touchpad that takes up the available space on the palm rest.

The Spectre x360 14 also retains the line’s usual excellent build quality, with no bending, flexing, or twisting in the CNC-machined lid and chassis. The hinge isn’t quite as smooth as Apple’s or the dual-clutch version Dell uses on its XPS laptops, but then the Spectre x360 14 is a convertible 2-in-1 and requires a different mechanism to support the full 360-degree rotation.

Speaking of that, the bottom display bezel is larger to accommodate a 2-in-1’s flexibility, giving the Spectre a slightly less modern appearance.

Interestingly, despite boasting a display that’s half an inch larger, the new model is only slightly wider than the previous model. It’s equally deep and thin, and it weighs just a few ounces more. That makes it just as portable while offering significantly more screen real estate. The MacBook Pro 14 is around the same width and depth, but it’s thinner and heavier. That makes the MacBook Pro feel denser in hand.

Connectivity is OK for a 14-inch laptop, with a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports and a single USB-A port to go with a 3.5mm audio jack. Some 14-inch laptops, like the MacBook Pro 14, also include an HDMI port, and the new Spectre drops the microSD card reader that was in the previous model. That’s disappointing. Wireless connectivity, though, is an improvement thanks to the laptop’s Meteor Lake chipset, with Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4 to go with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.

Keyboard and touchpad

The Spectre x360 14’s keyboard has large keycaps and plenty of key spacing, and the switches are light and clicky. They feel less snappy than past versions, though, so I wasn’t quite as enamored with them. Apple’s Magic Keyboard remains the best, and I’d rank Dell’s XPS keyboard ahead of this one as well. It’s still a very good keyboard, just not as good as I remember.

In a move that’s just starting to gain momentum industrywide, HP has finally included a haptic touchpad on the Spectre. I’ve used a few haptic touchpads on other Windows laptops, and none have been as good as Apple’s Force Touch version. They’ve been less responsive with their fabricated clicks, and some have had issues holding onto clicks too long, causing an unnatural feel and inadvertent screen interactions.

The Spectre x360 14’s implementation, though, is almost as good as Apple’s. It’s larger than the touchpad on the MacBook Pro 14 , surprisingly, and it feels just as natural. In this regard, the Spectre is the first Windows laptop that rivals Apple. The only thing missing from HP’s touchpad is Apple’s Force Click feature, which adds a convenient means to quickly access additional functionality.

Of course, the Spectre x360 14 is a convertible 2-in-1, so it also has a touch display with active pen support. That sets it apart from any MacBook, and I miss it when using an Apple machine. HP’s pen support is excellent, and if you like to draw or take notes, then the Spectre x360 14 is a great platform — assuming you don’t mind holding onto a tablet that weighs more than 3 pounds.

AI everywhere

AI is one of the hot topics of 2024 , and much is being made of the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) integrated into Meteor Lake to speed up various AI tasks. To date, just how AI will be used in our day-to-day computing hasn’t been fully explained, but HP gives a hint in its press materials, where it talks a good deal about how AI has improved several key aspects of the Spectre’s performance.

To begin with, HP has always offered some of the highest-resolution webcams, and they’ve bumped up the Spectre x360 14’s version from 5MP to 9MP with built-in, hardware-enabled lowlight adjustments. More than that, though, HP also touts AI-reduced power usage when Windows Studio Effects is utilized for better background blurring and automatic framing. The webcam and associated software worked well, but I couldn’t say it’s better than other non-AI incarnations.

The Spectre x360 14 also uses the NPU to drive its user presence-sensing technology. Thanks to the infrared camera that also supports Windows 11 Hello facial recognition, the Spectre can lock the laptop and put it to sleep when the user walks away and unlock and wake the laptop when the user returns. The screen can also dim when the user looks away from it.

AI is further used to enhance how performance, fan noise, and heat are optimized based on open apps, the Spectre’s physical placement, and how much battery life remains. HP even mentions AI in the context of automatically adjusting the display’s refresh rate from 48Hz to 120Hz.

It’s unclear how AI makes these features better than they’ve been on earlier models, but presumably, things are smoother and more responsive. That’s not something I could test, however.

HP also gives some other examples of how the NPU can be utilized, including faster generative AI performance in GIMP’s Stable Diffusion function and AI video editing using the Adobe Premiere Pro beta.

Perhaps most interesting was a reference to “Superpower,” a personal AI assistant that runs on the NPU and can perform actions like managing action items from a meeting, summarizing a topic, writing an email, and other tasks. I couldn’t test that functionality either, but clearly, AI will impact our computing in some unforeseen ways.

Performance

AI aside, Meteor Lake is also supposed to provide faster performance and better efficiency, with a new architecture involving technical details that are beyond the scope of this review. I tested the Spectre with the Core Ultra 7 155H, a 28-watt CPU with 16 cores (six Performance, eight Efficient, and two Low Power Efficient) and 22 threads running at up to 4.8GHz. The laptop can also be configured with the Core Ultra 5 125H with 14 cores (four Performance, eight Efficient, and two LP Efficient) and 18 threads running at up to 4.5GHz.

Specs and architectures aside, my Spectre x360 14 review unit provided CPU-intensive performance that falls somewhere in between the 28-watt, 12-core Core i7-1360P and the 45-watt, 14-core Core i7-13700H. Looking at our database, the Spectre performs more closely to the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8 with the Core i7-1360P than the Asus Zenbook 14X OLED with the Core i7-13700H. That is, it was around as fast as the Yoga in multi-core processes while being slower than both in single-core tasks. Notably, Apple’s M3 processor provides around the same multi-core performance, again with faster single-core performance.

I also ran the PugetBench Premiere Pro benchmark, which runs in a live version of Adobe’s Premiere Pro and can use the GPU to speed up various processes. I wouldn’t normally run that benchmark on this class of laptops, but I wanted to see how the Intel Arc graphics performed. On Meteor Lake, Arc is Intel’s newest integrated graphics, utilizing eight Intel Xe GPU cores and promising faster performance than the previous Intel Iris Xe graphics.

Unfortunately, the Spectre didn’t perform well, hitting just 258 in the benchmark. We haven’t run this version of PugetBench on any laptops with Intel Iris graphics, but the Acer Swift X 14 with a Core i7-13700H and the entry-level Nvidia RTX 4050 discrete GPU managed a score of 545. That’s right, the Spectre was just half as fast. Consider that the fastest laptop we’ve tested is the MacBook Pro 14 with the M3 Max that managed a score of 889.

It’s still early, and it’s entirely possible that firmware updates will improve things. So far, though, Meteor Lake isn’t shaking up laptop performance — the Spectre x360 14 is a strong performer for demanding productivity use and unsuitable for anything but light creative work. It’s fast enough, just not a game-changer.

Note that I didn’t test gaming on the Spectre x360 14. My editor, Luke Larsen, covered gaming in his overview of Meteor Lake in the Acer Swift Go 14 . I did run the 3DMark Time Spy, though, where the Intel Arc graphics hit a score that’s improved over Intel Iris Xe, but less than half that of the RTX 4050.

That result and Luke’s experience means that while you can game a little better on the Spectre than on the previous model, the difference won’t be significant. The laptop’s going to let you run older titles, and you’ll need to turn the graphics all the way down if you want to run any modern games.

It’s also worth noting that HP doesn’t sell an option with discrete graphics. GPUs have always been a weakness of the Spectre series of laptops, and that’s also true here. Now that the Spectre x360 is in the 14-inch category, it’s lack of an option for something like an RTX 4050 is more apparent. Look at the new Dell XPS 14 , for example.

The next important question regarding Meteor Lake is battery life. Efficiency is a stated goal of the architecture, and so I expected the Spectre x360 14 to achieve more longevity. The Spectre x360 14 has a 68 watt-hour battery, which is about average for 14-inch laptops, and it has a power-hungry 2.8K OLED display. So, there are factors to consider beyond the CPU by itself.

Considering everything, I’m at a loss to say whether the Core Ultra 7 155H is a particularly efficient processor. The Spectre hit eight hours in our web-browsing test and 18 hours in our video-looping test. The former is about average, while the latter is well above average. The previous-generation Spectre x360 13.5 with an OLED display and a lower-power 15-watt Intel Core i7-1255U hit 10 hours in the web-browsing test and 14 hours in the video-looping test. That machine wasn’t nearly as fast, however. And then we need to consider Apple’s MacBook Pro 14, which lasts closer to 18 hours in both tests with a very fast CPU and a mini-LED display.

We’ll have to wait to test more Meteor Lake laptops to draw meaningful conclusions. For now, suffice it to say that the Spectre x360 14 might last a full day of work, depending on how you’re using it. But I can’t say for sure.

An excellent OLED display and much-improved audio

There’s not much to say about the Spectre x360 14’s 2.8K OLED display that hasn’t been said about so many similar displays in the past. It looks incredible out of the box, with bright, dynamic colors and inky blacks. Watching high dynamic range (HDR) video is a treat, and it’s even better with content from Disney+ that supports the IMAX technology built into the Spectre. That provides unique aspect ratios and enhanced sound, and it works well.

My colorimeter agreed. The OLED panel is bright enough at 391 nits, well above our 300-nit threshold for working in bright indoor conditions. Blacks were perfectly black, with incredible contrast that’s beyond meaningful measurement. Colors were wide at 100% of sRGB, 97% of AdobeRGB, and 100% of DCI-P3, with excellent accuracy at a Delta-E of 0.68 (anything less than 1.0 is indistinguishable to the human eye).

In short, the display is sharp enough and offers superb image quality. It’s suitable for every kind of user, whether for productivity, creativity, or media consumption.

The Spectre x360 14 also features quad speakers with Poly audio tuning, including two upward-firing tweeters and two front-firing woofers. My standard for great audio has been Apple’s MacBook Pros, which use six speakers and force-cancelling subwoofers to produce loud, dynamic, and deep audio that no other laptop can match.

I can happily say that the Spectre comes surprisingly close, with plenty of distortion-free volume, crystal clear mids and highs, and more bass than any other 14-inch Windows laptop I’ve tested. It may not be quite as good as the MacBook Pro, but the Spectre pumps out excellent sound that will stop you from reaching for a pair of headphones.

Meaningful improvements add up to a superior 2-in-1

There may be questions regarding the Meteor Lake chipset’s performance and efficiency, but that’s not to say that the Spectre x360 14 is a poor performer. It’s plenty fast for all but demanding creators and offers good to great battery life. Its display and audio are excellent, and the new design is attractive and functional.

There’s a lot to like about the Spectre x360 14, so I’m giving it a near-perfect rating as the best convertible 2-in-1 I’ve used. Perhaps HP will better tune the Meteor Lake chipset for improved performance and efficiency. And I do question the real value of all the AI that’s talked about in the marketing materials. But as it is, I can give the Spectre my strongest recommendation.

This article may contain affiliate links that Microsoft and/or the publisher may receive a commission from if you buy a product or service through those links.

HP Spectre x360 14 review: they did it again

What It’s Like to Use the World’s Thinnest Laptop

spectre hp gold

The good : Insanely thin, Beautiful design, Excellent keyboard The bad: Sluggish trackpad, Sometimes noisy fans Who should buy: Those seeking a slim laptop for work and entertainment

When Apple unveiled the MacBook Air in 2008, it set a new standard for laptops, ushering in an era of premium lightweight laptops called “ultrabooks.” Eight years later, new processor designs have allowed PC makers to develop slimmer-than-ever laptops.

HP’s Spectre, which the company is touting as the world’s thinnest, is one such example. With its high-quality hardware and refined design, the $999.99 Spectre seriously raises the bar for ultra-thin laptops.

Still, there are some important considerations to make before picking one up. Here’s a closer look at what it was like to use the HP Spectre.

How it Looks and Feels

The HP Spectre looks unlike most other laptops out there. Made of aluminum and carbon fiber, the notebook has a sleek black appearance accented with a shiny gold hinge. HP clearly paid attention to the details here: the keys feature a gold trim to match the notebook’s glossy hinge. Meanwhile, the speakers, located to the left and right of the keyboard, look as if they’ve been etched into the keyboard deck. The gold hinge, however, does have the unfortunate tendency to collect fingerprint smudges.

At roughly 0.41 inches thin and 2.45 pounds, the Spectre is supremely slim and light. Apple’s MacBook Air, by comparison, is 0.11 inches thin at its slimmest point but 0.68 inches at its thickest, while Dell’s XPS 13 is between 0.3 and 0.6 inches thin.

The Spectre has a 1,920×1,080 resolution 13.3-inch screen, which is sharper than that of the MacBook Air but not as dazzling as those offered on some other ultrabooks. Still, for most people, it’ll be more than adequate for watching Netflix or browsing photos.

Keyboard quality is arguably one of the most important characteristics of a laptop. A poor keyboard can make it difficult or just plain frustrating to interact with your computer. Thankfully, the Spectre’s keyboard is among the best I’ve used on a laptop. The key travel is deep, providing rich feedback and making it comfortable to type at a quick pace. It’s exactly what should be expected of a premium notebook. The touchpad, however, could use some improvement. I found it to be sluggish and laggy at times, and I had to tweak a few settings to get an enjoyable experience.

If you’re seeking a laptop primarily for work and entertainment, the Spectre should be plenty fast. It runs on Intel’s latest processors, and buyers have the option of choosing between a Core i5 or Core i7. I’ve been using the $1,099 Core i7 variant for a mix of web browsing, casual gaming, light photo editing, and streaming Netflix, and I haven’t come across any stutters or hiccups. However, the Spectre’s fans get noisy fairly often, which can be distracting.

Those who typically watch TV shows or blast tunes from their laptop will likely be pleased with the Spectre’s Bang & Olufsen speakers, which offer rich and powerful audio. But the productivity-minded should keep in mind that the Spectre offers only three USB Type-C ports, plus a headphone jack. USB Type-C is certainly the future , but for now you’ll need adapters to connect the Spectre to most equipment — like external monitors.

I didn’t get great battery life out of the Spectre, but I believe my testing circumstances were part of the problem. The notebook’s battery depleted after about four hours of use, which is unusually low. That said, the Wi-Fi signal in my office kept dropping in and out over the course of writing this review, and the battery may have been drained while the laptop was searching for a signal. It’s probably safe to expect around six hours of battery life out of the Spectre under normal circumstances.

With its latest Spectre, HP has proven that there is a way to improve laptop design without compromising the computing experience. The HP Spectre is a marvelously slim, attractive machine that tackles all of the basics, offering a sturdy keyboard and fast performance.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other options. If you don’t need a Core i7 processor and don’t mind something slightly thicker, the Dell XPS 13 is definitely worth a look, especially since it’s about $100 cheaper than HP’s notebook and provides a similar experience. Chromebooks, meanwhile, are increasingly compelling options for the budget-minded. But in general, the Spectre is priced fairly considering most ultrabooks cost around $1,000. All told, HP’s Spectre is a top contender among today’s Windows 10 laptops.

4 out of 5 stars

50. Apple iPhone

Iomega SuperHero, dock for Apple iPhone and iPod touch, session for Tap Magazine taken on February 8, 2011. (Photo by S

Apple was the first company to put a truly powerful computer in the pockets of millions when it launched the iPhone in 2007. Smartphones had technically existed for years, but none came together as accessibly and beautifully as the iPhone. Apple’s device ushered in a new era of flat, touchscreen phones with buttons that appeared on screen as you needed them, replacing the chunkier phones with slide-out keyboards and static buttons. What really made the iPhone so remarkable, however, was its software and mobile app store, introduced later. The iPhone popularized the mobile app, forever changing how we communicate, play games, shop, work, and complete many everyday tasks.

The iPhone is a family of very successful products. But, more than that, it fundamentally changed our relationship to computing and information—a change likely to have repercussions for decades to come.

49. Sony Trinitron

Sony colour television, 1970.

Renowned journalist Edward R. Murrow famously described television as “nothing but wires and lights in a box.” Of all such boxes, Sony’s Trinitron—launched in 1968 as color TV sales were finally taking off—stands at the fore of memorable sets, in part for its novel way of merging what to that point had been three separate electron guns. The Trinitron was the first TV receiver to win a vaunted Emmy award, and over the next quarter century, went on to sell over 100 million units worldwide.

48. Apple Macintosh

Apple Macintosh computer, model M001, c 1984.

“Will Big Blue dominate the entire computer industry? The entire information age? Was George Orwell right about 1984?” That’s how Steve Jobs introduced the ad heralding the arrival of the Macintosh. With its graphical user interface, easy-to-use mouse and overall friendly appearance, the Macintosh was Apple’s best hope to take on IBM. High costs and Microsoft’s successful Windows software conspired to keep the Mac a perennial runner-up. But it forever set the standard for the way human beings interact with computers.

47. Sony Walkman

Sony Walkman, c 1980.

Sony’s Walkman was the first music player to combine portability, simplicity and affordability. While vinyl records were still the most popular music format, the Walkman—originally the “Sound-About” in the United States—played much smaller cassettes and was small enough to fit in a purse or pocket. It ushered in the phenomena of private space in public created by the isolating effect of headphones. It ran on AA batteries, allowing it to travel far from power outlets. Sony eventually sold more than 200 million of the devices, which paved the way for the CD player and the iPod.

46. IBM Model 5150

IBM PC Model 5150 with printer, 1981.

What would the computer market look like today without the IBM PC? Sure, the world had personal computers before the 5150 was introduced in 1981. But IBM’s sales pitch—bringing Big Blue’s corporate computing prowess into the home—helped make this a wildly successful product. Even more influential than the 5150 itself was Big Blue’s decision to license its PC operating system, DOS, to other manufacturers. That led to the birth of “IBM Compatibles,” the forerunner to almost all non-Apple PCs out there today.

45. Victrola Record Player

Victrola

Though the phonograph was invented in 1877, it was the Victor Talking Machine Company’s Victrola that first made audio players a staple in most people’s homes. The device’s amplifying horn was hidden inside a wooden cabinet, giving it the sleek look of a sophisticated piece of furniture. Records by classical musicians and opera singers were popular purchases for the device. Eventually, the Victor Talking Machine Company would be bought by RCA, which would go on to become a radio and television giant.

44. Regency TR-1 Transistor Radio

spectre hp gold

The Regency’s pocket radio was the first consumer gadget powered by transistors, ushering in an age of high-tech miniaturization. A post-WWII innovation developed by Texas Instruments (which had been making devices for the Navy) and Industrial Development Engineering Associates (which previously put out television antennas for Sears), the $49.95, 3-by-5-inch, battery-powered portable was built on technology developed by Bell Labs. From the transistors that amplified the radio signal to the use of printed circuit boards that connected the components to the eye-catching design, many factors conspired to make the TR-1 a holiday must-buy after its November 1954 launch. And as revolutionary as all this tech was, it only scratches the surface of how the Regency — by ushering in truly portable communications — changed the world overnight.

43. Kodak Brownie Camera

No 2 Portrait Brownie cameras in �fashion� colours, 1929-1935.

Marketed toward children, carried by soldiers, and affordable to everyone, this small, brown leatherette and cardboard camera introduced the term “snapshot” through its ease of use and low cost. Priced at just $1 (with film that was similarly inexpensive) when it was introduced in February 1900, the Brownie took cameras off tripods and put them into everyday use. For Kodak, the low-cost shooter was the hook that allowed the company to reel in money through film sales. And for the rest of the world, it helped captured countless moments and shape civilization’s relationship to images.

42. Apple iPod

apple ipod

There were MP3 players before the iPod, sure, but it was Apple’s blockbuster device that convinced music fans to upgrade from their CD players en masse. The iPod simultaneously made piracy more appealing, by letting people carry their thousand-song libraries in their pockets, while also providing a lifeline to the flailing music industry with the iTunes Store, which eventually became the world’s biggest music retailer. The iPod’s importance extends far beyond music. It was an entire generation’s introduction to Apple’s easy-to-use products and slick marketing. These people would go on to buy MacBooks, iPhones and iPads in droves, helping to make Apple the most valuable technology company in the world.

41. Magic Wand

hitachi magic wand

A few years after a 2002 episode of Sex and the City revealed the electric neck massager’s cultish adoption as a vibrator, Hitachi dropped its brand from the device. But only in name: the Magic Wand —in service since the late-1960s—likely remains the best-known product stateside made by the $33.5 billion Japanese company. (Hitachi makes everything from aircraft engines to defense equipment, but perhaps nothing as personally stimulating.) Though sex therapists and fans have extolled the Wand’s virtues by analogizing it to cars (the Cadillac, the Rolls Royce), it more closely resembles a microphone, with a white plastic shaft—the wand—and a vibrating head—presumably, the magic.

40. Canon Pocketronic Calculator

canon-pocketronic-calculator

All business? Hardly. If you trace the path of technology far enough, iconic adding machines like this 1970 classic blazed the trail for the smartphones we’re packing today. Selling for $345 at its launch (a cool $2,165 today), this calculator was built around three circuits that let it add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Thirteen rechargeable battery cells were crammed into the casing to power the calculations, with results spat out onto thermal paper. After the Pocketronic’s launch, circuitry quickly miniaturized and prices shrank to match. Within five years, comparable devices cost just $20, and the first shots were fired in tech’s pricing wars.

39. Philips N1500 VCR

vcr

Though it took a long, winding road to mass market success, the videocassette recorder, or VCR, got its start in 1972 with Philips’ release of the N1500. Predating the BetaMax versus VHS format war, the N1500 recorded television onto square cassettes, unlike the VCRs that would achieve mass market success in the 1980s. But featuring a tuner and timer, Philips device was the first to let television junkies record and save their favorite programs for later. But that kind of convenience didn’t come cheap. Originally selling in the U.K. for around £440, it would cost more than $6,500 today. That’s the equivalent of 185 Google Chromecasts.

38. Atari 2600

Atari computer console and games, c 1977.

Its blocky 8-bit graphics looked nothing like the lavish, rousing illustrations on its game jackets, but the black-and-faux-wood Atari 2600 game console was the first gaming box to stir the imaginations of millions. It brought the arcade experience home for $199 (about $800 adjusted for inflation), including a pair of iconic digital joysticks and games with computer-controlled opponents–a home console first. It sold poorly in the months after its launch in September 1977, but when games like Space Invaders and Pac-Man arrived a few years later, sales shot into the millions, positioning Atari at the vanguard of the incipient video gaming revolution.

37. US Robotics Sportster 56K Modem

56k modem

Beep boop bop beep. Eeeeeeerrrrrrroooooooahhhh ba dong ba dong ba dong psssssssssssh. In the days before broadband, that was the sound the Internet made. Dial-up modems, like the US Robotics Sportster, were many families’ first gateway to the Web. Their use peaked around 2001, as faster alternatives that carried data over cable lines arrived. But millions of households still have an active dial-up connection. Why? They’re cheaper and accessible to the millions of Americans who still lack broadband access.

36. Nintendo Entertainment System

nintendo NES

Nintendo’s debut front-loading, rain-gray console showed up just in time to save the games industry from its excesses, arriving a few years after a crash that capsized many of the field’s biggest players. The NES was to video gaming what The Beatles were to rock and roll, singlehandedly resuscitating the market after it launched in 1983. The NES heralded Japan’s dominance of the industry, establishing indelible interface and game design ideas so archetypal you can find their DNA in every home console hence.

35. Nintendo Game Boy

Nintendo Game Boy, 1989.

It’s a wonder we didn’t destroy our eyes gaming on the Game Boy’s tiny 2.6-inch olive green screen, considering how many Nintendo sold (over 200 million when you include the souped-up subsequent Game Boy Advance.) A chunky, somewhat dismal looking off-white object with garish cerise-colored buttons, Nintendo’s 1989 handheld invented the modern mobile game. Its modest power and anemic screen forced developers to distill the essence of genres carried over from consoles. The result: A paradigm shift in mobile game design that’s influenced everything from competing devoted handhelds to Apple’s iPhone.

34. IBM Selectric Typewriter

Ibm Selectric Ii Typewriter

Turning the plodding, jam-prone mechanical typewriter into a rapid-fire bolt of workplace ingenuity, this Mad Men -era machine worked at the “speed of thought” and marked the beginning of the computer age. The 1961 Selectric model began by introducing changeable typefaces through the typewriter’s iconic, interchangeable, golf-ball-shaped print head. Then in 1964, a magnetic tape model gave the typewriter the ability to store data, arguably making it the world’s first word processor. So in 1965, when the IBM System/360 mainframe rolled out, it only made sense that the Selectric’s keyboard served as the computer’s primary input device.

33. Motorola Bravo Pager

motorola bravo pager

Long before cellphones became commonplace, beepers were the way to stay in touch on the go. Early pagers allowed users to send codes to one another, like 411 for “what’s going on” or 911 to indicate an emergency (for obvious reasons). Message recipients would respond by calling the sender via telephone. The Bravo Flex, introduced in 1986, became the best-selling pager in the world, according to Motorola , giving many people their first taste of mobile communication. It could store up to five messages that were 24 characters in length. By the early 1990s, having a pager became a status symbol, paving the way for more advanced communication devices like the two-way pager, the cellphone, and eventually the smartphone.

32. JVC VideoMovie Camcorder

JVC camcorder gr-c1

From Rodney King and citizen journalism to America’s Funniest Home Videos and unscripted television, the camcorder did as much to change the world from 1983 to 2006 as it did to record it. And though the 1984 JVC VideoMovie wasn’t the first model on the market, it became iconic when Marty McFly lugged it around in 1985’s Back to the Future . The ruby red model was the first to integrate the tapedeck into the camera. (Previously, home videographers had to wear a purse-like peripheral that housed the cassette.) Eventually, camcorders were displaced by flash memory-packing Flip Video cameras and, later, smartphones. But their impact will live forever, like the movies they captured.

31. Motorola Droid

Motorola Droid

Other Android-powered smartphones existed before the Droid launched in 2009, but this was the first one popular enough to push Android into the spotlight. It cemented Google’s Android platform as the iPhone’s biggest competition. (And sowed a rift between Apple and Google, which had previously been close allies.) Verizon is said to have poured $100 million into marketing the device. It seemingly paid off—although neither companies disclosed sales figures, analysts estimated that between 700,000 and 800,000 Droids were sold in roughly one month following its launch.

30. IBM Thinkpad 700C

ibm thinkpad advertisement

Few products are so iconic that their design remains largely unchanged after more than 20 years. Such is the case with the ThinkPad line of laptops, which challenged the dominance of Apple and Compaq in the personal computing industry during the early 1990s by introducing features that were considered to be innovative at the time . (It’s also part of the permanent collection at New York City’s MoMA.) One of the earliest in the line, the ThinkPad 700C, came with a 10.4-inch color touch screen, larger than displays offered by other competing products. Its TrackPoint navigation device and powerful microprocessors were also considered to be groundbreaking in the early 1990s.

29. TomTom GPS

TomTom navigation device in Amsterdam

Like the early Internet, GPS started life as a government-funded innovation. It wasn’t until President Bill Clinton decided in 2000 to fully open the network that it became a massive commerical success. (He was filling a promise made by Ronald Reagan.) Shortly afterwards, companies from TomTom to Garmin introduced personal GPS devices for automotive navigation (like the Start 45) and other uses. Later, combining GPS technology with smartphones’ mobile broadband connections gave rise to multibillion dollar location-based services like Uber.

28. Phonemate 400 Answering Machine

spectre hp gold

The idea of an answering machine weighing more than a few ounces may sound ludicrous by today’s standards. But in 1971, PhoneMate’s 10-pound Model 400 was viewed as a glimpse of the future. The Model 400 was considered the first answering machine designed for the home during a time when the technology was only commonly found in workplaces. It held roughly 20 messages and enabled owners to listen to voicemails privately through an earphone.

27. BlackBerry 6210

blackberry 6210

BlackBerry made pocket-sized gadgets for accessing email on-the-go before the 6210, but this was the first to combine the Web-browsing and email experience with the functionality of a phone. The 6210 let users check email, make phone calls, send text messages, manage their calendar, and more all from a single device. (Its predecessor, the 5810, required users to attach a headset in order to make calls.) All told, the 6210 was a pivotal step forward for mobile devices.

26. Apple iPad

iPad 2

The iPad’s 2010 launch spurred a slew of headlines questioning whether or not the tablet would replace the laptop as the most important personal computer. Apple’s iPad wasn’t the first tablet, but it was radically different from what came before. Earlier devices, like the GriDPad and Palm Pilot, had smaller touchscreens users had to operate with a stylus. Microsoft unveiled a tablet that ran Windows XP in 2002. The problem, however, was that these devices didn’t have interfaces that were well-suited for touch, and they were often clunkier and larger than the iPad. Apple sold 300,000 iPads on its first day in stores, roughly matching the iPhone’s day-one numbers, and has gone on to dominate the market.

25. Commodore 64

Commodore 64 microcomputer, c 1985.

Commodore’s 8-bit brown and taupe lo-fi 1982 masterpiece ranks with record-keeper Guinness as the best-selling single computer in history. No surprise, as the chunky, relatively affordable keyboard-housed system—users plugged the whole thing into a TV with an RF box—did more to popularize the idea of the personal home computer than any device since. And it promised to make you more popular, too: “My friends are knockin’ down my door, to get into my Commodore 64,” sang a Ronnie James Dio clone in a power-metal ad spot.

24. Polaroid Camera

Polaroid camera

Millennials get plenty of flak over their penchant for instant gratification. But that’s a desire that crosses generations. Need proof? When the first affordable, easy-to-use instant shooter, the Polaroid OneStep Land camera, hit the market in 1977, it quickly became the country’s best-selling camera, 40 years before “Millennials” were a thing. That Polaroid photographs so dominated 80s-era family albums and pop culture gives the square-framed, often off-color snaps a retro appeal that today is celebrated by enthusiasts and aped by billion-dollar apps like Instagram.

23. Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

Amazon began as an online bookstore, so it’s no surprise that its most influential piece of hardware changed the way we read. The Kindle quickly took over the e-reader market, becoming the best-selling product in the history of Amazon.com in 2010. Follow-up hardware ventures, such as the Kindle Fire Tablet and Echo home assistant, have also found success. The Kindle also marks the beginning of Amazon’s evolution as a digital media company. Today the company has digital stores for music, movies and video games in addition to books.

tivo

“How much would you pay never to see another talking frog or battery-powered bunny again?” this magazine asked when the first TiVo was announced in 1999. The box, called a “Personal Video Recorder” at the time, is the forerunner to today’s DVRs. TiVo owners could record shows picked from a digital menu (no more confusing VCR settings) and pause or rewind live television. Much to TV execs’ consternation, the TiVo let viewers of recorded programming breeze past commercials. That the TiVo made it easier than ever to record a TV show gave rise to “time-shifting,” or the phenomenon of viewers watching content when it fits their schedule.

21. Toshiba DVD Player

A Toshiba HD-A30 HD DVD player with 1080p resolution is shown at a news conference at the CES in Las Vegas

Electronics manufacturers were already fiddling with standalone optical storage in the early 1990s, but the first to market was Toshiba’s SD-3000 DVD player in November 1996. Obsoleting noisy, tangle-prone magnetic tape (as well as the binary of “original” versus “copy”) the DVD player made it possible to watch crisp digital movies off a tiny platter just 12 centimeters in diameter—still the de facto size for mainstream optical media (like Blu-ray) today.

20. Sony PlayStation

sony playstation

You’d be hard pressed to name a single PlayStation feature that by itself transformed the games industry. It’s been Sony’s obsession with compacting high-end tech into sleek, affordable boxes, then making all that power readily accessible to developers, that’s made the PlayStation family an enduring icon of the living room. Part of Sony’s triumph was simply reading the demographic tea leaves: The company marketed the PlayStation as a game system for grownups to the kids who’d literally grown up playing Atari and Nintendo games. And that helped drive the original system, released in 1994, to meteoric sales, including the PlayStation 2’s Guinness record for bestselling console of all time—a record even Nintendo’s Wii hasn’t come close to breaking.

Nintendo Unveils Wii Game device

“Thanks to Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata, we’re all gamers now,” went the headline of Wired’s obituary for Nintendo’s beloved president, who died last July. Nothing speaks to Iwata’s legacy more than the company’s game-changing Wii (pun intended). Nintendo’s tiny pearl-white box, released in 2006, and which users engaged with motion control wands, had moms and dads and grandpas and grandmas out of their seats and swinging virtual golf clubs or dancing. No game system has done more to illustrate the omni-generational appeal of interactive entertainment.

18. Jerrold Cable Box

jerrold-cable-box

True story: Cable TV was already a thing in the 1950s. Sure, it took Ted Turner in the 1970s and channels like MTV in the 1980s for what we think of as cable TV’s halcyon days to emerge. But decades earlier, the first commercial cable box that would inspire so many others was an unassuming wood-paneled console manufactured by Pennsylvanian company Jerrold Electronics, sporting three-way sliders for dozens of different channels.

17. Nokia 3210

Nokia 3210 / Handy

For many, Nokia’s colorful candy bar-shaped 3210 defined the cell phone after it was released in 1999. With more than 160 million sold , it became a bestseller for the Finnish company. The 3210 did more than just introduce the cellphone to new audiences. It also established a few important precedents. The 3210 is regarded to be the first phone with an internal antenna and the first to come with games like Snake preloaded. Gadget reviewers even praised the phone more than 10 years after its launch for its long battery life and clear reception.

16. HP DeskJet

hp deskjet

Obsoleting noisy, lousy dot matrix technology, devices like 1988’s HP DeskJet gave computer owners the ability to quietly output graphics and text at a rate of two pages per minute. The DeskJet wasn’t the first inkjet on the market, but with a $995 price tag, it was the first one many home PC users bought. Over the 20 years following the product’s launch, HP sold more than 240 million printers in the DeskJet product line, outputting Christmas letters, household budgets, and book reports by the millions. Even in an increasingly paper-less world, the inkjet’s technology lives on in 3-D printers, which are fundamentally the same devices, only extruding molten plastic instead of dye.

15. Palm Pilot

PalmPilot palmtop computer, c 1998.

The original Palm Pilot 1000 solidified handheld computing when it launched in 1996, paving the way for BlackBerry and, eventually, today’s smartphone. The “palm top” computer (get it?) came with a monochrome touchscreen that supported handwriting and was capable of syncing data like contacts and calendar entries to users’ computers. It spawned a device category known as the “personal digital assistant,” or PDA. It wasn’t the first such device—the Apple Newton preceded it—but it was the first one people wanted and bought in droves.

14. Motorola Dynatac 8000x

A 1984 Motorola DynaTAC 8000X, the world's first commerciall

Motorola’s Dynatac 8000x was the first truly portable cellphone when it launched in 1984. Marty Cooper, an engineer with Motorola at the time, first demonstrated the technology by making what’s regarded as the first public cellular phone call from a New York City sidewalk in 1973. (It was both a PR stunt and an epic humblebrag: Cooper called his biggest rival at AT&T.) The Dynatac 8000x weighed nearly two pounds and cost almost $4,000.

13. Apple iBook

apple ibook

The iBook’s brightly-colored, plastic trim may look dated now, but it was the first laptop to offer wireless networking. Apple’s consumer-oriented portable—for its cool-factor as well as its technology—grew into a serious business. The product’s reveal was a classic example of Steve Jobs’ showmanship at its best. While loading a webpage and showing off the computer’s display at 1999’s MacWorld conference, the Apple co-founder lifted the computer off its table and walked across the stage. The crowd roared in approval. In a gesture, he showed that Wi-Fi was here to stay.

12. Oculus Rift

oculus rift

2016’s Oculus Rift virtual reality headset could wind up a total flop and we’d still grant Oculus a special place in computing history. And not just because Facebook paid $2 billion for the device’s parent company foreseeing a future of social interaction and virtual vacationing provided by VR. Whatever happens next, the Rift, along with ebullient creator Palmer Luckey, will be remembered for reinvigorating the notion of strapping awkward-looking things to our faces in trade for the privilege of visiting persuasively real imaginary places.

11. Sony Discman D-50

sony-discman-d50

Following up on the success of the Walkman, Sony unveiled this portable CD player in 1984, just a year after the music industry adopted the format. The device and later portable CD players helped the compact disc usurp cassettes as the dominant music format in the United States in less than a decade.

10. Roku Netflix Player

roku

An inexpensive upstart running Linux, Roku’s hockey-puck sized Netflix-and-more video streaming box emerged out of nowhere in 2010 to rally waves of cord-cutters who cancelled their cable. What its chunky remote lacked in features, the box more than made up for in software. While at first Apple struggled to rationalize its comparably barren Apple TV-verse, Roku was offering thousands of channels and the most partnerships with the biggest players.

Fitbit Alta

Pedometers have been around for centuries (seriously, look it up), but it was Fitbit that helped bring them into the digital age and to the masses. The company’s first device, released in 2009, tracked users’ steps, calories burned and sleep patterns. Most importantly, it allowed users to easily upload all that data to the company’s website for ongoing analysis, encouragement or guilt. Priced at $99, the Fitbit showed that wearables could be affordable. The company sold more than 20 million of the devices in 2015.

8. Osborne 1

Osborne 1 portable microcomputer, c 1981.

When you think of a portable computer, the Osborne 1 is probably not what comes to mind. But this unwieldy 25-pound machine was heralded by technology critics at the time of its 1981 release— BYTE magazine celebrated that it “fit under an airline seat.” The Osborne’s limitations, like a screen about the size of a modern iPhone’s, kept sales low. The machine’s true influence wasn’t on future gadgets, so much as how they are marketed. The company’s executives had an unfortunate knack for prematurely announcing new products, leading would-be customers to hold off for the better version and thus depressing sales. Marketing students now learn to avoid this deleterious “the Osborne effect.”

7. Nest Thermostat

nest thermostat

Developed by the “godfather of the iPod,” Tony Fadell, the Nest Learning Thermostat was the first smart home device to capture mass market interest following its launch in 2011. Pairing the iconic round shape of classic thermostats with a full-color display and Apple-like software, the Nest features considerable processing power. (For instance, its ability to use machine learning to detect and predict usage patterns for heating and cooling a home.) As interesting as the device itself is, the Nest thermostat really turned heads in 2014 when the company behind it was bought by Google for $3.2 billion. The search engine giant turned the device into the center of its smart home strategy with hopes of ushering in an age of interconnected devices that will make everyday living more efficient.

6. Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi Product Shoot

The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer with a price tag to match its tiny size: about $35, without a monitor, mouse or keyboard. Not meant to replace everyday computers, the Pi is being used in classrooms worldwide to help students learn programming skills. With eight million Pi’s sold as of last year, the odds are decent that the next Mark Zuckerberg will have gotten his or her start tinkering with one.

5. DJI Phantom

DJI Phantom 3 Professional

Small drones may soon be delivering our packages, recording our family get-togethers and helping first responders find people trapped in a disaster. For now, they’re largely playthings for hobbyists and videographers. Chinese firm DJI makes the world’s most popular, the Phantom lineup. Its latest iteration, the Phantom 4 , uses so-called computer vision to see and avoid obstacles without human intervention. That makes it easier for rookie pilots to fly one, making drones more accessible than ever.

4. Yamaha Clavinova Digital Piano

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You could argue the Minimoog did far more for music tech, or that the Fairlight was cooler, but visit average U.S. households from the 1980s forward and you’re most likely to encounter the Clavinova . Yamaha’s popular digital piano married the look and compactness of a spinet (a smaller, shorter upright piano) with the modern qualities of a modest synthesizer. With a plausibly pianistic weighted action and space-saving footprint, it’s become a staple for parents looking to bring maintenance-free musicality—you never have to tune it—into households, all without sacrificing huge swathes of living space.

segway

Why is the Segway personal scooter such a potent cultural symbol? Maybe it has something to do with providing a metaphor for increasingly out-of-shape Americans. Perhaps it was seeing a U.S. president fall off one. Weird Al’s “White and Nerdy” video helped, too. The Segway—as hyped and as mocked as it has been—is a defining example of “last mile” transportation, an electric scooter designed to make walking obsolete. (Recently, the idea has been somewhat revived by the emergence of so-called hover boards, which are now also entering a kind of post-fad twilight.) The Segway’s symbolic impact greatly exceeded its commercial success. Unit sales never exceeded the six-figure mark before the firm was purchased by a Chinese interest in 2015 for an undisclosed sum.

2. Makerbot Replicator

Makerbot Industries LLC Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer

The Makerbot Replicator was neither the first nor the best consumer-level 3-D printer. But it was the model that made the technology widely accessible for the first time, thanks to its sub-$2,000 price tag. The Replicator used inkjet printer-like technology to extrude hot plastic that took three-dimensional form as artwork, mechanical parts and more. As a company, Makerbot’s future is uncertain. But the firm’s equipment helped bring 3-D printing into the mainstream and is a fixture of many American classrooms.

1. Google Glass

Google Glass Prescriptions

Google Glass, which cost $1,500 for those invited to a sort of public beta test, never took off. The relatively powerful head-mounted computer provided important signals for the future of wearable technology. Glass showed that designers working on computing devices that are worn face a different set of assumptions and challenges. Glass, for example, made it easy for users to surreptitiously record video, which led some restaurants, bars and movie theaters to ban the device. Glass also showed the potential pitfalls of easily identifiable wearables, perhaps best proven by the coining of the term “Glassholes” for its early adopters. While Glass was officially shelved in 2015, augmented reality—displaying computer-generated images over the real world—is a concept many companies are still trying to perfect. Google included.

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HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop 13.5, Windows 11 Home, 13.5", touch screen, Intel® Core™ i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, WUXGA+, Nocturne blue

HP Spectre x360 2-in-1 Laptop 13.5, Windows 11 Home, 13.5", touch screen, Intel® Core™ i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, WUXGA+, Nocturne blue

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12th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 processor

With a powerful, fast processor and graphics the Envy PCs can handle anything you throw at it. With the flexible 360° design, use it as a laptop, flip it around to sketch or put it in tent mode to stream away.

\n\t\t\t\t\t\tUse it as a laptop, flip it around to use it as a tablet or put it in tent mode to stream away.\n\t\t\t\t\t

\n\t\t\t\t\t\tThe Intel® Evo™ platform brings together the perfect combination of performance, responsiveness, battery life and stunning visuals.\n\t\t\t\t\t

\n\t\t\t\t\t\tApps like Duet® for HP 1 , QuickDrop and Concepts make it easy to stay productive while you create across devices.\n\t\t\t\t\t

Flexible 360° design

The Intel® Evo™ platform brings together the perfect combination of performance, responsiveness, battery life and stunning visuals.

Apps like Duet® for HP 1 , QuickDrop and Concepts make it easy to stay productive while you create across devices.

Family, friends, obsessions, music, creations—Windows 11 is the one place for it all. With a fresh new feel and tools that make it easier to be efficient, it has what you need for whatever's next. 6

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Interior Designers & House Decorators in Ul'yanovsk

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  • Ul'yanovsk, Ulyanovsk Oblast, Russia

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  • Reach out to the pro(s) you want, then share your vision to get the ball rolling.
  • Request and compare quotes, then hire the Interior Designer & Decorator that perfectly fits your project and budget limits.

An interior designer is a professional who helps you make your indoor spaces beautiful and functional. They can assist you with various projects, whether it’s complete home remodeling or simply refreshing the look of a room. Hiring an interior designer early in the process ensures proper planning and maximizes the potential of your project.

Here are some main things an interior designer does:

  • Designs your space to match your style and needs.
  • Makes the best use of your space for practicality and flow.
  • Selects the right colors and materials for a pleasing look.
  • Provides visualizations to see how your space will look.
  • Manages the project and works with contractors.
  • Ensures your space meets all regulations and codes.

In short, hiring an interior designer in Ul'yanovsk ensures your space is not only beautiful but also suits your lifestyle and functions well for your daily activities.

  • Interior design
  • Floor Plans
  • Holiday Decorating
  • Kids Bedroom Design
  • Create functional and appealing spaces, collaborating with professionals.
  • Manage projects from start to finish, ensuring a smooth process.
  • Formal education in interior design, including color schemes, materials, and CAD.
  • Handle design and decoration, offering a comprehensive approach.
  • Focus on understanding your needs and lifestyle.
  • Specialize in surface-level aesthetics like paint colors and furnishings.
  • Enhance the overall look and feel with decorative elements.
  • Can work independently or for a decorating firm.
  • Typically lack formal educational requirements in interior design.

What does an interior designer do?

Questions to ask when you meet with local ul'yanovsk interior designers:, find interior designers & decorators near me on houzz, business services, connect with us.

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The Politics of In/Visibility: Carving Out Queer Space in Ul'yanovsk

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