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Hands-on with HP's Spectre x360 laptop, a veritable HP-Microsoft collaboration

Gordon Mah Ung | March 2, 2015
If you thought HP's impending corporate split would make it slink away from the PC game, you're wrong. If anything, the company's new Spectre x360 laptop, announced on the eve of Mobile World Congress, seems intent on proving HP will be as frisky as ever once its PC and printer division is pushed off the HP lifeboat this summer.

Regardless, the result of the Microsoft collaboration, Nash said, is a laptop that will offer performance as good or better than competitors and class-leading battery life.

We haven't even begun our review yet, but we did manage to run a couple of benchmarks during our hands-on. The first is PC Mark 8's Work Conventional test, which measures basic office drone tasks. In this test, the Spectre X360 is just about dead even with the Dell XPS 13 2015 with the same CPU inside. The Core M in the Asus Zenbook UX305F isn't too far behind here either.

The second test is Maxon's CineBench R15 benchmark. It's a pure test of CPU, and for kicks, I also threw in the performance of the latest iteration of Apple's MacBook Air 11. With its older Haswell-based CPU, the MacBook definitely slower than the HP, but it does relatively well here. I'll say Apple tends to drive its CPUs pretty hard. The Core M in the Asus starts to show its weakness though, and if this were a 3D test, both Core i5 Broadwell U units would be well ahead of the older Haswell U and the Core M.

Having just put my hands on the Spectre x360, we're pretty far from a final review. But from what I've seen, it's looking pretty promising. Not only does the Spectre x360 offer plenty of sex appeal, it doesn't look to be sacrificing performance either. With a price of $900 for the Core i5 5200U, 4GB of DDR3/1600 and a 128GB M.2 SATA SSD, it's definitely going to be a contender this year.


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