HP Spectre x360 16 (2021) review: A high-quality 16-inch convertible with a superb OLED screen


HP’s sixteen-inch convertible Spectre x360 sixteen runs on 11th-generation Intel Core processors, with integrated or discrete Nvidia graphics.

Image: HP Inc.

HP’s Spectre laptops have a exclusive structure and occur in 4 distinctive dimensions, with 13-, 14-, fifteen- and sixteen-inch screens. I was sent a convertible sixteen-inch Spectre x360 to review, with a Core i7 processor, a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU and an OLED touch display. This design expenses £1,999.99 (inc. VAT) in the United kingdom. In the US, price ranges for the Spectre x360 sixteen get started at $1,549.99 for a Core i7 design with integrated graphics. 

HP gives the rear corners an angled structure, applying this feature to dwelling a couple of ports — USB-C on the proper, 3.5mm headset jack on the remaining. This won’t make for the neatest cable arrangement, but it certainly seems exclusive. 

The build is stable, with recycled CNC aluminium supplying a rough chassis. HP bundles a sleeve, which must secure the chassis from small dings and scratches. 

Inevitably, provided its sixteen-inch display, this is a massive and fairly weighty laptop. It measures 24.53cm large by 35.8cm deep by 1.99cm thick, and weighs 2.01kg. The electrical power brick is chunky far too. 



  • Great sixteen-inch OLED display
  • Unique structure
  • Good build
  • Two Thunderbolt four ports normally out there

Really don’t Like

  • Only 512GB of SSD storage
  • Unwieldy in handheld tablet method
  • Average battery lifetime

The ‘x360’ in the identify signifies that the laptop’s display rotates all the way round to confront outwards for use in tablet method. Nonetheless, operating in tablet method is just not specifically comfy on a sixteen-inch machine. It truly is weighty, and I located it unachievable to keep 1-handed, and a bit of a beast to prop up on my lap or the arm of a chair. Nonetheless, sat on a desk in tent method or with the display facing away from a downward-facing keyboard, it labored pretty very well for content material consumption. It truly is the typical trade-off among display size and usability. 

Display and speakers are both equally fantastic, which will advantage both equally successful and leisure use scenarios. The Bang and Olufsen speakers deliver lots of volume with no distortion, pushing seem outwards by means of grilles on the upward angled front foundation of the chassis. This gives highest entry to audio in both equally laptop and tablet modes. For the duration of video phone calls, an AI-enabled noise reduction technique also kicks in. 

The display is better than fantastic — it really is exceptional. My review device experienced a UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400, 283ppi) OLED touch display. Maxing out at 400 nits, it was sharp and shiny — even when operating on battery electrical power. Whilst I remaining the display on default settings for my battery rundown exam (see underneath), I could lessen it to conserve battery lifetime in working day-to-working day use.  

The display bezels could be narrower, with both equally prime and base bezels a tiny further than people along the short edges, but the base bezel is gratifyingly compact, catering for a sixteen:ten part ratio that will make for a lot more document viewability. For the record, the display-to-system ratio is 84.six%. 

Above the display is the webcam which is a key feature of this laptop. The 5MP camera’s shutter is activated by a hotkey rather than staying a physical slider. This feels a tiny like overkill — a potential point of failure fewer possible with a physical shutter. I’d loathe it to get caught in the ‘camera covered’ place. 

A variety of digital camera attributes are managed by means of the HP Command Centre application. These include Vehicle Body, which attempts to be certain that you remain in perspective as you shift around. Of course this can not cater for just about every eventuality, but it really is a support for people who shuffle about a bit for the duration of a video connect with, or get up to entry a document from a shelf, for example. I located that it tracked me pretty very well. In the meantime, Light-weight Correction does a fantastic position of reducing shadows on the confront and darkening the history for the duration of phone calls. 

HP Command Centre also delivers Beauty Manner — the variety of feature a lot more usually seen on cellular phones. Essentially it smooths out wrinkles. 

The digital camera can also be configured for other duties in the HP Command centre, including locking and unlocking the laptop as you stroll away and return, and supplying a warning if you edge far too shut to the display (on the foundation that staying far too shut is not fantastic for your eyes). It can also be established to immediately cause the display to dim if you usually are not looking immediately at it, a feature developed to conserve battery lifetime. This labored very well. Nonetheless, Shoulder Browsing, which is developed to alert you if somebody is looking about your shoulder, was a tiny far too eager, alerting me to my possess presence.  


The keyboard has a responsive motion, but there is certainly no different selection pad.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet


The fingerprint reader occupies a different key house.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The full-size keyboard is a comfy typing system, with a springy and responsive motion. The Enter key is only one peak, but it really is large, and the arrow keys are massive. You can find a fingerprint sensor embedded in the base row of keys, which is a thing of a squander of house as it could conveniently have been embedded in the on/off key on the prime row. Not like on some sixteen-inch laptops, there is certainly no different selection pad listed here. The touchpad is massive and pretty responsive. 

My review device was the HP Spectre x360 sixteen-f0053na design, which is stated at £1,999.99 (inc. VAT) on HP’s United kingdom web page. Powered by an Intel Core i7-11390H processor with a discrete 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU and 16GB of RAM, it taken care of a variety of efficiency and media consumption tasks with no problems at all. The 512GB SSD is a weak website link, however: it seems far too compact contemplating this laptop’s quality cost. 


Remaining facet (prime): 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI, USB-A. Right facet (earlier mentioned): MicroSD card reader, Thunderbolt four/USB-C, electrical power-in, Thunderbolt four/USB-C.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

It truly is fantastic to see a MicroSD card reader listed here, on the proper-hand facet. There are two Thunderbolt four USB-C ports, a one USB-A port, a full-size HDMI connector and a 3.5mm headset jack. The USB-A is, unusually, partly obscured by a hinged cover. With the battery billed by means of a round-pin connector, both equally USB-C ports are normally out there. 

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HP promises up to 9 hours and fifteen minutes of ‘mixed usage’ for the 83Wh battery. To exam this, I completely billed the battery and then labored for a few hours applying world wide web applications, streaming video and often audio. For the duration of this time, the battery fell from full to fifty two%, suggesting that a short (~six-hour) operating working day could be achievable on battery electrical power, but a full 8-hour working day would require entry to mains electrical power at some point. 

Charging was a favourable encounter. On 1 occasion with the battery at 30% it rose to 53% right after fifteen minutes, to sixty five% right after 30 minutes and to seventy seven% right after forty five minutes. 


Image: HP Inc.


The HP Spectre x360 sixteen design reviewed listed here has a effective processor, discrete graphics and more than enough battery electrical power to continue to keep it likely for most, if not all, of the working day. The sixteen-inch OLED display is beautiful, and audio good quality is fantastic. Nonetheless, contemplating the cost, the SSD must be double its 512GB, and the laptop’s size and weight make it unwieldy to use in handheld tablet method.

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