HP Spectre 13 x360 SE Review – Skylake-Spectre with a golden touch





HP Spectre 13 x360 is a convertible with a display that not only 360 degrees can be rotated, but also has good viewing angles and is well calibrated. The aluminum exterior is tough, but prone to scratching, especially if you use the “convertible-positions” of the laptop. The Skylake processor is slightly faster than its predecessor and about as economical. That provides a good battery life of about nine o’clock on. The weight is nearly 1500 grams slightly above an average ultrabook.

Good screen
Long battery life
Solid housing


Slightly heavier than competitors
Screen hard to open out
Sensitive scratch in convertible mode

Final Verdict
Tweakers zegt: 9
Price at time of publication: € 1400, –
Available from: € 1399, –
Tested version: HP Spectre x360 13-4159nd Special Edition

When we last summer HP Spectre x360 reviewden, knew the laptop to surprise us pleasantly. The laptop appeared virtually do everything right and just to have a few minor little disadvantage. HP now has the Broadwell processor in the Spectre replace Skylake and the rest of the laptop unchanged. That gives us the opportunity to Intel’s new ‘U-processor “Core i7-6500U, compared to its predecessors. HP Spectre x360 13-4159nd Special Edition
Appearance: special

We said that the laptop is unchanged, but outside the new Spectre looks different than the silver-gray model HP sold before. Most Spectres although they remain just silver, but HP sent us to the Special Edition, with a black and gold color scheme.

From black with gold should keep. In our state black laptop well, but the gold we find somewhat exaggerated, though there will be people who find a golden lining nice addition. The color after the appearance of the Spectre remained virtually unchanged. The casing is still made of sturdy and beautifully finished aluminum and the large touchpad, which supports all Windows 10 neatly gestures, remained. The keyboard tap fine for a laptop of this thinness. The slightly too narrow opening, which makes it difficult to open the lid, it is unfortunately also remained

HP Spectre x360 13-4159nd Special Edition

Although we have no complaints about the exterior of the Spectre, expected we have to find a USB c connector on the new Spectre, but was not present. HP now has the product pages to which the USB-C connection was mentioned adjusted and the new Spectre has so like the old just over three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, mini display port and an SD card reader.

The last change to the exterior is the inclusion of audio brand Bang & Olufsen, just above the delete key. HP laptops are provided for a time of Beats Audio, but in March 2015 announced a partnership with B & O to. The result of this cooperation is limited to the included software equalizer and obviously the mention of the audio mark on the outside of the laptop. We obviously still opened the laptop, but hit the inside of the same as the previous speakers we tested Spectre x360.

HP Spectre x360 13-4159nd Special Edition
HP Spectre x360 13-4159nd Special Edition
HP Spectre x360 13-4159nd Special Edition
HP Spectre x360 13-4159nd Special Edition

Skylake: benchmarks

HP Spectre x360 is to get a Core i5-6200U- or i7-6500U processor, referred to by Intel as U-series processors. The i7 has a higher clock speed and 4MB cache, compared to 3MB for the Core i5. The TDP of these processors is 15 watts, but there are also U-processors with a TDP of 28 watts, which include a Iris GPU.

Skylake packages

The GPU on board the i7-6500U is an HD 520, which has access to 24 execution units, the same as the HD 5500 and 5600 GPUs of Broadwell generation. At Skylake is the clock speed increases, however, so the HD520 should be faster.

When we Skylake on the desktop off against Haswell, we could conclude that Skylake about seven percent faster than in 2013 introduced Haswell architecture. A comparison with Broadwell we did then, because only two Intel Broadwell processors has delivered on the desktop, which within two months, were followed by Skylake. In laptops Broadwell has however been longer available and used, so we can make a nice comparison between the different architectures. To see how the speed of processors has evolved over the years, we also take laptops with Ivy Bridge-, Haswell- refresh and Haswell processors participate in the comparison.

Cinebench 11.5 – Multi
System Name Processor In points, higher is better
HP Spectre 13-4159nd x360 Core i7-6500U
Dell XPS 13 Core i7-5500U
HP Spectre 13-4031nd x360 Core i5-5200U
Samsung Ativ Book 9 2014 Core i7-4500U
Asus UX31A Core i7-3517U
Asus Zenbook UX303 Core i7-4510U
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Core i5-4300U
Toshiba Z30t-A-111 Core i5-4200U

Profit from Skylake appears in the multi- and Cinebench OpenGL test, but load of one core, there appears to be little difference with the Dell XPS 13, which has a Core i7-5500U.

3DMark Cloud Gate
System Name Processor GPU Futuremark 3DMark points 3DMarks, higher is better
HP Spectre 13-4159nd x360 Core i7-6500U HD 520
Dell XPS 13 Core i7-5500U HD 5500
HP Spectre 13-4031nd x360 Core i5-5200U HD 5500
Samsung Ativ Book 9 2014 Core i7-4500U HD 4400
Asus Zenbook UX303 Core i7-4510U HD 4400
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Core i5-4300U HD 4400
Toshiba Z30t-A-111 Core i5-4200U HD 4400
Asus UX31A Core i7-3517U HD 4000

In 3DMark, Lightroom and Handbrake turns the Skylake-Spectre, as you would expect, faster than an XPS 13 with Broadwell processor. The difference in the above benchmarks is an average of eleven percent. That’s about as much as the percentage gain in speed between Haswell and Ivy Bridge and Haswell and Broadwell.

If we translate the performance of i7 laptops in the above benchmarks in an index, shows nicely how the speed of the Intel processors has evolved in recent years. Because we each CPU only one laptop have compared and the laptops differ in respect to cooling and power management, we must not make one-to-one comparison, the graph gives a good indication of the performance gain over the years.

The first generation x360 Spectre came with screen resolutions of 1920×1080 and 2560×1440 pixels on a 13.3 “screen. The special version of the new Spectre we therefore expect that HP should at least choose the 2560×1440 screen, but was not the case. We just found a full-HD panel in the new x360. That’s not very funny choice, because a slightly lower resolution requires less backlight and GPU, which results in longer battery life. For those who like what sacrifices battery life for a sharper image, sells the HP Spectre x360 13-4190nd, with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels and a 512GB SSD.

When Skylake-Spectre we are dealing with exactly the same panel as in the previously tested version with Broadwell processor. The 8bit-IPS panel has a glossy finish, but fortunately laminated, causing the reflections easy. The screen has a good contrast of over 1000: 1 and a pleasant high maximum brightness of 400cd / m².
Battery life

From the above benchmarks has already shown that Skylake faster than Broadwell, but the new architecture as efficient or even more efficient? We worked for three battery tests to see how efficient Skylake its use of energy. As with virtually all parts of the battery is also remained the same with respect to the first generation Spectre x360. To make a fair comparison we have our Broadwell-Spectre once again tested with Windows 10.

Battery test browsing 2013 (180cd / m²)
System Name Processor Battery Time, higher is better
Asus UX305LA-FC017H Core i7-5500U 56Wh
Dell XPS 13 (fhd, 2015) Core i5-5200U 53Wh
HP Spectre 13-4031nd x360 Core i5-5200U 56Wh
HP Spectre 13-4031nd x360, W10 Core i5-5200U 56Wh
HP Spectre 13-4159nd x360 Core i7-6500U 56Wh
Asus Zenbook UX303 Core i7-4510U 49Wh
Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Core i5-4300U 43Wh

While browsing turns Skylake at least not to be economical and this Spectre recorded an approximately equally long battery life as the Broadwell-Spectre with Windows 10. It is striking that the combination of ‘old’ hardware and software, namely the Broadwell-Spectre Windows 8.1 longest life.

While watching 1080p video, the difference is not large, but if we charge the laptops even heavier with PCMark, Skylake appears to hold out longer on a battery charge. That is not only because an i7 processor finishes a task faster than an i5 processor, and thus comes earlier in the power-saving mode, because the PCMark score is at Skylake also higher.

HP Spectre x360 is the first laptop with Skylake-U we’ve tested and may differ on that processor after, not the Broadwell-Spectre. The pros and cons we can actually take over the Broadwell-Spectre; the battery life is still fine, like the screen and the sturdy, nicely finished, casing.

Skylake then affords no significant changes. The i7-6500U has in our benchmarks one or eleven percent faster than a i7-5500U in an XPS 13, which is a speed improvement that was in line with expectations. The battery life is not about improving, except under a load heavier than browsing or video watching. Skylake so will not make us offhand all our Broadwell laptops on Supply & Demand convert and transfer to Skylake, but if you plan on purchasing an ultrabook, then the speed of Intel’s new architecture a bonus .

Lowest rates: HP Spectre x360 13-4159nd Special Edition
Store Rating Price Total

Media Markt

Score: 4.5

€ 1399, –

€ 1399, –

HP Store

Score: 3.5

€ 1399, –

€ 1399, –


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