The new HP Spectre x360 14 puts up a good fight against Apple’s 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro.
tl:dr: HP combines a big 13.5-inch OLED display with good performance and decent battery life in a very compact package that’s eminently totable.
Apple has proved that one of the biggest upsides to its M1 MacBooks is battery life. So let’s start there.
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The Spectre x360 isn”t’ as far behind the M1 MBP* as I expected it to be. That’s been a pleasant surprise because the Spectre is equipped with a bright 13.5-inch OLED display (with highly-saturated, vivid colors) and a high-end Intel 11th Generation Core i7-1165G7 processor based on its Evo technology.
Battery life: M1 MBP still leads
—M1 MacBook Pro: full day: I can get a full working day of battery life on the M1 MacBook Pro. That’s 9 to 10 hours. If I don’t do any heavy lifting, more than that.
—HP Spectre x360 14: 3/4 day+. My model has a high-resolution OLED display (with higher resolution and higher PPI than the MBP). I don’t get quite a full working day or about 6 hours+. But I favor the OLED with a 3:2 aspect ratio over the MacBook’s LCD.
But note: for both laptops, if I do several long video conferencing (Zoom) sessions, or watch a couple of long 4K videos, and fail to keep screen brightness down, then the battery life will take a hit. In some cases as much as 25 percent below what’s cited above.
<The chart above is based on real world scenarios. For me, “real world” means Microsoft Office, Google Docs, 20+ Chrome tabs, social media, videos, video conferencing, benchmarking applications, and photo editing.>
In real-world testing, the M1 MacBook Pro and HP Spectre x360 are close. I would bet that many users may not notice a difference in snappiness and speed.
If you do a lot of video editing then the difference could be become more pronounced (depending on the application), favoring the M1 MacBook Pro.
The widely-cited Cinebench R23 CPU test puts the Core i7-1165G7 used in the Spectre 14 just shy of the M1: 1504 vs 1514 on single core.
Geekbench 5 single-core and multi-core show an upside for the M1 MacBook. (See these Geekbench scores for M1 MacBook Pro and HP Spectre x360.)
M1 MacBook Pro 13 vs HP Spectre x360 14: performance.
Credit: Brooke Crothers
The M1 MBP is faster, runs cooler, and has longer battery life — much longer in some cases compared to Intel-based Windows laptops.
But well-engineered laptops like the HP Spectre x360 14 with Intel’s 11th gen high-end processors aren’t that far behind on performance and battery life. Throw in goodies like a gorgeous OLED display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and and it could be toss-up for many consumers.
*Choosing the OLED display adds $200 to the HP Spectre x360 14.
Credit: Brooke Crothers
Comments can be sent to mbcrothers
*I’ve been using the M1 MacBook Pro 13 (16GB) for a month and the HP Spectre x360 14 for about two weeks.
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I was a founding member of CNET news and hardware editor at CNET, a contributing technology reporter for the New York Times, and a reporter and editor at the Asian Wall
I was a founding member of CNET news and hardware editor at CNET, a contributing technology reporter for the New York Times, and a reporter and editor at the Asian Wall Street Journal Weekly — the latter in Japan, where I lived for ten years.