HP Spectre 12 X2 hands-on: Surface Pro-like performance without the Surface …

7 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

HP Spectre 12 X2 hands-on: Surface Pro-like performance without the Surface Pro price.

If you’re a Surface Pro 3 owner then you might be more than a little envious of the new Surface Pro 4, but there’s a quick way to give your existing machine something new.

The Spectre 12 X2 features a 12-inch, 10-point touch screen, active pen support, and a keyboard that attaches using magnets and even snaps onto the tablet to improve lap use. Typing on it feels almost entirely normal — the only giveaway that it’s an attachment is that the keyboard tends to bounce ever so slightly when you type a bit hard. HP’s machine actually sits at an interesting place between the Surface and Surface Pro — it’s power and price, $799.99 and up, are both right in the middle. That’s the same family of processors being used by Apple in the new lightweight MacBook; if this machine gets similar performance, it should be perfectly capable for light use. The Surface line sits right below that, using Intel’s Atom processors, while the Surface Pro line sits above it, jumping up to Intel Core processors, which deliver typical laptop power.

It has an SD card reader and two USB-C connectors — either of which can be used to charge it — and it merciful includes an adaptor to the more familiar full-sized USB. HP’s take—and by the way, it is indeed HP as in “post-split, the PC company will no longer be allowed to use the name Hewlett-Packard” HP—on the kickstand is to use a U-shaped metal bracket. During the launch of the Mac Pro in 2013, marketing head Phil Schiller got back at critics with the comment, “can’t innovate, my ass!” Innovation would come across as a clichéd term. The things you use with Surface are also improved; the Surface Pen feels more fluid and responsive thanks to optimizations Microsoft has made to the display technology, and the keyboard is a dramatic leap over last year’s. The x360’s main change is an update to Skylake processors, but the best update is that it now adopts a very similar style to this black and copper laptop that HP introduced in July.

The front-facing camera can recognize you and log in thanks to Microsoft’s Windows Hello feature, and there’s also a fingerprint reader for more secure authentication. When Microsoft acquired Nokia and in the post-Stephen Elop era of Microsoft, he took over as the lead for Surface, Lumia, Xbox, wearables and HoloLens. Based on our very short time using it today, it’s a pretty fantastic showcase for all things Windows 10 — from Microsoft Edge to the software’s seamless transition between tablet and desktop mode.

We believe, this would trigger a new wave of innovative products by Google and Apple, which would probably be the best thing to happen in the tech space in recent times. If you wanted an LTE version, you’d be looking at another hundred bucks for the Surface, or $830 for the Surface 3 with a ho-hum Atom processor instead of a Core m3. Just announced yesterday, the SP4 gives the Surface a badly needed CPU update to Intel’s latest Skylake chips, with Core i7, Core i5 and Core m3 versions available—but it’s still fairly pricey.

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