PCs & Laptops

HP Spectre x360 14 2023 in review: What are the advantages of the 13th generation Core i7?

The premium 2-in-1 convertible HP Spectre 14 stormed our notebook ranking at the end of February 2023 and won the Gold Award in the test thanks to its high-quality build and impeccable performance. The device only weakened a bit in terms of performance. Meanwhile, the successor is available in stores, which relies on a current Intel Core i7-1355U processor. Our HP Spectre x360 14 2023 review of the HP Spectre x360 14-ef2177ng clarifies whether and if so, which advantages it brings.

Technical data

Model name HP Spectre x360 14-ef2177ng
Processor Intel Core i7-1355U (10 cores, 12 threads, 1.2 – 5.0 GHz)
Graphics performance Intel Iris Xe
Display 13.5″; OLED; 60 Hz
Storage 2 TB SSD PCIe 4.0 installed
Memory 16 GB RAM
Keyboard Backlit Chiclet Keyboard;
Operating System Windows 11 Home
Connectivity Intel Wi-Fi 6E; Bluetooth 5.3
Battery Li-polymer; 66 watt hours
Dimensions (W x H x D) 297 mm x 219 mm x 16.9 mm
Weight 1.335 kg (without power supply)
Features 2-in-1 convertible; stylus, USB-C hub and protective case included
Price € 1,999.00 *

HP Spectre x360 14 2023 review: scope of delivery, design and workmanship

  • High-quality and classy premium design
  • Impeccable build quality
  • Lush scope of delivery including stylus, USB-C hub and sleeve

To cut a long story short: In terms of design, not much has changed in the HP Spectre x360 14 2023 compared to its predecessor. But that was not necessary, since the 2-in-1 convertible already convinced with its elegant design and excellent build quality.

Accordingly, the new edition also relies on an anodized finish, which skillfully emphasizes the dark gray-blue with silver details. The build quality is also impeccable: The notebook is robustly manufactured and the display hinge is also pleasantly tight, so that the position cannot be accidentally changed when carrying it around.

The dimensions of the compact 14-incher have also remained the same. With a weight of only 1.335 kg, it is perfectly suited for mobile work on trips. With a size of 297 mm x 219 mm x 16.9 mm (width x depth x height), the Spectre x360 14 2023 fits perfectly into any backpack or briefcase.

However, there are innovations to report in the scope of delivery. Although the price is just as high (or low) as in the case of the predecessor, the already lush scope of delivery has grown even more.

In addition to the convertible notebook, you will find a 65-watt power supply with a fabric-covered USB-C cable, the same high-quality stylus and a carrying bag in the box. However, a USB hub is also new this year, which the manufacturer HP includes directly with the Spectre.

It is the compact HP Elite USB-C hub. It weighs just 37 grams and is only 97 mm x 25 mm x 7 mm small. It connects via USB-C and adds the following ports to the selection:

  • 1x USB 3.0
  • 1x USB 2.0
  • 1x HDMI 2.0
  • 1x USB Type-C power passthrough (45 watts, 65 watts and 90 watts)

This may not be the most modern selection of ports and the largest USB hub, but it certainly represents a nice and, above all, practical extra. Very commendable, although I miss a full-size SD card reader.

Connections and features

  • Two Thunderbolt 4
  • Smart positioning at the rear corners
  • USB-A port a bit choppy

For the selection of ports offered by the HP Spectre x360 14 2023 once again turns out to be manageable. Again, nothing has changed compared to last year:

The two USB-C ports support Thunderbolt 4 with up to 40 Gbit/s, USB power, DisplayPort legacy mode (version 1.4) and HP Sleep and Charge (which theoretically allows charging connected devices like smartphones or similar even when the notebook is idle).

In addition, there is a USB-A port of type 3.2 Gen 1, which can once again be folded out due to the compact construction height – which can once again be a slightly awkward affair depending on the connected device. A 3.5 mm jack, as well as a microSD card reader round out the selection of ports.

The features of the HP Spectre x360 14-ef2177ng

  • Modern standards (Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3)
  • Up-to-date 13th generation Intel Core CPU
  • Excellent webcam, convincing speakers

The new HP Spectre x360 14 2023 also relies on a power-saving CPU from Intel’s U series. Instead of the Core i7-1255U in the previous year, the successor from the Raptor Lake series in the form of the Intel Core i7-1355U is now used.

Both CPUs rely on a total of 10 cores (two performance and eight efficiency cores), as well as 12 threads. First difference: The new model achieves clock rates of up to 5.00 GHz in Turbo mode, whereas the predecessor had 4.70 GHz.

The efficient power consumption of 15 watts on average and a maximum of 55 watts at peak remains the same. The integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics unit also clocks slightly higher and now reaches 1.30 GHz instead of 1.25 GHz in the predecessor. However, this does not make a big difference and it is thus clear that the HP Spectre x360 14 2023 is by no means suitable for gaming.

In addition, the 2-in-1 convertible uses 16 GB of LPDDR4X RAM with a clock rate of 4,266 MHz, which is soldered and cannot be expanded. HP also installs a 2 terabyte PCIe 4.0 x4 SSD in our test model 14-ef2177ng, which thus provides twice the storage space than our test model from the previous year’s generation.

HP Spectre x360 14 2023 features.
Wi-Fi6E, Bluetooth 5.3, powerful speakers and a top webcam are on board.

Modern Wi-Fi 6E and the latest Bluetooth 5.3 are included as wireless standards. The Wi-Fi speeds are once again outstanding.

Under the hood, there are a whole four speakers with tuning from Bang & Olufsen, which realize a really convincing sound with a high volume. Very good: By the way, HP has fixed the problem that the speaker channels are not swapped when turning the device into tablet or tent mode in this year’s model. Now the stereo sound finally rotates according to the orientation.

In addition, there are really good dual array microphones, as well as an excellent 5-megapixel webcam, which is one of the best I have seen in the notebook sector so far. It has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,920 pixels, and further fine adjustments can be made in the software. These include a Beatuy mode that smooths wrinkles in several stages, a virtual ring light that improves illumination and an auto-framing option that keeps you in focus even when moving.

HP Spectre x360 14 2023 Webcam
The image quality of the 5-MP webcam is top notch. Auto-framing is also available.

In addition, there is a second IR webcam, which is responsible for the Windows Hello login via face scan. Alternatively, logging in can also be managed via fingerprint – here the scanner is found on the keyboard, to the left of the arrow keys.

Keyboard, trackpad and stylus

  • Very good keyboard with large keys
  • Excellent, large trackpad
  • Precise stylus with no line jittering

On the other hand, there are no changes in the keyboard of the HP Spectre x360 14 2023, which is also on a very high level and allows fast and precise typing.

I like the pleasantly large keys very much and they are very precise. They also have a two-stage backlight in white, which makes typing very good even in the dark. Once again, the comparatively huge trackpad is installed, which measures 12.5 cm x 7.9 cm (width x height) and allows gesture control.

Alternatively, the convertible can also be operated via touchscreen and stylus, which also works excellently in practice. Since nothing has changed here either, the same applies as in the case of the predecessor:

The stylus works enormously precisely and even recognizes its tip as soon as it hovers one to two centimeters above the display. Pressure level detection, two dedicated buttons and more are also offered.

Of course, it is once again charged via USB Type-C, but at least it holds magnetically on the right edge of the display. We cannot confirm problems with line jittering, i.e. that no straight lines are possible with the pen. Even without a physical ruler, perfectly straight and diagonal lines can be drawn.

HP Spectre x360 14 2023
The stylus works precisely. Even straight and diagonal lines are no problem.

Excellent OLED display in the HP Spectre x360 14-ef2177ng

  • First-class OLED panel with high resolution in 3:2 format
  • Convincing brightness and excellent color space coverage
  • Only 60 Hz refresh rate

The Spectre x360 also inherits the premium OLED panel from its predecessor. It resolves to 13.5 inches with 3,000 x 2,000 pixels in a practical 3:2 format, which ensures an excellent pixel density and correspondingly crisp details and text for the compact size.

Only the refresh rate of 60 Hz is again a bit low. Too bad, 90 Hz or even 120 Hz would be appropriate by now. In return, there’s a strong brightness of 500 nits at the top (with HDR content) and the OLED-typical outstanding contrasts and colors.

The brilliant display is covered with an anti-reflective glass surface. The color space coverage is once again convincing, as sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces are covered by 100% and Adobe-RGB by 98%, which makes the convertible very suitable for image editing and the like.

The HP Spectre x360 14 2023 in a practical test

  • Convincing performance in practical use
  • Effective cooling, quiet fans
  • Excellent as a tablet

The HP Spectre x360 14 2023 proves once again why it is one of the best 2-in-1 convertibles on the market. Especially in the 14-inch range, it might be hard to find a better device.

Office applications are no challenge for the device and it even masters large Excel spreadsheets without problems. The notebook also managed image editing with Photoshop and light video editing tasks without any problems in our test.

However, creative users are obviously not the target group of the Spectre x360. Especially in demanding 4K and 8K tasks, the device lacks performance, which should be clear to everyone beforehand. Real workstations or creator and gaming notebooks offer much more performance at the same price. But without the convertible mode and OLED screen.

Consuming media is an absolute pleasure thanks to the OLED display and the very good speakers, and switching between notebook, tablet or tent mode is also very easy thanks to the robust 360-degree hinge.

The fans and cooling also do an impeccable job and are rarely if ever audible even under load. Even during demanding rendering or benchmark tests, the Spectre x360 14 only got lukewarm during our test and could still be used on the lap without any problems.

What is not possible this year, however, is to wake the x360 from sleep mode in tablet mode. The power button is disabled when used as a tablet – as is the entire keyboard. Only switching to tent or notebook mode helps here. Not tragic, but important to know.

Benchmark: Productivity, System, SSD

In the run-up to the HP Spectre x360 14 2023 test, I was especially curious about the processor in the form of the Core i7-1355U. Would it actually be able to take advantage of the increased performance on paper in practice? And what about the efficiency?

Of course, I took a closer look in various benchmark tests. I determined the SSD’s speed with the AS SSD benchmark, while PCMark 10 and Cinebench R23 measured the productivity and system performance.

PCMark 10 simulates different workflows that include word processing, web browsing and spreadsheets when running the benchmark. Cinebench, on the other hand, measures the speed of the CPU cores individually, as well as in multi-core mode.

I only left out the gaming benchmarks, such as 3DMark and Co, because like its predecessor, the 14-ef2177ng is at best suitable for older or not particularly demanding titles. The benchmark results are almost identical to those of the predecessor.

SSD benchmark

  • Rapid SSD from Western Digital

If the predecessor already offered a convincing and fast PCIe 4.0 SSD (from Samsung), the 2023 Spectre steps it up a notch and realizes better values in all aspects. Even if only minimally.

HP Spectre x360 14 2023 AS SSD Benchmark

Our test model this year uses an SSD from Western Digital in the form of the SN810 and it delivers excellent scores of over 5,200 MB/s in sequential reads and over 2,000 MB/s in 4K-64thread writes.

Value HP Spectre x360 (2022) HP Spectre x360 (2023)
Sequential Reading 4589.57 MB/s 5238.02 MB/s
Sequential Write 2128.23 MB/s 2616.31 MB/s
4K read 69.54 MB/s 60.10 MB/s
4K write 159.77 MB/s 192.91 MB/s
4K-64Thrd Read 676.32 MB/s 693.84 MB/s
4K-64Thrd Write 1917.56 MB/s 2031.25 MB/s
Access times 0.024 ms/0.026 ms 0.025 ms/0.019 ms

Cinebench R23 and PCMark 10

  • Improved performance in multi- and single-core mode
  • Performance gains in practice between 2 and 14 percent

Unsurprisingly, the 13th generation Intel Core i7 delivers better single and multi-core performance than last year’s counterpart. However, the performance increase is only slight here as well, but it is very noticeable in practice.

Considering that the convertible of the new model year has the same MSRP as the previous year’s model – which is now offered at a discount – the purchase decision should be clear.

Although the clock rates are exactly the same according to CineBench R23, the Raptor Lake CPU ends up slightly ahead of the 12th generation model in both the multi- and single-core tests. However, the difference is much more noticeable and at the same time bigger in the practical tests of PCMark 10:

The i7-1355U especially improves noticeably during app launches and writing and delivers a higher performance across the board. The same picture is seen in the demanding tasks in the field of digital content creation, where a performance increase of between 2 and 14 percent can be measured. Thus, the CPU is always more powerful.

Benchmark/value HP Spectre x360 (2022) HP Spectre x360 (2023)
Cinebench R23 Multi 6,661 pts 6.851 pts
Cinebench R23 Single 1,637 pts 1,680 pts
PCMark Total 5,145 pts 5.550 pts
PCMark Essentials 9,818 pts 10,617 pts
PCMark Product. 6,413 pts 6,980 pts
PCMark Digital CC 5,873 pts 6,261 pts

Battery life

  • Increased battery life compared to its predecessor
  • Nearly 10 hours in office test at maximum brightness
  • Fully charged in 90 minutes

There are similarly pleasing things to report about the battery life. This was already in a very good range in the predecessor, but it could be increased once again in HP’s Spectre x360 14 2023, not least due to the more efficient processor, and that despite the fact that the same 66 watt-hour battery finds room inside.

We achieved a runtime of 9 hours and 55 minutes in PCMark 10’s Modern Office test at maximum brightness, which is about two and a half hours more than the predecessor. Thus, it should not be a problem to get through a long workday on battery power – especially when you turn down the display brightness a bit.

HP Spectre x360 2023
Around 10 hours are possible in the office benchmark. At maximum brightness. Top!

Charging is done with the included USB-C power adapter, which has a maximum power of 65 watts. A complete charging process takes about 90 minutes and is evenly fast – the first 50 percent charge just as fast as the rest.

HP Spectre x360 14 2023
Charging is done with a (compact) 65-watt power adapter.

HP Spectre x360 14 2023 review: conclusion

The predecessor model of the noble 2-in-1 convertible could already convince me. However, the successor cuts an even better figure in the HP Spectre x360 14 2023 review. Of course, not much has changed. The only thing that is really new is the installed processor, which not only offers a bit more performance, but also works much more efficiently and thus enables even longer battery runtimes.

What remains is the excellent build quality, the outstanding OLED display and a really first-class webcam, while watching movies, series or videos is simply fun with the strong speakers.

The somewhat choppy USB-A port and the somewhat reduced performance of the components have also been inherited by the convertible notebook. Just like the high, but in my eyes justified price.

Thus, the conclusion is clear: HP’s Spectre x360 14 2023 is an excellent 2-in-1 convertible and superior to its predecessor especially in terms of working speed. In combination with the generous scope of delivery, there are virtually no wishes left unfulfilled – unless you want to edit modern games or 8K videos.

HP Spectre x360 14 2023 Review: Gold Award

HP Spectre x360 14 2023

Design & workmanship
Display
Features
Performance
Battery
Value for money

94/100

Improved performance and eradicated bugs ensure that the HP Spectre x360 14 2023 outperforms its already excellent predecessor in all respects. A very strong convertible.

HP Spectre x360 14-ef2177ng price comparison


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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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The premium 2-in-1 convertible HP Spectre 14 stormed our notebook ranking at the end of February 2023 and won the Gold Award in the test thanks to its high-quality build and impeccable performance. The device only weakened a bit in terms of performance. Meanwhile, the successor is available in stores, which relies on a current … (Weiterlesen...)

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