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


HP’s 16-inch convertible Spectre x360 16 runs on eleventh-era Intel Core processors, with built-in or discrete Nvidia graphics.

Image: HP Inc.

HP’s Spectre laptops have a exclusive design and arrive in four various sizes, with thirteen-, 14-, 15- and 16-inch screens. I was despatched a convertible 16-inch Spectre x360 to overview, with a Core i7 processor, a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop computer GPU and an OLED contact display screen. This product costs £1,999.99 (inc. VAT) in the Uk. In the US, prices for the Spectre x360 16 begin at $1,549.99 for a Core i7 product with built-in graphics. 

HP offers the rear corners an angled design, making use of this element to house a few of ports — USB-C on the proper, three.5mm headset jack on the still left. This doesn’t make for the neatest cable arrangement, but it absolutely seems to be exclusive. 

The establish is strong, with recycled CNC aluminium providing a tough chassis. HP bundles a sleeve, which should shield the chassis from small dings and scratches. 

Inevitably, specified its 16-inch display screen, this is a substantial and reasonably significant laptop computer. It actions 24.53cm vast by 35.8cm deep by 1.99cm thick, and weighs 2.01kg. The energy brick is chunky much too. 



  • Exceptional 16-inch OLED display screen
  • Exclusive design
  • Sound establish
  • Two Thunderbolt 4 ports usually obtainable

You should not Like

  • Only 512GB of SSD storage
  • Unwieldy in handheld tablet manner
  • Average battery life

The ‘x360’ in the title signifies that the laptop’s display screen rotates all the way round to experience outwards for use in tablet manner. Having said that, performing in tablet manner isn’t especially cozy on a 16-inch unit. It’s significant, and I identified it unattainable to keep 1-handed, and a bit of a beast to prop up on my lap or the arm of a chair. Having said that, sat on a table in tent manner or with the display screen experiencing absent from a downward-experiencing keyboard, it labored very well for information usage. It’s the standard trade-off amongst display screen dimensions and usability. 

Monitor and speakers are both equally great, which will profit both equally productive and leisure use instances. The Bang and Olufsen speakers supply a good deal of quantity with no distortion, pushing seem outwards by means of grilles on the upward angled front foundation of the chassis. This offers most obtain to audio in both equally laptop computer and tablet modes. Throughout video clip phone calls, an AI-enabled sounds reduction program also kicks in. 

The display screen is improved than great — it is fantastic. My overview unit had a UHD+ (three,840 x 2,400, 283ppi) OLED contact display screen. Maxing out at 400 nits, it was sharp and vivid — even when jogging on battery energy. Despite the fact that I still left the display screen on default options for my battery rundown examination (see down below), I may well lower it to preserve battery life in working day-to-working day use.  

The display screen bezels could be narrower, with both equally prime and bottom bezels a tiny further than those people alongside the quick edges, but the bottom bezel is gratifyingly little, catering for a 16:10 element ratio that makes for much more document viewability. For the document, the display screen-to-human body ratio is eighty four.six%. 

Earlier mentioned the display screen is the webcam which is a essential element of this laptop computer. The 5MP camera’s shutter is activated by a hotkey rather than being a physical slider. This feels a tiny like overkill — a potential position of failure a lot less likely with a physical shutter. I would despise it to get trapped in the ‘camera covered’ placement. 

A array of camera functions are managed by way of the HP Command Centre application. These include things like Automobile Body, which tries to assure that you remain in view as you move around. Naturally this can’t cater for each eventuality, but it is a enable for those people who shuffle about a bit during a video clip phone, or get up to obtain a document from a shelf, for example. I identified that it tracked me very well. Meanwhile, Mild Correction does a great task of minimizing shadows on the experience and darkening the track record during phone calls. 

HP Command Centre also offers Natural beauty Manner — the variety of element much more usually seen on cell phones. Mainly it smooths out wrinkles. 

The camera can also be configured for other obligations in the HP Command centre, which includes locking and unlocking the laptop computer as you walk absent and return, and offering a warning if you edge much too close to the display screen (on the foundation that being much too close is not great for your eyes). It can also be set to quickly result in the display screen to dim if you usually are not looking specifically at it, a element intended to preserve battery life. This labored well. Having said that, Shoulder Surfing, which is intended to warn you if another person is looking more than your shoulder, was a tiny much too keen, alerting me to my have existence.  


The keyboard has a responsive action, but there is no independent selection pad.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet


The fingerprint reader occupies a independent essential house.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The complete-dimensions keyboard is a cozy typing system, with a springy and responsive action. The Enter essential is only solitary height, but it is vast, and the arrow keys are substantial. There is a fingerprint sensor embedded in the bottom row of keys, which is something of a waste of house as it could quickly have been embedded in the on/off essential on the prime row. Contrary to on some 16-inch laptops, there is no independent selection pad below. The touchpad is substantial and very responsive. 

My overview unit was the HP Spectre x360 16-f0053na product, which is detailed at £1,999.99 (inc. VAT) on HP’s Uk internet site. Powered by an Intel Core i7-11390H processor with a discrete 4GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop computer GPU and 16GB of RAM, it dealt with a array of productivity and media usage jobs with no issues at all. The 512GB SSD is a weak hyperlink, though: it appears much too little taking into consideration this laptop’s quality cost. 


Left aspect (prime): three.5mm audio jack, HDMI, USB-A. Right aspect (above): MicroSD card reader, Thunderbolt 4/USB-C, energy-in, Thunderbolt 4/USB-C.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

It’s great to see a MicroSD card reader below, on the proper-hand aspect. There are two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, a solitary USB-A port, a complete-dimensions HDMI connector and a three.5mm headset jack. The USB-A is, unusually, partly obscured by a hinged go over. With the battery charged by way of a round-pin connector, both equally USB-C ports are usually obtainable. 

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HP statements up to 9 hrs and 15 minutes of ‘mixed usage’ for the 83Wh battery. To examination this, I fully charged the battery and then labored for three hrs making use of world-wide-web applications, streaming video clip and occasionally audio. Throughout this time, the battery fell from complete to fifty two%, suggesting that a quick (~six-hour) performing working day may well be achievable on battery energy, but a complete eight-hour working day would require obtain to mains energy at some position. 

Charging was a good experience. On 1 celebration with the battery at thirty% it rose to fifty three% following 15 minutes, to sixty five% following thirty minutes and to seventy seven% following forty five minutes. 


The HP Spectre x360 16 product reviewed below has a effective processor, discrete graphics and adequate battery energy to keep it heading for most, if not all, of the working day. The 16-inch OLED display screen is beautiful, and audio good quality is great. Having said that, taking into consideration the cost, the SSD should be double its 512GB, and the laptop’s dimensions and bodyweight make it unwieldy to use in handheld tablet manner.

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