Laptops

HP Spectre x360 13 (2020) review: An elegant convertible

Small but terrible?

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I live in a world where beauty matters above all. I can’t seem to like something if it isn’t pleasant to look at, or if it doesn’t match my aesthetics. When HP sent over the Spectre x360 13 (2020), I was flabbergasted. I’ve never seen a laptop that made me feel… underdressed.

Head-turning elegance

In a glance, the HP Spectre x360 13 (2020) is astounding to look at. It looks premium, it made me want to dress up in suits. This refreshed laptop comes with a cutting-edge design, and it looks even more polished compared to its predecessors.

Admittedly, I fell in love the first time I saw it. The Spectre x360 13 speaks to me on a spiritual level, with its brushed metal and copper finish — which looks like rose gold in certain lighting conditions — it’s a color that my 2017 self would appreciate but I’m more into white and silver now.

Nonetheless, it looks sexy and gorgeous, especially if you bring it in cafes and your meetings. It feels weird to find people in awe while looking at my laptop instead of me. Definitely a head-turner!

Naturally, there’s an impression of a pretty laptop as frail and fragile. This laptop defies the conceived notion since its sturdy yet slender chassis feels robust. It’s small, lightweight, and impressively thin, too! I find it funny that it fits inside my PacSafe sling bag and people were surprised when I take my laptop out of my small bag.

Even though it’s not the thinnest and lightest, the Spectre x360 13 is still easy to carry and bring wherever you go. Using it for almost a month, my back didn’t feel any pain compared to when I’m using a 15-inch Windows laptop or a 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Well-thought details

What I love about the Spectre x360 is how HP thoughtfully crafted and refined it is. Just like the Dell XPS 13, I always stress the importance of details. It’s always the little things that make a laptop premium — from convenience, portability, security, to ease of use.

For starters, the Spectre x360 put a blazing-fast fingerprint reader to unlock my laptop — if it accurately scans your fingerprint. In the occasion that it didn’t read your fingerprint, you can still access your laptop through a pin or password unlock.

Its keyboard is excellent for typing, too. Despite being relatively small, HP didn’t cramp its keys, evenly spacing it while keeping it soft to ensure a quiet experience.

About its touchpad, it’s smooth and responsive for a Windows laptop. Surprisingly, I found it easy to glide my fingers at it and when I’m feeling lazy to navigate the touchpad, I can always stick to using its touchscreen display.

When you take a close look at its edges, the Spectre x360 is really beautiful. From its glossy, exemplary hinge and gem-cut design, to its subtle buttons and ports that easily blends into its frame — it’s difficult not to love it.

Found on its left side is its power button, audio jack, and a covered USB 3.1 Type-A port which ate my colleague’s flash drive. To prevent similar incidents, I opted not to use it anymore.

Luckily, HP packed a dongle with two USB Type-A ports, a USB-C port, and an HDMI port. It proved useful since the laptop’s right side comes with a USB Type-C port on the right, and another USB Type-C port for charging on the upper corner.

Both HP’s dongle and charger come in a gorgeous braided cable. Frankly, it’s the best set of cables I’ve had in a while and the fact that HP put a lot of effort even in its accessories proved they take their premium laptops seriously. It also has a microSD card reader which I barely used, and my favorite — the webcam kill switch.

Like a gorgeous secretary

The HP Spectre x360 13 is a premium convertible. Attached to a beautiful hinge that flexes smoothly, this 2-in-1 laptop gives you a beautiful tablet to use like you’re some kind of gorgeous secretary.

Thanks to its lightweight form factor, it’s a breeze to switch from laptop to tablet mode. HP provided a tilt pen — powered by AAA battery — to help you navigate and write notes quickly.

Apps are also simplified when in tablet mode. It’s supposed to be easy for anyone to handle but even with my past experiences with convertibles and my long stint with this laptop weren’t enough for me to fully grasp its tablet mode.

I still get confused with the tools, buttons, and software available — but that’s just me. Here’s to hoping that the next generation of Spectre laptops come with less pre-installed software. As of now, the Spectre x360 13 runs on Windows 10, packed with software like HP Command Center, Microsoft Office 365, ExpressVPN, and McAfee LiveSafe.

Don’t let its size fool you

The Spectre x360 13 is a powerhouse for a relatively small laptop. This is where the adage “don’t let its size fool you” comes in. This laptop is powered by a 10th-gen Intel Core i7-1065G7, with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, and 16GB LPDDDR4 RAM, and 1TB SSD storage.

During my stint, I was able to handle multiple tabs in Google Chrome — a power-hungry browser. Additionally, I can run multiple apps and software alongside Chrome such as Spotify, Netflix, and Adobe Creative Suite. Yes, you can edit with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom. To an extent, it can handle Premiere Pro but expect for it to heat up.

The biggest struggle I had to deal with is how the Spectre x360 13 heats up. It tends to get scorching hot, which proves impossible for you to put it on your lap or on your arms when in tablet mode — unless you want to fry and toast your arms or your parts from down under.

It’s also noisy when its fans start working to dissipate the heat, even when situated in a desk or a cooling stand. At best, the laptop is perfect for presentations, meetings, browsing, and entertainment.

Despite having a 13.3-inch screen, it comes with 4K resolution and AMOLED panel — guaranteed to deliver better visuals. It’s also strengthened by a Corning Gorilla Glass NBT, enhancing the screen’s scratch resistance.

The HP Spectre x360 13 carries two audio speakers from Bang & Olufsen. It’s not the best speakers you can get but it’s more than enough for your entertainment usage.

Lastly, expect this small laptop to have a lot of juice throughout your day. When I was working remotely, I had the HP Spectre x360 13 last for 12 hours, allowing me to be productive and finish my tasks.

It comes with a small 65W Type-C power adapter, so you can expect it to recharge itself faster than you do when you try to recover from your week-long fatigue.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

With a whopping starting price of PhP 79,990 (US$ 1586), it’s difficult to recommend an expensive laptop since there are cheaper yet more powerful Windows laptops out there. If you have the money to spend, I would even suggest getting flagship Windows laptops like the Lenovo Yoga S940 or Dell XPS 13 or a MacBook Pro for more focus on power and productivity.

But if you’re keen on getting the HP Spectre x360 13 2020 because you fell in love with its looks, then you can maybe talk yourself into buying this laptop. After all, it looks elegant, premium, polished, and delivers decent performance, packed with plenty of features to like.

Laptops

Huawei is working on a bezel-less laptop

Coming on August 19

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Removing bezels on a smartphone is now an almost perfect art. Bezel-less phones are so ubiquitous that it’s almost expected today. Though smartphone displays are getting bigger, laptops are falling behind. Compared to their more portable companions, laptops and notebooks still have relatively larger bezels around the screen. Apparently, this might soon change. According to a new report, Huawei is working on a bezel-less laptop.

Reported by a few Weibo sources, the Chinese company is developing a new laptop with minuscule, practically invisible bezels. In fact, Huawei is calling it a “floating full-screen,” echoing the same branding exuded by the television industry like in Samsung’s The Wall. Additionally, the laptop will supposedly put out images in 3K resolution.

Compared to their struggling smartphone business, Huawei is still chugging along in the laptop industry — in terms of component availability, at least. Huawei’s laptops regularly come out in a more assured schedule. According to the leak, the bezel-less laptop will launch on August 19.

Of course, a laptop’s display is only one aspect of the device. Though the device has already leaked its most touted feature, no one knows what else is in store. Further, no one knows how durable the screen is. With a potentially revolutionary form factor, we have to wonder if that makes it more fragile than other laptops in the market.

SEE ALSO: Huawei MateBook D14, 13 arrive in the Philippines

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Features

ASUS ZenBook 13: A portable all-arounder

Light, versatile, and long-lasting

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The problem with ultra slim laptops has always been their lack of ports and generally shaky battery life. Such a problem does not exist with the ASUS ZenBook 13. 

It’s the latest on ASUS’ ZenBook line and it combines the portability of ultra slim notebooks with the port versatility and long-lasting battery life of typically larger laptops.

What’s in the box? 

Immediately after taking things out of the box, you’ll see how the ZenBook 13 is a complete package. It comes with two cables to compensate for the ones that you don’t find built in on the laptop.

There’s a USB to Ethernet port connector, and a USB-C to 3.5mm jack for your audio needs. Rounding up the packaging are the ZenBook 13 itself, your power brick, and a nice and sleek laptop sleeve.

So about those ports

Measuring at just 13.9mm and 1.07kg — this notebook is REALLY thin and light. Normally, laptops like these have one or two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. Well, this one, certainly has more.

On the right hand side is the USB port and microSD card slot

Over to the left you have TWO USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports AND an HDMI port 

The ZenBook 13 can draw power from either USB-C/Thunderbolt port and you can easily connect it to an external monitor through the HDMI port should you need to.

The microSD card slot and USB ports means you can easily transfer files from external sources.

Elsewhere on the laptop is the webcam — a must now that we have to attend virtual meetings.

Oh and it also has ASUS’ signature Ergo-lift hinge that remains satisfying to both look at and feel as you lift the laptop lead. A really nice touch and adds to that overall Zen feeling.

A workhorse of a notebook

Don’t let its slight build fool you. This notebook is tough and packs some serious punch to power you for work.

Inside is a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor with an 8GB LPDDR4x RAM and 512GB of  SSD storage. That’s the perfect combination for a laptop that can stay with you shuffle through Word documents, Excel sheets, Powerpoint presentations, and even Photoshop.

The keyboard is edge-to-edge giving you that full-size experience. It’s also clickety, giving a satisfying travel experience — crucial if you have to type on it for hours.

Speaking of full-keyboard, the trackpad transforms into a digital numpad at the click of a button. It’s a signature ASUS feature and if you’re the type who has to fill in numbers a lot, this should prove to be hugely beneficial.

Display for immersive viewing

What do people say again about all work and no play? It makes you dull. That’s why after work, the ZenBook 13, which promises up to 22 freaking hours of battery life, can also be your entertainment companion as you wind down.

It has a frameless four-sided NanoEdge display. This means no pesky bezels to get in the way of your binge-watching.

Whether that’s watching Karasuno win a match or catching up with Midoriya and Bakugo’s hero-in-the-making adventures.

A portable all-arounder 

Slim and light, versatile, long-lasting, and performs just as good as other larger laptops. All these make the ASUS ZenBook 13 an all-arounder that will meet all your work and winding down needs.

As we continue to deal with the stresses of the new normal, the ZenBook 13 is a handy companion that you can bring with you, wherever you are around the house.

As we hope for things to open up soon, this notebook is also ready to go out with you to give you all the productivity and play support you can ever ask for.


This feature is a collaboration between GadgetMatch and ASUS Philippines.

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Deals

ASUS laptops are discounted on Shopee 8.8 sale

ProArt StudioBooks and ExpertBooks join the sale

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Perhaps you might be looking to upgrade your laptop as you continue working or learning from home. ASUS is participating in Shopee 8.8 sale. During the sale, you can score commercial laptops with up to PhP 2,000 off their retail price.

ASUS laptops participating in the sale include their ExpertBook lineup. Business-grade desktops will also go on sale. As for the sale, ASUS will offer a pre-hype sale which is happening from July 23 to August 7. The main sale event will happen on August 8 from 12 am until midnight.

Here is the complete lineup of laptops on sale:

Laptops

Model Sale Price Retail Price
ProArt StudioBook 17 H700GV (Intel Core i7-9750H) PhP 137,995 PhP 139,995
ExpertBook B9450FA (Intel Core i5-10210) PhP 117,995 PhP 119,995
ExpertBook B9450FA (Intel Core i7-10510) PhP 147,995 PhP 149,995
Expertbook P1440 (14-inch, Intel Core i3-8130U, 4GB / 1TB HDD ) PhP 38,995 PhP 39,995
Expertbook P3540 (15.6-inch, Intel Core i3-8145U, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 41,995 PhP 42,995
Expertbook P5440FF (Intel Core i5-8265U, 8GB / 512GB HDD ) PhP 71,995 PhP 72,995

Desktops

Model Sale Price Retail Price Freebies
SFF D540SA (Intel Core i3-8100, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 35,995 PhP 36,995 Mouse and keyboard
D340MC(Intel Core i5-8400, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 40,995 PhP 41,995 Mouse and keyboard
D340MC (Intel Core i7-8700, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 52,995 PhP 53,995 Mouse and keyboard
D540SA (Intel Core i7-8700, 4GB / 1TB HDD) PhP 52,995 PhP 53,995 Mouse and keyboard

Availing these laptops is as easy as heading over to ASUS Philippines’ official Shopee store. For more information about ASUS’ latest promos, visit their official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram page.

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