HP's new Spectre X2 wants to out-Pro the Surface Pro

By David Flynn, May 23 2017
HP's new Spectre X2 wants to out-Pro the Surface Pro

In the same week as Microsoft pulls back the covers on its latest Surface Pro, HP is launching its own tempting 2-in-1 at this week's Cannes Film Festival (why the Cannes Film Festival? Because creative).

The 2017 edition of the HP Spectre X2 shares the same tablet-becomes-a-laptop design with a detachable keyboard and digital stylus, and suits up alongside the more conventional Envy laptop.

Both models continue down HP's well-trodden road to make more stylish, dare we say more desirable PCs than the typical nondescript slabs.

Due to land here in June from $1,999, the Spectre X2 is a worthy upgrade to the 2016 edition – most noticeably due to HP's decision to shift from Intel's modest Core M processor to a full-powered member of the Core 'Kaby Lake' family.

HP claims the new Spectre X2 still delivers eight hours of battery life between charges.

The lustrous higher-res 12.3-inch screen now clocks to 3,000 x 2,000 pixels instead of the previous 1080p panel, with an Intel Iris Plus 650 graphics card capable of running two 4K desktop monitors – and all this, squeezed into a Twiggy-esque 7.7mm profile.

Also arriving in June with the sticker starting at $1,599, the 2017 Envy is HP's mid-market play.

A 13-inch screen puts the Envy right in the mobile computing sweet spot – the display is large enough to show plenty of Excel columns and rows at decent size (a yardstick for usability) with a full-size keyboard parked below, but the overall dimensions mean the Envy slides easily into your carry-on bag.

And if HP's promise of fourteen hours' battery life turns out to be stretching the truth from a more realistic 10 hours on the go, that's still enough for most road warriors.

Consumer-minded touches include both USB ports in both standard and Type-C flavours, a MicroSD card slot and Bang & Olufsen speakers.

Base specs for the 13-inch Envy list an Intel Core i5 processor partnered with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB solid-state drive.

Need more muscle packed behind a bigger screen? Watch for the larger 17-inch Envy laptop with a Core i7 powerplant, Nvidia GeForce GRX 940MX graphics chip and 16GB of RAM, plus optional 4K display.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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