Increased pressure sensitivity
The updated Spectre x2 brings its N-Trig stylus support into line with the rest of the midlevel 2-in-1 crowd, including 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
As a tablet, its 3:2 aspect-ratio display makes it feel more natural and better for using vertically than a typical 16:9 model. HP also moved the speakers to the front from the sides -- those two long divots in the upper corners -- for better acoustics.
HP got rid of the irritating switch you had to use to flip out the kickstand. Now it operates smoothly, and it's solid enough to remain steady as you pound the keyboard.
On one side it has a volume control and a USB-C connector.
On the left side there's another USB-C connector, headphone jack and a microSD card slot.
The keyboard section has a loop to carry the stylus; it would be nice if it could attach to the magnet on the side of the tablet section, too, for when you aren't carrying the keyboard. But there's no metal in or on it.
The keyboard and tablet sections connect magnetically, which makes it easy to quickly attach them.
The tear-off keyboard makes it a 2-in-1.
All dark ash and copper
Like the rest of the Spectre line, it comes only in the elegant brown and copper tones. You can see that it's a smudge magnet on the back, though.
I like HP's recent keyboards a lot, and the aluminum-over-plastic version in the Spectre x2 has nice travel and bounce in the keys, but no flex in the keyboard.
The stylus is optimized to use with Windows Ink, and HP redesigned the kickstand to tilt at a more obtuse angle for inking.
HP doesn't use Windows Precision Touchpad technology, instead sticking with Synaptics' solution.
Like its predecessor (and every other HP), the x2 has B&O-tuned speakers.
Windows Creators Edition support
One inking use is screenshot annotation. Here, I'm using it to hide the Windows bloatware I'd rather not promote.
It still uses two fans to dissipate heat through these vents on the top, but I've yet to hear them. That's the power button on the right side.
HP moved the IR camera from the back -- where it was used for sensing -- to the front, for use with Windows Hello.
Bundled pleather case
A nice size and weight
Seriously, I wish the photographer would remind me to moisturize my hands before doing these shoots.
This is how far you can hold the stylus above the surface of the tablet and still be recognized.
HP Active Pen
The same stylus that comes with all of HP's 2017 stylus-enabled devices is bundled with the Spectre x2.
Into the pleather!
It's backlit, which is really nice if, like me, you prefer to work in the dark.