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Article updated on January 8, 2024 at 5:00 AM PST

HP Spectre x360 14 (2024) Review: Meteor Lake Arrives in Style

With a next-gen Intel Core Ultra CPU and strong build quality, HP's premium two-in-one is pricey but primed for a long and useful life -- and its 9-megapixel webcam is awesome.

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Matt Elliott
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Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops, desktops, all-in-one PCs, streaming devices, streaming platforms
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HP Spectre x360 14 (2024)
9.0/10 CNET Score
$1,500 at HP
9.0/ 10
SCORE

HP Spectre x360 14 (2024)

$1,500 at HP

Pros

  • CPU delivers good performance and future-proofing
  • Intel Arc GPU offers performance bump
  • Beautiful, all-metal chassis
  • Strong AV output with OLED display, quad speakers
  • Super-sharp 9-megapixel webcam

Cons

  • Always-on LED on power button gets annoying
  • GPU upgrades not offered
  • Limited port selection

The HP Spectre x360 14 two-in-one is one of the first laptops to feature Intel's new Core Ultra CPU. While this Meteor Lake update brings AI capabilities that will become more significant as software is updated to better take advantage of them, the Spectre x360 14 offers immediate benefits in the form of improved graphics performance from Intel's integrated Arc GPU. Moving from Intel's previous Iris Xe to Arc graphics doesn't turn the Spectre x360 into a gaming laptop, but content creators will appreciate the bump in performance.

The addition of the Core Ultra 7 155H processor is the big news here, but HP made a few other substantial upgrades to the Spectre x360 14. HP ditched the boxy 3:2 display found on previous models for a more versatile 16:10 aspect ratio. The webcam above the laptop's OLED display also received an update: It's a 9-megapixel camera that can capture 4K video. Combined with the AI-assisted Windows Studio Effects and noise reduction features, you'll look and sound great on video calls. With premium looks and premium parts, the HP Spectre x360 14 is one of the few laptops with integrated graphics and a price approaching $2,000 that I would recommend.

HP Spectre x360 14 (2024)

Price as reviewed $1,970
Display size/resolution 14-inch 2880x1800 16:10 120Hz OLED display
CPU Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
Memory 32GB DDR5 7,467MHz RAM
Graphics Intel Arc Graphics
Storage 2TB NVMe Micron SSD
Ports Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports x2, USB-A port, combo audio port
Networking Wi-Fi 6E AX211 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.3
Operating system Windows 11 Pro 23H2

HP offers a choice of two Intel Core Ultra processors for the Spectre x360 14. The baseline model features the Core Ultra 5 125H chip along with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD for $1,500. Our test system costs $1,970 and features the Core Ultra 7 155H CPU and comes maxed out with 32GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD. Both models feature Intel Arc graphics integrated with the Core Ultra processor -- there is no option to upgrade to a discrete GPU. There is a lone display option for the Spectre x360 14, but it's a good one: an OLED panel with a 2.8K resolution (2,880x1,800 pixels) and a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz. 

Meteor Lake models of the HP Spectre x360 14 are not yet available in the UK or Australia, but you can find the previous models based on 13th-gen Intel processors on sale starting at £1,099 in the UK and AU$2,039 in Australia

About that Ultra performance

The Core Ultra 7 155H is a member of Intel's new Meteor Lake family of chips. It introduces a new chiplet architecture that's a departure from Intel's previous-generation mobile chips. Instead of using a single slice of silicon, Core Ultra chips contain four tiles, or chiplets, that sit on top of a silicon substrate. The Core Ultra 7 155H has four tiles: a compute tile, a graphics tile, an SOC tile and an I/O tile. This tile setup not only makes the manufacturing process more efficient for Intel -- only the compute tile is manufactured on the company's latest 7-nanometer Intel 4 process -- but it also makes the chips more efficient themselves as they are able to better balance workloads across the performance and efficiency cores than previous versions' chips with Intel's performance/efficiency hybrid layout. 

HP Spectre x360 14 laptop turned to show matte black lid
Matt Elliott/CNET

The other headliner of Meteor Lake is the low-power neural processing unit, or NPU, that assists with AI task acceleration. The NPU resides on the SOC tile and handles minor repetitive tasks to free up the CPU and GPU for heavier lifts. The NPU is put to use for AI detection in image and video editing, for example, or blurring the background in a video call.

Along with the above changes, Intel also has changed the meaning of the letters in its chips' model numbers. That is, an H-series chip from the new Core Ultra series is not the equivalent of a 13th-gen H-series chip. The Core Ultra 7 155H has a base TDP of 28 watts, and the previous 13th-gen H-series chips were 45-watt parts. The new Core Ultra H-series chips are actually more in line with the previous 28-watt P series processors, although the Core Ultra 7 155H has a maximum power draw of 155 watts, which is the same as the previous H series. 

The Core Ultra 7 155H processor features six performance cores and eight efficiency cores on the compute tile. Along with the two-core NPU, the processor offers a total of 16 physical cores and 22 processing threads.

Our current suite of benchmarks does not include AI workloads, so it doesn't allow the Core Ultra-based Spectre x360 14 to flex its muscles. On our application tests, the Spectre x360 14 finished between a pair of laptops based on a Core i7-13700H CPU and RTX 4050 graphics and just behind the only other Core Ultra laptop we've tested, the Acer Swift Go 14. Both the Spectre x360 14 and Swift Go 14 posted scores that were significantly higher than the Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320, which features a Core i7-1360P processor. The Spectre x360 14 showed smaller gains on Geekbench 6, but did top the M3-based MacBook Pro 14 on that test. It was unable to best the M3 MacBook Pro on Cinebench, however, and finished with a score much lower than the Swift Go 14, a disappointing result given the Acer and HP share the same processor. (Scroll to the end of the review to see the results of our testing.)

Keyboard and touchpad on the HP Spectre x360 14 laptop
Matt Elliott/CNET

We expect to see larger gains in application performance from Core Ultra laptops as more software is updated to take advantage of local AI processing, but we witnessed immediate gains in the move from Intel Iris Xe to Arc graphics -- so much so that I included two laptops with RTX 4050 graphics in the performance discussion and charts below. On our three 3DMark tests, the Spectre x360 14's scores were 54% to 84% better than those of the Dell XPS 13 Plus and its Iris Xe GPU.

The Spectre x360 14 lasted nearly 10 hours on our battery drain test, which is a positive result given that it has a high-res OLED display. With a 4-cell, 68-watt-hour battery, the Spectre x360 14 ran longer than it would have if it had a smaller 3-cell battery that's commonly found in ultraportables. 

We typically don't run our gaming tests on laptops with integrated graphics, but I ran a few on the Spectre x360 14 to get a sense of the pixel-pushing capabilities of the Intel Arc GPU. On the Riftbreaker GPU test, it averaged 70 frames per second, which was a few frames faster than the Swift Go 14 but well behind the 173 fps and 198 fps that the RTX 4050-powered Acer Swift X 14 and HP Victus 16 averaged, respectively. On the Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmark at 1,920x1,080 with highest quality settings, the Spectre x360 14 eked out an average of 31 fps. I was able to achieve a more playable frame rate of 55 fps at 1080p when I dropped the quality settings to Lowest. 

When playing games, the back half of the laptop heated up, a not unsurprising result with the exhaust vents located along the laptop's back edge between the display hinges. Unfortunately, the WASD keys were in that heat zone. On a positive note, the cooling fans were surprisingly quiet, even during the most chaotic scenes in games.

HP Spectre x360 14 two-in-one in tent mode
Matt Elliott/CNET

High-res 16:10 OLED display

The biggest design change to this latest Spectre x360 14 is the move from a 3:2 display to one with a 16:10 aspect ratio. So other than a general shift in size, the chassis remains relatively unchanged -- a positive for me since the Spectre laptop has been one of my favorites among Windows models for years. The all-metal chassis feels rigid and has a soft, brushed texture that's pleasing to touch. The soft textured surfaces and rounded edges give the Spectre x360 14 a luxurious feel befitting of a premium laptop. The matte black finish adds to the premium look and feel but does attract fingerprints and smudges.

The luxurious feel extends to the display hinges, which are doubly important in a two-in-one where the display rotates into a variety of positions. The hinges offer smooth action when repositioning the display yet are strong enough to keep it firmly in place. And about that display: the tall, unusual 3:2 display is gone, and in its place is a more common 16:10 panel. A 3:2 panel is well suited for business use where you want to be able to see as many lines of a document or spreadsheet on the screen as possible, but a 16:10 offers greater versatility, sitting between a work-mode 3:2 display and a widescreen 16:9 display that's best for watching shows and movies. 

Thunderbolt 4 ports on the side and corner of the HP Spectre x360 14
Matt Elliott/CNET

The Spectre x360 14's display is an OLED panel with a crisp 2.8K resolution. It has stellar contrast with deep black and bright white levels. It offers excellent color coverage. In testing with a Spyder X Elite colorimeter, the display covered 100% of the sRGB and P3 spaces and 94% of AdobeRGB. It was also warm and bright; white backgrounds looked accurate and not overly cool and blue. I measured a peak brightness of 404 nits. The display looked great in a variety of indoor settings and remained viewable outside under an admittedly weak winter sun.

HP includes a pen in the box so you can write, scribble and draw on the screen in tablet mode when you aren't tapping on it in laptop mode. The display features a dynamic refresh rate between 60Hz and 120Hz, which resulted in smooth movement in videos and games.

HP also includes a USB-C adapter in the box because the port selection is limited. There are two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports on the right side of the laptop, one of which is located on the back corner that's sliced on the diagonal. You'll find a combo audio jack in the other corner next to a USB-A port on the left side. That's it for ports. The included adapter offers HDMI and additional USB-A connectivity. 

First 9-megapixel laptop webcam

The Spectre x360 14 is the second laptop I've tested with a Core Ultra chip and the first with a 9-megapixel webcam. The camera can capture 4K video, and images looked incredibly crisp on the laptop's 2.8K display with accurate colors and good balance. With the AI-assisted Windows Studio Effects, you can enable automatic framing to keep your face in the frame and blur the background. And using the audio controls in the myHP app, you can enable AI-assisted noise removal for the microphone to filter out background noise. I would classify it as noise reduction, but the feature was effective in reducing background noise while keeping my voice clear and unaltered. 

Image from the 9-megapixel webcam on the HP Spectre x360 14
Matt Elliott/CNET

The webcam also has an IR sensor so you can use facial recognition for easy, secure log-ins. And there are shortcuts on the Function keys for cutting power to the camera and muting the microphones, two features that are always welcome to protect your privacy when you aren't using the camera. A small LED glows orange on each key to let you know when the camera is off and the mic muted.

The power button also doubles as a fingerprint reader, giving you a second secure biometric login option. It's not all good news, however, with the power button. It has a small LED strip that glows white, and there is no way to disable it. It becomes an unwelcome distraction when watching a movie in a dark room.

LED light on the power button of the HP Spectre x360 14 laptop
Matt Elliott/CNET

Outside of the power button and its always-on LED, I have no complaints about the keyboard. The keys are roomy and offer snappy feedback and two-level backlighting. The touchpad is also roomy and, like the touchpads on MacBooks and the Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320, it uses haptic feedback instead of a mechanical click. I ran into a few hiccups with the XPS 13 Plus's haptic touchpad, but it was smooth sailing and mousing on the Spectre x360 14's touchpad. I actually enjoyed using it more than a MacBook's touchpad, and I hold Apple's haptics in high regard. The Spectre x360 14's haptic response felt a bit livelier and springier than the MacBook's and remained steady and accurate throughout testing.

The Spectre x360 14 packs quad speakers that are a step above typical tinny laptop sound. I was still left wanting more from the bass response when listening to music, but shows and movies exhibited clear dialog and realistic effects.

I don't make it a practice to recommend laptops that cost nearly $2,000 that rely on integrated graphics. At this price, it's reasonable to expect a dedicated GPU for gaming or content creation. The Spectre x360 14, however, is the rare exception. With its next-gen CPU, gorgeous OLED display and premium build quality, the Spectre x360 14 is primed for a long and useful life and delivers value even at its elevated price.

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How we test computers

The review process for laptops, desktops, tablets and other computer-like devices consists of two parts: performance testing under controlled conditions in the CNET Labs and extensive hands-on use by our expert reviewers. This includes evaluating a device's aesthetics, ergonomics and features. A final review verdict is a combination of both objective and subjective judgments. 

The list of benchmarking software we use changes over time as the devices we test evolve. The most important core tests we're currently running on every compatible computer include: Primate Labs Geekbench 5, Cinebench R23, PCMark 10 and 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

A more detailed description of each benchmark and how we use it can be found in our How We Test Computers page. 

Geekbench 6 (multicore)

HP Victus 16 13501HP Spectre x360 14 12897Acer Swift X 14 12628Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) 12459Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023) 12049Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 10900
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

PCMark 10 Pro Edition

HP Victus 16 7038Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) 7020HP Spectre x360 14 6893Acer Swift X 14 6888Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 5433
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

Cinebench R23 (multicore)

HP Victus 16 18697Acer Swift X 14 14760Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) 12989Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023) 10487HP Spectre x360 14 8656Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 7377
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited

HP Victus 16 15836Acer Swift X 14 10784HP Spectre x360 14 6026Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) 5972Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 3906
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Time Spy

HP Victus 16 8988Acer Swift X 14 5975Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) 3871HP Spectre x360 14 3358Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 1829
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

3DMark Fire Strike Ultra

HP Victus 16 4268Acer Swift X 14 3332HP Spectre x360 14 2058Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) 2032Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 1274
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

Online streaming battery drain test

Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023) 1129Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) 760HP Spectre x360 14 595HP Victus 16 577Acer Swift X 14 446Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 432
Note: Longer bars indicate better performance

System Configurations

HP Spectre x360 14 Microsoft Windows 11 Pro; Intel Core Ultra 7 155H; 32GB DDR5 RAM; Intel Arc Graphics; 2TB SSD
Acer Swift Go 14 (SFG14-72T) Microsoft Windows 11 Home; Intel Core Ultra 7 155H; 16GB DDR5 RAM; Intel Arc Graphics; 1TB SSD
Acer Swift X 14 Microsoft Windows 11 Home; Intel Core i7-13700H; 16GB DDR5 RAM; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050; 1TB SSD
Dell XPS 13 Plus 9320 Microsoft Windows 11 Home; Intel Core i7-1360P; 16GB DDR5 RAM; Intel Iris Xe Graphics; 512GB SSD
HP Victus 16 Microsoft Windows 11 Home; Intel Core i7-13700H; 16GB DDR5 RAM; 6GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050; 1TB SSD
Apple MacBook Pro 14 (M3, 2023) Apple macOS Sonoma 14.1; Apple M3 (8-core CPU, 10-core GPU); 16GB unified memory; 1TB SSD