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HP Spectre x360 has instant privacy screen, 10-hour battery

Perfect for long flights with nosy neighbors, this two-in-one has eighth-gen Intel quad-core CPUs and a nifty trick to block prying eyes.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Over its past couple generations, HP's 13.3-inch Spectre x360 has turned into an excellent premium two-in-one. With this latest redesign, though, it might now be the best. 

Using customer feedback, HP refined the Spectre x360 where users felt it was needed. The system is now available with eighth-gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors including a quad-core option while its cooling has been optimized to bring down the heat. 

In turn, battery life has been improved. HP says higher-end configurations with a 4K-resolution display and a Core i7 processor will hit up to 10 hours in mixed use and up to 8 hours, 45 minutes of streaming video. A Core i5 configuration with a full HD-resolution screen promises up to 16 hours, 45 minutes of mixed use, 12 hours, 15 minutes for local video playback and for streaming up to 11 hours 30 minutes. And it goes from zero to 90 percent charged in 90 minutes.

Now Playing: Watch this: HP wants to stop peeping eyes with its new Spectre laptop
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Like its other x360 models, this Spectre has 360-degree hinges for rotating its screen around into various positions including a full-on tablet that you can write and draw on with its Windows Ink-certified pen. The 13.3-inch touch display can be either full HD (1,920x1080 pixels) or 4K (3,840x2,160 pixels) resolution with Corning Gorilla Glass NBT. While they're IPS displays with excellent off-angle clarity, you can shut down the view to anyone off to your sides with a press of the F1 button: An HP Sure View privacy screen borrowed from the company's commercial laptops is integrated into the full HD version.

For additional safety and security, HP includes both a fingerprint reader and an infrared webcam for signing in with a finger or facial recognition with Windows Hello. All this is wrapped up in a CNC machined aluminum body that weighs 2.8 pounds (1.3 kg). The HP Spectre x360 13 starts at $1,150 and is available for preorder from Best Buy starting today and shipping on Oct. 29. UK and Australian prices and dates weren't available, but that price converts to roughly £870 or AU$1,465.

If you don't mind trading the two-in-one design for a thinner, lighter laptop, you'll want to check out the redesigned second-gen HP Spectre 13. Made from CNC aluminum on top and carbon fiber on the bottom, HP claims it's the world's thinnest 13.3-inch laptop with a touch display. With slimmer bezels framing the screen, the overall body size is significantly smaller than its predecessor as well.

Available in scratch-resistant ceramic white or with a dark ash silver finish, the laptop offers the same component and screen options as the Spectre x360 (though not with the integrated privacy screen). HP claims it has up to 11.5 hours of battery life and a fast-charge capability taking it from zero to 50 percent in 30 minutes.

The HP Spectre 13 will start at $1,300, which converts to about £980 or AU$1,660. It will also be available for preorder from Best Buy and ships on Oct. 29.

First published Oct. 4, 9:00 a.m. ET. 

Update, 11:15 a.m. ET: Adds clarification to HP's reported battery life for Spectre x360 configurations.