HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) review

The Spectre lineup has always been about image. Its design is often so unique, even HP is afraid to use it in other series it produces. However, We have to say, that the Spectre finds a way to implement some of the company’s signature features for the generation.

In addition to the exquisite design, you get pretty powerful hardware, including the Core i7-1255U. This is a processor that absolutely crushes apps like Photoshop and Illustrator, despite its 15W TDP.

By the way, today, we are taking a look at the HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000). Even though it has the number “14” in its name (twice), the notebook comes with a 13.5-inch display.

This is not something unexpected from HP, since it has a long tradition of hiding some of its screws beneath rubber feet. So, deception is some sort of a specialty for them. Anyways, the screen has a 3:2 aspect ratio and can be found in 1280p and 2000p resolutions. The former features an IPS panel, while the latter is an OLED solution.

Also, for better or for worse, you have the option to get the IPS option with HP’s Sure View system. In theory, this should provide you with more privacy, if you have confidential data on your display.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-spectre-x360-14-14-ef000/

Contents


Specs Sheet

HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef000) - Specs

  • INT3480
  • Color accuracy  4.4  3.2
  • HDD/SSD
  • up to 2000GB SSD
  • M.2 Slot
  • 1x 2280 PCIe NVMe 4.0 x4  See photo
  • RAM
  • up to 16GB
  • OS
  • Windows 11 Home, Windows 11 Pro
  • Battery
  • 66Wh, 4-cell
  • Body material
  • Aluminum
  • Dimensions
  • 293.8 x 220.1 x 16.9 mm (11.57" x 8.67" x 0.67")
  • Weight
  • 1.36 kg (3 lbs)
  • Ports and connectivity
  • 1x USB Type-A
  • 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), Sleep and Charge
  • 2x USB Type-C
  • Thunderbolt 4, Power Delivery (PD), DisplayPort, Sleep and Charge
  • HDMI
  • Card reader
  • MicroSD
  • Wi-Fi
  • 802.11ax
  • Bluetooth
  • 5.0
  • Audio jack
  • 3.5mm Combo Jack
  • Features
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Web camera
  • 5MP
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Microphone
  • Dual Array Digital Microphones
  • Speakers
  • 4 Speakers, Bang & Olufsen
  • Optical drive

All HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef000) configurations

#CommissionsEarned

What’s in the box?

This notebook’s bulky box contains a 65W USB Type-C charger, some paperwork, and a premium-looking sleeve.


Design and construction

So, let’s finally take a look at the Spectre x360 14’s design, shall we? It has the notorious cut bottom corners of the lid (which corresponds to the top corners of the base). However, we can see a huge diversion from last year. Instead of the chamfered edges, the laptop is now curved.

As we said earlier, this feature is what connects the Spectre to its HP cousins around the block. In addition, there is a skinny stripe that is not curved. It runs all the way around the device.

In terms of materials, HP uses metal for the entire chassis, base, and lid covers. This not only provides a cool-to-the-touch feeling but also results in a rigid structure. We can’t help but notice that the Gorilla Glass NBT really helps with the structural integrity of the lid.

Interestingly, the curved surface of the device makes it appear much thinner than it actually is. At 16.9mm, the Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) is still pretty slim, while the weight of 1.36 kg is not too much either.

Despite the weird-shaped lid top, you can easily open it with a single hand. This reveals a display with pretty slim bezels and a 5MP Web camera above the display. The camera is equipped with a privacy shutter, which is activated by a dedicated key on the keyboard – right next to the power button.

Surprisingly, this notebook has its power button on the keyboard itself, unlike most 2-in-1s, which opt to have it on one of the sides. Another thing found on the board is the fingerprint reader. It is located in place of the right “Control” key.

All in all, the keyboard is really comfortable. It has long key travel, and clicky feedback, which results in a satisfying typing experience. Unfortunately, there is no bundled stylus, so we can’t really tell you about the full touchscreen feel.

The touchPAD, however, is pretty good. It is not as responsive as some of its competitors, but its smooth glass surface and large area make
it a very good unit.

Here, the speakers are located on the bottom panel. There, you will also find the ventilation grill, which spans almost the entire width of the machine. Hot air, respectively, gets exhausted through two vents on the back of the base.

Ports

The port selection of the Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) is quite limited. On the left, there is an Audio jack, followed by a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) port with a jaw-style opening. Then, on the right, you get two Thunderbolt 4 connectors and a MicroSD card slot.


Disassembly, upgrade options, and maintenance

This device is pretty easy to get inside of. There are only 4 Torx-head screws you need to undo. After that, pry the bottom panel with a plastic tool, starting from the hinge gaps.

Inside, we see a 66Wh battery pack. It provides nearly 12 hours of Web browsing or about 10 hours of video playback on a single charge. To take it out, unplug the battery connector. Then, undo all 6 Phillips-head screws and remove it from the chassis.

Here, the memory is soldered to the motherboard. The maximum configuration offered by HP comes with 32GB of LPDDR4x RAM, working at 4266 MHz. Storage-wise, there is one M.2 PCIe x4 slot for Gen 4 SSDs.

Here, the cooling looks like a miniaturized gaming device. You get two heat pipes for the CPU and a third one that is passive. Two tiny fans blow the heat away from the two small heat sinks.


Display quality

HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) is equipped with a 60Hz OLED panel, INT3480. Its diagonal is 13.5-inch (34.3 cm), and the resolution – 3000 x 2000p. Additionally, the screen ratio is 3:2, the pixel density – 267 ppi, and their pitch – 0.1 x 0.1 mm. The screen can be considered Retina when viewed from at least 33 cm (from this distance, the average human eye can’t see the individual pixels).

Viewing angles are comfortable. We offer images from different angles to evaluate the quality.

Also, a video with locked focus and exposure.

The maximum measured brightness is 412 nits (cd/m2) (HDR off) in the middle of the screen. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen and at maximum brightness is 6320K – slightly warmer than the 6500K temperature for sRGB.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective.
Values of dE2000 over 4.0 should not occur, and this parameter is one of the first you should check if you intend to use the laptop for color-sensitive work (a maximum tolerance of 2.0 ). The contrast ratio here is incomparably better than that of the IPS and TN panels and is mathematically infinite.

To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction to the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.

Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people on HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.

Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.

The yellow dotted line shows HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000)’s color gamut coverage.

Its display covers 100% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976 and 100% of DCI-P3 providing a punchy and vibrant image (HDR off).

We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc.

Below you can compare the scores of the HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) against the P3-D65 standards (HDR off).

We also tested it in sRGB mode (HDR off).

The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.

The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale, and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.

Response time (Gaming capabilities)

We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and vice versa.

We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 3 ms.

After that, we test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “Gray-to-Gray” method from 50% White to 80% White and vice versa between 10% and 90% of the amplitude.


Health impact – PWM / Blue Light

PWM (Screen flickering)

Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.

Unfortunately, HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000)’s panel uses low-frequency PWM for luminance adjustment up to 100 nits. Afterwards, we detected small pulsations, which makes the display generally safe in this aspect (after 100 nits).

Blue light emissions

Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin, and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.

Gloss level measurement

Glossy-coated displays are sometimes inconvenient in high ambient light conditions. We show the level of reflection on the screen for the respective laptop when the display is turned off and the measurement angle is 60° (in this case, the result is 110 GU).


Buy our profiles

Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) configurations with a 13.5″ INT3480 (3000x2000p) OLED panel.

*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]

Read more about the profiles HERE.

In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.

Office Work

Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.

Design and Gaming

This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.

Health-Guard

Health-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.

Get all 3 profiles with 33% discount


Sound

HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000)’s Bang & Olufsen speakers produce a sound of very good quality. Its low, mid, and high tones are all clear of deviations.


Drivers

All drivers and utilities for this notebook can be found here: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-spectre-x360-13.5-inch-2-in-1-laptop-pc-14-ef0000/2100804760

Battery

Now, we conduct the battery tests with the Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with. With the 66Wh battery inside, we got 11 hours and 40 minutes of Web browsing, or 10 hours and 9 minutes of video playback.


CPU options

This device can be found with the Core i5-1235U and the Core i7-1255U.


GPU options

Since there is no dedicated graphics card, you have to rely on the integrated solution inside the processor of choice.


Gaming tests

cs-go-benchmarks

CS:GO HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Medium (Check settings) HD 1080p, MAX (Check settings)
Average FPS 170 fps 134 fps 80 fps

DOTA 2 HD 1080p, Low (Check settings) HD 1080p, Normal (Check settings) HD 1080p, High (Check settings)
Average FPS 139 fps 99 fps 64 fps

Temperatures and comfort

Max CPU load

In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.

Average P-core frequency; Average E-core frequency; CPU temp.; Package Power

Intel Core i7-1255U (15W TDP) 0:02 – 0:10 sec 0:15 – 0:30 sec 10:00 – 15:00 min
HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) 3.55 GHz @ 2.74 GHz @ 88°C @ 43W 3.20 GHz @ 2.50 GHz @ 90°C @ 35W 3.03 GHz @ 2.42 GHz @ 90°C @ 32W
HP EliteBook 860 G9 3.23 GHz @ 2.57 GHz @ 85°C @ 41W 3.09 GHz @ 2.46 GHz @ 86°C @ 38W 1.82 GHz @ 1.58 GHz @ 57°C @ 16W
HP 15 (15-dw4000) 3.19 GHz @ 2.42 GHz @ 69°C @ 40W 1.90 GHz @ 1.49 GHz @ 57°C @ 17W 1.91 GHz @ 1.49 GHz @ 56°C @ 17W
Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Gen 4 3.44 GHz @ 2.63 GHz @ 78°C @ 43W 2.98 GHz @ 2.24 GHz @ 75°C @ 36W 2.15 GHz @ 1.57 GHz @ 70°C @ 23W
MSI Modern 15 (B12M) 3.63 GHz @ 2.68 GHz @ 78°C @ 44W 3.63 GHz @ 2.65 GHz @ 86°C @ 44W 3.26 GHz @ 2.40 GHz @ 85°C @ 35W

Apparently, HP has been reserving its high scores for its most premium models. As you can see, the miniaturized gaming cooling setup helps it reach really high clock speeds for long periods of time. In fact, the laptop settles at 32W in the long run, which is also a bit demanding on the voltage control.

Comfort during full load

The two little fans are definitely running at high speed, especially since we used the Performance preset in the HP Command Center. However, such tiny spinners can only produce this much noise, and the laptop was rather comfortable. Plus, the externals never got too hot.


Verdict

You see, the Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) shares most of its downsides with the majority of premium convertible laptops. This includes soldered memory, limited I/O, and… and that’s pretty much it, actually.

This HP is a really strong package. Yes, speaking of strong – it really has a great design and construction. Moreover, its surface design comes with a fresh diversion from the notorious sharp edges of the past, to the slightly smoother curved finish. We have observed that this makes it harder to open the lid with one hand on other devices, but this is not the case with the Spectre x360 14.

Quite interestingly, the laptop doesn’t feature an IR face recognition scanner. Instead, it features an array of sensors that detect whether you are there in front of the laptop or not. This locks the laptop or wakes it when you approach it. Here comes the slightly frustrating part – you need to use the fingerprint reader or a passcode.

By the way, this machine features a quad-speaker Bang & Olufsen-tuned setup. It sounds simply amazing. Yes, it is not up to the quality of the latest MacBook Pro 14 and 16, but it is really good for a convertible.

Our configuration of the HP Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) came equipped with a 3000×2000 OLED touchscreen panel. It has comfortable viewing angles, a practically infinite contrast ratio, and blazingly quick pixel response times. Furthermore, it covers 100% of the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamuts, which makes the image look really punchy.

The input devices are also pretty good. The keyboard is a piece of cake, while the touchpad could have been a little bit more responsive. However, we are puzzled by one thing. HP doesn’t provide you with a stylus inside the box. Come on, this is a premium notebook that costs a small fortune. And obviously, it supports Pen input.

This is a real shame because the cooling solution can really provide you with crazy performance. This would allow for smooth real-time 3D or 2D design work on the fly.

Earlier, we said that the I/O is pretty limited. While this is true, it is good to see that the two Thunderbolt 4 connectors are paired with a USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 2) port and a MicroSD card reader. By the way, the former is possible thanks to a jaw-like mechanism, which is closed by default, thus saving space.

Ultimately, we find the Spectre x360 14 (14-ef0000) to be a very good purchase option. Make sure you find a way not to pay for an additional Pen because some competitors of the brand can provide you with just this. For instance, the AMD version of the Lenovo Yoga 7 (14″, 2022) is an absolute unit of a convertible, and it features a stylus inside the box.

You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-spectre-x360-14-14-ef000/

Pros

  • Good battery life
  • Strong aluminum chassis
  • Decent cooling
  • Full sRGB and DCI-P3 coverage
  • Super-fast pixel response time
  • Infinite contrast ratio
  • High resolution and 3:2 aspect ratio
  • Fingerprint reader + a 5MP Web camera
  • 2x Thunderbolt 4 + MicroSD card


Cons

  • Soldered memory
  • No stylus inside the box

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