Let’s imagine that HP’s wide range of convertible devices is a pyramid. At the bottom, you can find the Pavilions and ProBooks of x360 label. Next some EliteBooks and Envys. But on the top of this imaginary pyramid stays only one subbrand – the Spectre. Not only it looks magnificent but is paired with the best energy efficient hardware currently available.
In addition to all of that, it obviously has a touchscreen panel with a 4K option (which we are going to review today by the way). Despite the elegant bezel-less design, HP wasn’t thrifty as most of the manufacturers out there and kept a NumPad enabled keyboard design with reasonably large keys and a backlight. Join us on our venture to see whether the Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) is a worthy competitor to probably the best 15-inch convertible on the market right now – the Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-spectre-x360-15-15-df0000/
HP Spectre x360 15 technical specifications table
What’s in the box?
HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) comes in a huge fancy box. In fact, it looks more like a PC case box, rather than a laptop one. Opening it up reveals a classical box-in-a-box situation. Frankly enough, the second box is even fancier than the first one with just the “Spectre” logo appearing with gold letters on top of it. Digging further inside reveals the Dark (Poseidon) Blue – Gold device, protected by a premium plastic bag. It sucks power from a 90W charging brick, while the GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q GPU will need a 130W one.
Design and construction
Opening the box reveals content that is similar in fashion to the box itself. Premium quality flows from the aluminum that covers the entire body, down to the hinges, which allow the lid to be opened almost effortlessly with a single hand. In addition to that, there are the chamfered “gem-cut” edges. They represent the biggest external difference to its predecessor. Moreover, now HP has introduced a … cut on the orthodox design, which houses a USB Type-C port on the right of the screen, and the on/off button to the left side. Honestly, at first, we couldn’t find its location which means either it is not very intuitive or we are just not very bright.
Anyways, we are talking about a 15-inch convertible with all aluminum design which weighs 2.18 kg and is just 19.3 mm thick. Compared to its main rivals it is a little bit thicker and a little bit heavier but it definitely compensates with its visuals.
Let’s get back to the hinges for a second as they are a pretty interesting feature in this device. As we already mentioned they are not very stiff at the closed position, but as soon as you lift them up, they do a pretty good job of securing the display. This trend continues to a “tent” mode and even when you completely close them in the other way (meaning “tablet” mode).
Obviously, the most exciting thing about the HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) is its 4K touchscreen panel and its ability to be used with a stylus. However, we should not ignore the other, more conventional, input methods – the keyboard and touchpad. Unlike some of the competition (aghm… Lenovo Yoga 730 (15″) …aghm) the keyboard here features the NumPad keys, which some of us love. In addition to the relatively long travel, they have nice tactile feedback. As you can see from the imagery, the characters are printed with a very high font size, which looks a little weird at first but is pretty useful in low light conditions, especially when paired with the adjustable backlight.
HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) / Lenovo Yoga 730 (15″)
The keyboard is flanked with speakers at the top and touchpad at the bottom, with the former being accurate and responsive. Its layout is a little uncommon, as it has an aspect ratio of about 16:9, unlike most of the rest, which are more square-ish. In addition to the touchpad you can see a fingerprint reader, located on the right side of the base and it is crazy fast.
When you turn the laptop upside down, you’ll see a single large grill at the bottom, which is meant for intake purposes and two smaller ones, but with bigger holes, on the side – exhausting hot air in a fashion similar to HP Elitebook 1050 G1. What is more interesting here is that there are only two visible screws, with the rest hidden beneath the rubber legs – poor upgradability as you may easily tare the rubber.
|HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000)||361 mm (14.17″)||250 mm (9.80″)||19.3 mm (0.67″)||2.18 kg (4.2 lbs)|
|Lenovo Yoga 730 (15″)||360 mm (14.17″)||249 mm (9.80″)||17 mm (0.67″) (-12%)||1.89 kg (4.2 lbs) (-13%)|
|Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1||354 mm (14.17″)||235 mm (9.80″)||16 mm (0.67″) (-17%)||1.97 kg (4.2 lbs) (-10%)|
HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000)’s port selection is limited to only what you’re going to need if not less. On the left side, you can see the charging barrel plug, followed by an HDMI port and a headphone jack, located on the other side of the vent, while on the right side you can see two USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) connectors with Thunderbolt 3 support and a single USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2). What is interesting about the Thunderbolt ports is that one of them is located at the corner of the laptop, while the other one can be used to charge the device if you have the appropriate cable.
HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) is equipped with a gorgeous UHD touchscreen panel. It bears a model number AUO30EB and has a diagonal of 15.6″ (39.62 cm), and the resolution 3840 x 2160 pixels. The screen ratio is 16:9, and we are looking at a pixel density of – 282 ppi, and a pitch of 0.09 х 0.09 mm. The screen turns into Retina when viewed at distance equal to or greater than 30cm (12″) (from this distance one’s eye stops differentiating the separate pixels, and it is normal for looking at a laptop).
It has excellent viewing angles. We offer images at 45° to evaluate image quality.
The measured maximum brightness of 324 nits in the middle of the screen and 320 nits as an average for the whole area, with a maximum deviation of just 4%. The Correlated Color Temperature on a white screen is 6630K – very close to, but still colder than the optimal for the sRGB standard of 6500K. The average color temperature through the grey scale before profiling is even warmer – 6830K.
In the illustration below you can see how the display performs from a uniformity perspective. In other words, the leakage of light from the light source.
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. The contrast ratio is astonishing – 1510:1 (1400:1 after profiling).
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 in 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 15 (15-df0000)’s color gamut coverage.
Its display covers 94% of the sRGB/ITU-R BT.709 (web/HDTV standard) in CIE1976.
Our “Design and Gaming” profile delivers optimal color temperature (6500K) at 140 cd/m2 luminance and sRGB gamma mode.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
Below you can compare the scores of HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) with the default settings (left), and with the “Gaming and Web design” profile (right).
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 = 34 ms – definitely not the fastest on the market.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight 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.
Thankfully, HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000)’s display doesn’t flicker at any brightness level. This makes it comfortable for use for extended periods of time.
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.
HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000)’s UHD display is a real gem in the world of IPS panels. Its 4K resolution is complemented by an excellent contrast ratio, comfortable viewing angles and non-flickering backlight at any brightness level. In addition to that, it is suitable for graphic designers with its almost full coverage of sRGB and accurate colors. If you want to further improve the accuracy of the colors (beneath the standard dE of 2.0) you can get our Gaming and Web design profile.
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 15 (15-df0000) configurations with 15.6″ UHD IPS AUO AUO30EB.
*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 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.
THealth-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.
HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) has a very good speaker setup. One that is comparable to the latest MacBook Pros. In addition to the loud and clear sound, there are no apparent deviations in the low, mid and high frequencies.
All of the drivers and utilities needed for the HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) can be found here: https://support.hp.com/us-en/drivers/selfservice/hp-spectre-15-df0000-x360-convertible-pc/23238160/model/24475647
Our unit was equipped with a beefy 1 TB SSD drive made by Toshiba. It has a model number XG5 KXG50ZNV1T02 and is a PCIe x4 NVMe drive. While you shouldn’t yours to be the same as this one, due to the regional dependency, here are the transfer speeds: 3.18 GB/s sequential Read and 2.11 GB/s sequential Write.
|SSD model (480-1024GB variants)||Max.Seq.Read (GB/s)||Max.Seq.Write (GB/s)||IOPS 4K Read||IOPS 4K Write||Latency Read (ms)||Latency Write (ms)|
|Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV1T02||3.18||2.11||10975||30978||0.048||0.034|
|Intel Pro 6000p Series||1.83||0.59||7792||28266||0.075||0.033|
|Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G||3.13||0.46||8425||29661||0.055||0.046|
Now, we conduct the battery tests with 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. Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) is equipped with a huge 84Wh battery. From what we know they place the same pack on either of the configurations – low voltage or not.
Pairing the Core i7-8565U with a battery of this capacity results in a whopping 19 hours of web browsing away from the plug, ranking the Spectre x360 15 first in our Battery Life chart. If you want to watch some videos, though, the 4K screen resolution of the screen pays its tax by dropping the screen on time more than twice – around 8 hours and a half. Moreover, things go sad when playing games – less than an hour and a half of battery life.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
HP has provided an interesting option here – choice of a ULV Whiskey Lake processor or a full-blown H-labeled Coffee Lake CPU. Moreover, the choice comes down to the Intel Core i7 compatriots, which not only differ in the amount of cores four / six but in the frequencies and most notably, the TDP – 15W / 45W respectively.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
The manufacturer’s bold decisions are carried over to the GPU department as well. Here you can pick either the GeForce MX150 or the more powerful but hotter GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Well… this was surprising. GeForce MX150 in the Spectre x360 15 performed like a boss. Especially in CS:GO where it destroyed the nearest competition.
|CS:GO||Full HD, Low (Check settings)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|HP Spectre x360 15||160 fps||122 fps||86 fps|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||119 fps||95 fps||73 fps|
|DOTA 2||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|HP Spectre x360 15||105 fps||66 fps||52 fps|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||69 fps||60 fps||48 fps|
|TC Rainbow Six Siege||HD 768p, Medium (Check settings)||HD 768p, High (Check settings)||HD 768p, Very High (Check settings)|
|HP Spectre x360 15||92 fps||75 fps||70 fps|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||87 fps||71 fps||67 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 core temperature (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Intel Core i7-8565U (15W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000)||3.10 GHz (B+72%) @ 69°C||1.92 GHz (B+7%) @ 61°C||1.88 GHz (B+4%) @ 64°C|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||3.22 GHz (B+79%) @ 90°C||2.63 GHz (B+46%) @ 83°C||2.48 GHz (B+38%) @ 79°C|
|Dell Inspiron 14 5482 2-in-1||3.12 GHz (B+73%) @ 96°C||2.56 GHz (B+42%) @ 94°C||2.01 GHz (B+12%) @ 76°C|
What you see in the table above states the obvious – HP has prioritized throttling over high fan speeds in cooling the CPU. This is mainly due to the artist-friendly nature of the Spectre x360, which has to battle some Macbooks along the way in order to prevail as a greater device. Comparing it to some of Dell’s latest Inspiron 2-in-1s we see a similar clock speed in the first checkpoint. However, the rest of the test shows a significant drop in the frequency, although the average temperature for the last 5 minutes is around 64C. This is not only made to reduce noise levels but to reduce heat emitted from the laptop when you place it keyboard-down on your lap.
|NVIDIA GeForce MX150||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000)||1525 MHz @ 91°C||1650 MHz @ 74°C|
|ASUS VivoBook S15 S530||1591 MHz @ 74°C||1475 MHz @ 74°C|
|Dell Inspiron 17 7786 2-in-1||1570 MHz @ 69°C||1447 MHz @ 69°C|
During the gameplay session, we notice something even more interesting about the way HP Spectre x360 15 handles temperatures. Its GeForce MX150 started at 1800 MHz but soon dropped down to around 1525 MHz, while the temperatures sky-rocketed up to 91C. This left us a little scared at the beginning but only then, the fans started to boost up their frequency – it feels like these fans don’t like to be bothered. However, if they eventually bother to increase their speed, the temperature not only falls to a more reasonable 74C. By the way, another thing is that the side-blowing fans weren’t that loud even at maximum proficiency.
Despite the adequate temperatures at the end of the GPU test, HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000) did get a little hot on the outside. Our IR camera measured a maximum of 51C in between the “G” and “H” keys, which is too much and in the same time not enough if you want to fry an egg… sadly. Anyhow, while the palm-rest area was also a little warm it is more tolerant to your hands and you can easily place them there for as long as you need without worrying.
Here we are, at the end of this review. Sadly, we have to part ways with the Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000). It is definitely one of the most finished devices we have reviewed in a while. Although like many other laptops, some features come at the expense of something else, we found the compromises made with this one to be the most forgivable. As a possible downside, we would only put the heat output from the keyboard area and a slight coil whine when copying or transferring files to the SSD. In addition to that, the device is a little risky to open, since you have to remove both feet, which are made out of thin rubber, hence easily tearable.
While we also expected the UHD resolution to be a downside, there is relatively good integration of such a high resolution on that (15.6 inches) screen size within Windows. However, we should note that Adobe Photoshop is near unusable as the interface breaks a little bit. While you can adjust the size of some components of the menu, others remain super tiny.
That’s basically all of the problems we had with the HP Spectre x360 15 (15-df0000). On the bright side, there is a brilliant performance for low-voltage components both CPU and GPU-wise. In addition to that, the CPU is especially effective in Photoshop, where it blows the competition away. Not only that but when you put a low-voltage GPU like the GeForce MX150 in a bigger form factor and good thermals you get the fastest MX150 on the market as of the moment of writing this review. In addition to that, you can get the laptop with the more powerful GTX 1050 Max-Q, which will boost both gaming capabilities and 3D rendering at all.
Next, we have the record-breaking (at least to our system) battery life – 19 hours of web browsing, although when playing an HD video the times drop significantly – barely 8 hours and a half. Nothing uncommon for a laptop with a 4K display.
Speaking of which, this is probably the notebooks best feature. It (AUO30EB) produces magnificent colors, has decent maximum brightness and doesn’t PWM to adjust the level of its brightness. When you add the secret ingredient of touchscreen and Pen/Stylus support, it becomes the perfect tool for an artist, designer, or just person with too much money in his/her pocket. If you want to further enhance your visual experience, you can connect up to two 5K external monitors via the Thunderbolt ports.
It is not only a prettier alternative to the industrial Dell XPS 15 9575 2-in-1 but is also a lot cheaper (yet still not cheap at all). If you want a similarly good device without huge damage to your wallet, you can check the Yoga 730 (15″) or the HP Envy x360 15.
- Excellent build quality
- Supports 2x 5K external monitors via two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Magnificent UHD display with 94% sRGB coverage, decent brightness and accurate colors (AUO30EB)
- Doesn’t use harmful PWM (AUO30EB)
- Backlit NumPad-equipped keyboard with a pleasant keystroke
- Overperforming in image-editing applications
- The best GeForce MX150 performance yet
- 19 hours of web browsing time away from the plug
- Occasional coil whine from the SSD
- Upgradability hurt by the easy to tare legs that cover most of the screws
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/hp-spectre-x360-15-15-df0000/