HP Spectre x360 - 8th Gen Intel (Late 2017)

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by dstrauss, Oct 19, 2017.

  1. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    1. If it has "Windows XP" over the entry gate, you will know you went the wrong direction (down instead of up).
    2. This little Galaxy Book 12 has amazing power for an i5/4gb/128gb package. I've never used it before and I'm already impressed - other than the damn 2 minute clock on the screen saver BECAUSE of OLED burn in...but thanks to help here I learned to just set it to swap backgrounds every minute and automatically hide the task bar - no more shut down on my two external screens! But, I also don't keep anything open on the tablet screen.
    3. That's an amazing offer - thanks - but a half day of this little tablet is working out pretty. In all honesty I had a back up - my Surface Pro 4, but over Christmas I "traded" that to my son when I got the x360 15 because he wanted "MORE POWER."
    This is going to be a good experiment pending my next move - my gut already says this would be a GREAT alternative with: (a) a better solution for screen burn in (I really love this OLED screen); and (b) 16gb/512gb option. It already has me wondering how good this could be with Samsung's 850 USB-C monitor which supports the dual monitors, gives you three USB-A ports, AND charges the GB12.

    Ahhhhhh...the Wacom EMR is SOOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL!
     
  2. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Offer remains open. I really need to sell, like, at least 3 if my spares. Having one put to good use would make me feel lest wasteful. Plus I was going to hit you up for some W10 tuning on that device. I'd used it for 2 mos prior to setting up and giving to my daughter. Told her law school was tailor made for One Note and in screen note taking, but promised her I would replace it with her beloved MacCrap if it gave her trouble. She claimed it did, after both Creators and Anniv updates. I can't reproduce any problems but lack the literacy to read dump files, etc. I've already produced promised Mac, but figured I'd get a little diagnostic expertise outta you.

    Keep me posted. I live vicariously through your device exploits - and, for heaven's sake git you a spare machine! Don't you have, like, clients?? I just don't want to see you rush unto a decision. Secretly I want you to try a couple of contenders so we'll really have the lay of the land. I could even be convinced to be a designated guinea pig. In any event, the offer will remain open for the indefinite future. What kind of a jeyboard are you using with the Galaxy?

    EDIT: Curiosity got the better of me so I looked up the GB 12. Seems like a Surface clone with the OLED screen but notebookcheck got crappy color measurements from it. Also, their cpu testing suggests that it would seem really low rent compared to the 8th gen i7 you've been using lately, but you said it's performing better than you expected. Wonder what this may say about whether cpu matters for productivity at all?? Even the SSD in it is nothing to write home about. " " " " say about whether speeds above 500 mb/s sequential or over 40 mb/s 4k read matters for productivity apps?? I harbor a feeling that we are vastly over-speccing our equipment, though I don't do much photo editing anymore and no video editing, but I assume those are pretty much out of the question on that little guy you're using now. But they would justify more hp (horse power, not device maker!) than productivity apps warrant for your Next Big Decision! Personally, I am not sold on OLED screens. I've used Note phones and Samsung tablets with OLEDs for years and, while they're getting better, they are cartoonish to me and can't be calibrated. I would think they would not be so good for photo editing for these reasons. Not true? I think the 4K screens on the x360s are laptop screen nirvana. So, what's it looking to be next, Maestro?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  3. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    I do drawings and editing of my 1080p videos on the 12" Galaxy Book to be honest.
    It doesn't make me regret neither the first Surface Book (it's faster than that) nor the i7 Surface Pro to be fair in terms of performance.
     
  4. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Honestly, I would never dream of making a comment that would be suggestive that you regret a purchase decision that you - of all people, you - had made or might make! Hey, our whole discussion is about how hard it is to make these choices and how often the products disappoint. But I also see us as two people who fully appreciate the virtues of fine design, craftsmanship and technological prowess - both for the benefits they deliver and for their own sake. It's often about excellence itself and provisioning for the greatest need or worst case scenario. So far be it from me to question your power and provisioning decisions. That said, I've often researched and, using my own high purchase activities, tried to evaluate which specs matter most for which applications and use cases. I've come to learn that it is very difficult to make such evaluations and that, as the cost of tech keeps falling like a waterfall, acquiring more than I think you need right now and, often it is within reach of my budgets, just getting the high end of what is available - eg, cpu, gpu (if applicable, but here's a case where over-provisioning for someone like me, who doesn't do much editing anymore just adds heat, battery drain and can even bog down a device that would serve me better with other stuff emphasized) a bat-out-of-hell SSD and a to-die-for display, etc.

    Please, buy the best you can find and afford, always, and report in whether it wowed you with it's magnificence or disappointed you with heat, noise, excess weight, etc.

    Actually, how well the GB functions for you is a perfect example of a device surprisingly well provisioned for advanced image/video processing but would I choose it as my daily driver, no, something more like the HP x360 you identified at CES would be more enticing! Peace.
     
  5. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    I have to confess I’m eyeing the Dell xps 15 2in1 for the future. :D
     
  6. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Day One Report:
    • The GB12 (remember, this is the lower end model with i5-7200U and only 4gb RAM and 128gb SSD) is doing amazingly well, after I got a working setup together:
      • Tied it to my 29W iPad charger
      • Added a J5create USB-C hub ($59) which lets me charge the GB12 while adding to USB-A ports, Ethernet (and HDMI that I don't need)
      • Connected my two 2560x1440 DP monitors to the second USB-C port (work perfectly - think it's called MST mode, but basically into one them connected the two together)
      • Installed my bluetooth mouse and HK Onyx Studio Speaker - connected and running first try
      • My "perfect" ThinkPad keyboard and old HP LJ4250 printer are working perfectly off the two USB ports
      • Put my 200gb mSDXC card in for more storage so we'll see how that goes for now
    • Wacom EMR - that says it all!
    • The OLED screen on this thing is AWESOME - I don't know squat about color calibration, but it is a feast for my eyes - I've had great screens - x360, Dell XPS 15, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book - this one eats their lunch
    • OLED burn-in - that one worries me to no end, so I have removed all desktop icons, set Taskbar to auto-minimize, and have screen background changing each minute (would have done every 5, but no such option, only 1, 10, and higher) - I tried a couple of utilities that supposedly let you put a screen saver on one screen of a multi-screen setup, but each time it still shut down all the screens - if I could just isolate the GB12 screen and keep my monitors it would be a perfect setup
    • Inclined the GB12 for writing at my two o'clock and just punch up OneNote as needed
    No stress tests yet (ten Chrome tabs, 12 open Word docs) but I know this is a lower spec unit so trying to take it easy until next move arrives. Still, fan does come on, but really pretty quiet (especially compared to the x360 15 I returned to HP yesterday). If only I had the Bluetooth version of my trusty ThinkPad keyboard, I'd have an open USB A port to connect my backup drive and have immediate access to all my files from the x360...All I keep thinking is if this puppy had 8gb/512gb I'd be giving it a full shakedown. As it is, I think I have found my "backup" computer.

    What's Up Next:

    Surprisingly I resisted punching the BUY key on the x360 13 last night, and have my eye on a couple of used Surface Books with Performance Base that are till under MS warranty. The stumbling block there is they are running at about $1600 on eBay, and a new Switch 7 or even x360 13 would only be $100 more. The Little Engine That Could (GB12) has shown me that my former SP4 and SB are really more powerful than I need, so if I don't pull the trigger on the SBP I've decided I can make it on the GB12 for a while I until a closer look at the Acer Switch 7 as well as the new KBL-G models of the x360 15 and Dell XPS 15. In fact, if anyone had a solid rumor about a successor for the GB12 I'd be looking seriously at that as well. The form factor is great; LOVE the screen; and Wacom EMR - what not to love.

    Day Two Update:

    The fan seems to be running almost constantly - wasn't noticing it until I had to turn the tablet "upside down" (top edge resting on the bottom) to reach my cables and USB-C dock form where they plug into to power at my desk. it's really not very loud, but a concern nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
    dellaster and Marty like this.
  7. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Wow. Just wow. You've done the near impossible: left me speechless! So, what I love most about this, about your contribution to these forums for many years, is that we all get so much from your experiences: laughs by the truckload, the reality of products and the companies who make/lie about them, but also real knowledge - product knowledge, configuration/setup knowledge, what works/doesn't and why.

    So, you've come full "half-circle!" 7th gen i5 (U) + 620 supported by lots of awesome peripherals can be functionally almost as good - and in some important respects, better - than top end products (eg, x360 15 8th gen 16GB, MX150, 4K IPS vs GB12 i5 4GB/128GB HD 620, 12.3" AMOLED; the latter works as well in many respects as former to meet your needs, by adding peripherals. The mobile screen is actually better - except size for side-by-sides - than the x360 "supercomputer w/4K" because the AMOLED is so great! Wow. And a molasses-slow SDXC is all you need to bring needed storage to 128GB GB12. Go figure. What we're down to: the 7th gen i5 is somewhat taxed causing fans to go inside tiny GB12 chassis. Either 8th gne cpu (i5 probably better than i7 cuz less heat) in that chassis could well solve the whole problem. While you're upgrading, may as well put more RAM in (8GB probably fine, but go ahead and put 16 in, very little downside: cost and a little battery drain), bigger internal SSD - that's totally based on your needs, I'm sure you know how much is ideal, how much head room would be ideal.

    You're in a great place, but definitely in multiple choice hell! Especially since it's CES time, there are almost infinite possibilities. Now that you have a pretty good idea of the provisioning you need, and that it's relatively modest, there are so many product that would fit the bill. So, you can narrow the field to, like, 1-3 devices (not sure) if you decide you gotta have OLED mobile + EMR. Maybe 0-1 if you add silo to the reqs. Is it fair to say that you can take care of all your needs with super dock + awesome peripherals at desk and your only mobile reqs are the modest cpu/gpu/RAM/SSD we're talking about? Other than aforementioned stylus/display issues, other gotta-haves: clearly, tb3 port(s) - how many, what other ports? (I'm thinking: give me 2+ tb3s, 1-3 usb 3.1s, 1 usbc, 1 usba. Once you're in dongle land, doesn't too much matter, though a couple dongle-proof mobile options still needed: would usba 3.1 + HDMI/dp be enough? (again, this just so on the road you can hook up to hi res monitor, USB keyboard - I agree, BT keyboards way better than dongles!

    So, lucky you! Q: how long can you run with the current GB 12? Do you want to make a choice among what's available today, hopefully "one and done" or can you live with the GB12 setup for a little while and try out a few models in search of the holy grail (with way more achievable objectives)? A thorny issue: do you have a source to buy/return/replace from. Since BB out of running (is that still confirmed?) where do you go? Mfrs are good but ***warning, warning, warning - danger Will Robinson!!*** You really can't do business with Samsung.com. There is, almost literally, no way to get support of any kind, including RMAs for returns, a live human to help when automated RMAs don't work or returned items aren't acknowledged as returned and/or don't get refunds. I spoke at length - after hours and hours of hold time and retries to get someone - to some level of mgt/responsibility and 2 such agents admitted that Samsung.com is completely messed up and all customers are in freakout/spasm with good reasons. I bought an S8 last spring because Sam had great trade in deal. The phone was great, but I wanted an s8+, so I RMA'd the S8 and never got the s8+ because Sam never acknowledged/refunded the S8 return, charged me $300 because their automated system cancelled out my trade-in and didn't talk to the RMA system (which would've had the wrong info anyway) so they charged my cc $300 as if I got credit for the trade in but never sent it in (which I did; lost decent backup phone in the process!) and, if I was ever going to get refund, it would have been net of the $300. Took me months to straighten out and Sam manager/agents all but said: don't buy our products from us; buy from BB or Amazon!

    Put [all of] that in your pipe and smoke it!
     
  8. Marty

    Marty Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hehe, what did I tell ya' ;)

    Btw...you lost the bet (if you put a wager) :p
     
  9. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Nope - read your bet - “this year” and it is 2018 according to my calendar.
    "(Public notice: I am now taking bets on how long @dstrauss can last before getting a GB12 this year :p)" Dated: May 5, 2017


    @lovelaptops Jeff - I may pull trigger on x360 13 still - it would be a good compromise for now and I have 30 days to evaluate it (again). The fan just keeps droning on my little GB12 and my thinking now is just wait for Courier/Surface Mini/whatever they call it - and I can't run that long on the Sammy...will decide tonight - my money is on the x360 13 for now - it only costs $90 more than best deal I could get on a used Surface Book with any length of warranty left, and I am NOT sold on the thermals of the March x360 2018 - besides, like i said, I have 30 days from delivery on the x360 13 ;)

    Update #2 Day 2:
    The little GB12 is a gallant trooper, but the fan has not stopped running all day long. Now that I have it pointed away from me (correct orientation) it is very quiet, but running nonetheless. my guess is the 8gb RAM would help, but it would not really cut it as a long term solution (well, that's not fair, it could do it, it's me that has jitters). :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  10. lovelaptops

    lovelaptops My friends call me Jeff Senior Member

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    Dale, just a few thoughts for you to consider:
    1) If memory serves me (and it increasingly doesn't!), you were bothered by the fans coming on with the x360 15. My concern is that, with the same hdwe - minus the MX150 - the smaller box of the x360 13 will get hotter sooner/more often, thus perhaps not the ticket to cure this issue for you. If memory further serves (and now we're in long-shot territory) you may have mentioned that on the 360/15 the fans were running when you were doing nothing at all taxing of the system. Though, again, you do have 30 days to see what happens!

    2) Whether with the x360/13 or the I-think-I-can GB12, might you invoke your own throttling program. There are several ways to achieve this; easiest and most primitive: Windows power settings - change the cooling policy to passive or/and lower the maximum processor utilization % to the highest number that will reduce/eliminate fan activation, at least when running productivity apps or browser only; if you need some hp, you'll likely have to endure some fan noise, but still you can play with these settings on either machine and see if they serve without crippling. My recollection is that the new/improved Throttlestop enables you to, er, throttle-don't-stop. Specifically, I believe there are fan threshold settings though anyone's guess as to whether they will play nice with any given device model. Maybe not worth the trouble for the GB12 since it's just a stop gap device, but might give you granular adjustment on the x360/13 if it's noisy but otherwise a keeper.

    Q: Will you go with the 4K or the FHD on the 13? I just adore the 4K, and it does make a difference on the 13.3" and it's clear that you're a screen wild man but I did some very extensive [-ly nerdy] A/B comparisons with the March 2017 versions of the 13 with each screen running continuous videos and lost a good 2-3 hrs total when the displays were running 4K vid for at least 5 hrs until shutdowns. Pro reviews ran the gamut from my experience to as little as 1 hr diff. Bear in mind, even if not running 4K video the screen is still pushing 3840x2160 pixels - though I didn't test with non-ultra-high-def programs. More important to me than the delta is the absolute values and I would say the 4K is good for 4.5-6.5 vs. 6.5-9 with the FHD.
     
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