Spectre x360 14 OLED 3:2

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard' started by Marty, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    From the link, it says the SSD is PCIe-based, which usually indicates an NVMe drive doesn't it?

    "1TB Solid State Drive (PCI-e)
    Save files fast and store more data. With massive amounts of storage and advanced communication power, PCI-e SSDs are great for major gaming applications, multiple servers, daily backups, and more.

    32GB Intel Optane Memory
    Intel® Optane™ memory works with the PC to recognize, remember, and provides speedy access to your frequently used files, applications, and games. Intel® Optane™ memory adapts to deliver a responsive, accelerated user experience over time."

    And in the worst case, couldn't you just disable the Optane memory and run it as straight SSD mode? Or is it that the mere presence of an Optane drive slows down SSD function in straight SSD mode?
     
  2. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    @Marty Yes the most recent versions are PCI-E NVME drives. The issue is that only the cache module has the much faster TLC type memory, the main large module is slow-medium SLC type memory
     
  3. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    A few more updates:
    • The screen is very bright - I can't use much more than 50% in a living room with a table lamp and flatscreen TV for ambient light.
    • The 3:2 aspect ratio is fantastic for productivity apps and all you pay is bars above and below movies - which by the way are beautiful on the screen
    • iTunes is still a pickle at times; stuttering or slow buffering when streaming. Conversely, DisneyPlus on Chrome was spotless. In both instances, the video is beautiful on the OLED.
    • Still nothing definitive on battery life but anecdotally an hour or more better than the 13"
    • Having ALL controls on the deck of the keyboard is a great innovation. Power, camera blocking, HP system controls, and fingerprint reader are all there on the keyboard deck.
    • The larger trackpad is great - easier to use but not a giant slate like a MacBook
    • THAT PRICE - $1599 - I just can't get over the value for the specs of this laptop
    • My only negatives at this point are;
      • The iTunes sluggishness (even my GB12 can play smoothly once given time to buffer)
      • Poor pen performance. The pen it comes with is WORTHLESS without a sleeve on the nib to give some grip (pen on paper feel) and stop the "tap tap tap" noise. The Bamboo Ink is a little better on its own, but still vectors and skips. I HATE MICROSOFT FOR SCREWING UP AND LEAVING EMR AFTER SURFACE PRO 2! I don't care anything about battery life claims; LCD stack space; whatever the excuses - they cheaped out buying N-Trig and condemned pen performance on Windows to mediocrity.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2020
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  4. daddyfish

    daddyfish Scribbler - Standard Member

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    , sounds like the most perfect laptop yet imo. Even good selection of ports and quad speakers and stuff like that. How good is the digitizer? Is it similar to Surface devices if you use a surface pen or bamboo ink or such?
     
  5. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    I think I've detailed it quite a bit in my previous posts, but the Cliffnotes version:
    • The pen solution SUCKS - it is a hard plastic nib (akin to the HP Slate 500) that is terribly slippery and poor inking
    • It is unusable without a silicon sleeve to give it grip and stability
    • The Bamboo Ink is a little better but not even nearly as good as the Surface Pen on a Surface tablet
    • MS should be sentenced to Purgatory until they ditch N-Trig (yes, that means they'll be there forever)
     
  6. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    UPDATE TO THE UPDATE OF THE UPDATE (based upon Apple's reveal of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13 M1 laptops today): the Spectre x360 14 is the best Windows ultraportable. The M1 Macs show great performance and battery longevity promise, and at least they were somewhat transparent about testing, but this is a sample of their carefully crafted language:

    "Testing conducted by Apple in October 2020 using preproduction 13-inch MacBook Pro systems with Apple M1 chip and 16GB of RAM measuring peak single-thread performance of workloads taken from select industry-standard benchmarks, commercial applications, and open source applications. Comparison made against the highest-performing CPUs for notebooks commercially available at the time of testing. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of MacBook Pro."

    First - single threaded test under ideal conditions. Second - what was "commercially available" for Windows in October - my guess is that means 10th gen Intel which has been clearly eclipsed by the 11th gen Intel notebooks. Still, they will likely give a lot of competition in the ultraportable space. Also, Apple's battery life estimates have usually been accurate, and up to 20 hours of video playback on the MBP M1 is a pretty high bar.

    Update to the Update (based upon a question): if you already have the 2019 13" x360, with the exception of the the screen real estate I don't think it merits upgrading...

    Opinion Update:


    TL&DR - The Spectre x360 14 is the best ultraportable available today. I know I have not tested the other 11th Gen devices from Dell and Lenovo, but at Best Buy's price point it cannot be matched. A lot is repetitive here, but it is also an attempt to set the record straight because of my obsession/manic response to pen quality (see the end of this post).
    • HP hit all the major points:
      • 11th gen itself is an incredible improvement - everything I've seen, and anecdotally,
      • 3:2 OLED screen with even brightness and a gorgeous image
      • Two TB4 ports
      • 16gb RAM and 1TB SSD
    • HP got almost ALL of the small points right this time
      • A USB A port without a trap door
      • mSDXC slot (wish it were full size though)
      • All functional controls are in the keyboard deck
        • Power
        • Camera security
        • Microphone mute
        • HP Utilities
        • Fingerprint reader
        • Discreet cursor/page movement keys
    All of this in a thin and lite 3# package that is pretty stunning. If I take away my objection to the pen performance (and to a lesser extent my Lawrence of Arabia beef) this IS the perfect ultraportable. I could easily recommend this to any user looking to upgrade their Windows 10 computer today.

    ***Because of my pen obsession, the jury is still out. I should report that my law partner's Surface Pen (latest model) worked much better than the the Bamboo Ink, and only a notch or two below pen performance on the Surface Pro with the same pen, so there is hope. Since I still may have to keep using the iPad Pro 11 (2018) for actual notetaking though, I'm waiting to see what Apple brings to the table tomorrow. To be frank, the Apple Pencil 2 system is the best all around right now, even better than EMR. The S Pen superiority is now only the feel of the nib on glass - inking is even better on the iPad (heresy!).
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2020
  7. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Small Update - All Good News:

    As @desertlap warned, battery gauge calibration takes time on these new systems, but I had a few nice surprises this morning:
    1. I put the 14 into my bag last night at 10:00pm and it was still cool to the touch at 8:30 am.
    2. It went in the bag at 43% capacity and came out at 43% capacity - THAT is a major win!
    3. Truly instant on when waking (I disabled hibernation just to test this).
    PS - there was no big drop a few minutes after opening it, just 1% in about 15 minutes - a pretty small adjustment which leads me to believe a minimal battery drain overnight.

    This leads me to amend my "Update to the Update in Spectre x360 14 OLED 3:2"

    If maximum battery life is important, and you won't compromise from OLED, then the x360 14 is a logical upgrade.
     
  8. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    More Adventures in x360-14 land:

    It may be just a 20H2 enhancement, but I think it will help OLED's specifically. Like when I reopened the 14 this morning, the foreground Explorer window was lit and active, but this Chrome window in the background was substantially dimmed - actually a little below the minimum brightness with the brightness control (ran two instances of this window and dimmed the unit manually for comparison; it had to be a full notch below the lowest manual dimming). This not only stretches battery life but may prolong OLED life as well as helping prevent OLED burn in.

    Speaking of opening the laptop, it was INSTANT ON, just like my daughter's MacBook, AND it had used 1-2% (I say that as a range because it only showed 1% drop but a few minutes later it was 2%) - both of those are absolute firsts in my Windows career. The EVO experience, so far, has been very impressive. It has almost completely eliminated my Apple lust - seriously. I'm also surprised how much I like the 3:2 screen ratio again - it seems HUGE - and did I mention the screen is too bright for me to use max brightness except when watching movies, and still too bright even then in total darkness?

    I believe I mentioned previously that one of our lawyer's Surface Pens worked best (so far) with the x360-14. One of my kids has bought a Surface Pen for my birthday next Saturday, and I will give the x360-14 a thorough shakedown. I am even back to daydreaming about the Fold 3 again. I know I have sworn up and down I can't leave iOS, but that Fold 2 hands on experience at BB, with the thought of having a siloed S Pen, has me believing a two device solution is not only possible, but would be practical. You would literally have THREE devices in TWO.
     
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  9. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Sure feels like I'm talking to myself around here anymore...like, oh yeah..

    [​IMG]
     
  10. WillAdams

    WillAdams Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Sorry, if it had Wacom EMR, I'd be all over this (and probably have one --- still a bit bummed my son chose a Surface Book 2 instead).
     
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