Intel Core Ultra is a Big Improvement! HP Spectre x360 14 Review -14t-eu000

My latest video explores the HP Spectre x360 14, featuring Intel’s new Core Ultra processor. This device and its new processor has impressed me with its performance leap, especially in graphical capabilities.

The Spectre x360 14, a two-in-one device, starts at a price of $1,449 (compensated affiliate link). The unit I reviewed has a new Intel Ultra 7 155h processor with an integrated Arc GPU. The new processor has 16 cores – 6 designated for high performance activites, 8 for power efficient tasks, and another 2 “NPU” cores designed for machine learning activities.

The Spectre x360 line sports a 14-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2880 by 1800. The display’s brightness peaks at 500 nits in HDR mode and supports a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz, making it useful for a range of tasks from document editing to media consumption.

Weighing in at 3.19 pounds, the laptop feels premium with its all-aluminum build. Unique to HP Spectres, a Thunderbolt 4 port and a headphone jack are placed on the corners. Other ports include a compact USB-A port, and an addition Thunderbolt 4 ports. HP also includes a small dock in the box with additional ports.

The keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience with well-spaced, backlit keys and decent key travel. The haptic trackpad, while innovative, does present some responsiveness issues, often misinterpreting gestures or clicks. This is an area that could benefit from software refinement.

Equipped with a high-resolution webcam, the Spectre x360 delivers clear video quality, enhanced by Intel AI features for background blurring and other image effects. The webcam has a physical lens cover, operable via a keyboard shortcut.

Audio quality from the built-in speakers is satisfactory, though best experienced in the laptop mode due to some muffling when in display orientation.

Performance-wise, the HP Spectre x360 excels in everyday tasks like web browsing, and media streaming. Its Wi-Fi 7 capability should deliver solid wireless performance in most environments. The included pen provides a responsive and pressure-sensitive drawing experience, though the smooth screen might feel a bit slippery to some users.

Battery life has seen improvement with the new Intel chips. Under normal use, the laptop can last 9-10 hours in my testing, a notable increase from previous models.

In terms of heavier tasks like video editing and gaming, the Spectre x360 14 holds up remarkably well. Editing 4K videos at 60fps was smooth and efficient, thanks to the new Intel chip. Gaming performance showed significant improvement, running games like Red Dead Redemption 2 and Doom Eternal at significantly better framerates than the prior generation of Intel chips running on integrated graphics.

The laptop remained cool and quiet throughout my testing, demonstrating the balance between power and efficiency in this new generation of Intel processors.

However, I did encounter some limitations with Linux compatibility, suggesting this model is best suited for Windows users.

The Spectre x360 14 is a promising indication of what’s to come in the laptop market. Intel really upped the game here so it’ll be fun to see what AMD cooks up to respond.

HP Envy Move Review – A Versatile All-In-One Desktop

I recently had the opportunity to review the HP Envy Move, a unique all-in-one PC that stands out from others in this market segment. This device is not just a Windows PC; it’s also a portable display with a built-in battery, making it versatile for various settings, such as educational environments or for those who need a computer on the go. You can see it in action in my latest review.

Pricing varies based on configuration and retailer promotions, but a decently equipped one will run $900. You can find and customize one here at HP (compensated affilate link). My review loaner featured an i5-1335U processor, 16 GB of RAM, and a terabyte of storage. The base model starts at under $800, offering lower specifications. One key aspect to note is that while the storage is upgradable, the RAM is not.

Its portability is a significant differentiation from other all-in-one PCs, weighing in at 4.1 kg (or 9 lbs). The bottom foot stands automatically flip out when placed on a surface and retract when picked up. The handle is magnetic, attaching to the back when not in use, and there’s a pouch for storing the included trackpad and keyboard.

The Envy Move boasts a 23.8-inch Quad HD 1440p touch display with 300 nits of brightness. The touch functions only work when the PC is active device and will not work with other devices.

The keyboard is comfortable to type on, resembling HP’s laptop keyboards. The integrated trackpad is accurate and feels similar to those on HP laptops too. But, it’s powered by AAA batteries, so keeping spares or opting for rechargeables might be wise.

The 1440p webcam at the top supports Windows facial recognition and can detect your presence, locking the screen or putting the PC to sleep when you walk away. However, the fixed position of the webcam and the height of the display vs. a laptop means you can’t adjust the camera angle, which could be a drawback for some users.

It features only two USB ports on the left hand side of the unit: a larger USB-A port and a USB Type-C port that supports external displays. On the right hand side there’s an HDMI port that is input-only, meaning it can’t be used for video capture or as an output.

Performance-wise, the HP Envy Move does well with the types of tasks it was designed for. Web browsing is smooth, and it handles basic tasks like word processing efficiently. For video editing, it manages well with basic projects but might struggle with more demanding tasks.

Gaming on the HP Envy Move is possible, but it’s not its primary function. You can play less demanding games at lower settings, but don’t expect a high-end gaming experience. I was able to get Red Dead Redemption 2 to play but I had to adjust the resolution down to 720p at the lowest settings.

One downside I encountered was the inability to run Linux on this device, which might be a deal-breaker for some users. Hopefully, a future BIOS update might address this issue as I couldn’t get it to boot off an external drive even after disabling secure boot.

Overall, the HP Envy Move is an innovative and versatile all-in-one PC. Its portability, combined with the functionality of a PC and a monitor, makes it a unique offering in the market.

Disclosure: This was not a sponsored review. HP provided the PC on loan for the purposes of this review. HP did not review or approve my review before it was uploaded.

HP’s Black Friday Laptop Review – The Pavilion 15 15t-eg300

A few days ago I reviewed HP’s Pavilion 15 laptop as it is currently on sale at a large Black Friday discount. HP is taking $450 off any configuration of this model (compensated affiliate link). The specific configuration I examined is priced at $529, I think a decent price for someone looking for a nicely performing laptop who doesn’t need many bells and whistles. You can watch my video review here.

The HP Pavilion 15 features a 15.6-inch 1080p display, although it’s not the brightest at about 250 nits. The model I reviewed had a TN display, which I found to have limited viewing angles. However, the Black Friday deal includes an IPS display option, which I would recommend for better viewing quality.

Internally, the laptop is equipped with an Intel i7-1355U processor, Intel Iris XE Graphics, 16 GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM, and a 256 GB NVMe SSD. The RAM is socketed, but it’s unclear if it can be expanded beyond 16 GB. The SSD can be replaced for more storage, offering some flexibility for future upgrades.

The build quality is mostly plastic, and the laptop weighs 3.86 lbs (1.75 kg). While it’s not the most robust construction, the performance does make up for it. The keyboard is decent with large, well-spaced keys, and the trackpad is functional. A notable feature is the fingerprint reader, which adds convenience for logging in.

Port selection is good, with an HDMI 2.1 port, a USB-A port, a USB-C Gen 2 port (which supports power, display port 1.4 out, and data devices), a combined headphone/microphone jack, another USB-A port, and a barrel connector for power. However, there’s no card reader for additional storage or camera cards.

The webcam is only 720p, suitable for basic video calls but not exceptional. Battery life is estimated between 6 to 8 hours, depending on usage, which is reasonable for a laptop in this price range.

Performance-wise, the HP Pavilion 15 excels in basic tasks like web browsing and video streaming. It handles 1080p videos well and is equipped with Wi-Fi 6 for a smooth online experience. The speakers are average, but external headphones or speakers can enhance the audio experience.

For more demanding tasks like video editing, the laptop’s i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM allow for smooth operation in applications like DaVinci Resolve, especially for basic to moderate editing tasks. Gaming performance is adequate for casual gaming, with the ability to run demanding titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 at lower settings at around 30-35 frames per second.

In benchmarks, the laptop scored well, indicating it can keep pace with other laptops in its generation. However, it does experience some thermal throttling under heavy load, which is common in laptops at this price point.

Lastly, I tested the laptop with the latest version of Ubuntu Linux, and it performed well, with all hardware components being detected correctly. This makes it a viable option for those looking to run alternative operating systems.

The HP Pavilion 15, especially with the Black Friday discount, offers a solid value proposition. It’s a practical choice for those needing a capable laptop without breaking the bank. While it’s not the top-end in terms of build quality or features, its performance for the price is commendable.

Value Packed Laptop: HP Pavilion Plus 14 (2023 / 14z-ey000) Review

In my latest review, I take a look at the HP Pavilion Plus 14, a laptop that I think has a nice balance of cost and features.

This laptop, which has just been released, starts at $799 (compensated affiliate link), with the model I reviewed priced at $919 (compensated affiliate link). It boasts a vibrant 14-inch OLED display with a 2.8k resolution (2880 by 1800) and a variable refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The display’s 16:10 aspect ratio provides ample screen height for web browsing and document editing, although it lacks touch capabilities.

Inside, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 loaner we received is powered by a Ryzen 7 7840U processor, accompanied by 16GB of DDR5 RAM, which is soldered onto the motherboard. The entry level version also has 16GB of RAM but has a lower performing but still very capable Ryzen 5 7540U.

The model I explored comes with a 1TB NVMe SSD, which is upgradable. Weighing in at 3.19 lbs and featuring an all-metal design, the laptop feels lightweight yet fairly sturdy. The keyboard is comfortable for typing, with well-spaced backlit keys. It lacks a finger printer sensor but it does support facial recognition through its 5-megapixel webcam.

Speaking of the webcam, the onboard Ryzen processor supports some of Windows’ AI driven “studio effects” that bring OS level enhancements to the webcam image. This includes “eye contact” that attempts to nudge your eyes up higher when looking at the screen instead of the camera. You can see that in action in my review.

In terms of connectivity, the laptop offers a modest selection of ports, including two USB Type-C ports, two USB-A ports, and an HDMI 2.1 port. The speakers deliver a surprisingly rich sound, and the laptop supports Wi-Fi 6E for fast and internet connectivity.

During my testing, I found the laptop’s performance to be great for both work and casual gaming. Web browsing was swift, and the device handled basic video editing tasks smoothly in DaVinci Resolve.

Gaming, too, was a pleasant experience, with titles like Red Dead Redemption 2 and No Man’s Sky running adequately at lower settings. The laptop’s 3DMark TimeSpy benchmark score was 2,712, indicating a performance level comparable to some dedicated GPUs from a few years ago.

The laptop’s battery life is reasonable, offering 8 to 10 hours for basic tasks on the OLED model, although this can be significantly reduced during more intensive activities or with higher screen brightness. The LED display on the lower models might have slightly better battery life.

The fan noise is minimal and usually only noticeable during heavy loads. It’s not very loud, especially compared to similar performing gaming laptops from a few years ago!

I also tested the laptop’s compatibility with Linux and found that it ran Ubuntu seamlessly, with all key components such as Wi-Fi, video, Bluetooth, and audio being detected and functioning properly.

In my experience, the HP Pavilion Plus 14 offers a solid value, especially considering its higher-end Ryzen processor, 120Hz OLED display, and portability. While it may not be categorized as a budget laptop, it finds its place as a reasonably priced mid-range option. Whether you opt for the base configuration or the higher-end model, you’re likely to find a device that balances performance and price effectively.

Disclosure: HP loaned to the laptop to the channel for review. They did not review or approve the video before it was uploaded.

HP Dragonfly G4 Review

My latest video is a review of the HP Dragonfly G4 is a 13.5 inch laptop. It’s designed for portability but also checks the boxes for performance and battery life. It weighs in at 2.2 pounds (about one kilogram) and comes in a number of different configurations and price points.

In terms of pricing, the review loaner I was sent is priced at $2,279. However, HP provides a variety of customization options, so take a look at their configurator (affiliate link) and see what it might cost based on your specific requirements.

The display of this model has a resolution of 1920 by 1280, with a 3:2 aspect ratio. While this particular model does not feature a touch panel, HP offers other configurations, including some with OLED panels and touch displays.

Internally, the laptop is equipped with an Intel i7-1365U processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of NVMe storage. The RAM is non-upgradable, but the storage can be replaced if needed. Battery life is estimated at around 12 hours, depending on usage and what kind of display the laptop has. The display on our review loaner is the most power efficient but lacks color calibration for creative tasks and comes in at 400 nits of brightness vs. 1,000 on some other display options.

The Dragonfly G4 features a backlit keyboard and a large trackpad that functions quite nicely. In terms of connectivity, it offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a full-size HDMI port, a full size USB-A port and a headphone jack.

The webcam on this model is notable for its clarity and the accompanying HP video control software. This software can switch between multiple webcams automatically and pipe the output to Zoom and other popular conferencing applications. This might be ideal for those who are lecturers who may need to get up and switch to a different viewpoint during a webinar. While this capability is something OBS and Vmix can do, it’s much simpler to set up and use here.

The HP video software also has an automatic keystoning feature that will look for documents placed in front of the camera and will automatically rotate them into the proper perspective.

Performance tests indicate that the laptop handles web browsing, office documents and light 4k video editing efficiently. It can also run some demanding AAA games like Red Dead Redemption 2 at around 30 frames per second at 1920×1280 using the lowest settings. So while it’s primarily a work machine it is also a decent casual gaming device too.

When tested with Linux, the laptop had some compatibility issues with the most recent version of Ubuntu, particularly with audio and the webcam.

In summary, the HP Dragonfly G4 checks all the boxes for a decent laptop: it’s lightweight, has great performance and has excellent battery life.

HP Dragonfly Pro Review

The new HP Dragonfly Pro is the subject of my latest laptop review.

The Dragonfly Pro is a Windows-based laptop aimed at meeting the needs of freelancers and independent contractors. With a starting price of $1,399, the device is powered by AMD’s Ryzen 7 7736U processor and has a power system designed jointly with AMD to boost the system’s responsiveness while preserving battery life.

The base model comes with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, with options for a 32GB RAM and 1TB storage configuration. The system is not upgradeable as all components are soldered on the mainboard.

The Dragonfly Pro features a 14-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920×1200 and a 16:10 aspect ratio, suitable for document editing tasks. Weighing in at hefty 3.53 pounds (1.6 kilograms), the laptop’s recycled aluminum construction provides durability.

The backlit keyboard on the Dragonfly Pro has well-spaced keys and adequate key travel, contributing to a comfortable typing experience. The haptic trackpad is responsive and can be adjusted according to user preference. For video conferencing, the laptop comes with a 1440p webcam.

The sound quality on the Dragonfly Pro is clear, but it lacks a headphone jack and card reader. The laptop offers two USB 4 ports providing compatibility with external GPUs and Thunderbolt 3 devices. Those two ports are on the left side of the unit and a single (slower) USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port is on the righthand side.

Battery life is decent for a Windows laptop and thanks to the hardware based power management system does not require a settings change to maximize longevity. The system is tuned to deliver performance when necessary and dial it back when not needed. It’ll easily get through a workday provided the user sticks to the basics.

In terms of performance, the Dragonfly Pro is capable of handling web browsing, media consumption, and basic office tasks easily delivering some of the snappiness promised in the marketing. It can also manage video editing and casual gaming, delivering average frame rates on popular titles such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and Fortnite.

Ubuntu 23.04 booted on the laptop but unfortunately audio was not detected properly.

Overall, the HP Dragonfly Pro offers a range of features and performance at a competitive price point, making it a potential option for freelancers and independent professionals in the market for a new work laptop.

HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook Review

My latest review looks at the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook.

The Dragonfly Pro Chromebook strikes me as a spiritual successor to Google’s Pixelbook – a flagship-style device that offers features not typically found on lower cost ChromeOS devices.

The device has a 14-inch touch-enabled LCD display with a 16:10 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2560×1600. The display is incredibly bright, reaching up to 1200 nits, making it suitable for outdoor use.

The device is powered by an Intel i5 1235U processor, 16GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. It also supports the Wifi 6E standard. Unfortunately there are no user-upgradable parts, so users will have to make do with the included storage. It also features four Thunderbolt ports, which are compatible with USB Type-C and regular USB devices using a dongle. However, there is no headphone jack or card reader.

In terms of performance, the Dragonfly Pro performs well for everyday tasks such as web browsing, email, and video playback. The Dragon Fly Pro Chromebook achieves a score of 271 on the Speedometer benchmark test, which is in line with other devices in the same price range.

Battery life on the Dragonfly Pro lasts around eight to ten hours, depending on usage and screen brightness. It features upward-firing speakers, providing impressive sound quality with plenty of bass and volume. The included webcam is capable of 1080p video, making it suitable for video conferencing and online meetings.

Like other Chromebooks it’ll run Linux and Android apps. The Android experience is a little easier here thanks to the touch screen. Additionally this is one of the Chromebooks that is compatible with the Steam on ChromeOS beta so it’s possible to play some of your PC games on it too.

It does feel a bit on the heavy side weighing in at 3.33 pounds or around 1.5 kg. The build quality is exceptional with a mixture of magnesium and aluminum making up its casing.

HP offers a 24/7 support line specifically for the Dragonfly Pro, as well as an extended warranty program similar to AppleCare. For $11 per month, users receive coverage for accidental damage, with one incident per year, for up to 36 months.

All in the Dragonfly Pro Chromebook is an excellent high-end laptop for those who need more power and features from their ChromeOS device.

But the lack of expandable storage may be a concern for some, especially as Chrome OS continues to evolve and support more applications. The $999 price point may be steep, but for those in need of a powerful Chromebook, the Dragonfly Pro could be the right choice.

New Video: HP Tablet 11 Review

This new 11″ Windows tablet from HP is a bit costly when factoring in all of its accessories but it does have one creature comfort that most tablets don’t : the ability to use its keyboard in portrait or landscape mode. You can see my review here.

It also has a single camera that can rotate from the rear of the device to the front as needed with a button push. Its angle can also be further adjusted via its software interface or manually.

Beyond that it’s a run-of-the-mill Windows tablet running with a lower end Intel N6000 processor. This is a “Jasper Lake” chip which is Intel’s family of low end processors that typically appear on devices like this along with Mini PCs and NAS devices.

For the sorts of things that most consumers use a tablet for the performance is adequate. The bonus here is that it is running Windows 11 so most Windows apps can be installed provided you take the machine out of Windows “S” mode.

At its current sale price of $399 (affiliate link) a fully decked out tablet with keyboard and pen will run about $587. This is competitive against a 9th generation iPad with a keyboard cover and Apple pencil. But the iPad will get better battery life, better performance for comparable apps, and has a much better camera system.

The optional keyboard attachment worked nicely. The trackpad is accurate and not too springy and the keys, while small, are well spaced with nice travel.

Pen support is here too but I found the pen to have more latency than I would like and the screen is a bit slippery when writing. The Apple pencil on the iPad is a much better experience.

But for those looking for a Windows device in tablet form this is one worth checking out. See my other tablet reviews here.