Thicker or thinner: HP Spectre x360 15 vs. 15-inch MacBook Pro

You’re starting on page 2 of this, click here to start at the beginning.

Old design vs. new design

Apple maintained the classic MacBook Pro appearance with its newest iteration, opting for the same aluminum chassis and elegant, understated design that adorned its predecessor. The new MacBook Pro looks a lot like the old MacBook Pro, only it’s thinner and comes with smaller bezels. It’s a good look that fits well in any professional environment, but at this point, it’s getting a little stale.

Apple supersized the touchpad, however, making 50-percent larger and outfitting it with the company’s Force Touch technology. But, the company squished the keyboard, leaving users either loving the second-gen keyboard or lamenting the loss of the old-school MacBook Pro keyboard. Nonetheless, the most significant addition is the Touch Bar, which functions as an OLED touchscreen display. The component resides above the keyboard — displacing the physical function keys — and responds to the application at hand with task-specific buttons.

HP, on the other hand, took the silver chassis on last year’s Spectre x360 15 and gave it a paint job. This year’s model touts a darker exterior with copper accents. As with all such aesthetic decisions, some might love it and some might hate it, but we think it’s an equally elegant look that’s classy without blending into the sea of Windows 10 machines.

HP’s decision to increase thickness a bit means the Spectre x360 15 has a full-travel keyboard that makes for an extremely comfortable typing experience. The touchpad is also fairly large, with the same widescreen aspect ratio as the display. Most important, though, is that the Spectre x360 15 is also a 2-in-1 with a touchscreen and an active pen. It offers the always-convenient presentation and tent modes, along with occasional tablet use that leverages the excellent pen with Windows 10 Ink support. And a 10-point multitouch display beats out a narrow OLED strip any day.

Both machines are well-built and exude quality. We think the HP’s design is fresher and more striking, though, and its 2-in-1 design and excellent keyboard give it the nod over Apple’s somewhat outdated MacBook Pro and its too-shallow keyboard. The MacBook Pro is a bit smaller and lighter, but that’s not enough to make up for what it compromises in the name of being so thin.

Winner: HP Spectre x360 15

May the quickest laptop win

The quad-core version of Intel’s seventh-generation Core i7 processors wasn’t available in time for the release of the 2016 MacBook Pro. Instead, the machine utilizes the sixth-generation Core i7-6920HQ. A standard 16GB of LPDDR3-2133 RAM is the only option, though the machine can be configured with a 2TB SSD. You can also outfit it with a AMD Radeon Pro 460 and 4GB of GDDR5 memory, switchable with the Intel HD Graphics 530.

The HP Spectre x360 15 is a decidedly mid-range system, with a seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7500U dual-core processor. You can configure it with up to 16GB of DDR4-2133 RAM and 1TB SSD, though the only graphics option is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 940MX, which goes along with the Intel HD Graphics 620.

In short, the MacBook Pro is a more powerful machine with higher-end CPU and GPU options — and this is in spite of its last-gen processor. The Spectre x360 15 is no slouch, however, and performs well for its class while offering the same amount of RAM as Apple’s machine and a large SSD. It’s not as large as the highest-end MacBook Pro configuration, but it’s certainly not terrible.

The MacBook Pro is definitely the faster performer and will crunch through massive images and videos significantly more quickly than the Spectre x360 15. If you’re looking for professional power, then Apple’s machine is the better option.

Winner: 15-inch Macbook Pro

Product Review

With its gem-cut design, HP’s near-perfect Spectre x360 2-in-1 is a shining jewel

HP’s updated Spectre x360 13 is dubbed “gem-cut” for a reason. It looks like a gem cutter went to work on the chassis, and the result is glorious. It’s also fast, well-built, and lasts long on a charge. What else could you need?
Computing

HP’s spring sale cuts prices on the 15-inch Spectre x360 by $270

Looking for a new laptop to start off the spring season? HP has you covered and is currently running a sale that is cutting $270 off the price of the 15-inch touchscreen variant of its Spectre X360 Windows 10 convertible laptop. 
Computing

Struggling to pick between a MacBook Pro and Surface Pro 6? This guide can help

Unsure how to choose between a Windows and MacOS laptop? There are plenty of options out there, with some better than others. We pitted the MacBook Pro vs. Surface Pro 6 to see which is the best, whichever operating system you prefer.
Computing

We gave both notebooks a perfect score, but there can only be one best laptop

Dell's XPS 13 has been our favorite 13-inch laptop for a while, but HP's latest Spectre x360 13 2-in-1 presents a serious challenge. Which wins out in a head-to-head comparison?
Computing

Is 14 inches the perfect size for a laptop? These 4 laptops might convince you

If you're looking for the best 14-inch laptops, there are a number of factors to consider. You want good battery life, an attractive screen, solid performance, and a good build. Our favorites that do all that and more.
Gaming

Get Corsair’s best mechanical keyboard at a decent discount

From March 17 to 23, you can get one of the best mechanical keyboards around at a great price. The Corsair K95 RGB Platinum is normally $200, but this week you can pick one up from Amazon for $160.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Need more from your conference white board? The Surface Hub 2 should have it

The Surface Hub 2 could be the most expensive whiteboard ever made, but it should be a powerful and capable one. With the ability to connect several of the 50-inch displays together, the picture at least, should be gorgeous.
Computing

Teens using Google Docs as the modern version of passing notes in class

Google Docs is reportedly being used by teens as a secret communications app. Instead of passing notes, students are now using the software's live chat function or comment boxes to talk with their friends while in the middle of classes.
Emerging Tech

A.I.-generated text is supercharging fake news. This is how we fight back

A new A.I. tool is reportedly able to spot passages of text written by algorithm. Here's why similar systems might prove essential in a world of fake news created by smart machines.
Computing

Windows updates shouldn't cause problems, but if they do, here's how to fix them

Windows update not working? It's a more common problem than you might think. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot it and in this guide we'll break them down for you step by step.
Computing

Here’s how you can watch today’s Nvidia GTC 2019 keynote live

Nvidia's rumored 7nm Ampere graphics could debut soon. The company will be kicking off its GPU Technology conference at 2 p.m. PT today, Monday, March 18, and you can watch the opening keynote here.
Computing

After fourth attack, hacker puts personal records of 26M people up for sale

A serial hacker going by the name of Gnosticplayers is selling the personal data of 26 million people who have been using the services of six different companies from across the world.
Computing

HP’s Omen Mindframe headset keeps your ears chill, but might leave you lukewarm

The Omen Mindframe headset uses HP's FrostCap technology to keep ears cool during long gaming sections. While it delivers on keeping ears cool, it forgets some of the essentials of a quality gaming headset.
2 of 4