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HP OmniBook X review: a new breed of Windows laptop

HP OmniBook X front view showing display and keyboard.
HP OmniBook X
MSRP $1,150.00
“The HP OmniBook X truly feels like a next-generation Windows laptop.”
Pros
  • Excellent productivity performance
  • Battery life is great
  • Solid and attractive build
  • Decent IPS display
  • Attractive price
Cons
  • Underwhelming graphics performance
  • Battery life not as good as promised

Windows laptops are undergoing perhaps the most significant transformation in their history, largely spurred by Apple’s successful transition from Intel chips to its Apple Silicon Arm architecture that’s afforded both fast performance and industry-leading efficiency.

Microsoft’s Copilot+ PC is named for new AI features, but it’s rolling out first on the new Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite Arm chipset that promises to challenge Apple in both performance and battery life.

At the same time, HP has rebranded its laptops as the OmniBook, replacing the Pavilion, Envy, and Spectre brands. The OmniBook X is HP’s first Copilot+ laptop and its current Windows on Arm machine based on the Snapdragon X Elite. It’s safe to say that the OmniBook X is an entirely new kind of Windows laptop. It might not defeat the MacBook Air M3 outright, but it offers a compelling alternative to the current selection of Intel and AMD laptops available right now.

Specs and configurations

  HP OmniBook X
Dimensions 12.32 inches x 8.8 inches x 0.56-0.57 inches
Weight 2.97 pounds
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite X1E-78-100
Graphics Qualcomm Dreno
RAM 16GB
Display 14.0-inch 16:10 2.2K (2240 x 1400) IPS
Storage 512GB
1TB
Touch Yes
Ports 1 x USB-A 3.2
1 x USB-C 3.2
1 x USB4
3.5mm audio jack
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4
Webcam 5MP with infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello facial recognition
Operating system Windows 11 on Arm
Battery 59 watt-hour
Price
$1,150+

The OmniBook X comes in just two configurations. For $1,150, you get the Qualcomm Snapdragon X Elite X1E-78-100 chipset, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and a 14.0-inch 2.2K IPS display. For $100 more, you can upgrade to a 1TB SSD.

Those are attractive prices for a laptop with excellent performance and very good battery life. Its most direct competitors, the Apple MacBook Air M3 and Dell XPS 13, are considerably more expensive.

Design

HP OmniBook X front angled view showing display and keyboard.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The big news here is the introduction of the latest Windows on Arm running on the Snapdragon X Elite, as well as the new Copilot+ AI features that, for now, run exclusively on Qualcomm’s chipset. I won’t be delving into AI, in part because the biggest feature — Recall — has been delayed. The rest of the features aren’t unique to the OmniBook X, and aren’t nearly as groundbreaking. But the features that are available today include enhanced Studio Effects, Live Captions, and Cocreator, and these features leverage the extra AI performance in the Snapdragon X Elite chipset.

Setting all of those concerns aside, we still need to evaluate the OmniBook X as a laptop. And in this regard, it’s a strong start to HP’s new branding.

To begin with, it’s well-built, with an aluminum chassis and lid that are mostly rigid — only the lid demonstrates a bit of flexing under moderate pressure. The Apple MacBook Air M3 suffers from the same thing while the Dell XPS 13 is more solid overall. These are all quality laptops, though. The OmniBook X is also reasonably thin and light, with the MacBook Air being by far the thinnest at just 0.44 inches and 2.7 pounds. The OmniBook X is 0.56 inches and 2.97 pounds and the XPS 13 is around the same thickness (0.58 inches) and is the lightest. Of course, the OmniBook X is the largest with its 14-inch display and thicker display bezels.

Aesthetically, the OmniBook X does’t break any new ground. It’s available in two colors, Meteor Silver and Ceramic White. I reviewed the former, and it’s attractive enough with smooth edges and a keyboard that’s a slightly darker color. The MacBook Air M3 has a more elegant simplicity while the XPS 13 stands out as more modern when you open the lid. But nobody will likely choose from among them based on looks alone.

Keyboard and touchpad

HP OmniBook X top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The OmniBook X keyboard has the same comfortable layout as HP’s other premium laptops, with large keycaps, lots of spacing, and bold lettering that’s easy to see in all lighting conditions (including in the dark thanks to quality backlighting). The switches are snappy and precise, and they require a bit of extra force compared to some others, including the excellent Magic Keyboard on the MacBook Air. I found the keyboard a bit too firm for my tastes, but most people will probably love it.

The touchpad is a mechanical version, and it’s OK. It’s large enough, although there’s room on the palm rest for it to be slightly larger. It’s responsive enough and the clicks are firm but a bit loud. The MacBook Air’s Force Touch haptic touchpad is much better, as is the haptic touchpad on the Spectre x360 14. I would have liked to see it used here as well.

The display is touch-enabled. That’s a plus and something the MacBook Air doesn’t offer.

Connectivity and webcam

Connectivity is just OK for a 14-inch laptop. You get USB4, which offers much of the advantages of Thunderbolt 4, along with a legacy port. There’s no SD card reader, which is unfortunate. Wireless connectivity can be upgraded to Wi-Fi 7 for those who want to remain current for as long as possible.

HP included its 5MP webcam, which works with the enhanced Microsoft Studio Effects AI feature for smoother backgrounds and such. That’s a Copilot+ feature that exists in a presumably lesser form on the previous “AI PC” generation running on Intel’s Meteor Lake and certain AMD chipsets. There’s also an infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello facial recognition. The infrared camera had a tendency to stop working during my testing and needed a system reboot to resolve. So, mark that down as an early bug that needs fixing.

CPU performance

HP OmniBook X front view showing display and keyboard.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The OmniBook X Elite uses the Snapdragon X Elite X1E-78-100 chipset. Like all Elite X versions, it has 12 cores — eight performance and four efficient. The X1E-78-100 is the slowest version, running at a maximum of 3.4GHz, where the X1E-00-1DE, for example, runs at 3.8GHz. The X1E-78-100 does not have a dual-core boost mode, where the X1E-00-1DE can boost to 4.3GHz. In addition, its Adreno GPU runs at 3.8 TFLOPS compared to 4.6 TFLOPS. The OmniBook X isn’t fanless, but its fans are reasonably quiet at full throttle. The MacBook Air M3 has no fans and so is completely silent.

The biggest challenge with evaluating the OmniBook X’s performance is the lack of benchmarks for Windows on Arm. Only a few run natively on the Arm chipset, some run in emulation, and some don’t run at all. While I could poke around running various apps to see how responsive they are, this process isn’t as objective as I wish it were right now. For my own part, I found the OmniBook X to be very quick during my review and as quick as comparable Intel Meteor Lake and Apple Silicon laptops while performing the same day-to-day tasks.

Looking at Geekbench 6 and Cinebench 2024, both of which run natively on Arm, the OmniBook X is slightly faster than Intel Meteor Lake laptops and the MacBook Air M3 in multi-core performance. The MacBook Air M3 is faster across the board in single-core, which can matter in day-to-day performance when multitasking is at a minimum. I also ran the PCMark 10 Applications benchmark that runs in emulation on Windows on Arm, but even so the OmniBook X was faster. This is the most real-world benchmark we currently have, and it shows that the OmniBook X will be plenty fast for productivity workflows based around things like email, web browsing, and office applications. Interestingly, the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x with the same chipset was a bit faster overall, which demonstrates that design still matters.

The bottom line — and it’s significant — is that the Snapdragon X Elite chipset is must faster than previous Windows on Arm implementations. In the past, Windows on Arm imposed a significant performance penalty, and it no longer does. At the same time, contrary to some of the claims made since the new chipset was announced, I wouldn’t say that the OmniBook X is significantly faster than the alternatives in the kinds of tasks these laptops will be asked to perform.

I included scores from the MacBook Pro 16 with the M3 Max chipset to give an idea of how Apple Silicon scales by comparison. While it might seem like the 14-inch model is a better comparison, both MacBook Pros perform similarly. It’s obvious that the M3 Max is a step above, even when compared with the faster Snapdragon X Elite X1E-84-100.

Geekbench 6
(single/multi)
Cinebench 2024
(single/multi)
PCMark 10
Applications
HP Omnibook X
(Snapdragon X Elite X1E-78-100)
Bal: 2,377 / 13,561
Perf: N/A
Bal: 101 / 749
Perf: N/A
12,543
Lenovo Yoga Slim 7x
(Snapdragon X Elite X1E-78-100)
Bal: 2,454 / 14,039
Perf: N/A
Bal: 106 / 872
Perf: N/A
N/A
Samsung Galaxy Book4 Edge 16
(Snapdragon X Elite X1E-84-100)
Bal: 2,957 / 15,358
Perf: 2,935 / 15,614
Bal: 126 / 766
Perf: 123 / 854
N/A
Dell XPS 13
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
Bal: 2,109 / 11,134
Perf: 2,132 / 10,866
Bal: 95 / 487
Perf: 96 / 658
11,346
Dell XPS 14
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
Bal: 2,334 / 13,070
Perf: 2,344 / 12,818
Bal: 101 / 681
Perf: 101 / 772
11,523
Asus Zenbook 14 Q425
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
Bal: 2,257 / 11,820
Perf: 2,279 / 11,806
Bal: 95 / 468
Perf: 103 / 631
N/A
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 9
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
Bal: 2,396 / 14,270
Perf: 2,426 / 14,406
Bal: 101 / 594
Perf: 102 / 670
N/A
Apple MacBook Air
(M3 8/10)
Bal: 3,102 / 12,078
Perf: N/A
Bal: 141 / 601
Perf: N/A
N/A
Apple MacBook Pro 16
(M3 Max 16/40)
Bal: 3,119 / 20865
Perf: N/A
Bal: 140 / 1,667
Perf: N/A
N/A

GPU performance

The next question is how the Snapdragon X Elite’s Adreno GPU performs. Here, we’re again limited in how we can test performance, especially to compare against the MacBook Air M3. And this is important for more than just gaming, which none of the laptops at this level with integrated GPUs can do with any real performance. Microsoft and Qualcomm have talked about the platform’s gaming chops, but that’s a little misleading — they’ve said that these Windows on Arm laptops can game as well as laptops with Intel Arc and AMD Radeon integrated graphics, but that’s not a very high bar. And even then, questions abound about the platform’s gaming performance even running older titles with entry-level settings.

Probably more significant is how the Adreno GPU performs in creative apps, such as Adobe’s Premiere Pro and Photoshop, that can use the GPU to speed up certain tasks. Here, the MacBook Air M3 has an advantage because of the M3 chipset’s various optimizations, not so much because of its GPU cores. But consider the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark that runs in a live version of the application.

The MacBook Air M3 scored 3,633 compared to the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 9 with its Intel Arc graphics that scored just 2,349. Neither even come close to the 8,046 scored by the MacBook Pro 16 with the M3 Max chipset — of course. This benchmark won’t run on Windows on Arm, but looking at these numbers, it’s likely that the OmniBook X won’t perform as well as the MacBook Air M3 either. Again, the MacBook isn’t necessarily faster because of its GPU, but the point is that you’ll still want a discrete GPU on a Windows on Arm laptop if you want to do things like video editing.

So, in the 3DMark Wild Life Extreme test that was designed specifically to test across integrated graphics including Windows on Arm, the OmniBook X is just slightly slower than Intel Arc (and the MacBook Air M3). In the other tests, Adreno is significantly slower. None of these scores bodes particularly well for the OmniBook’s ability to run demanding creative tasks, where even the entry-level RTX 4050 on the Dell XPS 14 is much faster — and that laptop scores 3,983 in the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark.

The bottom line is that the OmniBook X, along with other laptops running the Snapdragon X Elite, likely won’t offer any graphical speed advantages over similar Windows laptops. None of these are viable gaming laptops, and creators should also be wary.

3DMark
Fire Strike
3DMark
Time Spy
3DMark
Wild Life
Extreme
3DMark
Steel Nomad
Light
HP Omnibook X
(Adreno)
Bal: 5,378
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,810
Perf: N/A
Bal: 5,754
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,953
Perf: N/A
Dell XPS 13
(Intel Arc)
Bal: 7,265
Perf: 8,583
Bal: 3,234
Perf: 3,897
Bal: 6,322
Perf: 6,667
Bal: 2,599
Perf: 3,005
HP Envy x360 14
(Intel Graphics)
N/A Bal: 1,857
Perf: 2,052
Bal: 2,389
Perf: 2,524
Bal: 1,291
Perf: 1,490
Dell XPS 14
(RTX 4050)
Bal: 6,854
Perf: 12,474
Bal: 5,438
Perf: 5,499
Bal: 9,056
Perf: 9,106
Bal: 4,940
Perf: 5,002
Apple MacBook Air
(M3 8/10)
N/A N/A Bal: 8,098
Perf: N/A
Bal: 3,378
Perf: N/A
Apple MacBook Pro 14
(M3 Max 16/40)
N/A N/A Bal: 10,008
Perf: N/A
Bal: 8,083
Perf: N/A

AI performance

I would love to be able to tell you exactly how the OmniBook X performs in AI-related tasks. After all, the Snapdragon X Elite is marketed with a neural processing unit (NPU) that’s significantly faster at 40 tera operations per second (TOPS) than Meteor Lake’s 10 TOPS and the Apple M3’s Neural Engine (NE) at 18 TOPS. Unfortunately, there aren’t good cross-platform benchmarks yet for the machine learning (ML) tasks underlying generative AI and large language models (LLMs).

For example, Geekbench ML can evaluate the NE in Apple Silicon but not in Intel or Qualcomm chipsets. And it also can’t evaluate performance in ML tasks on Intel or AMD integrated GPUs, but it can test the Snapdragon X Elite’s Adreno GPU, discrete GPUs from Nvidia and AMD, and the GPU cores in Apple Silicon. Finally, it can measure CPU performance in ML tasks across all of these chipsets. However, of the three components, discrete GPUs are the fastest at ML processes, NPUs are next-fastest, and CPUs are slowest.

UL Solutions makes a suite of AI benchmarks in its Procyon tool, but I’m still working out how they can be used to compare different platforms. They use components differently and AI inferences are supported differently as well.  So, at this point, they’re not helpful in evaluating Qualcomm’s NPU.

The most we can say right now is that the Snapdragon X Elite is likely to be faster than Meteor Lake and Apple M3 laptops at on-device AI, to the extent that tasks use the NPU. If they use the GPU, then laptops with discrete GPUs will be significantly faster. Apple’s M4 chipset, currently available in the latest iPad Pro, has an NE rated at 38 TOPS, so it should be roughly as fast at running ML tasks on-device except for any differences in ML inferences on Windows for Intel, Windows on Arm, and macOS (when the M4 rolls out on MacBooks). And then Intel has Lunar Lake and AMD’s AI 300 have even faster NPUs, on paper. Stay tuned.

Battery life

HP OmniBook X side view showing lid and ports.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

There’s no metric that’s more important for this round of Windows on Arm laptops than battery life. That’s where Apple’s Silicon MacBooks impress the most — they’re not only fast but they’ve offered unparalleled battery life since their introduction. Where the typical Windows laptop might not make it through a full day even running a lightweight workflow, MacBooks routinely last for multiple days. And where Windows laptops run down after a couple of hours when running demanding tasks, MacBooks can make it past lunchtime.

The OmniBook X has a 54 watt-hour battery, which isn’t huge for a 14-inch laptop, and it equips a 2.2K IPS display, which isn’t as power-hungry as the OLED displays in most of our comparison group below. The MacBook Air M3 has a 52.6 watt-hour battery and an IPS display, making for a more direct comparison. And that’s the comparison that’s most relevant. After all, the MacBook Air is the OmniBook X’s most important target.

Again, we’re limited in how we can test a Windows on Arm laptop. In our web browsing test, the OmniBook X lasted longer than most Meteor Lake laptops but considerably shorter than the MacBook Air M3. It wasn’t a terribly impressive performance. The OmniBook X lasted longer in our video looping test, where it again did well relative to most Windows laptops, but it wasn’t in another class entirely and it wasn’t as strong as the MacBook Air M3.

It’s a challenge to find a battery test to evaluate how long these laptops can run more demanding tasks. One approach was to run Cinebench 2024 multi-core with each core active. In this test, the OmniBook X lasted for roughly two hours while running at close to 100% performance, while the XPS 13 made it to 1.5 hours in performance mode. The MacBook Air M3, also running at 100%, lasted for 3.5 hours. Again, it’s in another class entirely.

Therefore, I have to conclude at this point that the MacBook Air retains its spot as much more efficient than any Windows laptop available today. Windows on Arm is certainly more efficient than current Intel chipsets. Intel’s Lunar Lake promises to be its most efficient yet, and Apple’s M4 could also boost its already incredible efficiency.

Web browsing Video
HP Omnibook X (IPS)
(Snapdragon X Elite)
13 hours, 37 minutes 22 hours, 4 minutes
Dell XPS 13 (OLED)
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
7 hours, 17 minutes 8 hours, 7 minutes
Dell XPS 14 (OLED)
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
8 hours, 16 minutes 10 hours, 10 minutes
Dell XPS 14 (IPS)
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
11 hours, 49 minutes 14 hours, 53 minutes
Asus Zenbook 14 Q425 (OLED)
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
12 hours, 25 minutes 18 hours, 1 minute
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 9 (OLED)
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
5 hours, 54 minutes 8 hours, 21 minutes
HP Envy x360 14 (OLED)
(Core Ultra 7 155U)
7 hours, 37 minutes 9 hours, 30 minutes
Apple MacBook Air (IPS)
(Apple M3)
19 hours, 38 minutes N/A

Display and audio

HP OmniBook X front view showing display.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The OmniBook X has one display option, a 14.0-inch 16:10 2.2K (2240 x 1400) IPS panel running at 60Hz. I found it a good enough experience for the kind of tasks I perform when putting together a review, but I’ve been spoiled by so many OLED displays that provide a different kind of experience.

My colorimeter says that this is a good but not great IPS display. It’s bright enough at 325 nits, and it has the usual IPS colors at 100% of sRGB, 78% of AdobeRGB, and 79% of DCI-P3. Those are all averages today. The colors were very accurate though at a DeltaE of 0.98. The contrast was very good for IPS at 1,400:1, which is still well below OLED’s near infinite contrast.

Overall, the display is good but not great, meeting the needs of productivity users but falling a bit short for creators and media consumers. That combines with just good enough audio provided by two downward-firing speakers that were just loud and clear enough but lacking in bass and depth.

The OmniBook X is a better Windows laptop

There’s still lots of work to do in evaluating the new Windows on Arm experience. The OmniBook X held up well when considering performance and battery life when compared with Intel’s current generation. At the same time, it doesn’t quite take the crown from Apple Silicon, with the MacBook Air M3 being a more efficient laptop.

Thanks to a solid and attractive build quality and an attractive price, though, the OmniBook X should be on everyone’s list for a new Windows laptop. We need more data to see how it compares directly to other Copilot+ PCs, such as the new Surface Laptop, but on its own, the OmniBook X is a great sign for the future of Windows on Arm.

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
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