Meet the new Spectre 13 x2 and Split 13 x2

spectre x2 and split x2 -4.jpgBefore I even really get into the Spectre13 x2 and new Split13 x2, you need to understand one thing: these are the types of devices I’ve been craving for ages. They are thin-and-speedy little laptops that also transform into tablets. I’ve talked you guys to death about the many ways I love our x2s – the backup battery built into the keyboard base, the optional extra hard drive in the Split x2…and the pure flexibility is just awesome. But take all that, make it more metal and squeeze it into a slim form factor. NOW we’re talkin’!

 

[The Spectre x2 is the one with the silver keyboard - and slimmer!]

 

 

spectre x2 and split x2 -3.jpgWhat I liked about the Split13 x2 that we rolled out today: A Haswell processor, a crisp 13.3-inch screen and enough power to handle just about every task I needed it to do. Including games. What I wanted: Thinner and lighter (because, really, that’s what everyone wants) paired with great looks inside and out.

 

DONE.

Let me start with the new Split13 x2. Its metal makeup still manages to house the guts of a good machine. I’ve been kicking around a unit stocked with a Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage in the tablet (and a 500GB HDD in the base). All of this gets jammed into something that stows into a bag A LOT easier than the original Split x2. And it doesn’t weigh you down either. 

  

What are you able to do with it? Well, it’s great for getting general tasks done. Take me. During the Intel Developer’s Conference last week, I was relying on this machine to help me post blogs. Full Office suite, editing photos, uploading video – no problem. Of course, I had to do all that while hiding this unannounced laptop from all my journalist-buddies. It’s also been serving well in the off-hours to kill time watching streamed video (and, yes, playing games).

Now, bear in mind, this is a slim machine using UMA Haswell graphics, so you aren’t playing high-end games on this. But Indie stuff, emulated games…and there’s plenty of apps in the Win 8 app store totally worth checking out (and work great) on these machines.

 

(Which I will be doing more of in the coming weeks as I spend more time with the Split13 x2).

 

The Spectre13 x2 version? The important thing to remember here is that Spectre line is engineered around slick design and high quality. This is the detachable you get when you want to make a statement. Allow me to explain by first going over a couple similarities you’ll spot when they sit side-by-side.

 

spectre x2 and split x2 -2.jpgWhen I first saw the Split13 x2 by itself I thought, “This thing is pretty slick and slimmer than the original Split.” Then along comes the Spectre, which shaves some additional girth off the design. By comparison, the Spectre13 x2 measures 18mm (11.1mm slate, 6.9mm base) and weighing 4.39 pounds (the 13-ich tablet portion weighs 2.18 pounds – and it’s really well balanced. All this while offering the same guts under the hood. Crazy, right?

 

The all-metal casing (like in the original ENVY x2) is just striking. Like the new Split, a fanless Intel Haswell CPU is parked behind the screen is what helps keep this thing so slim. But there is one thing I feel obligated to say I love here: The metallic, backlit keys are just great. When typing in dark rooms, there’s no squinting or guesswork required. It also looks cool. So there’s that.

 

The 13.3-inch screen looks sleek and seamless when plugged into the base….and the Radiance 1920 by 1080-pixel  resolution pops in the unit that I’ve checked out on this IPS touchscreen. In fact, that resolution bump was something I wanted with the original Split x2 and it looks great here.

 

The other big differentiator between the Split13 x2 and the Spectre is that there’s no optional 500GB HDD in the base. Hey, if you’re looking to travel light, the 128GB SSD is gonna keep you covered just fine.

 

Other things you might appreciate about this: Beats Audio, 802.11b/g/n/ac 2x2 and support for Miracast.

 

Available in mid-october, the new Split13 x2 starts at $879.99. The Spectre13 x2 is coming out at around the same time with a $1,099.99 starting price.

Comments
by rramirezg on ‎10-02-2013 11:16 AM

Great news!  But... any chance we will get a Spectre11 x2 ?

for some 13" is too big for a tablet!!!! Don't let the Surface Pro 2 as the only option with 11.6"

 

Are there plans for a Pavilion11 x2 with 256GB disk ? the news talks about 64/128 options...

by GizmoGladstone on ‎10-18-2013 10:05 AM

Hey rramierzg, sorry for the delay. I thought I responded to this a while ago. 

 

Short version to your questions: What you see is what you get right now, Spectre-wise. There's a pavilion 11 x2 with Bay Trail (*as you noted) in it if you wanna check that out. ;p

 

And yeah, as a straight tablet 13 inches is big....but it's actually pretty managable when you hold it in your hands. If you see a new Split x2 or the Spectre x2 in-store, grab it and you'll see what I mean.

 

As for storage in the Pavilion 11 x2, I haven't heard anything about 256GB storage. FWIW, I don't get as hung up on that as I used to. With the micro SD card in the tablet and the SD card slot in the keyboard base, I have all the storage room I need for videos / music / photos.

 

Cheers!

 

Darren

TheNextBench.com

 

 

by uwaheed on ‎10-19-2013 03:37 PM

Hi Darren,

 

I have had my eyes on the HP Split x2 since launch. Right now I'm looking through the store and I see two versions, an m100 and a g100. Am I correct in assuming that you are talking about the g100 in this post? And if so, I'm not sure what the difference between the two is. The g100 costs about $130 more on the base price, and this blog post is all I can find on it: that it's slightly slimmer, and is silver in color. Can you explain the differences in more detail? 

 

Thanks,

Usama

by GizmoGladstone ‎10-19-2013 06:48 PM - edited ‎10-19-2013 06:49 PM

Hey Usama,

 

No problem - happy to help. Yeah, the g100 version is a revamp of the original split x2. Besides the color the difference goes something like this:

 

The m100 model has fans (so it's a little bigger) but you could upgrade the RAM to 8GB. The g100 model - the newer, silver one is a fanless Haswell. That's what I'm using right now and love it. Only thing there is that you're locked at 4GB RAM. Just so you know.

 

BUT you have the option to upgrade the screen to 1920 x 1080 on the new Split. So there's that.

 

I actually go into it a little more in this story where I take a quick look at ALL the x2 models out there. (http://h20435.www2.hp.com/t5/The-Next-Bench-Blog/Which-x2-is-Best-for-You/ba-p/82733)

 

That's essentially the big difference between the two.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Darren

TheNextBench.com

by uwaheed on ‎10-20-2013 08:42 AM

Darren,

 

Thanks for your help. I can see that there is a slightly difference processor in the two as well.

 

m100: 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5-4200Y Processor (1.4GHz, 3MB L3 Cache)+ Intel HD Graphics

g100:  4th generation Intel® Core™ i5-4202Y Processor(1.6GHz, 3MB L3 Cache)+Intel® HD Graphics

 

I'm sure both devices will be great for browsing, emails, watching movies and the like. But my biggest power need is video editing. Nothing too professional, but I'd still want a decent machine, something that is at least a tangible upgrade on my current dv6 2.2 Ghz Core2Duo. I'm rather clueless when it comes to processors, but in this case, judging by the 1.4Ghz vs 1.6Ghz, it seems the g100 is better. BUT, it is fanless, as you mentioned, so is that going to be an issue while rendering, when the machine can get really hot? What would be best suited for this particular need? I would want the best specs I can get from these two, so the 1.4Ghz with 8GB RAM, or the 1.6GHz with 4GB RAM?

 

I'm also confused about the battery. 

m100: Slate 3 Cell Lithium Ion Battery OR Slate 3 Cell Lithium Ion Battery + Base 3 Cell Lithium Ion Battery

g100: 3 Cell Lithium Ion Battery

 

Does the base not come with a battery by default? The store lists m100's battery time as up to 10 hours, and g100's as up to 16 hours. Is this as simple as 'What you see is what you get', i.e. does the g100 significantly trump the m100's battery time, or am I missing something here?

 

Sorry for all the questions, but I plan to make this purchase soon and would really appreciate all the info I can get, especially since the internet seems to be scarce on it!

 

Cheers,

Usama

 

 

by GizmoGladstone on ‎10-20-2013 07:16 PM

Not a bother man - happy to help. This is what I do! ;p

 

Lemme run through your questions....

 

CPU + RAM in the two machines. Not gonna lie, I wish you could get more RAM in the fanless model, but that's not an option right now. It is what it is.

 

The newer one can be upgraded to a higher-res screen. You want that. Trust me.

 

Now, as for the rendering question...that's tricky. I don't know about heat output (mine hasn't been that bad) - it all depends on the amount of rendering you're doing, maybe? For example, you doing 5-minute clips? Or re-shooting the Star Wars trilogy? This really isn't a hardcore video editing machine. (If you're looking to do that, I'd recommend stepping up RAM, CPU...and maybe something like discrete graphics. Like, say an ENVY 15. but that isn't a 2-in-1 detachable like this).

 

I will have to see if anything changed, but the new Split that I've been kicking around has batteries in the base and tablet. 

 

Again, for most tasks, this newer split is my go-to. Rendering is something I'll have to try a little more on it, but my gut is telling me you might need something with more horsepower. Like a straight up laptop....an ENVY 15.

 

Cheers!

 

Darren

TheNextBench.com

by uwaheed on ‎10-21-2013 09:48 AM

Hey Darren,

 

Thanks for your insight. My rendering needs are, in fact, 5 minute efforts. Music videos, short films, tutorial videos and the like. I don't have any problems with my current dv6, with it's Core2Duo and no graphic card...so anything I get at this point will probably be an upgrade for the better. It's not hardcore video editing, so I don't necessarily need an i7 beast. An i5 with 4-8GB RAM, no graphic card is perfectly acceptable.

What I DO need is:

1. Reasonable storage space (at least 500GB)

2. Something that's a bit of a looker/head-turner; thinner and lighter than my current 6-pound elephant (I use an extended battery, but I'm hoping the Haswell processors will compensate for that). Not a bland silver rectangle.

 

I've had a look at the Spectre series (so pretty!), and in fact, every other ultrabook, but none of them seem to meet the 500GB space requirement. The Split x2 kinda checks all the boxes...even if it's not exactly a thing of beauty, it does have a pretty neat party trick. The Envy series...can't say the same. I'd love it if I could go a size or two lower from 15.6" as well. 

Based on the above, should I go for the Split, or is there another HP offering I can consider?

by GizmoGladstone on ‎10-21-2013 03:31 PM

Usama, the best way I can answer this is by saying I've been shooting a bunch of 2-minute videos for the blog lately. SUPER basic stuff. I'm talking minor edits, no special effects....not even much in the way of layer in title cards. straight on stuff. Using MS Movie Maker-grade stuff. ;p

 

In that case, it works great. But I'm no movie-maker. Otherwise, you can trick the hell out of a new Spectre 13 Ultrabook. (not a 2-in-1, but it can pack in a TON of power into a slim design)

 

Honestly, look at the pictures above, the Spectre is sexy - that's what they do. But this new split is no slouch.

 

One other thing to throw out there. You've got the possibility of plugging into extra memory if you need it into the microsd card slot in the tablet, the SD card slot in the base....and yep, an optional 500GB in the base.

 

At this point, I feel like I'd need to shoot and edit more videos on this thing to give you a better answer.

 

This help at all?

 

-D

by uwaheed on ‎10-21-2013 04:28 PM

I've had a look at the Spectre 13 ultrabook - and it's pretty much the perfect thing for me...except that it's limited to 256GB SSD. I'd like to make one thing clear here: I'm not necessarily looking for a 2-in-1, and not necessarily even a ton of power. So is there an HP offering that has a 4th-gen Core i5, at least 4GB RAM, and at least 500GB space, and has ultrabook/sleekbook-like dimensions/weight? The Split x2 is pretty much the only thing I can find that ticks all those boxes...and I have half a mind to go ahead with the purchase, but I'd like to look left and right first.

I found the Spectre XT Touchsmart tempting in this regard (though it's a 3rd gen i5 and weights 5 pounds)...but apparently it's not even listed on the HP website, along with a bunch of other laptops (Spectre 14, for instance) that I found otherwise via Google.  

by GizmoGladstone on ‎10-21-2013 06:05 PM

The Spectre XT TouchSmart would've been a great choice for you - agreed - but, yep, they aren't offering that anymore through the HP store.

 

One other thought for you: The ENVY 14 (http://www.shopping.hp.com/en_US/home-office/-/products/Laptops/HP-ENVY/E1M98AV?HP-ENVY-TouchSmart-1...-)

 

On the plus side: 14-inches, you can spec it out the way you're talking about

 

things you should know: it's upgraded screen is 1600 x 900. and it comes with 5400 rpm drives.

 

If that hits your sweet spot, great. Otherwise, it sounds like the new Split could work for you as well.

 

Cheers!

 

-D

by uwaheed on ‎10-22-2013 09:27 AM

That is a great alternative, thanks for the link! I'll probably decide between this and the Split. Cheers!

by uwaheed on ‎10-22-2013 11:11 AM

One last thing - the Envy Touchsmart 14 shows a listed weight of nearly 7 pounds! Can't imagine how it got the ultrabook tag with that sort of weight. It must be some sort of error, no?

by matt77 on ‎10-29-2013 11:38 AM

Can you tell me if the Spectre 13 x2 has a prioritization built into it with respect to how the two batteries are used? Specifically, will it use the battery built into the keyboard first when that is connected in order to preserve the charge in the display's battery for the times when that is used as a standalone tablet? Thanks.

by GizmoGladstone on ‎10-29-2013 12:21 PM

Hey Matt,

 

Here's the deal: The battery in the keyboard is used first and is charged last (so the slate always has the optimum battery life). Another thing we’ll do is to transfer charge from the base battery to the slate (again, so that the slate always has as much battery life as possible, even if AC is not connected)

 

Cheers!

 

Darren

TheNextBench.com

by matt77 on ‎10-29-2013 01:41 PM

Glad to know that was so well thought out. Thanks.

by matt77 on ‎11-01-2013 09:55 AM

Darren - another battery-related question: Please confirm whether or not the Split 13t-g100 x2 includes battery in the dock like the Spectre 13t-h200 x2. The Split Overview page says "Run errands, travel, and go about your day for longer. You can do more with one battery in the tablet and another battery in the keyboard dock," but the Specs page only says "3 Cell Lithium Ion Battery." By contrast, the Spectre Overview page highlights the "dual batteries," and the Specs page confirms this by saying,"Slate 3 Cell Lithium Ion Battery + Base 2 Cell Lithium Ion Battery." It's a little confusing - is the mention of the second battery in the Split Overview an error, or is the lack of mention in the Specs just an oversight? Thanks again.

by GizmoGladstone ‎11-01-2013 09:59 AM - edited ‎11-01-2013 10:00 AM

I can't speak for the shopping page - I'll let people know about that - but you should understand that the Split x2 is a slightly  bigger machine than the Spectre. I believe that it has the room to sqeeze in a slightly bigger battery. But yes, there is a second battery in the base of my test Split. (I don't actually have a Spectre in-hand for testing yet.)

 

That help?

 

Darren

by matt77 on ‎11-01-2013 10:44 AM

It helps some, thanks. It's good to know that your test unit has the second battery but it would be even better to know if that's how the Split x2 is actually shipping to us regular folks. It may have room for the battery but that doesn't necessarily mean it is included in the "lesser" Split x2, does it? I'm a little concerned that the second battery may be treated as a special feature of the Spectre x2 in order to further differentiate it (and help justify the the additional $220 in the base price). If the Split x2 also has the second battery, am I correct in summarizing the differences between the two as basically the upgraded shell/sleeker design of the Spectre x2 and the backlit keyboard? Is there a contact in shopping I could verify the battery situation with? Thank you Darren.

by nebu_06 on ‎11-03-2013 12:06 PM

Hello,

 

Thank you for this very useful comparison between the spectre x2 and Split X2. I was initially very interested by the spectre X2, first media reports announced the spectre X2 with 4 or 8GB of RAM, 128 or 256GB of SSD storage, and a core i5 or i7 CPU. But it seems that the final version is stuck with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD and an i5 CPU.

 

The Core I5 is fine, and I understand the engineering choice if it means the computer has passive cooling (means less noise, less maintenance as fans tend to accumulate dirt). I could live with a 128GB of SSD storage, especially if there is a SD or Micro SD port to expand it, but since this is a high end computer, 128GB seems a little bit cheap.

 

On the other hand, the 4GB of RAM is clearly the deal breaker for me! 4GB is (barelly) fine for today's use, but I tend to keep my computer for some time (I am posting this message using a 8 year old HP NC6120, still running strong on Win 7), so 8GB of non upgradable RAM would be the minimum to ensure a decent life duration. Also, 4GB of RAM is not acceptable for a high end computer, or at the very least, give us the choice!

 

by BMAMM on ‎12-03-2013 01:32 PM

Darren,

 

If you are still checking this thread I have a quick question. Can you tell me if either 2-in-1 will have the option of an active digitizer pen? This is very important to me and my colleagues who are looking in the 13" tablet arena. Larger 2-in-1's continue to be announced but I've not found a good offering with that functionality. These units are SO close to being everything we need for our mobile work force.

 

Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Brent

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