HP Pavilion x360 13t

A Low Cost Alternative to the Spectre x360 That Makes Too Many Compromises

HP Pavilion x360
HP Pavilion x360.  HP Inc.

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The Bottom Line

May 20 2015 - HP's Pavilion x360 13t is designed to offer a 13-inch convertible laptop for a low cost and it unfortunately shows. The system is heavy to use as a tablet, has poor battery life and the screen is dim making it near impossible to use outside. About the only positives is it uses the latest generation of Core i processor for slightly better performance and is available in red rather than boring black or silver.

Pros

  • Slightly Higher General Performance
  • Available in Red to Stand Out From Silver and Black Systems

Cons

  • Very Heavy Making Tablet Mode Difficult to Use
  • Poor Battery Life
  • Display Lacks Brightness

Description

  • Intel Core i3-5010U Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 500GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 13.3" WXGA (1366x768) Multitouch Display With 720p Webcam
  • Intel HD Graphics 5500 Integrated Graphics
  • 802.11ac Wireless, Blueooth
  • Two USB 3.0, One USB 2.0, HDMI, SD Card Slot
  • 13.12" x 8.83" x .84" @ 3.97 lbs.
  • Windows 8.1

Review - HP Pavilion x360 13t

May 20 2015 - The HP Spectre x360 is considered a high end premium convertible laptop that can also be used as a tablet but the price is pretty high for some people. HP also makes the Pavilion x360 13t as a more affordable alternative. It retains the same fold back screen design to move between a traditional laptop to a stand mode and eventually to a tablet mode.

Construction is of course made of plastic to help keep the costs down. For those that want something that stands out, it is available in a red color in addition to the basic silver. It really isn't that much smaller than many 13-inch laptops at .89-inches and it is also relatively heavy at just under four pounds making it more difficult to use in tablet mode.

Powering this version of the HP Pavilion x360 is the Intel Core i3-5010U dual core mobile processor. This is one of the lowest version of the current Core i3 processor but it still provides a decent level of performance for those that mainly use the laptop for browsing the web, streaming media or productivity work. It is of course going to suffer when doing demanding tasks like desktop video work but it can still do it. The processor is matched up with 4GB of DDR3 memory which provides a decent responsiveness in Windows as long as you aren't multitasking too heavily or doing demanding task like video editing.

Storage for the Pavilion x360 is not really any different than a standard budget laptop. It uses a traditional hard drive instead of a solid state drive which does impact performance when booting it up or loading applications. What you gain instead is a greater level of storage space for applications, data and media files. In this case, a 500GGB capacity which is double the capacity of the base Spectre x360 with its 256GB solid state drive. If this is not enough, the system does have two USB 3.0 ports for uses with high speed external hard drives.

The display is a pretty critical feature for a hybrid laptop system and this is an are when HP falters.

The 13.3-inch display offers a paltry 1366x768 native resolution which is common for standard laptops but it low when compared to most tablets that cost much less that this. To make matters worse, the display offers a very limited amount of brightness. This may not be an issue for some but with the glossy coating needed for the touchscreen, it has difficulty providing enough brightness to overpower glare when used outdoors. The Intel HD Graphics 5500 built into the Core i3 processor do a fine enough job but they still lack 3D performance for PC gaming except for older games or on lower detail and resolution settings.

The keyboard for the Pavilion x360 uses an isolated style that has been used on many system. It is a decent layout but you may have to get used to some extra keys on the right hand side of the enter key. The keys are also flat which makes it a bit less comfortable than some other keyboards on the market but it is still quite accurate. The trackpad is a nice large size and features integrated buttons. The surface could be a bit better but it is serviceable.

The battery pack for the Pavilion X360 13-inch model is a 43.5 WHr capacity. In digital video playback test, this resulted in just under four and a quarter hours of running time. This well below average which is surprising given the Core i3 processor which tends to do well. It is decent when compared to budget class laptops but far short of the over ten hours the Apple MacBook Air 13 can achieve.

The list price for the HP Pavilion x360 13-inch model with a similar configuration is just under $600 but the street pricing for the system can be as low as $500. The primary competition for the Pavilion x360 is the ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP300LA and the Lenovo Flex 3. Both of these offer similar systems with a convertible design for roughly the same price. The ASUS is a generation behind with its processor but offers a larger battery for longer running times. Lenovo's offer a larger hard drive for more storage space but suffers from similar battery life issues from its small battery and offers slightly less performance from a Pentium rather than Core class processor.

 

Manufacturer's Site