HP Spectre x2 12‑a001dx Laptop Review

August 1, 2016
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Laptops who double as tablets are quite popular these days. And I can understand why: people want simplicity, why have two separate devices when you can have one? Indeed, HP Spectre x2 12‑a001dx is such a 2-in-1 notebook with some good reviews already. But don’t get too excited yet, below is my professional take on the subject…

The good

For the money and this purpose, Intel Core m3-6Y30 is an excellent processor. It’s a dual-core unit and true, the clock speed is only 0.9Ghz, but it also has the turbo boost which will increase clock frequency to 2.2GHz. Comparing the processor to others it does well – at CPU Mark it gets ca. 3000 points which is similar or more than Core i3s from the 5th generation. So HP Spectre x2 12‑a001dx has a pretty snappy CPU, however the memory is just average 4GB and it’s embedded on board so you can’t upgrade it.

Solid-state drive is an excellent choice for such 2-in-1 laptop. It is way more durable and faster than a regular hard drive. Hence, if you drop the machine the drive’s not likely to break. Also Windows 10 will boot up in some seconds. The 128GB storage space isn’t big itself, but you can use external hard drive if you want more space.

Again considering the price of this laptop, the screen seems very nice. It’s a small 12 inches touch display with the sought-after 1920×1080 resolution. Of course, because the screen diagonal is indeed so small, Full HD can’t be fully appreciated (but it’s still a nice feature to have). IPS is panel type which contributes to better colors and viewing angles. The keyboard detaches from the screen, with the latter acting as a stand-alone tablet.

The bad

It’s quite obvious but HP Spectre x2 12‑a001dx shouldn’t be primarily used for gaming. There is no space for a dedicated graphics card in such a compact system, hence you’ll be left with the integrated Intel HD 515. So, triple A titles such as GTA 5 and Battlefield 4 are quite taxing for this machine, them getting 25-30FPS if you play on 720p resolution and low to medium settings – very far from optimal. However, the good thing is that games requiring less from the system, such as Counter-Stike: Go or Diablo 3 run quite smooth even if you use medium-high settings.

Other important features and benefits

HP Spectre x2 12‑a001dx has a 3-cell 42Whr battery. HP claims it lasts up to 10 hours, yet many people are talking about ~6 hours under web surfing.

There are a couple of ports available in the notebook so you can connect your favorite peripherals. Two USB Type-C connectors are included and one USB-C to USB-A dongle to make them backward compatible. There’s no dedicated video output but indeed the USB-C works with HDMI if you have an adapter. RJ-45 port isn’t available either but you can get wireless access to Internet with the built-in 2×2 802.11ac WiFi + Bluetooth adapter.

The unit is too small for an internal DVD burner. Micro SD card reader is however there.

Remember that the computer has a couple of cameras: a 5MP front-facing one and Intel RealSense 3D camera (rear-facing).

The laptop includes backlit keyboard.


HP Spectre x2 12‑a001dx is quite a well-priced modern notebook. It has decent processor, average memory and a snappy storage solution (SSD) meaning that daily computing activities are a piece of cake for this machine. Also, when you feel so, detach the keyboard and you got a powerful tablet at your fingertips. Just keep in mind that gaming notebook it’s definitely not, these 2-in-1s rarely are. So, if you don’t have too much money to spend but want something decent, getting this HP is probably a good idea!

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