HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr Notebook Review

July 19, 2016
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HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr is a different beast from what you’re probably used to. It’s surely a laptop but this time, the keyboard detaches from the display part, meaning the latter works as a standalone tablet. Interesting, but is it really useful and worth the price? I’ll let you know my view on this below.

Who is it good for?

People who don’t want to carry around tablet and laptop separately (but indeed require both) would get the most out of HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr. It has a beautiful (if small) 12 inches touchscreen supporting Full HD resolution. By default, it acts as a laptop but when you want, just remove the keyboard part and there you have a tablet at your disposal!

In addition to the screen, also many components inside are very decent. Sure, the dual-core Intel Core m3-6Y30 has a low clock speed (0.9GHz) but it gets better with turbo (2.2GHz), and CPU Mark score is reputable ~3000. The memory is also decent onboard 4GB. With these, you’ll be able to surf the web and YouTube no problem.

Shoutout must also be given to the storage section, it comprises of a 128GB M.2 solid-state drive. This SSD will partly make sure that system and its programs will boot up quickly.

Who is it bad for?

Gamers wouldn’t probably like HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr too much. There’s not much space for fancy components like a dedicated graphics card. So what controls the graphics then? A slow integrated chip called Intel HD 515. You’ll hardly play games like GTA 5 or Fallout 4 on this computer but easier titles such as Fifas, Sims and Counter-Strike: Go run fine at least on low to medium settings.

One thing you should remember is the limitation in storage size. Surely the SSD is quick but it doesn’t hold a lot of data. Compare the 128GB to 1024GB found in many desktops. So if it’s huge storage size you want consider getting an external hard drive.

Miscellaneous things and features

It’s advertised that HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr has 10 hours battery life (3-cell 42Wh); however people are reporting 5-8 hours on a single charge. Not bad indeed, but don’t expect to reach the ten hours.

A couple of ports are included for hooking up peripherals, those being two USB 3.0 Type-C connectors. No HDMI output is found there, but those USB Type-C ports can be used with HDMI devices like HDTV with a special adapter. Likewise, there is no RJ-45 port but you’re good to use the WiFi adapter (802.11ac standard + Bluetooth 4.0).

There is no DVD burner due to small size but SD media card reader is available.

The keyboard part is backlit.


The most distinctive features about HP Spectre X2 12-a008nr are the size and type. It has a very compact 12 inches Full HD screen which, when need arises, turns into a tablet by detaching the keyboard. In addition to this functionality, you also get a solid set of components very enough for day-to-day computing (however not for gaming). So, if it’s something new you want to try, give this HP a go!

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