HP Spectre X2 12-a009nr Detachable Laptop Review

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December 5, 2016
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If one thing is obvious about HP Spectre X2 12-a009nr, it’s that the laptop is very popular. There are myriads of reviews available at least on Amazon.com and most of them tell positive things about the notebook. So, it might make sense for a person seeking quality to buy this. But let’s not be too hasty, closer examination must be done first…

How’s the performance?

There’s a low-voltage Intel Core m5-6Y54 processor commanding this HP Spectre X2 12-a009nr. In that dual core unit the clock speed is rather low 1.1GHz, although there’s also turbo which propels the frequency up to 2.7 gigahertz. Comparing the m5-6Y54 to other processors, it comes close to Core i5-5200 (~3500 vs. ~3300 points for the m5 in CPU Mark test). It’s fast enough to be occasionally used for Photoshop.

The memory amount of 4GB (LPDDR3) isn’t an issue for home users, yet I always advice power users to go for eight gigabytes. Sadly you can not upgrade the memory on this HP, it’s integrated on the system board. Another version of this laptop exists that comes with 8GB.

There’s a real 128GB M.2 solid-state drive (not the cheaper eMMC!) installed, that’s a good thing. Surely it doesn’t give too much storage but if you indeed need more, external drives exist.

Can I use it for gaming?

Don’t rely too much on HP Spectre X2 12-a009nr if you’re planning to game a lot. There’s no fast dedicated graphics card that is a must for players, the only thing you get is integrated Intel HD 515. You’ll find it decent for very low-demanding games, such as DayZ and Counter-Strike: Go. But if you fancy newer ones like Crysis 3 or Battlefield 4, those will hardly run even on minimum settings and resolution.

Ports and connections

The main ports in HP Spectre X2 12-a009nr are two USB 3.0 Type-C. The other is used for charging. The laptop comes with USB Type-C to USB adapter so you can use it with your normal devices, too. Keep in mind there’s no HDMI-output in this machine, you indeed need separate USB Type-C to HDMI adapter for that!

The networking options include wireless with a 802.11ac WiFi adapter. It also works with Bluetooth 4.0. Furthermore, there’s SIM card slot, it supports the Verizon 4G LTE network.

Included is a microSD card reader. DVD burner isn’t there because the laptop simply doesn’t have space for that.

Miscellaneous yet important things

The notebook’s 12″ touch screen has 1920×1280 maximum resolution, indeed the picture quality should be very decent and things on the screen look sharp. It offers the 2-in-1 functionality by detaching from the keyboard part.

Speaking about the keyboard, it features backlight. There’s no battery in the keyboard so it doesn’t need to be charged separately.

The 3-cell 42Whr battery, according to people, lasts 7 hours before you need to plug the laptop in.

The unit has two cameras: 5MP Full HD webcam in front and Intel RealSense 3D webcam in rear.

The computer sports fanless design so in essence it doesn’t make any sound whatsoever.

Final thoughts

HP Spectre X2 12-a009nr is a solid laptop-tablet for people who want better than regular performance and a beautiful screen. The system’s core components are enough to run demanding software now and then, including some older games. The 1080p display will detach from keyboard, turning to tablet mode in seconds. There are no obvious blunders in the notebook, go for it if such a convertible tickles your fancy!

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