HP Spectre X2 12-a010nr Detachable Notebook Review

December 6, 2016
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Many kinds of convertible notebooks exist, but the essence is this: they include both laptop and tablet. In HP Spectre X2 12-a010nr, this is achieved with the detaching screen – yep, you can separate the display from the keyboard! As this unit has received some positive attention lately it only makes sense to take it under review and see if it’s really good or not…

General performance

HP Spectre X2 12-a010nr can’t be too slow, there’s a genuine 128GB solid-state drive installed to M.2 port. You can probably upgrade it for bigger one if need arises, but I can’t comment on how hard the maneuver will be with this exact model.

Quite a speedy processor is included as well. The dual-core Intel Core m7-6Y75 runs on admittedly low 1.2GHz base clock speed, but turbo boost will up it to 3.1GHz. If you want to compare the unit to other processors, it’s as fast as the better-known Core i5-5200U – both get a score of ~3500 in the popular CPU Mark benchmark test.

The memory amount I appreciate, there’s 8GB installed. Most people should not need more, however if you do you’re out of luck: the RAM here is onboard and can not be upgraded.

How does this work for gaming?

Don’t keep your hopes too high if you’re a gamer. Even though HP Spectre X2 12-a010nr is not a budget laptop it still doesn’t come with dedicated graphics. Instead, there’s just integrated engine, the Intel HD 515 powering the graphics of this machine. Games that don’t require a lot of oomph from the computer do run fine especially on lower settings – those include CS: Go, DayZ, Minecraft and most sports games. But for new games the laptop is too weak. Don’t try GTA 5, Crysis 3 and The Witcher 3 here!

What ports and connections it has?

The USB 3.0 ports are two but they are both Type-C. And keep in mind one of them is used for charging the device. You can connect your regular USB devices to the laptop easily because it includes USB to USB Type-C adapter :)

There’s a wireless adapter (the better 802.11ac standard) in HP Spectre X2 12-a010nr for your networking needs. Also Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled. Verizon 4G LTE supporting SIM card slot can be found too. People said it works with T-Mobile SIM card as well.

You’re welcome to expand the storage with the microSD card reader on the notebook. Optical drive isn’t installed because the unit is too small for that.

Some other important things?

There are no fans in this computer, meaning it’s completely silent.

So, remember the 12″ touch display of HP Spectre X2 12-a010nr can be detached from the keyboard part. The screen will then act as a standalone tablet. Full HD resolution is nice and professionals with graphics editing desires should definitely like it!

This unit comes with a battery of following specs: 3 cells, 42Whr. The manufacturer talks about closer to 10 hours battery life, although in real life people have reported around seven hours continuous lightweight use (such as surfing the web).

Unlike most notebooks, this one has two cameras: in the screen’s back there is Intel 3D RealSense camera, and the front-facing one is high-quality Full HD video capturing webcam.

The battery-less keyboard is backlit.


It makes sense to opt for HP Spectre X2 12-a010nr if the convertible feature is important for you and gaming performance is not. You see, the notebook turns seamlessly into a powerful tablet, and the components inside plow through any common piece of software (YouTube videos included). New games are too much for the system’s integrated graphics, but older titles do run fine. Props must be given to the 12″ screen that still features 1080p resolution. All those who want a small 2-in-1 notebook should think about getting this HP!

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