The best Windows 2-in-1 laptop is the HP Spectre x360 14

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12 Review: Too Dang Expensive? Is It Really Getting Danged? An Empirical Study

Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon line dates back to 2012, and now, in its 12th incarnation, the laptop has reached a level of maturity few other brands can boast. Today’s X1 Carbon has been honed to a fine point—yet it would be legitimately difficult to distinguish from the original. I’d know, because I reviewed it for WIRED way back when.

The song is still the same as always. The business laptop was designed to kill everyone. It retains the same size 14-inch LCD (with 16:10 aspect ratio, now at 2,880 x 1,800 pixels) that it has always had, with the weight now hitting 2.2 pounds— exhibiting a healthy and steady weight loss over the years.

I measured the thickness at 21 millimeters, largely owing to a sizable rubber foot that runs along the back of the base to prop the keyboard up a bit. The current piece of technology is made of recycled aluminum, magnesium, carbon fiber, and post-consumer materials.

Source: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 12 Review: Too Dang Expensive

On the Performance of the Core Ultra Spectre x360 Laptop: Benchmarking the 2024 Model on Related Graphics Apps and Video Playback

Many other innovations here are incremental at best. I mean, when the brand starts talking about the new markings on the keyboard, you know we are close to an innovation terminus. A relocated fingerprints reader, a manual shutter, and a ridge that juts out on the top of the screen are all changes that are hard to figure out.

As with most new machines hitting the market this season, the major upgrade here is the introduction of the AI-infused Intel Core Ultra CPU—in this instance, the Ultra 7 155H model, backed up by a beefy 32 GB of RAM and a 2-TB solid state drive. The unit is light on the ports, with a singleUSB-A port, one of which is partially cover by a flip-out panel.

The 2024 rendition of the Spectre x360 sticks closely to the design of the 2023 model, all built around showcasing the “360” portion of the name. A pair of hinges allows the screen to fold back 180 degrees, converting the laptop into a 14-inch tablet. A fingertip works on the screen, as does the stylus included in the box, and the rechargeable active pen snaps magnetically to the side of the chassis when not in use.

Sure enough, there’s ample power in those specs, and the Spectre x360 turned in the best performance I’ve seen to date on general business apps—by a healthy margin of 20 percent or more versus other Core Ultra laptops on many tests. It was very close to the course on graphics apps. Despite improvements in the Core Ultra’s integrated GPU, you’ll still need to upgrade to a laptop with a discrete graphics processor if you want to undertake significant gaming or rendering activities. The Spectre fell a little shy of the high mark set in my previous tests, but it was still good enough.

The unit is smaller and less heavy than the X1 Carbon, with 19 millimeters of thickness and a 2.3 pound weight. That’s not bad considering the inclusion of a touchscreen and the 360-degree hinge. The extra weight might be related to a larger battery. My testing (with a YouTube video playback at full brightness) achieved 10.5 hours of running time—significantly better than other Core Ultra laptops I’ve tested to date.

The display is bright, right in line with the rest of the market. The speakers on the unit are also excellent, with top-firing tweeters and two front-firing woofers, improved by an impressive cooling system that barely saw the super-silent fan kicking in at all.

The Spectre Keyboard is Exceptionally Fine-Tuned, but it’s Hard to See How to Use a Powerful Touchpad

There is only one complaint that I have. While the keyboard is great, the Haptics can be erratic, missing taps and clicks if you hit it in the wrong place. I don’t know whether this is a simple user error due to freakishly long fingers, but it’s an issue I’ve had with various Spectres for years. It has arguably improved a bit with the new touchpad, but it’s still a thorny problem that created a minor headache for me during extended use.

Pricing is tricky, as the exact specification I was sent isn’t readily available. You can get a close version for $1,400 on with 16 GB of RAM, but if you configure it on HP’s website, you’ll come up with a price of around $1,850. I think the options and exceptional performance are worth the outlay at the higher price.

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