Sur­face Lap­top ...................................................... Dell XPS 15 .............................................................. Gigabyte Sabre Pro 17 ............................................ HP Elitebook 360 ..........................


PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS - Adam Shep­herd

P acked with a slew of busi­ness fea­tures, HP’s lat­est con­vert­ible lap­top is gun­ning for the board­room. The alu­minium uni­body is ac­cented with di­a­mond-cut edges, with a pro­fes­sional aes­thetic that’s at­trac­tive with­out be­ing gar­ish. De­spite its sleek looks, there’s an air of stur­di­ness that’s well-de­served: the X360 is de­signed to pass the MIL STD 810G tests that cer­tify a de­vice as rugged enough for use by the US mil­i­tary.

At 1.27kg, the 13.3in EliteBook X360 is a lit­tle chunky com­pared to the 1.1kg Toshiba Portégé X20W. How­ever, the X360 in­cludes a full-size key­board, rea­son­ably pow­er­ful in­ter­nal com­po­nents and a healthy al­lo­ca­tion of ports, so it’s easy to for­give.

Just like the X20W, this a con­vert­ible ma­chine, so you can flip the screen over and use it as a tablet, or stand it up in tent mode. It’s too heavy to use com­fort­ably As the X360’s name sug­gests, its screen fully ro­tates as a tablet in the hand, but it’s well suited to oc­ca­sional use. For ex­am­ple, it’s per­fect for us­ing in meet­ings where you need to scrawl notes.

I’m still not 100% sold on the util­ity of con­vert­ible de­vices ver­sus tra­di­tional lap­tops for o–ce work­ers, but the X360 did go some way to con­vinc­ing me. To my sur­prise, I found my­self ac­tu­ally us­ing the X360 in tablet mode, and it does en­cour­age you to work in di—er­ent ways.

When you need the key­board, the X360’s is a strong per­former. Typ­ing feels sat­is­fy­ing, and the back­lit keys o—er ex­cel­lent travel depth and feed­back. The touch­pad is large enough to ca­pa­bly nav­i­gate the screen, and click­ing o—ers a firm re­sponse. It’s nicely fin­ished too, with fin­gers glid­ing over the sur­face.

This is also a ma­chine built for speed, with di—er­ent SKUs based on In­tel’s Kaby Lake pro­ces­sors. You can choose ei­ther Core i5 or Core i7 vari­ants, along with 4GB, 8GB or 16GB of RAM. HP sent us the model which fea­tures a Core i5-7200U, 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.

This proved a good com­bi­na­tion, scor­ing 53 over­all in our bench­marks. That’s ac­tu­ally equal to the Toshiba X20W, which in­cluded a Core i7-7500U chip. You can feel con­fi­dent that the X360 will han­dle any­thing that your av­er­age user will throw at it, in­clud­ing stren­u­ous mul­ti­task­ing and pho­toedit­ing tasks. With a mea­sured bat­tery life of 10hrs 46mins, it’s also ca­pa­ble of pow­er­ing through a full day of work with juice to spare. Even bet­ter, it sup­ports Thun­der­bolt 3 as well as a tra­di­tional charger.

Un­for­tu­nately, the screen’s colour ac­cu­racy disappoints, cover­ing 82.3% of the sRGB spec­trum in our tests. This isn’t a ma­jor is­sue for most users – colours are still punchy and vivid – but means it’s not ideal for de­sign­ers or pho­tog­ra­phy pro­fes­sion­als. This isn’t a big enough prob­lem to put us o— the de­vice, but it’s a shame when HP’s dis­plays are of­ten so ex­cel­lent.

Be­sides, there are com­pen­sa­tions here. Where most con­vert­ibles make do with a cou­ple of ports, the X360 in­cludes two full-sized USB 3 ports, a USB-C port, an HDMI out­put and a mi­croSD card slot.

You don’t get an Ac­tive Pen as part of the pack­age but it’s worth con­sid­er­ing for the ex­tra func­tions it pro­vides. Just note that HP doesn’t pro­vide any way of at­tach­ing the pen to the X360.

Un­sur­pris­ingly for a busi­ness-class de­vice, the X360 is packed to the gun­nels with en­ter­prise se­cu­rity and man­age­ment fea­tures, in­clud­ing Sure Start Gen3 BIOS pro­tec­tions and a smart card reader. Else­where, there’s Win­dows Hello bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion, in­clud­ing both fa­cial recog­ni­tion and a fin­ger­print reader.

It adds up to one of the most ver­sa­tile and well-rounded con­vert­ible lap­tops around. It’s got all the ports you could wish for, plenty of power, great bat­tery life and it also makes the right im­pres­sion when you use it in meet­ings. For or­gan­i­sa­tions that want to o—er work­ers the flex­i­bil­ity of a tablet, but stay in the Win­dows ecosys­tem, the HP EliteBook X360 is an ex­cel­lent choice.

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