Why one of my favorite laptops still struggles against the MacBook Pro

Trending 4 weeks ago
HP Spectre x360 14 2023 beforehand angled position showing show and keyboard.Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

HP conscionable released an updated type of its premier user laptop, nan fantabulous Spectre x360 14, 1 of nan best 2-in-1s you tin buy. It’s well-made, offers a ton of flexibility, and is 1 of my favourite laptops I’ve reviewed recently.

But it’s going up against nan Apple MacBook Pro 14, which sits alongside nan HP connected our database of best laptops. When it comes to laptops that are some portable and powerful, though, nan Spectre x360 still falls down nan MacBook Pro successful immoderate important ways.

Specs and configurations

  HP Spectre x360 14 Apple MacBook Pro 14
Dimensions 12.35 inches x 8.68 inches x 0.67 inches 12.31 inches x 8.71 inches x 0.60 inches
Weight 3.19 pounds 3.5 pounds
Processor Intel Core Ultra 5 125H
Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
Apple M3 (8-core)
Apple M3 Pro (11-core, 12-core)
Apple M2 Max (14-core, 16-core)
Graphics Intel Arc graphics M3: 10-core
M3 Pro: 14-core, 18-core
M3 Max: 30-core, 40-core
RAM 16GB
32GB
M3: 8GB to 24GB
M3 Pro: 18GB to 128GB
M3 Max: 36GB to 128GB
Display 14.0-inch 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED, 120Hz 14.2-inch 16:10 Liquid Retina XDR (3024 x 1964), 120Hz
Storage 512GB SSD
1TB SSD
2TB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
2TB SSD
4TB SSD
8TB SSD
Touch Yes No
Ports 2 x USB-C pinch Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-A
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
3 x USB-C pinch Thunderbolt 4
1 x HDMI 2.0
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
SD paper reader
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4
Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
Webcam 9MP pinch infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello 1080p
Operating system Windows 11 MacOS Monterey
Battery 68 watt-hour 70 watt-hour
Price $1,650+ $1,599+
Rating 4.5 retired of 5 stars 4.5 retired of 5 stars

We don’t person complete pricing yet connected nan Spectre x360 14, but truthful far, we cognize that it starts astatine $1,650 for an Intel Core Ultra 5 125H, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. With a Core Ultra 7 155H, 32GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD, nan Spectre costs $1,970.

The MacBook Pro 14 starts astatine a spot little — $1,599 for a guidelines M3 and 512GB of storage, but only 8GB of RAM. Apple charges $200 to get to 16GB of RAM, making it $150 much than a akin configuration of nan Spectre x360 14.

You tin get a MacBook Pro 14 pinch an M3 Pro 11/14, 18GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD for $1,999, which will supply amended capacity than nan high-end Spectre. Fully configured pinch an M3 Max 16/40, 128GB of RAM, and an 8TB SSD, nan MacBook costs a whopping $6,899.

Design

The 14-inch MacBook Pro connected a model sill.Digital Trends

The Spectre x360 14 is simply a redesign of nan Spectre x360 13.5, upping nan show size by half an inch and smoothing nan edges. It retains nan notches trim into nan bottommost of nan show and nan rear chassis, which location a Thunderbolt 4 larboard and nan 3.5mm audio jack. It’s a much elegant and streamlined design, disposable successful Nightfall, Black, Slate Blue, aliases Sahara Silver — each of which make it much charismatic than its predecessor.

The MacBook Pro 14 possesses nan blockier and much minimalist artistic shared by each modern MacBooks. It is disposable successful Space Gray, Silver, and Space Black, and boasts an elegance that fewer laptops tin match. The MacBook has thinner bezels and a notch successful nan show to accommodate nan webcam, while nan HP’s bezels are slim capable isolated from for nan heavy bottommost chin that accommodates nan 360-degree hinge.

As a 2-in-in laptop, nan Spectre x360 14 offers a fewer advantages complete nan MacBook Pro 14. First, it has a pen-enabled touch display, whereas nan MacBook has nary touch options. Second, nan show swivels astir to activity successful clamshell, tent, media, and tablet modes. That offers a batch much elasticity than nan clamshell-only MacBook Pro 14.

Both laptops are constructed from CNC-machined aluminum, and some are solidly built. The MacBook Pro 14’s hinge is smoother and allows opening of nan laptop pinch 1 hand, while nan Spectre’s is stiffer to accommodate nan 2-in-1 functionality.

HP Spectre x360 14 2023 apical down position showing keyboard.Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The MacBook Pro 14 sports nan champion keyboard connected a laptop, nan Magic Keyboard, pinch ample keycaps, plentifulness of cardinal spacing, and switches that are light, snappy, and precise. The Spectre’s keyboard besides has ample keycaps and fantabulous cardinal spacing, but its deeper switches aren’t rather arsenic precise owed to a little comfortable bottoming action pinch little feedback.

The Spectre x360 14 has an fantabulous haptic touchpad pinch virtual clicks that consciousness earthy and responsive, and it’s moreover larger than nan MacBook’s arsenic fantabulous Force Touch touchpad. The MacBook Pro 14’s touchpad has nan Force Click characteristic that provides further functionality pinch much forceful clicks, which nan Spectre x360 14 doesn’t offer.

The Spectre x360 14 offers nan amended videoconferencing experience.

Connectivity is mixed. The MacBook offers an further Thunderbolt 4 larboard and an HDMI connection, pinch nan Spectre having a bequest USB-A port. The MacBook Pro 14 has a full-sized SD paper reader, while nan Spectre omits an SD scholar entirely. That favors nan MacBook. On nan different hand, nan Spectre supports Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4, while nan MacBook is stuck connected Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.

The Spectre x360 14 has a 9MP webcam that supports up to 2160p video, which is simply a higher solution than nan MacBook’s 1080p webcam. The Spectre’s webcam besides has hardware-based lowlight correction and offers a assortment of AI-enhanced features. HP besides includes personification presence-sensing exertion that leverages an infrared camera to fastener nan laptop and put it to slumber erstwhile nan personification steps away, and aftermath it up and log backmost successful erstwhile nan personification returns.

The MacBook Pro 14 has nan Touch ID fingerprint scholar successful nan powerfulness button, and that’s it. Note that nan Spectre besides has a fingerprint scholar successful nan powerfulness fastener to spell pinch Windows 11 Hello facial recognition.

Performance

The keyboard of nan MacBook Pro 14-inch connected a wood surface.Luke Larsen / Digital Trends

The Spectre x360 14 uses Intel’s latest Meteor Lake chipsets, specifically nan 28-watt Core Ultra 125H (14 cores, 18 threads) and Core Ultra 7 155H (16 cores, 22 threads). We tested it pinch nan second and recovered it performs amended than Intel’s erstwhile 28-watt chips, but not remarkably so. The Core Ultra chipsets are notable for their caller neural processing units (NPUs) and perchance improved efficiency. The Spectre is constricted to Intel Arc integrated graphics, which are faster than nan erstwhile Intel Iris Xe graphics, but not arsenic accelerated arsenic entry-level Nvidia discrete GPUs. Unlike immoderate different 14-inch laptops, nary discrete graphics options are available, which limits its capacity compared to nan MacBook Pro.

Apple’s MacBook Pro 14 is disposable pinch various M3 chipsets, including nan guidelines M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max pinch differing CPU and GPU halfway counts. We tested nan highest-end M3 Max pinch 16 CPU cores and 40 GPU cores. That’s a very accelerated chipset successful some CPU- and GPU-intensive tasks.

The MacBook Pro 14 pinch nan M3 Max is importantly faster than nan Spectre x360 14. It’s besides overmuch much expensive. We haven’t tested nan MacBook pinch nan guidelines M3 processor, but nan Apple iMac pinch that spot performs likewise to nan Core Ultra 7 155H. The M3 is apt to supply akin capacity successful nan MacBook Pro 14.

Geekbench
(single/multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single/multi)
HP Spectre x360 14
(Core Ultra 7 155H)
2,210 / 11,841 111 1,750/ 9,832
MacBook Pro 14 M3
(M3 Max 16/40)
3,174/ 21,137 53 1881/ 22,028
iMac M3
(M3 8/10)
3,075 / 11,994 112 1,905 / 9,754

Display and audio

HP Spectre x360 15 2023 shelter view.Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Spectre x360 14 is disposable pinch a 14-inch 2.8K OLED show moving astatine up to 120Hz. That’s astir nan aforesaid sharpness arsenic nan Liquid Retina XDR Mini-LED sheet connected nan MacBook Pro 14. Both displays tally astatine up to 120Hz.

The Spectre’s colors are wider and much meticulous than nan MacBook’s, though some are bully capable for superior imaginative work. Both displays person near-perfect achromatic levels successful unthinkable contrast, while nan MacBook’s Mini-LED show has much modular move scope (SDR) brightness by default while providing a searing 1,600 nits for precocious move scope (HDR) video.

Both displays are fantabulous for productivity users, creators, and media consumers. The second group will beryllium overmuch happier pinch nan class-leading HDR capacity connected nan MacBook Pro 14.

HP Spectre x360 14
(OLED)
Apple MacBook Pro 14
(Mini-LED)
Brightness
(nits)
391 511
AdobeRGB gamut 96% 89%
 sRGB gamut 100% 100%
Accuracy
(DeltaE, little is better)
0.68 1.13

The MacBook Pro 14 has six speakers and force-canceling woofers that pump retired nan loudest and highest-quality audio you’ll find connected a 14-inch laptop. Mids and highs are crystal clear, while there’s besides plentifulness of bass.

The Spectre x360 14 has 4 speakers, including 2 woofers that occurrence retired nan front, and it provides immoderate of nan champion audio short of nan MacBook. It, too, produces plentifulness of volume, pinch clear mids and highs. The biggest quality is successful nan magnitude of bass to accentuate euphony and action TV show and movies. The Spectre is very good, but nan MacBook is excellent.

Portability

HP Spectre x360 14 2023 near broadside position showing ports.Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Spectre x360 14 and MacBook Pro 14 are akin successful width and depth, pinch nan erstwhile being somewhat thicker and nan second somewhat heavier. Both are highly portable machines.

The biggest quality comes successful artillery life. The Spectre x360 14 has an mean artillery life of astir 8 hours of web browsing and 14 hours of video. The MacBook Pro 14 will deed astir 18 hours of web browsing and apt somewhat much erstwhile looping video. If moving a afloat time is important to you, past nan MacBook Pro will past that and moreover more. Comparing these 2 laptops straight makes that quality painfully obvious.

Both are fantabulous laptops, and it comes down to fund and workflow

The larboard action of nan MacBook Pro 14-inch.Digital Trends

The Spectre x360 14 is nan champion convertible 2-in-1 disposable today. It’s fast, well-built, has a beautiful OLED display, and gets bully artillery life. The MacBook Pro 14 tin beryllium configured to beryllium overmuch faster (especially successful nan graphics department), and it has arsenic bully build quality, a stunning mini-LED display, and nan champion artillery life connected a 14-inch laptop.

The quality comes down to whether you want nan elasticity of a 2-in-1 aliases a accepted clamshell. Of course, value is important arsenic well, because to get nan fastest MacBook Pro 14, you’ll request to walk a batch much money. In nan end, you can’t hit it connected artillery life, though — and that’s thing nary Windows laptop has been capable to compete with.

Editors' Recommendations

  • The champion MacBook to bargain successful 2024
  • Best MacBook deals: Get an Air for $750 and prevention connected M3 MacBook Pro
  • New MacBooks are coming, but they aren’t worthy waiting for
  • The MacBook Pro we each want is still galore years away
  • There are 2 sizes of MacBook Pros. Here’s nan 1 you should buy