Today I’m going to be looking at the HP Pavilion x360. This is a 2017 model laptop with a hinge that allows you to fold back the display, so you can use it as a tablet hence the x360 moniker.

This model comes with the new Intel Kaby Lake refresh i5 processor which is under the Coffee Lake branding. Intel announced this line of processor in August 2017

The rest of the specs are:

  • 128GB SATA-3 M.2 SSD
  • 8GB DDR4-2400
  • 14” 1920x1080 10-Point IPS Touch Screen
  • 5-Point Touchpad Mouse
  • 802.11AC Dual-Band WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • 2x USB 3.1
  • 1x USB Type-C
  • Full Size HDMI
  • Multi-Card Flash Reader
  • Headphone/Microphone 3.5mm
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Windows Hello Compatible Camera with IR

There is a story behind this laptop. I’ve been looking for a laptop to use for writing for a little bit now. I didn’t want to have to seclude myself to my room where my desktop is at when I wanted to do a little bit of writing or research that I couldn’t do on my phone comfortably. I originally ordered an old IBM ThinkPad T410 at BestBuy, but the order couldn’t be fulfilled. I ordered the ThinkPad impulsively because all the announcement of the new anniversary edition. Once that happened I did the logical thing and narrowed my search down to products that are only available at my local store and sorted by price. I knew I didn’t want to spend more than $1000 on this laptop and I wanted modern hardware. It made no sense to continue with my original impulse especially when you factor in performance and price ratio. Now for desktops I tend to not do any of that price performance kind of thing, I just want the fastest thing I can afford and if I can’t afford it I’ll wait. For a laptop where you can’t upgrade the hardware it makes sense to go for the most modern hardware. I’ve been following the Coffee Lake launch, but I pretty much ignored the mobile products in this line of hardware.

Performance is what drove the decision process for me. I was going through the different laptops that were under $1000 and searching the Passmark CPU scores of each of them. I came across this laptop and saw how it was a mobile i5 with four cores and hyperthreading with a base clock of 1.8ghz and an all core boost of 3.4ghz with the performance to blow away anything else in this price bracket and even a bit above.

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Opening the laptop was meet with very little fanfare. The box was understated and only contained packing foam with the laptop. That was surprising quite honestly and I expected more, but I don’t purchase laptops often, so I don’t know what the norm is. I checked out the whole thing before booting it up the first time and was very pleased by the build quality. The display is very sturdy and rigid with very minimal flex and the same can be said for the keyboarding surfaces. The keyboard is great to type on and there was zero muscle memory adjustment time for me coming from my desktop’s Logitech k120. Overall the build quality is top notch.

Booting up the system initiated the windows 10 setup process with Cortana talking to me and I was able to use my voice to complete that process. I wasn’t required to use my voice, but I just enjoyed the novelty of it all. This is when I encountered Windows Hello which I’ve only read about in passing before. This must be one of my most favorite features so far, well maybe not favorite but again this is a novelty aspect mixed with usefulness. It was able to learn my facial features with my glasses on and now I’m able to just have my face even just slightly looking the general direction of my display and it will log me in. The cool thing about that is that it even works in a pitch-black room.

Using the laptop after the initial setup involved me just doing the usual things. I let windows and the HP Support program do their updates before I assessed anything. I ran a cpu-z benchmark and was very impressed by this little 15w chip.

As you can see its very close in performance to the cpu-z reference 4790k which is an 88w TDP part. I also ran some other benchmarks. I did some AIDA64 tests plus Passmark and UserBenchmark and Cinebench but they aren’t anything really to write home about and that isn’t the focus of getting a laptop like this.

I don’t have screenshots of the other tests, but I ran them and trust me it’s nothing special, but it isn’t bad for a laptop of this class.

Writing on this laptop is quite nice and that is what I purchased it for. I was able to do this whole article on the laptop with Word Online and my Publii static blog frontend without any issue or feeling that I was on a slower machine. I feel like it should go without saying “Well DUH Jack, you should be able to do such simple things on a modern Windows laptop these days.” And I’d agree with you except for the fact that whenever a system is just a tiny bit slow or hitchy I tend to get sidetracked and just give up on being productive and start hyper focusing on trying to fix the problem. With this laptop I don’t have that issue at all. Nothing is slow! EXAMPLE, I was watching YouTube, ya know, just chilling in my bed watching stuff and the automatic quality setting chose 4k60 for a LinusTechTips video and the other thing I was doing at the same time wasn’t even lagging and I wasn’t seeing dropped frames when I turned on the geek stats on YouTube. That alone was impressive.

Waiting is something that I tell almost anyone who is asking me about what laptop to buy to do since Ryzen Mobile will be coming out “soon”. I could have waited but I’m aware of Ryzen’s shortcomings in single threaded performance and I just don’t trust the mobile Ryzen to somehow edge out Intel at this price bracket for CPU performance. I might have gotten more cores and a Vega APU on Ryzen but I’m not sure that is of any benefit to me.

Purpose is the reason for anything in this world, unless you live entirely in the abstract, and this laptop fulfilled a need for me. That need was a simple laptop with a long battery life and a strong processor that is able to crunch through cycles quickly so it can step down in frequency sooner in order to save more battery, so I can do more things for a longer time. The last time I’ve encountered an HP laptop was back when they were all plastic and bulky and just bad. This time I think HP hit it out of the park and really has a great product here.

Going into any other detail would just be me reviewing Windows 10 so I won’t be getting into the nitty gritty really. All of the stuff that HP is responsible for like the build quality and display and actual hardware are quite top notch and I have no complaints.

This laptop is available at Best Buy - HERE