Gadget comparisons can be monotonous as reviewers often resort to gibberish for putting forth their points. Despite the formulaic approach to comparisons, not every day do we get laptops that keep outperforming each other in select segments, thereby strong-arming us into changing loyalties, at every instant!
This is why comparing the Surface Laptop 3 and the Spectre x360 was our toughest vigil yet. For starters, neither of the gadgets shied away from a fight nor did they leave any stone unturned to impress.
However, enough expositions for now and it’s only appropriate to evaluate one against the other to get a better measure of their capabilities:
Let’s dig right into the thick of things by taking processor, graphics support, and resulting performances. Firstly, we would like to mention that both these laptops were used at length by our team of experts, not to mention simultaneously
Besides, we chose to get review models with comparable processing prowess, simply for the same symmetry. It would be brutish to pit an i7 variant against a model housing the i5 processors.
Speculations aside, the Surface Laptop 3 did perform as per expectations, allowing us to run through basic accounting, graphic designing, and other moderately demanding tasks at hand. The reviewed model housed the 10th gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 chipset and the graphics-optimized capabilities were pretty reliable.
When compared to the Surface Laptop 3, the HP Spectre x360 didn’t let us down. However, we deliberately picked up the 11th gen model with Tiger Lake (Silicon) paving the way for better performances. The reviewed model incorporated the i7-1165G7 chipset, thereby allowing us to reach maximum turbo clock frequencies of up to 4.7GHz.
In real-time, the HP Spectre x360 13 with the 11-gen processor at the helm, is at least 26 percent faster as compared to the Surface Laptop 3. Besides, the Intel Xe integrated graphics co-processor associated with the former is also faster as compared to the Iris Plus pertaining to the Surface Laptop 3.
Memory Allocation and Value
Extrapolating the processing performances with sufficient system memory is as crucial as it gets. However, this is the part where we only look at the top-end models for each laptop and infer accordingly.
The HP Spectre x360 13 maxes out close to 1600 dollars, clubbed with the aforementioned i7 processor, 16 gigs of RAM, and even a massive storage space amounting to 2TB. In case, 4K visuals are your priority, you might have to settle for the 10th gen processor, synonymous with the Surface Laptop 3.
The latter, however, is way pricier at close to 2400 dollars for the top-model. However, even shelling close to $800 more than the Spectre x360, you only get 1TB solid-state support and the 10th gen chipset.
Therefore, if the value for money is concerned, HP Spectre x360 trumps the 13-inch Surface Laptop 3, without even breaking a sweat.
Interface, Display, and Portability
While both these notebooks flaunt the Windows 10 operating system, they cater to different audiences, courtesy of the contrasting displays. The Surface Laptop 3 assumes a 13.5-inch screen with an overall resolution of 2256x1540 pixels making it one of the best 2-in-1 laptops under $500. When compared to the 1080p panel associated with the HP Spectre x360, the former came out with flying colors and better color production.
Besides, Microsoft presents the PixelSense technology that accentuates the visual experiences by offering better backlighting, color contrast, and sharpness. Therefore, unless you get hold of the OLED variant associated with the HP Spectre x360, visuals are better projected by the Surface Laptop 3.
However, HP still tries to squeeze in by bringing added portability into the mix, courtesy of the touchscreen, pen compatibility, and the low-power display for calling dibs on the battery life. Then again, Microsoft outruns the 2021 laptop trends and gets the 3:2 aspect ratio into the mix.
In terms of raw portability, both these gadgets are pretty light and shall not weigh down on you during trips. That said, both these laptops offer comparable battery life promises to the interested folks. However, we tested each to a certain limit and the HP Spectre x360 exceeds expectations by lasting for up to 15 hours, on moderate to even heavy usage. That's why it is one of the best laptops for writers.
Facilitating the same is the 1-watt, power-efficient display technology, ensuring display sustainability. This means, when pitted against similar gadgets with comparable IPS panels, the Spectre x360 consumes way less power and lasts longer.
The Surface Laptop 3, however, isn’t far behind and still manages to pull through for at least 12 hours at one go. However, if portability is the deciding factor, our vote goes to the Surface Laptop 3.
Design and Final Thoughts
It is evident that you have aesthetics in mind when you opt for a 13-inch, ultraportable notebook. Starting with the HP Spectre x360, the gem-cut layout is worth applauding. Besides, the color options in play are also pretty extensive as you can choose between Nightfall black, Poseidon Blue, and Natural Silver models.
The Surface Laptop 3 on the other hand doesn’t offer massive design increments as compared to the likes of Surface Laptop 2. Then again, there are four color options to choose from with the Cobalt Blue variant being the most popular, preferably for the Alcantara Fabric.
Then again, from the aesthetic perspective, you can opt for either of the laptops, owing to the aluminum-clad chassis. Moreover, both these variants score highly when the input options are concerned. That said, we like the touchpad on the Surface Laptop 3 better but the preferences might vary depending on the person.
Then again, the Surface Laptop 3 is basically still a laptop, only with touch support and Surface pen compatibility. Therefore, for someone with a penchant for convertibles and 2-in-1s, the Spectre x360 13 is a much better choice.
Coming to the connectivity and the exciting set of ports, HP takes the cake, owing to the inclusion of two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The Surface Laptop 3 is more of a basic laptop in this regard with Microsoft paving the way for the Gen 1 Type-C port, Type-A connector, and the Surface connector for docking and charging.
Therefore, if you are looking for a gadget that best responds to your penchant for peripherals, the HP Spectre x360 13 is definitely the best option among the two.
Overall, we loved both these laptops, albeit with a few partialities here and there. Barring the display and a bit of aesthetics, the HP Spectre x360 13 looks like a more balanced option to go for. However, with Surface Laptop 4 launch on the cards and Microsoft planning a partial to complete design overhaul, HP Spectre x360 13 might just be in for a fairer challenge.
Starting from the processor to the storage space, the Surface Laptop 4 aims at adding a lot more to the plate. Regardless of how the purported April-launch goes, we shall bring every update to you followed by similar gadget comparisons.