Full disclosure: I’m predisposed to liking anything that’s copper-colored. Show me a laptop that’s trimmed in said shiny-but-velvety hue, such as HP’s Spectre x360 15t touch, and it’ll take a pretty major flaw for me to dislike it. Show me a laptop with copper highlighting and a 15-inch, touch-enabled 4K UHD OLED display, and it’s going to have to insult my mother before I’ll have anything bad to say about it.

I’m also a huge fan of thoughtful design, and this laptop comes darn close to being flawless in that department. Then there’s the display…

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best laptops. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. 

Why the AMOLED display is special

We had to try the AMOLED version of the Spectre x360 15 (we’ve already tested a 2019 non-OLED version), because it offers a still-rare visual experience on a laptop. The thing about OLED, or AMOLED (the same thing—AM stands for Active Matrix, which is simply the way the pixels are wired), is its near-perfect black. As self-emitters, OLED pixels emit no light when they’re shut off, hence the nice black. LCD’s, on the other hand, are imperfect shutters that leak light when they’re off, unless you turn off the backlight. Under most working circumstances, on a PC, the backlight will remain lit.

What’s the thing with black? When you start from that zero brightness, you don’t need as many nits to create high contrast (the difference between the lightest and darkest points). Also, real black gives you a sense of lushness that you don’t get with the dark grays of LCD. 

All that’s just a fancy lead-in to telling you that the 500 or so nits’ peak brightness that this display can generate is plenty for normal conditions and even bright environments, such as the great outdoors.

The color is quite accurate as well, better than I’ve seen on consumer OLED TVs, because it’s a real three sub-pixel (red, green, and blue) RGB display rather than the WRGB (white, red, green, and blue sub-pixels) found in the former. HP claims this laptop’s display achieves 100 percent of DCI P3 color space, which simply means it can reproduce a lot of different colors—far more than most displays. The white point (the point in the color matrix where white should occur) is very close to perfect.

hp spectre x360 15t touch amoled detailMelissa Riofrio/IDG

It’s hard to do justice to the crispness and depth of color on the HP Spectre x360 15t touch’s AMOLED display, but this gives you a taste. 

The fact that the display is 4K UHD (3840×2160) means there are no discernible pixels from a normal viewing distance (or much closer), and text is crisp as can be. Our review unit came with the display running zoomed to 225%, which means you’re halving the effective capacity for text, etc. But at the native resolution, only those with super-keen eyesight would be comfortable with how small everything appears. 

READ  Lenovo Ideapad L340 (15″) review – one of many successors to the Ideapad 330