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When comparing overall performance, the Spectre x2 scored 5,814 in Geekbench 3. While that's lower than numbers put up by an Intel Core i5 Surface Pro 4 (6,811) and Core i7 Yoga 900 (6,264), Microsoft and Lenovo's 2-in-1 cost significantly more, at $1,429 and $1,399, respectively. Toshiba's Core i7 Satellite Radius 12 performed about the same, despite having a more powerful CPU and a $1,299 price tag. In case you're considering the iPad Pro, that tablet's A9X processor notched 5,296.

The Spectre x2's 256GB mSATA SSD duplicated 4.97GB of mixed-media files in 34 seconds for a transfer rate of 149 MBps. Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 was more than twice as fast with a rate of 318.1 MBps and Lenovo's Yoga 900 was slightly ahead at 181.76 MBps, but Toshiba's Satellite Radius 12 was slightly slower at 141.4 MBps.

Using a spreadsheet in OpenOffice, the Spectre x2 matched 20,000 names and addresses in 5 minutes and 34 seconds. As expected, this was behind Core i5- and i7-powered systems such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (4:11) and the Yoga 900 (4:18), but the same as the Satellite Radius 12 (5:34).

With its Intel HD Graphics 515, the Spectre x2's gaming fun will be mostly limited to casual titles like Hearthstone or less demanding indie titles like Hotline: Miami. But this 2-in-1 can handle some mainstream games.

When we played World of Warcraft at 1920 x 1080p and auto settings, the Spectre x2 managed 41 frames per second, which is playable, but less than frame rates put up by the Surface Pro 4 (47 fps) and Lenovo Yoga 900 (49 fps). However, the satellite Radius performed much worse, with a frame rate of just 13 fps at the same settings.

MORE: Best Ultrabooks (Thin-and-Light Windows Laptops)

On 3DMark's Fire Strike graphics test, the x2 scored 668, which is short of what we've seen from systems with more powerful Core i processors, including the Surface Pro 4 (843), Yoga 900 (840) and Satellite Radius 12 (841).

Battery Life
Endurance is the x2's Achilles' heel. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits), the x2 lasted just 6 hours and 31 minutes. That's 1.5 hours less than the ultraportable laptop average (8:10) and the Lenovo Yoga 900 (7:57), and not much better than the Surface Pro 4 (6:05), which is already pretty lacking. The Toshiba Satellite Radius 12 was even worse with a disappointing life of 5:17.

The Spectre x2 splits the difference between the Surface 3 and the Surface Pro 4 with an attractive starting price of just $800, including the keyboard (the stylus costs an extra $30). For that, you get an Intel Core m3-6Y30 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. However, you can select from a faster M5 or M7 CPU, up to 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD for a max of $1,400. Currently, there's also a deal from Best Buy that lowers the starting price of the x2 to $700 when bundled with a two-year wireless contract from Verizon.

Software and Warranty
The Spectre x2 comes with a one-year limited warranty and a near-pristine install of Windows 10. That means aside from McAfee Live Safe, there's not much to get in the way of your enjoyment of Microsoft's automatic switching between laptop and tablet modes or getting acquainted with Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant.

The ports, or lack of, is a bit of an issue. Only one USB port is a bit frustrating if you’re the type of person who plugs in numerous peripherals, in which case you’ll have to invest in a Surface Dock, a smaller block this time instead of the quite large stand for the Surface Pro 3 (one that didn’t really make sense considering how the Surface already had a capable stand to begin with).
The kickstand can be adjusted to almost any angle, you can push it nearly upright if you really wanted to, and getting the right angle only takes a moment
Once you do, it’s comfortable to use and the differences between it and a normal laptop are too small to notice, it’s just as much at home on a desk as it is on your lap.
Surface Pro 4 Kickstand
The charger port is also a bit awkwardly placed. Located at the bottom right-hand corner, it just a bit awkward as the cable travels down parallel to the side instead of perpendicular, meaning you will sometimes have to adjust it (or pop it back into the power slot) anytime you put it down on a desk.

Bottom Line
The Spectre x2 has a lot of features that show off how good a 2-in-1 can be. Its metal-backed keyboard offers a great typing experience, and the quad B&O speakers and Intel RealSense 3D Camera are nice bonuses that help bring a spark to everyday computing. The optional Verizon 4G LTE connection should be a real boon to road warriors, too. But a word to HP: next time, please leave the kickstand release button on the cutting floor like you did for the Elite x2.

With the x2's lovely design, solid included keyboard (I'm looking at you, Surface) and more attractive price tag, HP came so close to beating Microsoft at its own game. Better battery life and a more colurful display would go a long way on HP's next detachable hybrid, but even so, the Spectre x2 is a top tier 2-in-1.
Speaking of the Surface Pro, it was the one that spearheaded the current paradigm shift when it launched three years ago, came with a keyboard cover by default and with Windows OS, the de facto client operating system for businesses.

In 2013, a number of vendors started testing a number of form factors that blended tablet functionality in a laptop form factor. The market opted for the two simplest ones, detachable and swivel ones, with The ASUS Transformer Book T200TA and the Lenovo Yoga 3, being two examples of models that are currently on vendors' shelves.

2-in-1 devices are set to increase their market share for a number of reasons both for vendors and for customers.

For the latter group, hybrid laptops provide with the sort of versatility that is increasingly becoming the norm in modern businesses. Employees are now expected to work flexibly which is why they would demand the same from the devices they use.

TODO alt text
Convertibles allow users to switch seamlessly and rapidly between modes. The Yoga 3 mentioned above, for example, can rotate to offer either a traditional layout, a presentation mode, a tablet one or a laid-back/tent mode.

The other option vendors have adopted is to detach the keyboard dock from the laptop, a process that takes seconds, allowing the user to enjoy an even better user experience since the screen essentially becomes a standalone tablet.

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