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2015 13" MBP vs. HP Spectre X360 personal smackdown.

Tenashus1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
384
84
I purchased a 2015 13" rMBP from the Apple Store short of 2 weeks ago. Had a 2012 cMBP before. I also have had the opportunity to play with an HP Sceptre X360. I was kind of caught up with the "versatility" of the X360 with it being a 2 in 1. These are only anecdotal observations. The Apple build is solid through and through. The Spectre is solid looking and machined beautifully. I have tried two of the latter though, and both had a rattling touchpad. Makes a tinny noise even when lightly touched. The MBP does not do that. The fan is sometimes quick to react on the Spectre, so it can be more noisy at times. The MBP is mainly quiet. The worst thing I encountered on the Spectre, though, has been the sound quality. I use Boom 2 on my Macs to enhance the sound which it does very well. I could not find a comparable tool for use on the Spectre. The stock speakers on the Apple really sound good - much better than on my 2012 MBP. The Spectre's speakers are tinny and noisy with and without an enhancer that I tried. That, more than the trackpad issue, would be the real deal breaker for me with the Spectre. Grating sound even with good headphones. When I downloaded something on the Spectre, I also got into my anxiety provoking Windows Twilight Zone, with junk ware, and the old nightmare of then trying to get rid of it. Doesn't happen on my Mac. Ouch! Otherwise, apart from an i7 dual core on the Spectre (which actually seems slower than the i5 on the Apple?), the two machines have generally similar specs. Both screens are clear and bright with the Apple still having an edge. The Spectre is also $260 cheaper than the MBP. It looked very tempting, but the glow of it is gone now for me. I'm staying with the MBP.
 
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Tenashus1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
384
84
I purchased a 2015 13" rMBP from the Apple Store short of 2 weeks ago. Had a 2012 cMBP before. I also have had the opportunity to play with an HP Sceptre X360. I was kind of caught up with the "versatility" of the X360 with it being a 2 in 1. These are only anecdotal observations. The Apple build is solid through and through. The Spectre is solid looking and machined beautifully. I have tried two of the latter though, and both had a rattling touchpad. Makes a tinny noise even when lightly touched. The MBP does not do that. The fan is sometimes quick to react on the Spectre, so it can be more noisy at times. The MBP is mainly quiet. The worst thing I encountered on the Spectre, though, has been the sound quality. I use Boom 2 on my Macs to enhance the sound which it does very well. I could not find a comparable tool for use on the Spectre. The stock speakers on the Apple really sound good - much better than on my 2012 MBP. The Spectre's speakers are tinny and noisy with and without an enhancer that I tried. That, more than the trackpad issue, would be the real deal breaker for me with the Spectre. Grating sound even with good headphones. When I downloaded something on the Spectre, I also got into my anxiety provoking Windows Twilight Zone, with junk ware, and the old nightmare of then trying to get rid of it. Doesn't happen on my Mac. Ouch! Otherwise, apart from an i7 dual core on the Spectre (which actually seems slower than the i5 on the Apple?), the two machines have generally similar specs. Both screens are clear and bright with the Apple still having an edge. The Spectre is also $260 cheaper than the MBP. It looked very tempting, but the glow of it is gone now for me. I'm staying with the MBP.

I really went the distance on this comparison. I finally got an X360 through Best Buy, and the touchpad was fine. This computer also had DTS Sound Studio built in which, for some reason, the previous X360s I tried did not (UPDATE: x360s sold at the Microsoft Store don't come with DTS. The ones sold through Best Buy do). No matter what modification I tried, however, the speaker sound and the audio just did not compare with the 2015 MBP. Very weak on bass. Even with an Bose Soundlink Mini, the audio was still inferior. I was actually a bit disappointed with that because - with all the stellar reviews of the X360 - I was open to trying another machine - especially being curious about Windows 10. But, alas, I could not do it because of the audio. Overall, the MBP represents quality, seamless, and problem free operation. I am well satisfied with it after all is said and done. I hope anyone who is curious about the X360 over an MBP will benefit from my experience.
 
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hobsgrg

macrumors 6502
Jun 26, 2010
385
138
Otherwise, apart from an i7 dual core on the Spectre (which actually seems slower than the i5 on the Apple?)

Both the HP Spectre x360 and the Dell XPS 13 use a lower powered processor (15 Watt TDP versus 28 Watt on the rMBP) so the i5 on the rMBP is actually 20% faster.
 
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SE43

macrumors member
Apr 2, 2015
95
10
I found that with the XPS 13. Not by much, but was definitely slightly slower than the rMBP (And that was i5 rMBP, i7 XPS 13).

I'm still on the lookout for a really high quality, long battery life, good trackpad Windows Ultrabook though, I love my Mac, but I use Windows far too often. It's just finding a replacement Windows Ultrabook i'm happy with is proving difficult.

Using VM's are okay when you're attached to the wall. But using them on battery just eats away at the battery life to the max, tried bootcamp and the touchpad drivers are horrendous.
 
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Tenashus1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 27, 2011
384
84
I found that with the XPS 13. Not by much, but was definitely slightly slower than the rMBP (And that was i5 rMBP, i7 XPS 13).

I'm still on the lookout for a really high quality, long battery life, good trackpad Windows Ultrabook though, I love my Mac, but I use Windows far too often. It's just finding a replacement Windows Ultrabook i'm happy with is proving difficult.

Using VM's are okay when you're attached to the wall. But using them on battery just eats away at the battery life to the max, tried bootcamp and the touchpad drivers are horrendous.

It was hard taking the X360 back to Best Buy today. Apart from the lousy sound quality (in comparison to the MBP anyway), and the now confirmed slower speed, it's a very nice machine. Well, that's the way it goes. Maybe next year for the ultrabooks.
 
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yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
I found that with the XPS 13. Not by much, but was definitely slightly slower than the rMBP (And that was i5 rMBP, i7 XPS 13).

I'm still on the lookout for a really high quality, long battery life, good trackpad Windows Ultrabook though, I love my Mac, but I use Windows far too often. It's just finding a replacement Windows Ultrabook i'm happy with is proving difficult.

Using VM's are okay when you're attached to the wall. But using them on battery just eats away at the battery life to the max, tried bootcamp and the touchpad drivers are horrendous.
You could just use an external mouse in Boot Camp...
 
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freitz

macrumors regular
May 25, 2015
105
14
Ellicott City MD
I found that with the XPS 13. Not by much, but was definitely slightly slower than the rMBP (And that was i5 rMBP, i7 XPS 13).

I'm still on the lookout for a really high quality, long battery life, good trackpad Windows Ultrabook though, I love my Mac, but I use Windows far too often. It's just finding a replacement Windows Ultrabook i'm happy with is proving difficult.

Using VM's are okay when you're attached to the wall. But using them on battery just eats away at the battery life to the max, tried bootcamp and the touchpad drivers are horrendous.

If you are looking for speed and performance as well as design in a moderately small form factor. I assume something similar and smaller then the 15" rMBP I would get this.

http://www.razerzone.com/store/razer-blade

I need a mac in a small form factor so I went with the new Macbook but I did a ton of research and testing on windows capable products since my main machine has always been windows and I found this to be best in terms of design, usability, ergonomics, performance and a small form factor. This is in between the 13 and 15 in rMBP with the same design. The screen is a little better and the hardware is more powerful.

I hope this helps.
 
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SE43

macrumors member
Apr 2, 2015
95
10
If you are looking for speed and performance as well as design in a moderately small form factor. I assume something similar and smaller then the 15" rMBP I would get this.

http://www.razerzone.com/store/razer-blade

I need a mac in a small form factor so I went with the new Macbook but I did a ton of research and testing on windows capable products since my main machine has always been windows and I found this to be best in terms of design, usability, ergonomics, performance and a small form factor. This is in between the 13 and 15 in rMBP with the same design. The screen is a little better and the hardware is more powerful.

I hope this helps.

Thank you for the suggestion, slightly out of my price range though but a cracking laptop by the looks of it.

I think i'm going to go down the Lenovo Thinkpad route, they're exactly what I need and the price is quite reasonable, as i'm going to go for a used one off eBay.
 
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