The HP Pavilion 13-s128nr x360 is a convertible-hybrid laptop with nice features and construction, but it adds up to the niceties with powerful 6th Gen. Intel Core i5 processor (Skylake), 8 GB memory, 128 SSD storage, and a Full HD screen as well as decent battery life and performance to match.
THE GOOD: Attractive design with convertible multimode functions. Powerful 6th Gen. Intel Core i5 processor (Skylake). Almost full-day battery life.
THE BAD: Design doesn't lend itself to tablet use.
As the 2-in-1 space heats up, HP is dropping its own convertible-hybrid into the market. The HP Pavilion X360 matches a 15.6-inch FHD IPS screen with a functional yet familiar multimode hinge. As far as it goes, we can say the Pavilion x360 is HP’s answer to Lenovo’s Yoga line, with a seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD storage and a sleek design.
It feels like a premium product that will make convertible enthusiasts happy, with enough processing power, a sleek design and a touchscreen experience for Windows 10 (Home) which is preinstalled in the system. If you’re looking for a 15-inch alternative to our Editors’ Choice HP Spectre x360 – 13t Touch or even the Samsung Notebook 7 Spin, it is not a bad system, but it doesn’t lead the pack, either.
The system measures 14.9 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches, and weighs 5.5 pounds. While that’s not terribly heavy for a 13-inch laptop, it is a bit weighty for a tablet, especially when compared with the similarly sized HP – Spectre x360, another convertible design that weighs just 3.3 pounds. That’s not a huge difference, but you will notice it when holding the system in your hands as a tablet. The Pavilion x360 has a slim, tapered design that looks very similar to other HP laptops, including the HP Spectre 13T.
While the tapered edges helps the laptop look and feel thinner when closed, that also means that the two halves of the laptop don’t close flush when folded back into Tablet mode, leaving a gap between the two parts that is uncomfortable to hold. A 13-inch tablet is unwieldy as it is, but with the addition of the gap around the edge and the overhang of the two parts, it’s really not great as a handheld device.
The Pavilion x360 combines the premium construction and features of the Pavilion line with a convertible-hybrid design that blends laptop and tablet functionality. It does this by cribbing from the best, emulating the multimode hinge from the Lenovo Yoga line, which uses a dual-axle design to open up and fold around into a tablet. Like other convertible laptops with this sort of dual-hinge flip mechanism—similar designs include the Lenovo Yoga 3 and the Dell XPS 11—the Pavilion X360 can be used in several different modes: Notebook, Stand, Tent Display, and Tablet.
The 15.6-inch laptop comes with a FHD IPS WLED-backlit touch screen and has a 1,920-by-1,080 resolution and offers 10-finger-touch tracking. The colors are a quite crisp, and there’s a faintly visible grid of lines on the screen from the touch sensor. The display quality is easily outdone by the sound from B&O Play audio speakers, which offers enough volume to fill a room, and more bass that you’ll usually feel from a laptop.
On previous models in the Pavilion Series, we’ve seen HP’s extra-wide Control Zone touchpad, which extends the size of the touchpad horizontally to provide broad stripes of area dedicated to gesture controls. These extended portions of the touch surface are distinguished by a matte finish and texture that makes it easy to feel when you reach the edge of the touchpad.
The laptop is equipped with one USB Type-C 3.1 port, two USB Type 3.1 portsm, an HDMI port and a headphone/microphone combo. For networking, the laptop doesn’t have an Ethernet but comes with Intel 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi card and Bluetooth 4.2 for pairing with wireless headsets and peripherals.
The HP Pavilion X360 is outfitted with a seventh-generation Intel Core i5-7200U (turbo 3.10GHz), 12GB of system memory and 128GB SSD (os) + 1TB HDD Hard Drive storage. The combination of a newer process and enough memory steer the Pavilion to a newer class, usually targeted for office users and proffesional creatives. To that, it does get a dedicated AMD Radeon 530 graphics card in case you need to play some casual games. Having a dedicated graphics card is impressive, but it only suffices for low-end gaming, if you atempt high-res modern games it might be a bit of a struggle.
If you need a portable gaming laptop, our Editors’ Choice the ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX531GS-AH76 is an excellent choice. It features a timeless design, is extremely portable and packs a punch on the inside, including a Coffee Lake Intel Core i7-8750H CPU, Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q GPU and 16GB RAM, which is the same specification you find on the Razer Blade, MSI GS65 Stealth Thin and many other thin-and-light gaming laptops. That’s top-notch hardware for any system, and its even more impressive when you remember this one’s size.
The Bottom Line
The HP Pavilion x360 is a solid 2-in-1 hybrid laptop with good, but not the best considering the competition, though, it live up to the build quality of past and current competing models. From a distance, it winds up as a pretty good laptop, but a mediocre tablet. It feels like HP is still figuring out the tablet half of the hybrid equation, as evidenced by improvements from previous models that had shorter battery life, lackluster display, and odd asymmetrical designs into a premium-looking convertible laptop with forward-looking capabilities.
Lenovo’s multiple Yoga laptops offer a far more polished version of the laptop, but the best midrange convertible-hybrid laptop remains our Editors’ Choice HP Spectre x360 – 13t Touch or even the Lenovo Yoga 720. Both offer better overall performance and battery life, can as well be upgraded to Windows 10 (for free), and a better tablet experience.