Head-To-Head: HP Spectre x360 Vs. Apple MacBook Pro

Premium Power

For the past few years, HP Inc. has been on a mission to win over premium laptop customers by combining sleek designs with plenty of horsepower. And that has brought HP into Apple territory. Nowhere is that more evident than with HP's Spectre x360 laptop, which boasts an appealing black and gold exterior along with fast, smooth performance (the CRN Test Center recently reviewed the 13.3-inch model). The Spectre x360 is thus a strong Windows 10 alternative to the powerful-and-pretty flagship of the Apple universe, the MacBook Pro. What follows is our comparison of the HP Spectre x360 vs. the Apple MacBook Pro on specs and price.

First Things First

With either the Spectre x360 or the MacBook Pro, you'll have an initial choice to make around size. Both laptops come in 13-inch and 15-inch models. In addition, with the MacBook Pro, you'll need to decide whether or not you want the Touch Bar -- a touch-sensitive strip that's located in place of the function row of keys. Apple offers versions of the 13-inch MacBook Pro both with and without the Touch Bar (the 15-inch model only comes with the Touch Bar).


One key difference between the two laptops is that the Spectre x360 features a touch-screen display, with a hinge that enables the display to fold partway or all of the way back (for use in tablet mode). The MacBook Pro display isn't a touch screen, by comparison, in keeping with Apple's longtime stance on touch-screen laptops.

Both HP and Apple include higher-resolution displays on the respective 15-inch models. The 15-inch Spectre x360 features 3,840 x 2,160 resolution for its Brightview display, while the Retina display on the 15-inch MacBook Pro is not as high-res, at 2,880 x 1,800 pixels.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro models have more pixels to offer than the 13-inch Spectre x360, however -- 2,560 x 1,600 resolution versus 1,920 × 1,080.

Thickness & Weight

In the comparison of the 13-inch models, HP wins on portability with the Spectre x360, which measures 0.54 of an inch thick and weighs 2.85 pounds. That's compared with the 13-inch MacBook Pro's thickness of 0.59 of an inch and weight of 3.02 pounds.

However, for the 15-inch models, Apple comes out ahead. The 15-inch MacBook Pro measures 0.61 of an inch thick and weighs 4.02 pounds. The 15-inch Spectre x360 is a fair amount thicker and heavier, at 0.7 of an inch and 4.42 pounds.

Processor: CPU

One area where the MacBook Pro stands out is on horsepower -- at least for the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The model includes a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor from the seventh-generation Kaby Lake series. The 15-inch Spectre x360 also gets a Core i7 Kaby Lake chip, but it's dual-core rather than quad.

For both of the 13-inch models in our comparison, there are options for configuring with Core i5 or Core i7 chips (dual-core processors in all cases).

Processor: Graphics

Both HP and Apple go with Intel graphics for their respective 13-inch models and more-powerful discrete graphics on the 15-inch models. The 13-inch Spectre x360 includes Intel HD Graphics 620 (integrated with the CPU), while the 13-inch MacBook Pro has options for Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 or 650.

For the 15-inch MacBook Pro, Apple offers AMD's Radeon Pro 555 or 560, in addition to CPU-integrated Intel HD Graphics. For the 15-inch Spectre x360, HP goes with Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics.

Battery Life

The Spectre x360 has a leg up in the realm of battery life; the 13-inch model got strong results in our tryout, and HP says the model has achieved up to 14 hours and 45 minutes of usage on a charge. By comparison, Apple promises up to 10 hours of battery life for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Meanwhile, Apple promises the same amount for the 15-inch model -- in contrast to the 12 hours and 45 minutes that the 15-inch Spectre x360 is capable of getting.


While Apple has famously, or infamously, gone all in on USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 for the MacBook Pro, HP has taken a more measured approach with the Spectre x360. The laptop does offer USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, but not exclusively: There are two such ports in the 13-inch model, while the 15-inch model sports one USB-C and one Thunderbolt 3.

Meanwhile, for the MacBook Pro, the Touch Bar versions include four USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports. The 13-inch, non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro has two of the ports.

Memory And Storage

Several configurations are available for both the MacBook Pro and Spectre x360. Both laptops are configurable with 8 GB or 16 GB of RAM (though the 15-inch MacBook Pro automatically comes with 16 GB). For storage, the Spectre x360 offers 256 GB or 512 GB. The MacBook Pro Touch Bar models start at 256 GB of storage but can be configured with 512 GB or 1 TB. The non-Touch Bar model starts with 128 GB of storage.


Even though it has some elements that the MacBook Pro doesn't have -- such as a convertible touch-screen display and impressive battery life -- the Spectre x360 is still the more-affordable laptop in our comparison. The 13-inch model starts at $1,090 (for Core i5, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage). A 13-inch MacBook Pro with comparable specs starts at $1,799 for the Touch Bar version, and at $1,299 for the non-Touch Bar model (which has a notably slower Core i5 processor).

Meanwhile, the 15-inch Spectre x360 isn't drastically higher in price than the 13-inch version, with a starting point of $1,129 (Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB storage). For a 15-inch Spectre x360 with Core i7, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, the price is $1,350. A 15-inch MacBook Pro with specs that are similar -- apart from the quad-core i7 processor -- is priced more than $1,000 higher, at $2,399.