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Apple MacBook Air (M1) Vs. HP Spectre x360 14 (Intel)

The CRN Test Center compares the latest MacBook Air, featuring Apple’s M1 chip, with HP’s Spectre x360 14, powered by 11th-Gen Intel Core processors.

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MacBook Air Vs HP Spectre

For a new laptop that combines strong performance and battery life with portability and an appealing design, two of your best options in 2021 are Apple’s MacBook Air with M1 and the HP Spectre x360 14. On performance, the new MacBook Air moves up to Apple’s speedy M1 chip, while HP’s Spectre x360 14 adds 11th-gen Intel Core processors (Core i5 or i7) for a performance boost. Both laptops also include premium displays and keyboards, more than a typical day’s worth of battery life and a portable design. But there are some key differences between the MacBook Air and HP Spectre x360 14 that buyers should take note of—including on price—which we’ll be covering in this post.

Which of these two notebooks is the best fit for you? In the following slides, the CRN Test Center compares Apple’s MacBook Air (M1) vs HP’s Spectre x360 14 (Intel 11th Gen) on specs, features and price.

Display and Keyboard

HP’s Spectre x360 14 offers slightly more display space, at 13.5 inches, than the 13.3-inch screen on the MacBook Air M1. The Spectre’s display stands out in a few other ways too—including with an option for a vibrant OLED display with 3,000 x 2,000 resolution and up to 400 nits of brightness. LCD display options for the notebook include 1,920 x 1,280 resolution with either 400 nits, or with 1,000 nits and an integrated privacy screen. The Spectre x360 14 is also a 2-in-1 convertible laptop, with a touch screen that can be flipped part or all of the way around. Additionally, the display features a 3:2 aspect ratio display, which HP claims will provide about 20-percent greater room for vertical viewing than a display with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

The MacBook Air doesn’t offer OLED or a touch screen option, but the use of Apple’s popular Retina display technology promises top-notch picture quality for the notebook. Apple has also introduced support for P3 wide color on the MacBook Air—which provides “an even more vibrant, true-to-life Retina display,” the company said. The resolution for the M1 MacBook Air falls in between the options on the Spectre x360 14, at 2,560 x 1,600, while the display matches the 400 nits of brightness found on two of the three Spectre x360 models. Of course, like every other Mac on the market, the MacBook Air does not offer a touch screen option and is not convertible.

For the keyboard, both laptops include upgraded keyboard designs from some past models in their respective lineups. HP touts its notebook as the “first Spectre with an all-in-one keyboard,” meaning that it includes keys such as a power button, new camera shutter button and mic mute key, along with a fingerprint reader. The Spectre x360 keyboard offers 1.5 mm of key travel, providing deeper keys than on the MacBook Air, which has 1 mm of key travel. Still, the MacBook Air offers a more-comfortable keyboard over the previous butterfly keyboard design, by using Apple’s Magic Keyboard design.

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