HP Specter x360 13.5 vs Apple MacBook Air M2

HP’s Specter x360 13.5 is the sleekest convertible 2-in-1 available today and one of the best laptops overall, but the Apple MacBook Air M2 is Apple’s venerable machine superior. This is an updated version. Both are great laptops that should be on your next upgrade shortlist.

If you’re looking to buy a premium 13-inch laptop, you’ll come across these two. It’s a tough choice, but one is an overall better choice than the other.


HP Envy x360 13.5 Apple Macbook Air M2
size 11.73″ x 8.68″ x 0.67″ 11.97″ x 8.46″ x 0.44″
weight 3.01 pounds 2.7 pounds
processor Intel Core i5-1235U
Intel Core i7-1255U
Apple M2 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU
Apple Me 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU
graphic Intel Iris Xe Apple M2
sheep 8GB LPDDR4
16 GB
screen 13.5 inch 3:2 WXUGA+ (1920 x 1280) IPS touch
13.5 inch 3:2 WXUGA+ (1920 x 1280) IPS touch privacy screen
13.5 inch 3:2 3K2K (3000 x 2000) OLED touch
13.6-inch 16:10 2560 x 1664 Liquid Retina IPS
depository 512GB PCIe 4.0 Solid State Drive (SSD)
1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
touch yes No
port 2x USB-C 4.0 and Thunderbolt 4
1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x microSD card reader
Two USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
3.5mm audio jack
wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
webcam 5MP with infrared camera for facial recognition 1080p
operating system Windows 11 macOS Monterey
battery 66 watt hours 52.6 watt hours
price $1,250+ $1,199+
evaluation 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Pricing and configuration

HP pricing changes periodically. Changes in sales price and list price are common themes. Currently, the Specter x360 13.5 starts at $1,250 with a Core i5-1235U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 13.5″ 3:2 WUXGA+ IPS touch display. Configured with a Core i7-1255U, 16 GB of RAM, 2 TB SSD, and a 13.5-inch 3:2 3K2K OLED touch panel, the laptop costs $1,810. You can also configure the Specter with up to 32 GB of RAM, but for some reason that doesn’t work with OLED displays.

The price of the Apple MacBook Air M2 is fixed, at least when purchased from Apple. The base model is $1,199 with an 8-core CPU/8-core GPU Apple M2 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. If you run out of MacBooks, you’ll be spending $2,499 on an 8-core CPU/10-core GPU M2, 24GB of RAM, and a 2TB SSD.

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Overall, the Specter x360 13.5 is a cheaper laptop, except for the entry level where HP includes double the storage for an extra $50.


For two laptops for the same market, the Specter x360 13.5 and the MacBook Air M2 couldn’t be more different. The former is a 360-degree convertible 2-in-1 with an elegant “gem-cut” aesthetic toned down from previous models. Available in one of three colors: Natural Silver, Nightfall Black, or Nocturne Blue, he is constructed from CNC-machined aluminum and its build quality is truly premium, with no bends, flexes, or kinks anywhere on the lid or chassis. The latter takes the more blocky design of the larger MacBook Pro models and drops the MacBook Air’s historic tapered shape, with its unibody chassis being extremely thin at just 0.44 inches compared to the Specter’s 0.67 inches. The MacBook Air M2 is available in Midnight, Space Gray, Silver, and Starlight, and has a chassis as sturdy as the HP’s, but with a slightly bendable lid.

Both are attractive laptops that represent the pinnacle of premium machines. Which one is right for you depends on whether you want the flexibility of a 2-in-1 that can be converted to clamshell, tent, media, and tablet modes, and whether you want touch and active pen support. traditional laptop.

I found the MacBook Air M2’s keyboard to be excellent. Apple Magic Keyboard with slightly shallower switches, but with a more agile and precise feel. The Specter x360 13.5’s keyboard is also better and deeper, but only slightly behind the MacBook. However, both are comfortable to type at full speed. The MacBook’s Force Touch touchpad is far superior to the Specter’s mechanical version (a solid example of its type), allowing you to click anywhere on its expansive surface, with haptic mechanisms that closely mimic physical buttons. increase. As mentioned above, the Specter x360 13.5 has a touch display that supports active pens, so it’s tapping and inking.

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The MacBook Air M2 includes a notch to accommodate a 1080p webcam, which annoys some people. HP was able to include his 5MP with similarly small bezels, so it’s a wonder why Apple felt the need to take advantage of the notch.In any case, both laptops offer excellent video conferencing quality. Offers. The Specter x360 13.5 also includes an infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello passwordless support and supports a fingerprint reader. The MacBook Air M2, on the other hand, relies on the Touch ID power button for login.

Finally, connectivity favors Specter. It includes USB-A for legacy support and a microSD card reader for the same number of Thunderbolt 4 ports. HP also includes Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, which are faster than the MacBook’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.


MacBook Air lid and keyboard.

We’ve seen a Specter 360 13.5 with a 15-watt Intel Core i7-1255U with 10 cores (2 performance and 8 efficiency) and 12 threads. This is comparable to the MacBook Air M2 with 8-core CPU/8-core GPU M2 ARM processor. Apple’s chip performs well, but it wasn’t significantly faster than Specter’s Core i7-1255U in CPU-intensive benchmarks. While his fanless MacBook Air M2 remained perfectly silent, the Specter caught up to those benchmarks when set to performance mode. Both laptops got hot during heavy use.

Where the MacBook Air M2 triumphs most is in creative applications that can take advantage of the GPU. M2 includes optimizations for various processes used by apps such as Adobe’s Creative Suite. For example, the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark running on the live version of Adobe Premiere Pro scored a strong 497. That’s about 50% faster than laptops running Intel’s integrated Iris Xe graphics, such as the Specter x360 13.5.

For productivity tasks, both laptops are equally fast. But when it comes to creative workflows, the MacBook Air M2 is the winner. Neither laptop is a particularly good gaming machine.

HP specter x360 13.5
(Core i7-1255U)
Apple Macbook Air M2
(Apple M2)
geek bench 5
Bal: 1,566 / 7,314
Performance: 1,593 / 7,921
Bal: 1,925 / 8,973
Performance: N/A
Bal: 169
Performance: 120
Bal: 151
Performance: N/A
Cinebench R23
Bal: 1,623 / 5,823
Performance: 1,691 / 7,832
Bal: 1,600 / 7,938
Performance: N/A

display and audio

Mark Coppock/Digital Trend

The MacBook Air M2’s Liquid Retina IPS display is outstanding, with plenty of sharpness, brightness, color, and contrast. The most demanding creative professionals may prefer a slightly wider range of colors, but it’s perfect for both productive workers and creators. The Specter x360 13.5 we reviewed came with an even better and sharper OLED panel, with a robust color gamut and excellent accuracy for OLED’s inky blacks. A creator’s dream and a great media consumption laptop. Note that HP also allows you to select a privacy screen. This is perfect for those who protect sensitive data.

HP specter x360 13.5
(Organic EL)
Apple Macbook Air M2
380 486
AdobeRGB color gamut 97% 90%
sRGB color gamut 100% 100%
(DeltaE, lower is better)
0.61 1.08
contrast ratio 28,230:1 1,310:1

Both laptops have quad speakers that output excellent audio. Apple’s sound is slightly better thanks to some specific optimizations.


The side of the MacBook Air showing the ports.

The Specter x360 13.5 is a little heavier and a little thicker than the MacBook Air M2 at 3.01 pounds versus 2.7 pounds. However, both laptops are easy to carry around.

Where the MacBook Air M2 really excels is in its battery life. Even though the Specter has a larger battery, the MacBook lasts almost a day longer. HP can be configured with a lower resolution, lower power display, but at its best it will lag behind Apple.

HP specter x360 13.5
(Core i7-1255U)
Apple Macbook Air M2
(Apple M2)
web browsing 9 hours 58 minutes 17 hours 59 minutes
video 13 hours 59 minutes 21 hours 9 minutes

Flexibility is key

The MacBook Air M2 has better creative performance and battery life, but it’s not as rigorous as the Specter x360 13.5. HP also has better display options in its more flexible laptops.

If you’re only looking for a clamshell, the MacBook is your best bet. But if you want a laptop that works as both a tablet and a clamshell, the Specter wins.

Editor’s pick

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