The HP’s scrabble-tile keyboard shares its metallic colouring with the rest of the machine, and the buttons are well-spaced and wide. The keyboard has a white backlight and a numberpad, but we’re not keen on the single-height return key.
The typing experience is good. The keys hammer down with reasonable travel into a solid base, and they’re light, so it’s easy enough to type quickly for long periods.
The speedy, light keys are certainly comfortable, but they have a couple of minor issues that mean they can’t compete with the absolute best laptop units. The keys are a little too wobbly, for starters – better devices have buttons with a little more rigidity. We’d also prefer a tiny bit more weight to each button.
These are minor quibbles, though, and they’re not going to get in the way of serious productivity. And, while this keyboard might not be as good as the best laptop offerings, it’s still good – and still better than most other convertible machines.
HP’s wide trackpad is fine, with a smooth surface and two integrated buttons that are snappy and responsive.
The 15.6in, 1080p screen is a glossy touchscreen unit that offers decent quality alongside impressive precision.
The contrast ratio of 1,394:1, for instance, is stunning. It’s formed from a brightness level of 223cd/m2 and a black point of just 0.16cd/m2, and all of those figures bring important attributes to the fore: the high contrast means that colours will have good distinction and depth across the entire range, and the fantastic black level means those darker shades will really look inky.
The high brightness level, meanwhile, ensures that the HP will remain visible even under strong office lights.
Those are all good figures, but the HP’s colour reproduction is more middling. The temperature level of 6,203K is a tiny bit too warm, and the average Delta E measurement of 4.19 is very average. The panel can also only render 65% of the sRGB colour gamut.
That latter figure is the most damning when it comes to colours, and it precludes the HP from the most high-end, colour-sensitive work – for that kind of ability you’ll need to fork out a lot more for a laptop or a monitor that can properly display the entire sRGB or Adobe RGB gamut.
For most users and most creatives who need a stylus-driven working environment, though, the HP’s screen is amply good enough: the great contrast delivers bright highs and inky lows, and the 1080p resolution means it’s sharp enough to produce fine detail.
Those colours aren’t bad, either – once again, this is an area where the HP is merely good, rather than great.
And, finally, there are the speakers. The audio kit here comes from Bang & Olufsen, and it’s decent – the two speakers produce clear voice frequencies and high-end sounds that are punchy without being tinny. The mid-range is good, too, although the lack of a subwoofer means that bass is weak.