HP Spectre x360 14 2024 vs Samsung GalaxyBook 4 Pro?


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Feb 28, 2024
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BestBuy had their Presidents Day sale. I got the Spectre 14 with Intel Ultra 7, 32gb ddr5 ram, 2 tb SSD, 120hz dynamic refresh rate OLED 2.8k display, 68watt hour battery EVO certified. $1499.

Samsung has the GalaxyBook 4 available on Pre order with no discounts but you can trade in a device although I don't recommend anything but a Samsung phone. lol. It costs $1899.

To be fair the MSRP of the Spectre is the same as the GalaxyBook 4 Pro. There will be big discounts later in the year. So cost could almost be a wash if you were to get both on sale or pay MSRP for both. That being said HP is giving you double the ram and storage for the same price.

The GalaxyBook 4 Pro is the 16" model and the Spectre is the 14" so there are key differences but the weight is I think the same for both with the GB being a lot bigger and being pretty light.

The Spectre has a 4 speaker system with top firing sweaters and front facing woofers. Sounds impressive on paper until you listen and it sounds like a laptop from 10 years ago. The hardware is there. I am sure the speakers can pump out much more bass and mid range but it almost sounds like an echo chamber or hollow as the author described. It is kind of a let down yet listening to a movie you can hear sounds coming from far away out of the side of your ear. Very impressive. So I think it is software tuning but will HP fix it is the question. THe Galaxy has a two speaker system with bottom firing speakers.....not a big improvement here and I prefer the top firing speakers even if they sound bad but I don't have the GalaxyBook yet and will amend this review. I am going off specs and my experience with the Spectre so far and will update and edit the relevant sections here.

The Spectre has a nice build quality and attention to detail yet there are some oddities. They redesigned the laptop but left the huge top and bottom bezels with no benefit like the cut angle corner design it used to have. It is thick at the top and rounded. They could have slimmed the bezels and still had the 9mp camera. However that might be the reason and then I am still not sure. It is still a nice screen design and the lid is very sturdy with little to no flex. The ports are just odd. Why put two USB c thunderbolt ports on the same side? Why not one on both sides. The cut outs in the front used to have ports and with the redesign they just eliminated them instead of put them along the side?? I really don't like this design choice. It doesn't look as premium and it is not as functional. It seems like a cost cutting measure more than anything else. The previous Spectres felt more solid to me.

Another problem for me is the screen. While it is a breathtaking screen in most senses it suffers from a dot matrix effect a lot of OLED touchscreens can have when looking at web content and it is very distracting while working with documents and web forms, forums, etc. I have returned every laptop I have ever owned that had this issue. It is hard to ignore and once you see it you can't unsee it. It ruins the screen for me.

The Ultra 7 is an odd chip. It is about 5% faster in single core than the previous gen H processor and 10% in multi core despite all the geekbench scores saying otherwise. Not very impressive but at least something. It also has about 300% better graphics performance than previous gen H processor the i7 13700h. Now the thing is that HP was using a P 1360P processor which is a 28 watt middle tier chip below the H series. This h processor is in a 28 watt envelope and can go up to 45 watts in a different setup. So we are getting a slight bump above last years gaming processor in a middle tier watt envelope. In other words HP stuffed a gaming processor in here and just under volted and cooled accordingly, they could use the same processor at 45 watts and get more performance. So that is a pretty cool feat. Over the previous gen p processor the Ultra 7 is a decent upgrade.

Cooling system is good in the Spectre. Battery life has not been very impressive but I need more time. Keyboard and haptic trackpad are both fantastic. They device doesn't feel too heavy or too light. It feels solid yet light.

The HP Spectre in my opinion on sale offers a lot of value but in the seeking of value did HP cut to many corners by cutting the cut corners from the laptop? Why do the speaker sound so terrible with the hardware they have? Why not put a bigger battery and more ports? Why is it not gorilla glass 5 but NBT glass which is not even rated? THe anti reflective coating is nice.

Now we get to software and again here is another let down. In order to control various aspects of the laptop you need to use various HP apps like myHP, Omen gaming app, windows settings and another HP in order to control refresh rate, display profiles, performance profiles, etc. If HP could consolidate it all into one app it would be a lot easier. or here's an idea: Just let Windows do it unless variable refresh rate needs an app just integrate it into one app. Then there is the bloatware. If you want to re-install your operating system every so often like I do then you will need to order a USB recovery drive from HP for like $40. On a 2tb SSD they don't have a recovery partition???

I have had Samsung laptops in the past and the software can be a bit much but it can also be very useful if you have any Samsung devices which I do. At least I could re-install windows fresh from a recovery partition or a software that downloaded it and installed it.

The HP on paper looks like the winner without even reviewing the GB4 Pro and most windows reviewers would pick the HP. I would too if it didn't suffer from the issues I brought up.

So I will add more in a few days when I get the GB4 Pro.

To anyone looking to purchase the Spectre I wouldn't hesitate unless the screen is an issue for you or if the speakers are an issue. Some people may not see what I am seeing and think the sound is great. If that is the case I think it is a great laptop and HP support has been good to me in the past. We will see if Samsung can wow me with better design details and better implementation of ports and software. We will see if the GB4 suffers from the same delicate screen as previous models that cracked if you opened the display wrong?? I returned a previous gen with a similar design because the screen felt too fragile. The HP doesn't feel fragile. It is possible Samsung has reinforced the screen while keeping the size the same.

The weight of the Samsung is certainly a plus in a laptop but build quality and sturdiness are important in any mobile device.

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