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HP Spectre x360 13-ae001na Convertible Laptop – 2017 Best Buy No. 1

HP Spectre Laptop

So, my favourite purchase for 2017 is my HP Spectre 360 laptop.  When I started this blog, I knew that I would need to purchase a new laptop.  I would be using it a lot and carrying it around with me, so wanted something that looked good, that was lightweight and had good storage. As always, I was aiming to get a very high spec for a very low price.  I didn’t want to spend more than about £500 but after exploring the options available, I found myself drawn to the more high-end laptops because of their functions, style and versatility. The Macbook Pro and the Surface Pro  definitely got my attention.  I was almost set on purchasing the Surface Pro 3 because of its size, weight, versatility and trendy appearance.  However, I soon realised that the spec I wanted and all the accessory features I liked the most (the detachable keyboard and the pen) would cost extra, thereby pushing it too far out of my price range, to about £1,500.

I continued my research and eventually came across a promotional video for the HP Spectre 360 laptop. I was actually surprised to see that HP would make a laptop that I would find so aesthetically pleasing and in the same league as Mac or Surface pro.  The price however was more reasonable at £1,249 all-in on the HP website.  As an added bonus I was able to get mine with an inclusive 3-year care pack for about £200 cheaper using my employees corporate discount.

I was immediately taken by its sleek and sophisticated design. The colour combination of Dark Ash Silver (more of a gunmetal grey), accented with shiny bright copper trims and edges made it look very chic.  The Spectre 360 not only looks good but the spec is quite impressive too: Bang and Olufsen speakers, Intel corei5 7th Generation processor. A 4k screen, Windows 10; office 365 pre-loaded plus Face and voice recognition. An active stylus (pen) and a sleeve were also included in the box. Check out the HP website for full specs.HP Spectre technical features

The other big attraction for me is it versatility. As well as being a conventional laptop, the Spectre can be used in 3 other modes.  It folds flat backwards 360 degrees (Tablet mode) for use as a touchscreen tablet; You can set it Tent mode to show presentations or photos, also Stand mode is perfect for streaming video or movies. After using it for a while now I can confirm that the battery life is extremely good too.

HP Spectre 360 Laptop mode
HP Spectre 360 Laptop mode
HP Spectre 360 Stand Mode
HP Spectre 360 Stand Mode
HP Spectre 360 Tablet Mode
HP Spectre 360 Tablet Mode
HP Spectre 360 Tent Mode
HP Spectre 360 Tent Mode

Despite the fact that I paid a lot more for this laptop then originally intended. I have absolutely no regrets about my choice. I am really enjoying using my HP Spectre 360. I am proud to carry it around and am confident that it will serve me well. HP now sells a version of the Spectre x360 with the 8th-gen Core i5 CPU, and it doesn’t give up much in performance. To save a bit on cost, consider that one.

Here are my top 5 purchases for 2017 at a glance:

  1. HP Spectre x360 Laptop
  2. Samsung Gear S2 Classic Rose Gold Smart Watch
  3. Camel skin Rucksacks
  4. Estee Lauder Train Bag
  5. Perfectly Pure Coconut Oil
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Samsung Gear S2 Classic Rose Gold Smart – 2017 Best Buy No. 2

 

Samsung Gear S2 Classic Rose Gold watch
Samsung Gear S2 Classic Rose Gold watch with rose gold strap

 

My no. 2 best purchase for 2017 was actually a gift to me (chosen by myself).

I was originally thinking about purchasing a FitBit or similar. Something I could use to measure my steps, heart rate, and general fitness. At the same time, I desperately needed a watch. I had been without a one for a couple of years and had been relying on my phone for timekeeping. At times this was inconvenient, as my phone was not always handy when I needed to know the time. While investigating the various fitness trackers, I came across a number of smart watches. The prices varied a lot – from about £50 to £500. The general features seemed to be the same i.e., clock, pedometer, heart rate monitor. But the more expensive ones included a sleep analysis, GPS, calories burned and so much more. As I continued my research, I discovered that there were quite a few devices to choose from.  This was a bit daunting. I eventually narrowed my search down by deciding on a smart watch, rather than just a fitness tracker. This helped, as it soon became apparent that the best smart watch (at the time of searching) was either the Apple watch, Huawei Watch 2; KingWear KW88, Fossil Smart Watch and the Samsung Gear S3 or S2.

The Apple watch stood out with its many features. However I quickly rule this out as it needed to be synced to an iPhone. I have a Samsung phone and prefer the Android operating system. There was now only 4 remaining models to choose from. It was now a matter of price, appearance, features, versatility and obtainability. Whilst all of the remaining models seemed quite attractive and affordable (my maximum was £300), the Samsung S3 Classic stood out to me because it could easily be mistaken for a sophisticated analogue watch.  Also, when I viewed the others in person, I realized that they would be more suited to a larger wrist than mine, or male hand.

Samsung S2 Classic on my wrist
Samsung S2 Classic on my wrist

Eventually I decided that I would definitely get a Samsung watch, as I knew it would sync nicely with my Samsung Galaxy Note phone. The features were comparable to the Apple watch. I loved how easy it was to use. To access the various modes on the watch, all you needed to do was swipe the watch face until you reached the desired application or, alternatively, you could just twist the bezel to move between apps. This was unique to Samsung smart watches. Another attraction for me was the versatility of the watch. It came with a number of watch faces (analogue and digital) and you could also download more, thereby changing the look.  You could also sync it to a number of apps on your phone.

I really liked their latest model, the Samsung Gear S3 Classic but it was way too  large and chunky and did not look good on my wrist. Still, determined to get a Samsung watch, I started to investigate and compare the specs between the Samsung Gear S3 with the Samsung Gear S2 (its predecessor). This went against my gadget purchasing rule of only buying the latest model.

 

Some of the Samsung Gear S2 Classic features
Some of the Samsung Gear S2 Classic features

 

After checking out the differences between the two models I was relieved to find out that they were not too different. The most obvious difference was the size. The S2 had a smaller watch face (only a 1.2 inch in comparison to 1.3 inches). The depth of the watch is slightly thinner as well. Also, the battery life of the S3 was better. It would last maybe 3-4 days as opposed to say 2 days on the S2. The S3 had a mic too, which meant you could make call on it. On the S2 you could only answer calls but would need to speak through your handset. I was not put off by any of this: I wanted a smaller watch face; I was happy to charge the watch overnight; and had no desire to speak to anyone through my watch. What’s more, there was a very attractive Rose Gold special edition S2 available.

Samsung S2 Classic Rose Gold with original strap
Samsung S2 Classic Rose Gold with original strap

Once I saw this my decision was made. The price was right (Under £300), its syncs perfectly with my phone apps. You can read emails and text, get news and weather updates, store photos and music etc.  to go with it, I purchased a couple of spare watch straps, so that I can coordinate with various outfits.

I am happy to say that I am completely content with my final decision. I love this watch and all of its features and that is why its my no. 2 best purchase for 2017.

Here are my top 5 purchases for 2017 at a glance:

  1. HP Spectre x360 Laptop
  2. Samsung Gear S2 Classic Rose Gold Smart Watch
  3. Camel skin Rucksacks
  4. Estee Lauder Train Bag
  5. Perfectly Pure Coconut Oil