HP Envy X2 is another attempt for Windows 8 hybrids. A convertible device (a tablet and dock) makes the most sense for me, but I need full-blown Windows 8, not Windows RT and its lack of app support. It retails for $ 849.99 in the US.
The Envy X2 looks more like a 11.6 inch Macbook Air. It has a aluminum finish which looks good. HP made a number of design decisions that feel odd for a laptop, but work well for a tablet, little things like port location and button placement are hard to do well on these hybrid devices. There are two cameras on the x2, the 8-megapixel camera on the back takes decent pictures, but it’s really clumsy to take pictures with a tablet. The front-facing camera is a serviceable webcam, but not good for much else.
The 1.5-pound dock (in addition to the 1.5-pound tablet) adds a keyboard and trackpad to the x2, plus a handful of ports. The proprietary charger plugs into the right side, next to a USB 2.0 port and a full-size SD card slot. There’s another USB 2.0 port on the left side but no USB 3.0 anywhere, plus a full-size HDMI port and a headphone jack.
Display and Sound
This tablet convertible has a 11.6 inch screen with a resolution of 1366×768, which is pretty good. This also has a IPS panel for wider angles.
Speaking of sub-par, the x2’s speakers are awful. They produce decent-sounding audio, but that’s not of particular use since they’re so insanely quiet that you can barely hear that there’s something playing in the first place. Music is at least audible, so long as you have the volume cranked up and there’s no ambient noise whatsoever.
The dock has a keyboard and a trackpad, which are pretty good. The keyboard feels comfortable when typing and it has the function keys too. Windows 8’s focus on gestures has made the trackpad even more important, and too many machines still stumble. All that in mind, I’m surprisingly happy with the x2’s trackpad.
It runs on an Intel Atom Clover Trail chip, low-powered silicon that promises longer battery life without sacrificing the full Windows 8 experience. The 1.8GHz Atom Z2760 inside the x2 does indeed run everything you throw at it, and does fine with anything designed for Windows 8.
On an operating system level, things run perfectly well. The x2 boots in about 12 seconds, and resumes almost instantly. The Windows 8 interface is always fluid and fast, and combined with the x2’s excellent touchscreen everything feels very responsive. The core apps, Internet Explorer, News, Maps, and the like, work well too.
The battery works good for a tablet, powers the tablet for about 8 hours which is pretty nice for a Windows 8 convertible. For the battery, all thanks goes to the Atom Clover Trail chip, because of which there are no fans on it. It makes it quite and promising.