HP Envy X2 Windows 8 Tablet : Impressions

The fever of convertible Windows 8 tablet hasn’t subsided. We have already covered some convertible laptops and tablets like the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist. The latest, I have happened to come across is HP Envy x2. So, I decided to check it out.

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HP Envy x2 Specs

Appearance

HP Envy x2 is a 11.6-inch tablet powered by Windows 8. 11.6 inch is the ideal size for tablets, I believe. If you see, this isn’t a Windows RT device like the Surface, it is a convertible laptop, capable of running all Windows desktop applications. At first glance, the device appears more to be a notebook with a lid that pops off to become a standalone slate. Unlike others, that are mainly built of cheap plastic junk, x2 has an all-metal outer shell. It looks stylish and aggressive tapering makes it one of the slimmest Windows 8 hybrids out in the market!

Docking station

When attached to the detaching keyboard, the hinge holds the tablet firmly. Although the hinge seemingly appears firm, it makes the task of pulling the slate/keyboard out from attachment point a breeze, requiring minimal force. Simply slide the release latch from left to right!

When the tablet is attached, the clamshell opens and closes as firmly as any notebook. Try bending the screen with your finger backward and you’ll get the point! That said, with the keyboard dock attached, the weight of the device jumps from 1.5 pounds up to 3.1 pounds and the thickness to .6 inches while the hinge adds about .5 inches to the length.

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Processor

Under the hood, HP Envy x2 runs 1.8GHz Atom Z2760 CPU that is just capable of running every application you throw at the modest 1366 x 768 resolution, but forget about gaming. Atom processors are not the speediest processors in the world. The low-powered silicon is mainly used for providing a fantastic battery life, compromising speed. Hence, X2 isn’t as powerful as a regular laptop for gaming. As for memory, the HP hybrid comes with 64 GB of storage but about 10 GB are devoted to a restore partition.

Battery

I completely forgot to mention, Envy has a battery in the tablet portion and a second battery in the keyboard base. The batteries combined, offers you around 12 hours of total run time.

Touchscreen

On the other hand, the standard-sized 11.6-inch screen provides sharp images with rich colors and has a very fine touch experience. You can swipe between apps, pinch to zoom, and make other gestures very conveniently. Most importantly, even though the device gets warm, it does not become hot. Even after streaming video for many minutes, you will find the middle of the keyboard does not exceed the temperature by 80 degrees. Temperatures below 90 degrees is considered as imperceptible.

Typing Experience

One area where Envy x2 falls short in performance is the ‘KEYBOARD’. The physical keyboard on the convertible’s dock provides not only inaccurate but a very uncomfortable typing experience too. The keyboard appears cramped, stiff and unresponsive at times. You may find it hard to register your key presses.

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Connectivity options

As for connectivity, the tablet offers a handful of ports on its bottom surface. These include, a MicroSD card slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a docking port that either connects to the dock or directly to the charging cable. The keyboard dock provides two USB 2.0 ports and one full-size HDMI connector and a standard SD card slot. Besides, you will find an 8-MP rear webcam for capturing some sharp and colorful images under both, light outdoor and dark indoor situations.

Final call

While efforts for supplying with nearly 12 hours of battery life via dock and tablet combined are appreciable, it’s certainly not laudable. Most tablets/hybrids/convertible are capable of offering so. Moreover, when used as a notebook, the system’s average performance, uncomfortable typing experience and slippery touchpad make it look more like an inexpensive netbook.

HP Envy x2 costs $ 849.

I suggest, if you’re looking for a less-expensive Windows tablet with a good keyboard having comfortable typing experience, try Acer Iconia W 510. Although, it has a smaller screen (10-inch), it offers similar performance and longer battery life for $140 less.

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.