When HP announced the all new Pavilion x360 convertible notebook this week, our editors couldn’t help but draw immediate comparisons to the Lenovo Yoga series of convertible notebooks. Lenovo was the first to unveil a convertible laptop design with dual display hinges that rotate 360 degrees so that the screen flips around and the laptop essentially transforms into a tablet. This unique hinge design also allows the convertible PC to function in a “stand” or “tent” mode so users can flip the screen around for business presentations or watching movies.
Lenovo’s idea is both simple and useful so we shouldn’t have been too surprised to see other manufacturers release similar convertible laptops … but we’re still a little disappointed.
The 11-inch HP Pavilion x360 is not an outright copy of Lenovo’s Yoga series even though HP uses the same terminology of “tablet mode,” “stand mode” and “tent mode” to describe how the 360-degree hinge works. The key differences start with the price. The Pavilion x360 starts at $399.99 which makes this a true budget laptop. Granted, the lower price comes courtesy of some notably cheaper hardware; the new x360 uses a Pentium-series Intel Bay Trail processor and a 500GB hard drive instead of the Intel Core-series processors and SSDs used in Lenovo’s Yoga series. The display on the Pavilion x360 is a reasonably nice IPS screen with wide viewing angles but the resolution is just 1,366 x 768 … which puts it on par with the screens on budget tablets. HP also includes Beats Audio with this convertible, promising to deliver an audio experience that’s superior to the competition. The specs are rounded out with three USB 3.0 ports, SD card reader, and a full-sized HDMI port so you can connect an external display.
HP will start accepting orders for the Pavilion x360 on February 26th, the first models that will ship are the “Brilliant Red” model while the “Smoke Silver” will be available soon after.
What remains to be seen is whether a “sexier” looking version of the Lenovo Yoga with less expensive hardware is enough to entice shoppers to buy the Pavilion x360. While imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, I just keep thinking of a famous quote from Marcus Aurelius: “To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.”