If you want both a tablet and laptop, the HP ENVY x2 is a compelling offering. It has a premium look and build quality, the dock and latch mechanism are awesome. It’s just so easy to put the tablet portion into the keyboard dock, and once there it really does look and feel like a pure laptop, the screen is held in tight and there’s zero wobble. You get the full Windows 8 experience, allowing you to install any typical Windows desktop program and run multiple programs at once, this is not a watered down Windows RT or similar mobile OS you’re getting. The battery life including the dock is simply incredible, at 11 hours and 30 minutes under strenuous usage we’d be willing to bet you can fly from North America to Asia on one charge and not run out of battery.
Downsides to the ENVY x2 include the unimpressive performance from the Intel Atom processor. Despite being from the latest generation of Intel’s Atom Cedar Trail family, the Atom Z2760 on board showed its shortcomings and would not suffice for power users wanting to do modern 3D gaming, lots of multi-tasking or other intensive tasks. The keyboard dock is innovative in its design, but the keyboard itself suffers from flat keys with short travel typical of many other Ultrabooks. The screen offers nice viewing angles and color accuracy, but the 1366 x 768 resolution is far short of the higher resolutions offered by other notebook convertibles on the market or the Apple iPad with Retina display.
Though the ENVY x2 isn’t perfect on every front, it’s still a solid offering at $849 and does provide both a true laptop and tablet experience in one package. While we would have liked to have seen better performance, it’s just not possible to cram a powerful Core i5 inside a slate tablet device, so you have to understand you can’t have it all. Compromises have to be made to achieve this highly versatile form factor of a 2-in-1 tablet and laptop, and HP has struck a nice balance and done a good job with the design and engineering and so the ENVY x2 warrants a recommendation to anyone looking for a hybrid notebook convertible.
- Excellent battery life of 11+ hours in laptop mode
- Great tablet experience with excellent docking mechanism
- Fully fledged Windows 8, no watered down Windows RT
- Great brushed aluminum design and solid build quality
- Limited storage space and SSD relatively slow
- Intel Atom processor is slow
- Low screen resolution and no pen input
- Keyboard and touchpad are so-so