HP Envy x2 evaluate: a pill / laptop computer hybrid that fails to ship the entire package deal
Like each self-respecting firm releasing new Home windows eight units, HP has refreshed its present laptops with contact-optimized options able to deal with the brand new OS’ gestures. However additionally like all self-respecting PC maker, HP is outing a tool with a extra adventurous type issue. The Envy x2 stands out amongst different hybrids operating the identical 1.8GHz Atom processor for its extra engaging design, IPS show and good-to-have options like NFC and pen enter. At $850 with the included keyboard dock, although, it is a hair costlier than comparable merchandise such because the Acer Iconia W510. So is the x2 a strong machine — each as a laptop computer and as a standalone pill? You realize the place to satisfy us if you wish to discover out.
HP Envy x2
- Slick, light-weight design
- Good battery life (in laptop computer mode)
- Respectable IPS show
- Uncomfortable keyboard
- Netbook-grade efficiency
The HP Envy x2 is a pretty laptop computer / pill hybrid, however its Atom processor does not supply nice efficiency, and its keyboard disappoints.
Feel and appear
The x2 seems like a clamshell netbook — and a gorgeous one, at that. The silver, brushed-aluminum chassis is modern however not slippery to the contact, and the reflective HP emblem on the again does not strike us as too obtrusive (you will not see it more often than not, anyway). In comparison with different laptop computer / pill hybrids just like the plastic-clad Acer Iconia W510, this technique feels elegant and properly made. The x2’s aluminum construct is sturdy, however should you maintain the system by the keyboard base, the display wobbles a bit in its hinge. We do not assume you will be holding the system this manner too typically, although, so it should not be a dealbreaker.
At 1.5 kilos and zero.three inch thick as a standalone pill, the Envy x2 feels very mild; the LTE model of the Samsung ATIV Sensible PC is a barely bulkier 1.sixty five kilos and zero.39 inch thick in slate type, although the ten.1-inch Acer Iconia W510 is a little more featherweight at 1.27 kilos. The x2’s rounded edges and flippantly textured backing make for a cushty grip. With the keyboard dock hooked up, the machine weighs three.1 kilos, and it is fairly manageable, even for carrying one-handed.
We questioned our sanity for a second when feeling round for this hybrid’s energy button. It is situated on the again of the pill — together with the quantity rocker — which simply does not really feel intuitive. Most slates have these buttons on the edges, and we undoubtedly want that setup. When you recover from the preliminary confusion, you will nonetheless should really feel round a bit in the event you’re viewing the display from the entrance. Different ports are extra conventionally situated: alongside the left fringe of the dock are HDMI and USB 2.zero, whereas the appropriate hosts the facility connector, one other USB 2.zero connection and an SD card slot. Detach the pill from the dock, and you will find the slate features a microSD card slot, a three.5mm headphone jack and a docking port that connects to the keyboard or the charging cable.
Connecting the pill to the keyboard dock feels satisfying, however it might take a number of moments to line up the connectors appropriately. As soon as you’ve got managed that, slide the discharge latch and the system snaps into place. When it is secured into laptop computer mode, the system feels very safe. It will not fall misplaced till you pull the latch in the other way to launch the slate.Keyboard and touchpad
At first look, the Envy x2’s keyboard seems fairly good. The black, island-type chiclets are nicely-spaced, and the format does not really feel cramped. (That is one benefit that laptop computer / pill hybrids have over sliders; the slate does not infringe upon the keyboard deck.) There’s ample area on your wrists, too. Prepare for the “however”: the keys themselves really feel mushy; they do not supply the springy, satisfying suggestions we crave. On a typing check we notched a decrease wpm rating — and a better error price — than we sometimes muster. We would not classify this keyboard as horrible, nevertheless it’s much less snug than its seems would recommend.
We would use stronger language to explain the Synaptics touchpad. On the plus aspect, it’s extremely responsive; we had no difficulty executing Home windows eight gestures like swiping in from the best to disclose the Charms bar, for instance. However the reality is that this clicker is just too delicate. Virtually each time we by chance grazed the touchpad with our finger, it was interpreted as a click on or swipe. You will discover this challenge particularly irksome once you’re writing emails or working in a doc, because the cursor typically strikes to an earlier level within the textual content.Show and audio
Although the Envy x2’s eleven.6-inch show has a normal 1,366 x 768 decision — this pixel rely is particularly prevalent amongst hybrids operating Atom processors — IPS know-how makes for higher-than-common viewing angles. We have been capable of view content material on-display once we moved to the far proper and left, however tipping the panel ahead greater than a bit causes pictures to scrub out. This challenge apart, although, colours look correct, and textual content is crisp.
Evaluating the contact show as an enter technique, we have no complaints. Executing Win eight-particular gestures is seamless and straightforward. On the similar time, the display presents sufficient traction that you simply will not by chance be clicking on gadgets always. By the way, the Envy x2 additionally helps pen enter, although we weren’t capable of check this performance with our assessment unit.
HP consists of Beats Audio on the x2, however it does not pack as a lot of a punch right here because it does on full-fledged laptops. Sound could be very muffled and tinny — each for music and dialogue — and even at max quantity audio is not very loud.Digital camera
The x2’s eight-megapixel rear-dealing with digital camera snaps respectable photographs with correct colours. Once we took it for a spin outdoors the Las Vegas Conference Middle, photographs have been vibrant and the shooter did an okay — although not nice — job at focusing. Capturing indoors yields extra blurry, out-of-focus photographs, particularly if the environment is not properly lit. The rear digital camera also can seize 1080p video. Our check footage did not exhibit any jerkiness, however colours have been fairly muted. The x2’s entrance-dealing with cam delivered very darkish and pixelated self portraits; we might advocate discovering a brightly lit spot earlier than you begin video chatting.
Efficiency and battery life
The Envy x2 runs a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 processor, and that must be sufficient to inform you that Ultrabook-degree efficiency is out of the query. On PCMark07, which measures general efficiency, the x2 scored miles behind Ivy Bridge methods (learn: 1,425 in comparison with ultraportable scores within the three,000 to five,000 vary). Its I/O efficiency is equally lackluster, with write speeds maxing out at 34 MB/s and reads hitting simply eighty three MB/s.
Chilly-booting into the Home windows eight Begin display takes about 15 seconds, which does not really feel notably sluggish however undoubtedly tails the ten-second boot time for many Win eight Ultrabooks. Because the x2’s benchmark scores recommend, on a regular basis efficiency can also be much less snappy. There is a slight lag when loading apps or launching a number of tabs in a browser. It is no more than three to 5 seconds, however you will undoubtedly discover the distinction in case your earlier system ran a non-ULV chip.
As a result of the Envy x2 does not help DirectX eleven, we weren’t capable of run our commonplace benchmarks, and we weren’t capable of load Steam video games like Batman: Arkham Metropolis. We have been capable of play some informal on-line video games (we’re speaking Tetris and the like) with out difficulty.
The Envy x2 features a battery within the keyboard dock along with one within the pill, so we ran our battery check as soon as with the keyboard hooked up and as soon as with out. (As chances are you’ll know, this check entails enjoying a video on loop with WiFi on and brightness set to sixty five %.) In laptop computer mode, the machine lasted a really robust 12 hours and half-hour. Once we ran the check on the pill, it notched seven hours and fifty three minutes.Software program and guarantee
HP pre-masses the Envy x2 with the usual set of Home windows eight apps, together with Bing, Finance, SkyDrive, together with shortcuts to eBay, the Kindle retailer and Netflix. There’s additionally the Recent Paint drawing app and iHeartRadio. Proprietary packages embrace the Snapfish photograph service, HP Web page Raise, HP Printer Management and the HP+ hub. Lastly, there is a Getting Began with Home windows eight utility, which could possibly be useful for these nonetheless studying the OS’ many gestures. We’ll additionally point out right here that the machine consists of NFC help for sharing by tapping two units collectively.
The x2 comes normal with a two-yr restricted elements-and labor guarantee.Configuration choices and the competitors
The x2 we reviewed occurs to be the one configuration out there. For $850, you get an Intel Atom Z2760 processor with 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. The one actual customization choice is your selection of guarantee; you’ll be able to complement the included help with as much as three years of unintentional injury and theft safety for $230.
There are a number of different laptop computer / pill hybrids within the enjoying subject, so we’ll examine apples to apples as a lot as we will right here. There’s the Acer Iconia W510, a ten.1-inch system that packs a 1,366 x 768 Gorilla Glass show with a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 processor and provides a 32GB SSD. We weren’t utterly glad with the W510’s construct high quality once we gave it a go late final yr, however we like how mild it feels (it is simply 2.sixty three kilos with the keyboard dock). The system begins at a decrease $500, however that does not embrace the dock — for that, you will should spring for the $750 mannequin, which steps as much as a 64GB SSD. Because it occurs, we previewed a non-benchmarkable model of the W510, although we anticipate to have a full evaluate up quickly.
You possibly can additionally take a look at the eleven.6-inch Samsung ATIV Sensible PC, which runs the identical Atom chip because the x2 and W510 and is accessible with or with out AT&T LTE. It’s going to value you $seven hundred on contract with out the dock, and the WiFi-solely model goes from $500 with out the keyboard. The WiFi model does, nevertheless, embrace an S Pen, a function which will entice stylus-wielding varieties.
Lastly, there’s the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx, which incorporates most of the similar specs you’ve got seen within the aforementioned merchandise (learn: 1.8GHz Atom processor, an eleven.6-inch IPS show with a 1,366 x 768 decision, as much as a 64GB SSD) in a equally light-weight package deal (three kilos with the keyboard). The Lynx is not delivery but, however Lenovo has priced it at $600 for the pill and $750 for the slate and dock.Wrap-up
- HP unveils Envy x2 laptop computer / pill hybrid: eleven-inch IPS display, NFC and pen help, arriving later this yr
- HP fills in pricing and availability particulars for its sprawling Home windows eight line-up
- HP pronounces the EliteBook Revolve, a Home windows eight convertible for the enterprise crowd (video)
Laptop computer / pill hybrids have their work minimize out for them: offering a fluid expertise as each a transportable slate and a productiveness-minded laptop computer — not to mention with an Atom processor doing the grunt work — is a tall order. Making the design snug and simply convertible is not precisely a easy process for PC makers, both.
HP did hit some excessive notes with the Envy x2, particularly with the engaging and light-weight design. Battery life in laptop computer mode can also be nothing to smell at, however there are a number of issues that maintain the x2 again from being a very snug system. The mushy keyboard is a large draw back, and the Atom chip’s meager efficiency is not encouraging for buyers who need this to be their one and solely computing gadget. We might say your $850 is best spent elsewhere, however when you’re lifeless-set on a tool on this class, you can do lots worse than HP’s choice.