The HP Envy X2 is HP’s latest little Windows 8 Hybrid, and the name speaks for itself. It’s a beauty, with its brushed-aluminum housing and sophisticated curves. It’s one of the sleekest convertible tablet/ultrabooks we’ve reviewed. Aimed at consumers and not necessarily the business pro, it does perform very well and could certainly reside in an office environment.
The Envy X2 is a true “convertible”, where the keyboard acts as the docking station. When the tablet is attached, the keyboard provides extra battery life, an audio jack, an SD card slot and full-sized USB and HDMI ports. The tablet itself offers studio-like audio, an independent charging port, a microSD card slot and front and rear-facing cameras.
The X2 weighs a thin 3.1 pounds when docked, and a mere 1.5 pounds undocked. The dock is magnet-guided, so you can be sure of a secure latch. Dual speakers flank the bottom of the tablet, powered by Beats Audio, and they kick a lot of “thump” for their size.
X2’s battery life is one of its best selling points. Both the main unit and the keyboard have separate batteries, which together provide more than 18-hours of juice. Additionally, the Envy’s battery system is “smart”. Power is drained first from the dock, then the main unit, so the main unit remains as fresh as possible when not docked. HP uses an Atom-powered processor for the X2, so you’re system never overheats. There are no fans and its engine is designed to perform with ultimate efficiency in mind.
The keyboard is solid, and the keys click well, allowing some pretty fast and furious typing. The keys aren’t backlit, however the touchpad is huge and offers a double-tap-to-disable hot corner feature in the upper left part of the pad.
Armed with the latest Windows 8 desktop apps including Snapfish, Netflix, eBay and others, the Envy X2 is decked out for the consumer-oriented user who appreciates an ultrabook with serious entertainment value. Also onboard is HP’s own support and recovery manager app.
The HP Envy X2 is one of the first convertibles on the market that truly earns the distinction of encompassing a laptop and a full-fledged tablet into a very usable piece of hardware. In fact, I’d compare the tablet alone among the best stand-alone tablets around. The Envy X2 may be the most intelligently-designed hybrids we’ve ever evaluated. The battery life is enormous, the price is very affordable (starting out at around $600), and the hardware is super- solid. If you’re interested in portability, versatility and performance in a device that you can truly use as an ultrabook or a stand-alone tablet, the Envy X2 may be the only device for which you need to shop.
Check out CNET’s video review of the HP Envy X2….