HP Envy X2 Review - A Hybrid Tablet-Laptop Failing To Bring Up A Complete Package (Part 2)

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The x2's 8-megapixel rear camera snaps pretty nice shots with accurate colors. When we tested it outside the Las Vegas Convention Center, images were bright and the shooter did an okay job despite not being great - with focusing. Shooting outdoors creates blurry, lack-of-focus images, especially if in lowlight. The rear camera can also capture 1080p video. Our test footage doesn't expose any weirdness, but colors were quite pale. The x2's front camera delivers very dark and portraits; we'd recommend finding a clearly lit place before you start video chatting.

Performance and battery life

Envy x2 runs a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 microprocessor, and that will be enough to tell you that Ultrabook-level performance is unreachable. On PCMark07, which measures overall performance, x2 lags far behind Ivy Bridge systems (read: 1,425 compared to ultraportable laptops’ scores from 3,000 to 5,000). I/O performance is similarly bad, with max write speeds at 34 MB/s and reads just 83 MB/s.

Cold-booting into the Windows 8 Start screen takes about 15 seconds, which doesn't feel particularly slow but it definitely lags behind the 10-second boot time for most Windows 8 Ultrabooks. As the x2's test scores shows, everyday performance is also not fast. There's a slight delay when loading apps or launching several tabs in 1 browser. It's not more than 3 to 5 seconds, but you'll definitely notice the differences if your previous system ran a non-ULV chip.

As Envy x2 doesn't support DirectX 11, we aren't able to run our standard tests, and we weren't able to load Steam games like Batman: Arkham City. We are able to play some normal online games (we're talking Tetris and something like that) without having issue.

The Envy x2 includes 1 battery in the keyboard dock in addition to the battery in the tablet, so we run the battery test once with the keyboard attached and once without it. (As you may know, this test relates playing a video repeatedly with WiFi on and brightness at 65 percent). In laptop mode, the machine lasts 12 hours and 30 minutes. When we performed the test on the tablet, it reached seven hours and 53 minutes.

Windows 8 systems and battery life:

·         HP Envy x2: 7:53 (only for tablet)/12:30 (with dock)

·         Acer Iconia W700: 7:13

·         Lenovo IdeadPad Yoga 13: 5:32

·         Dell XPS 12: 5:30

·         Toshiba Satellite U925t: 5:10

·         Sony Vaio Duo 11: 4:47

·         Acer Aspire S7: 4:18

·         Lenovo ThinkPad Twist: 4:09

Software and warranty

HP pre-loads Envy x2 with the standard set of Windows 8 apps, including Bing, Finance, SkyDrive, along with shortcuts for eBay, the Kindle and Netflix store. There are also the Fresh Paint drawing app and iHeartRadio. Proprietary programs include the Snapfish photo service, HP Page Lift, HP Printer Control and HP+ hub. Finally, there's a Getting Started with Windows 8 utility, which may be helpful for those still learning many gestures of the OS. We'll also mention here that the machine includes NFC support for sharing by tapping two devices together.

HP pre-loads Envy x2 with the standard set of Windows 8 apps, including Bing, Finance, SkyDrive

HP pre-loads Envy x2 with the standard set of Windows 8 apps, including Bing, Finance, SkyDrive

X2 comes with a two-year limited parts-and labor warranty.

Configuration options and opponents

X2 we reviewed here seems to be the only configuration available. For $850, you get an Intel Atom Z2760 processor with 2GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD. The only real custom option is the choice of warranty; you can buy the support included 3 years of accidental damage warranty and theft protection with $230.

There are several other hybrid laptops-tablets now, so we'll compare as directly as we can. That's the Acer Iconia W510, a 10.1-inch system comes with a 1,366x768 Gorilla Glass display with a 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760 processor and a 32GB SSD. We weren't completely satisfied with the W510's build quality when we put it in a test late last year, but we liked how light it feels (it's just 2.63 pounds with the keyboard dock). The service starts at a $500, but it doesn't include the dock - for that, you'll have to buy $750 model, which has a 64GB SSD. We have previewed a non-testable version of the W510 although we hope to have a full review soon.

You can also check out the 11.6-inch Samsung ATIV Smart PC, which runs the same Atom chip as the x2 and W510 and is available with or without AT&T LTE. It has the price of $700 on the contract without dock, and version with inly Wi-Fi cost you $500 without keyboard. Still, the Wi-Fi version includes an S stylus, a feature that may attracts stylus-lover.

Finally, there's the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx, which includes many of the same technical specs you've seen in the products mentioned above (1.8GHz Atom microprocessor, an 11.6-inch IPS display with a 1,366 x 768 resolution, a 64GB SSD) in a similarly lightweight package (3 pounds with the keyboard). The Lynx isn't on sale yet, but Lenovo has priced it at $600 for the tablet and $750 for the tablet and dock.


Hybrid laptops-tablets have their own work: providing a smooth experience as both a portable tablet and a productivity-increased laptop – not even mentioned an Atom processor doing the weak work - is a difficult task. Making the design comfortable and easily convertible isn't exactly a simple task for PC makers.

HP achieves a high score with the Envy x2, especially with the attractive and lightweight design. Battery life in laptop mode is also nothing to complain, but there are several things that hold the x2 back from being a truly comfortable device. The spongy keyboard is a huge drawback, and the Atom chip's weak performance doesn’t encourage shoppers who want to buy this as their only computing device. We'd say your $850 is better spent elsewhere, but if you’re determined on a device in this category, you can do a lot of things worse than HP's option.

HP achieves a high score with the Envy x2, especially with the attractive and lightweight design.

HP achieves a high score with the Envy x2, especially with the attractive and lightweight design.


·         Product name: HP Envy x2

·         Price: $850



·         Nice/ lightweight design

·         Good battery life (in laptop mode)

·         Nice IPS screen



·         Uncomfortable keyboard

·         Netbook-level performance



·         HP Envy x2 is an attractive hybrid tablet-laptop, but Atom microprocessor doesn’t deliver an excellent performance, and the keyboard causes disappointment.

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