HP does Android with the SlateBook x2, big Windows with Split x2

HP does Android with the SlateBook x2, big Windows with Split x2

Summary: HP knows hybrids as evidenced by the Envy x2. This summer will see a big Windows hybrid and a high-end Android hybrid from the company.

HP x2 line
Image credit: HP

HP produced a winner with its Envy x2, a Windows 8 hybrid that is both a good laptop and tablet. I confess to wondering what the significance of the "x2" in the product name might be when I started using one. It turns out that in addition to signifying the hybrid nature of the device,"x2" is also the product line of hybrid systems on two different platforms.

The company has unveiled two products including a big 13-inch Windows tablet with laptop dock oddly named the Split x2. Android fans should take a look at the other new hybrid from HP, the SlateBook x2. Looking at the specs for the two new products shows that HP is going after solid performance rather than using the low-end Atom processor on the Envy x2.

SlateBook x2

HP SlateBook x2
HP SlateBook x2 running Android -- Image credit: HP

The Android hybrid has the most appeal to me, as HP is competing directly with the good Asus Transformer product line. The SlateBook x2 stuffs a 10.1-inch tablet running Android 4.2.2 with the red-hot Nvidia Tegra 4. This tablet should be a great performer either in or out of the laptop dock that makes this part of the x2 line.

The display is high-resolution with the tablet displaying 1920x1200 on the IPS screen, making the SlateBook competitive will all tablets currently available.

The laptop dock is a keyboard with a trackpad, which turns the tablet into a full Android laptop like the Transformer products. HP has put a second battery in the dock so the package should provide long run-time away from an outlet.

The "starting at" price tag of $479.99 is not bad for such a good hardware kit which according to HP should be available in August.

Split x2

HP Split x2
HP Split x2 -- Image credit: HP

HP has taken the good design of the Envy x2 and produced the 13.3-inch Split x2, for those wanting a bigger Windows hybrid. This should provide a full laptop experience due to the Core i3/i5 processor driving the Split x2. The display is not as high-resolution as the Android system, but with a 1366x768 screen it will take full advantage of Windows 8.

The Split x2 is not particularly light at 4 pounds (tablet and dock), but the tablet alone should be thin and light if the other x2 products are any indication. HP is also offering both 128GB SSD and a 500GB HDD options for storage.

This hybrid system will come with a full set of ports for expansion, including a USB 3.0. Most of these ports will likely be on the laptop dock as the tablet is probably too thin to fit them in.

All three hybrids in the x2 line have a second battery in the dock, so the Split x2 should get better battery life than the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet with its single battery.

With a starting price of $799.99, the Split x2 is a good candidate for the enterprise and those looking to take their tablet to work.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Laptops, Tablets, Bring Your Own Device, Windows 8

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  • Ooooohhhh!

    Can't wait to play with that Slatebook. Real competition in the Android hybrid market should do the platform good. As much as I love my Transformer, there are certain things that irk me about it: chiefly, the fact that you cannot disable double-tap to click on the touchpad (though you can disable the touchpad alltogether and rely on a less finicky mouse). Hopefully HP will make its touchpad more configurable (and push ASUS to do the same).

    Also, the Tegra 4 should add some welcome speed improvements. Would love to see page rendering times come down by half on Chrome.

    Exciting stuff is still happening on the Android front for sure.
    • True.

      "Exciting stuff is still happening on the Android front for sure."

      I have to agree. Android has really matured into a great portable OS since its birth. Respect.
  • Why?

    Why does the Slate come with a 1920x1200 10" display, but the Split comes with only a 1366x768 display, even though it is over 3" bigger?
    • Android advantage?

      Could it be that Android handles scaling of screen elements at high resolution better than Windows 8? Especially on the desktop where things would be tiny.
      • Low res stinks, but

        Maybe they decided that fully blown ultrabook with Core-i3/5 CPU, 128GB SATA-3 SSD and USB 3.0 at a lower price than a typical ultrabook will attract business users.

        It's cheaper than Surface with the same-sized SSD and keyboard. it's cheaper than any same-sized 13" ultrabook with a 1920x1080 screen. And it has an option for another 500GB drive in the keyboard part.

        Still, I wish they made Windows laptops/hybrids with
        1920x1200 13" screens. 16:10 is so much better than 16:9.

        Maybe the next version will be like that, plus Haswell. Until then, I'll pass both Android and Windows models.
        • One more thing

          It's Tegra 4 in the Android tablet vs relatively old, way more expensive, and way less power efficient Ivy Bridge. Terga 4 graphics performance is better than that of A6X in retina iPad 4 and may be better than that of Ivy Bridge.

          This processor performance and price difference alone may explain better screen resolution and lower price of the Android tablet. Evidently, Intel rapidly falls behind on all fronts in competition with ARM. Haswell may catch up with Tegra 4, but NVIDIA is working on Terga 5 already and who knows what Apple is doing.
      • Scaling high resolution

        The Surface Pro (1920x1080 resolution on a 10.6" display) seems to work OK by setting the default scaling in Windows on the desktop to either 125% or150% (can't remember which off the top of my head). The main problem with this is that the scaling is then still applied even when you attach an external monitor as an extended desktop - a problem you don't tend to get with Android tablets since they don't support that functionality :-) There are rumours that this will be addressed as part of 8.1, since it is an issue that has surfaced with Microsoft's own hardware (pun intended).
    • Agreed

      The "starting" price for the Slate X2 is $800, which means most likely folks will want something other than the base system costing more, and yet you don't get 1920x1200 resolution?
      • Not true

        The starting price for the SlateBook x2 is $500 as stated in the article, and all configurations get the high resolution display.
    • Re: Why?

      Beat me to it!

      And the Android device is cheaper, too.
  • Dang, now I'm torn

    between rooting for the SlateBook X2 and the Pavillion 14" Chromebook.
    Richard Estes
  • Now it's on

    An Android tablet with keyboard, high-res, and what do ya know - under $500. Looking forward to seeing Android on tablets start to dominate. Good luck, Windows 8.
    D.J. 43
  • ..

    Make it a 17 inch screen with price tag around $450 and im in. 10 and 13 inch are too small for the price. Id go 7 inch tablet with bluetooth keyboard for under 250 or 17 jnch full laptol for under 400. Good idea just gotta fit it jn the right range now.
  • What!?

    The Slatebook isn't available until AUGUST! Don't tease me like that.