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.
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.
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.