HP Envy x2 video review: Good laptop, great tablet

HP Envy x2 video review: Good laptop, great tablet

Summary: The HP Envy x2 is a very good Windows 8 laptop and a great tablet as demonstrated in this video.

Envy x2 side view

The HP Envy x2 is a sleek laptop with a detachable screen that becomes a good Windows 8 tablet. The Atom processor won't win any speed awards but does a good job powering through typical laptop tasks.

In this video, the tablet is shown in detail. The thin aluminum tablet is as light as can be with the 11.6-inch display. The Envy x2 comes with a laptop dock that is also shown.

Hardware specs:

  • OS: Windows 8

  • CPU: Intel Atom 1.8 GHz

  • Memory/storage: 2GB/64GB

  • Ports: 2x USB 2.0; HDMI

  • Audio: Beats Audio

  • Cameras: 1080p webcam (front); 8MP (rear)

  • Connectivity: wi-fi; Bluetooth

  • Battery life: 8 hours tablet; 14+ hours with keyboard dock (has second battery)

  • Display: 11.6 inches, 1366x768

  • Weight: 1.5 lbs tablet, 3 lbs with keyboard dock.

See also:

HP Envy x2 quick take: Good laptop and great tablet

HP Envy x2 for $525: I had to buy one at that price

Topics: Mobility, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Reviews, Tablets, Windows 8

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  • Looks nice

    For $600, very nice for $525.

    I still regret about the lousy resolution, and I'm sure performance is nothing to rave about.

    I like the hybrid concept with dual batteries like this one or others like Asus transformer - a light tablet with very good battery life with the keyboard. But I wonder if many others think like me, I don't believe so. I understand that mixing a tablet and a traditional desktop is not for everyone's tastes - maybe these devices are not good tablets neither good desktops.....
    • A good platform

      I can only say, that I use the same hardware, inside a Samsung case, and it is good enough for my daily workload.

      Okay, when I need to do graphics editing, I need to hop onto a desktop withe enough memory, but for everything else I do at work, it is fine. I am currently using it in a desktop dock, connected to a 24" monitor, running in dual head mode, watching the video and running an RDP session onto our terminal server.

      Yes, it isn't going to run high end games or heavy processing loads, but for an average office worker that is also mobile or attends a lot of meetings, it makes a very nice solution. I always have my work with me and I don't need to worry about syncing my notes from a tablet onto my desktop, because they are one and the same.
  • It will be interesting ...

    over time to get a report back and find out how much it is used as a tablet only vs how much time is spent with keyboard/dock attached. It seems small enough that they keyboard/dock would be very useful for typing and not that much of an inconvenience with respect to space/weight.
    • I have one as well...

      I have this same machine and I am surprised actually how often I go in and out of tablet mode when I'm just sitting around on the couch. It's awesome to be poking around in tablet mode, then when you find yourself wanting to reply to an email or otherwise type something, just pop it in the dock and off you go. Transitioning between work/play is SO easy. Maybe TOO easy! :)

      I also have a Surface RT, and I am honestly conflicted about which I like better. The Surface RT does a better job of quickly transitioning since the KB cover is ALWAYS connected. That said, often times you need a real laptop that can do desktop apps, which makes this device the most flexible.

      I am also a huge fan of these new clover trail Atom chips. Most people dismiss Atom thinking they won't be fast enough. All I can say is, these Atom chips along with Windows 8 are NOT the Atom chips we remember for years past. Connected standby in particular is such a refreshing feature to have on a PC!
      Paul Brambilla
      • RT owner here...

        I own a Surface RT. I like it ok but the poor integration of Office apps is frustrating. I also find other 3rd party apps to be inferior to both the iPad and Android. I also have an iPad 2 and Galaxy Note 2 (which is what I am using right now). I prefer Android. The Note 2 is fantastic. Great battery and perfect screen size (for me).

        I believe you need Win 8 Pro (not RT) to make the experience worthwhile. Installing "real" Windows apps is a big benefit. Also, RT doesn't include Outlook... really Microsoft?!!
        • These Surface RT software observations illustrate classic early adopter

          concerns. I suspected that a lack of a full Windows experience on Microsoft's Surface RT tablet might prove too frustrating for myself so that prompted me to wait until the Surface Pro was available. After a month's experience with my Pro tablet, I'm glad I waited.

          Mr. Kendrick's offers one alternative to the Surface RT tablet system. Although the combined system weight of the HP Envy x2 is double a Surface RT tablet system, the discounted price of the HP Envy x2 is compares VERY favorably with the Surface RT and perhaps offers superior hardware components (for example, the included camera subsystems) I suspect the performance of the Atom processor is on par with the Surface RT ARM SoC.

          I'm not quite sure if the included subset of Office applications bundled with the Surface RT is enough of an advantage to consumers looking to purchase either the HP Envy or the Microsofts ARM based tablet. My feeling is that this is not enough of an advantage and because of this, the Surface RT platform might see very limited commercial success.
          • Not RT

            The Envy x2 runs full Windows as stated in the video. It is NOT an RT machine.
          • Never said the HP Envy x2 was an RT machine.

            However, ryork272 was referencing the Surface RT and trying to compare it to an Atom based Win 8 tablet like the HP Envy x23.

            I tried to respond to his comment, James, in that I agree that a Win 8 Atom based tablet is a better deal than an ARM based RT tablet.
      • It will be interesting ...

        to know how long that dock holds up if you are consistently popping in and out of it. It doesn't seem that big. Can you not just leave the dock attached and use the tablet when touch is required and then use keyboard as necessary, or does that impeed the use of the device. I wonder if it would be beneficial to have a button (hard or soft) to simply disable the keyboard (but keep battery of the dock). I am not saying you are using it wrong, just seems to me that it would be interesting to know if there really is a big need to jump back and forth (for physical/logistical reasons or due to the feature set).
  • Nothing to be envy of

    I went to the store to buy the HP Envy since it has gotten such good reviews. In the store the Envy was placed next to the Surface RT among other Windows tablets.

    I did a side by side comparison of the Windows tablets. There were several with a Atom processor and the Surface RT (Tegra 3) and the Samsung Ativ RT (Qualcomm snapdragon). (Yes, we still have it here in Europe.)

    Having tried the Envy and compared it to the other Windows tablets, side by side, I changed my mind and bought the Surface RT instead.

    There are two main reasons for this:

    1) The screen of 11.6 inches is actually too large to effectively use the tablet without the need for support. Thats. without having to put it down on a desk or resting it against the lap ea. 10.6 inches is much more usable for my normal sized hands.

    2) Amazingly enough, Surface RT and Ativ RT are both noticeably faster than the HP Envy. Tests og reviews I've read online say otherwise, but menus and web pages flows much better on Surface RT. The difference is immediately noticeable. Very strange. Intel paid reviews?
  • Typing this on my Envy, own a Surface RT and keyboard too.

    I have both. Got the Surface first, already had a Samsung original Galaxy Tab 10.1. I loved the look of the Surface and the screen. I have three desktops I upgraded to Win 8 Pro, and reverted two back to Windows 7. I was furious when I realized that I could not do my IMAP email on the Surface and I do not do Gmail or Windows Live or inbox or Outlook Air or whatever it is called today. I was about to sell it when I got my Envy X2. My wife never does email on the Galaxy so the Surface RT stays and the old Galaxy gets a new home.

    I have had my X2 for a little over two weeks now. It got me off the desktop like my non touch desktops never could. I am liking what apps I use and the full Win 8 with my Office 2010 loaded, and my email working.

    As a tablet, the Envy feels lighter than both the Surface and the Galaxy. It is thinner than both I believe, and does not get hot at all. I sold my rarely used high end laptop, and my old netbook, the Envy replaces both when it gets docked.

    Major difference from the unusual keyboard the Surface has, the Envy has a very nice full size keyboard. Unless you own one and use it, the Envy seems like a major compromise and not the best of either the tablet world or the laptop world. I think for folks like me who use a tablet a lot for consumption and actually type on the virtual screen a lot of the time, they may find it one of the best to hold and use. As a laptop, unless one is needing CAD/CAM, or a gaming computer, this Envy won't slow down productivity. It is the most appealing design I have seen. The ports, dual SD card ports one on the dock and an SDXC on the dock makes this a very nice load cards with storage data, docs, pics needed for the trip. I love this hybrid, and it got me on the tile apps and was my way to appreciate the Surface.
  • communication tool for the deaf cheaper than hearing aids.

    I wonder if it has a voice to text like smartphones. If it does It would be great for deaf/ hard of hearing as a tool to communicate with hearing people. Hearing people speak into tablet, deaf read and type, or speak, hearing person read whats typed. works a lot better than pencil and paper pads.

    currently for average set of hearing aids cost in excess of $3000 or more

    I would seriously consider one considering the cost difference between hearing aids and tablets, and the fact I can no longer get government help to cover the cost of hearing aids

    I find the smartphones screen way to small for reading text on the fly.

    laptops are too bulky and heavy to carry everywhere thus not practical ,
    I would even like to see a lower back pouch to carry it in convenient out of the way zipped shut want clipped to minimize risk of pickpocketing it.
    • afterthought

      if it does have voice to text, anyone know the distance limit it has before it stops picking up audio?
      • part 2

        Thinking it could provide for television or radio in a bind , if it is close enough to the speaker . Like the television at the airport warning of bad weather by voice, not text, or standing near loud-speaker so when your called it shows as text on tablet.
        • seriously?

          It blocked the Word "s*u*b" ok put these two together "t*i*t*l*e*s" with no space.

          another word for "closed captions"
  • thanks

    Thinking it could provide for television or radio in a bind
  • UK price = #800GBP which converts to $1228USD

    It looks great but no way am I spending 800 UK pounds on this. My ARM Chromebook does me fine when I am away from my desktop (at less than 1/3 the price).
  • My only gripe with this is...

    ... the screen aspect ratio. 16:9 is not very good for working in portrait mode. I have the Samsung Ativ 500T, which is similar to the Envy, also a great tablet but it would be truly fantastic (for me) if it had an aspect ratio of 16:10 or the ideal (in my mind) 4:3 of the iPad and tablet PCs of last decade.

    HP has another model (Elitepad 900) that is 16:10, and I also have an eye out for the upcoming Kupa X15 (also 16:10).

    Thanks for the review.