Performance here is about the same as other hybrid laptops we’ve checked out in the past few months, with HP employing the same chip used in those machines.
At work here is the 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Atom Z2760, which is enough to let you browse the web, run a few apps, get some work done, and play the odd casual game, but this isn’t a high-grade Intel Core processor, so don’t expect to be a Photoshop king or big gamer with this set of components.
Reviving the computer from standby is pretty much instantaneous, which is excellent, because it makes the computer ready to go when you are.
Storage is a little limited inside the Envy X2, though, with the typical 64GB solid-state storage, though that is trimmed to 31GB when all is said and done, as HP also includes a recovery drive in case anything happens and you need to restart from scratch.
There is a microSD slot at the bottom of the tablet section, and even an SD card slot in the keyboard dock, so most of the memory formats are here when you want to upgrade the storage.
On the plus side, the battery is just as strong as we’re used to in other Intel Atom-based Windows 8 tablets, with our experience showing us around 15 hours on WiFi doing work writing and web surfing. Detach the dock and run it in tablet mode and you’ll find substantially less, but if you use this machine like a laptop, it will survive an overseas trip.
The negatives, however, come from elements in the design.
While we’re fans of the brushed metal and durability, the metal clip that keeps the tablet in place when it’s docked might be seen as too tight, and can be really hard to push and release.
There are also two 3.5mm headset jacks here – one on the tablet bottom and one on the keyboard dock section – which makes it a little strange if you’re listening to music and you decide you need to dock the tablet half way through a track or an album. You will need to unplug from one – which disappears once the slate section is docked – and plug into the other, and it seems a little excessive when there only needed to be one headphone socket in total.
If you’re listening over the speakers, nothing changes when you dock, since the speakers are in the tablet section, but we still find it a little odd that HP feels the need to have two headphone ports, with only one usable at any time.
Like some of the other hybrid tablets, there’s also the problem of dock design, and that is if you’re using the tablet without the dock, you’ll need to put the dock somewhere, because it comes in two separate parts.
No USB 3.0 ports is a little surprising, especially since this is a Windows 8 machine, which means you’ll be limited to USB 2.0 speeds until you upgrade to the next model.
One last thing: the hinge raises the laptop up, offering your keyboard at an angle. While this didn’t bother us, there are some people who might prefer a flatter laptop experience who might be a little bugged by this.
For the first Windows 8 tablet effort from HP, the Envy X2 manages to score some real positives, with an excellent design, some great performance, and a real return to a quality computing experience from the company.
The price might be seen as a touch too high, and $999 is a lot of money for what is essentially the same – outside of the design – as every other Atom-based Windows 8 hybrid.
Still, the Envy X2 looks good, feels good, and handles quite well, making it a great option for people interested in a smaller Windows computer with the touchscreen thrown in. Recommended.
Value for money
Reader Rating0 Votes
Excellent battery life; Premium brushed metal design; Beats Audio should make sound a little better than your average laptop;
Two headphone ports seems strange; USB 2.0 ports only, not USB 3.0; Tablet lock mechanism can be very, very tight;