HP seems to agree and even has its own variety in its box, with the HP Elite x2 featuring a metal keyboard with fabric backing and backlighting. A trackpad is also factored in, and all in all, the accessory isn’t bad, with a decent amount of travel we could get used to, even if it needs to be a little more spacious.
That said, it’s not bad, especially since it’s free.
We’re also fans of HP using a magnetic connection, meaning the keyboard can be used mid-flight without Bluetooth, super handy when you’re in situations like an aeroplane where that isn’t allowed (except when you’re asked to stow the tray table, because you should be putting away the computer at the same time, also).
HP’s inclusion of a pen is also a handy thing, though it does feel a little flimsy and only really sticks to the side of the Elite x2 by way of the magnet on the hinge and the cover. That means it’ll rest there nicely while you walk, but brush it slightly and the thing will fall off.
But at least you get one, meaning there’s another style of input outside of the keyboard’s trackpad and your finger, and we even found Windows Hello has been considered, but just not in the way we expected.
For those who don’t know, Windows Hello is one of those features in Windows 10 we’ve grown to love, providing a login based on your actual presence, whether it’s through camera and 3D tracking of your face as it is on the Microsoft Surface Book, eye-based retina scanning on the Windows 10 phones, or some other biometric login.
On the HP Elite x2, you don’t get the camera support — which is a bit of a shame given how fairly customisable the hybrid is — but you can get a fingerprint scanner on the back, which works just as well.
Granted, you still need to swipe your finger across to open the computer up without typing, but it’s still a great option, especially if you opt for that fingerprint support.
There’s even an option for 4G LTE, which our review unit had and provided a nice sense of “always on” connectivity we so rarely get with Windows laptops… or any laptop, for that matter.
Battery life was one area where it felt like we started to see the Elite x2 fall a little, because as good as the hardware is, the combination of an Intel Core m5 and the 4-cell battery doesn’t always mean great battery life.