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We found runtime ranges from four to six hours, which is about on par with what we found in the practically identical Spectre x2 model, though if you turned down brightness and switched off all connections, you may find a little more.

At least HP doesn’t have some of the power issues where the machine switches on when it’s on standby, which affects some machines built in this particular hybrid style.

What needs work

Making a machine for business is always going to result in a machine made very differently than one for the needs of consumers, and there’s a lot that HP gets right, but where it gets things wrong aren’t so much on the hardware side, but more on the software side.

You see, every so often when Windows wants to do one of its many patches — and Microsoft is making sure Windows 10 is frequently attended to, so there come thick and fast compare to previous generations — HP’s software tends to get in the way.

In fact, you may even encounter errors like this one:

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That’ll pop up if you try to update Windows with HP’s software on-board, and it really gets in the way. There’s something about HP’s support software which just doesn’t like Windows 10, and the two butt heads on a regular basis.

We found the best way was just to uninstall the HP stuff and let Microsoft get on with it, though this can have the additional annoyance that is drivers go missing and don’t update properly.

Like the HP support software issue from before, we found some of HP’s updates just wouldn’t load into place, and you even get two pieces of software to deal with drivers and software a business machine needs.

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On the one hand, there’s the pleasing-to-the-eye HP Support Assistant which almost never works properly and tends to crash out when you’re trying to install drivers. But on the other, there’s HP SoftPaq, a driver and download manager that actually does seem to work, though looks like it’s the sort of thing an IT admin would use because of how granular and administrative the whole thing looks.

And that’s where you start to see the HP Elite x2 win and lose votes, because while it’s a great piece of hardware with a lot of serviceability for high-end types who need that sort of thing, regular people will at one point have to deal with a level of software that even the geekiest of folk will find annoying.

This journalist is a geeky type who generally has no problem with getting his hands dirty installing drivers and sorting things out, but even this machine had him scratching his head on why there were so many layers when something needed a change or an update.

It boggles the mind, and makes you wonder if aspects of this machine were built for IT managers so they would always have a degree of control.

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