Review: HP Split X2

HP’s hybrid tablet laptop design has been a popular one in the Envy X2, but the idea of an 11 inch Intel Atom-powered machine isn’t going to be for everyone, and if you need more size and grunt, HP has a different approach.

Features

Most hybrid computers that you can find carry a screen size between 10 and 11 inches, which many would consider a “normal” size for a tablet. Hybrid computers generally are comparable to tablets because all their important parts are in the screen section, and you can detach the screen to make the entire machine perform and feel like a tablet.

But with the Split X2, HP is taking a slightly different approach, crafting a bigger tablet hybrid than you’ve likely seen on other machines.

In the Split X2, HP has equipped a 13.3 inch detachable touchscreen, making this machine one big computer, or even a big tablet that connects to a regular 13 inch keyboard and mouse section.

Just like on other hybrid computers, all of the important specifications and innards sit inside the screen section of the Split X2, all 13 inches of it.

This includes the third-generation Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage, and battery driving all of these parts. WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity are all built into the tablet from a wireless connections side of things, while headphones, microSD, charge port, and the keyboard proprietary dock port are also included.

Then there’s the keyboard section, which the Split X2 also comes with, and allows the 13.3 inch screen section to dock with to turn it into a proper laptop, albeit one with a touchscreen.

This section doesn’t just feature a keyboard and mouse, but also extra connections, a battery, and hard drive. The hard drive in this section provides an extra 500GB, while the connections effectively provide the Split X2 tablet with a full SD card slot, two USB ports, HDMI, headphone, and the power port.

The Split X2’s tablet section does come with buttons, and a design that’s remarkably similar to the other X2 tablets HP makes, with a volume rocker and power button both sitting on the back of the screen section.

A latch can be found on the keyboard section to help you remove the screen from the keyboard dock.

Performance

If the idea of a proper sized laptop has your attention, but you’ve been curious about the whole tablet thing, HP’s Split X2 presents an interesting idea: it’s a 13.3 inch laptop that’s also a tablet. A really big tablet.

Looking at the design, HP isn’t exactly breaking any moulds here, and has instead basically enlarged what the company started with the Envy X2, another Windows 8 hybrid.

As such, you’ll find a metal coloured plastic body with two buttons on the back, and a two tone keyboard section with black on the inside and more of that gun metal plastic on the bottom.

Overall, it’s not a bad looking machine, and the combination of grey and black does make it look a little different than traditional laptops, but the lack of proper metals doesn’t make this machine look like the premium computers we’ve seen from the company in the past.

Inside the machine, you’ll find a third-generation Intel Core i5 processor, clocked at 1.5GHz, which should be enough for most, even if HP is a little late in delivering a fourth-generation Haswell processor to this body.

For most things, we found the system to be responsive, with apps loading relatively quickly, and both standby and power loading times to be standard for Ulltrabook styled machines. In fact, standby to on took around a second, while off and cold to on took was timed at under seven seconds, which isn’t bad at all, and can likely be attributed to the combination of processor, memory, and solid-state drive in the tablet screen section.

It’s strange that HP didn’t elect to use a much newer processor, and we’re surprised to see the third-generation technology known as “Ivy Bridge” make an appearance in a machine out now, but at least HP has matched the processor to a decent amount of memory and storage type.

In fact, to its credit, HP have nailed some things about this computer.

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