Feeds
HP Envy x2 Windows 8 convertible

Review: HP ENVY x2 Windows 8 convertible

Display unclips to work as a tablet

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Business security measures using SSL

As might be expected of a compact Ultrabook, there is no optical drive and connectivity ports are limited. Both USB ports are USB 2.0 (one USB 3.0 would have been nice but, I suppose, this could have risked too much of a battery drain) and despite the inclusion of HDMI and an SD Card slot, there is no VGA port nor any Ethernet port. Given the typical use for this type of Ultrabook, however, the ENVY x2 provides all you probably need.

HP Envy x2 Windows 8 convertible

Netbook evolution: the latest generation dual-core Intel Atom CPU powers the Envy x2

The real ENVY x2 magic reveals itself by sliding a single catch on the clamshell hinge to release the display for use as a standalone tablet. Releasing and re-attaching the display can be done 'hot' without causing so much as a blip: there is no need to power down the computer. The sliding catch is a little stiff but the display slips off and clips back on easily enough, and the pair of wide pegs supporting the display on the hinge add to the overall feeling of ruggedness. At no time did I ever feel anything might stress or snap. The ENVY x2 is no delicate flower: it feels as tough as boots and built to last.

HP Envy x2 Windows 8 convertible

HDMI on-board, but only USB 2.0 interfacing

Used on its own as a Windows 8 tablet, the display is surprisingly satisfying to work with. As Windows 8 detractors are keen to point out, on a hand-held device the operating system really comes into its own. At around 0.7kg, it's hardly the lightest tablet you'll ever use (even Apple's hefty Retina iPads are lighter) but the weight is balanced and the wide bezel ensures it is comfortable to hold. The Windows logo on the bottom bezel also acts as a 'home' button, returning you to the Start screen, which is a helpful touch.

HP Envy x2 Windows 8 convertible

Tablet snapping when needs must

Although separating from the keyboard leaves the port connections behind, the tablet brings everything else with it: SSD hard drive, stereo speakers, front and back cameras and built-in mic, while it comes with its own audio combo socket and microSD Card slot. Mobile music lovers will be pleased to hear that the ENVY x2 utilises Beats Audio™ technology to boost audio performance. Both cameras support HD video and the rear-facing camera can take single-frame shots at up to 8Mp; usefully, the system allows you to customise still and video resolutions before shooting rather than inflicting the storage-wasting, humungous-size-fits-all approach of other tablets.

HP Envy x2 Windows 8 convertible

Note the latching slots in the base

Battery life in the tablet could not be benchmarked but I was happily using the device all day without worry. When the battery began running low, I simply re-attached it to the keyboard base - which contains its own battery - and continued working. As long as the tablet and keyboard are connected, recharging the unit will recharge both batteries. Unfortunately, it does not seem possible to recharge the tablet on its own.

HP Envy x2 Windows 8 convertible

Convertible computing is the best way to experience Windows 8

Verdict

RH Recommended Medal

The single most important caveat with the HP ENVY x2 is that its specification is extremely lean: as tested, the device achieves only average benchmark performance and is fitted with just 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage (with up to 24GB of this being partitioned for system recovery). From a pure Ultrabook perspective, this seems very limited indeed. But viewed as a tablet computer - powered with a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor and boosted by a high-quality detachable keyboard with trackpad and connectivity ports, not to mention double battery packs... oh, and it runs Windows 8 - the ENVY x2 is extraordinary.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

HP Envy x2 Windows 8 convertible

Review: HP ENVY x2 Windows 8 convertible

A modest but thoroughly practical Windows 8 product with the latest dual-core Intel Atom and an 11.6in, 1366 x 768 IPS touchscreen. Tempting for those who can't choose between a tablet and an Ultrabook.
Price: £799 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Apple's ONE LESS THING: the iPod Classic disappears
RIP 2001 – 2014. MP3 player beloved of millions. Killed by cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.