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HP Envy x2 – Performance, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


HP Envy x2 – Specs

As with rival 11.6in detachable convertibles in the sub-£1,000 range, the HP Envy x2 has an Intel ‘Clover Trail’ 1.8GHz dual core Atom Z2760 beating at its heart. It’s backed by 2GB of RAM and there’s 64GB for storage.

With around 9GB eaten by Windows 8 and essentials, about 30GB is left to play with after making allowances for page file, hibernate and recovery. That’s not a huge amount, but do keep in mind that – unlike the iPad 4 or Google’s Nexus tablets, you can store media on a microSD card of up to another 64GB.

Unfortunately, as soon as we start talking performance we’re confronted by the fact that Clover Trail is still Atom, and Atom is still not in any way, shape or form a performance chip – and that 2GB RAM maximum doesn’t help here either.

HP Envy x2 Performance

Here the Core i3 machine's hard drive holds it back from trouncing the Atom system more thoroughly.

Don’t get us wrong, for navigating through Windows and average daily use such as browsing the web and running apps or light programs, the Z2760 in the HP Envy x2 runs smooth as butter. Performance is consistently superior to that in the netbooks of yore, especially when it comes to HD video playback and light multi-tasking, and most non 3D-gaming apps you’ll find in the Windows store should run without a hitch.

HP Envy x2 Performance

However, proper multi-tasking; running intensive HD video simultaneously with another program; or using demanding programs like an image editor can still quite easily bring this kind of machine to its knees. In other words, as a tablet the x2 performs admirably, but as a laptop replacement you have to be prepared to put up with its limitations.

3D gaming in anything but the most casual titles, meanwhile, is also a big no-no. Even at minimum settings our test games simply refused to run or crashed after getting through the menus. Mind you, this is not surprising given that Intel’s integrated GMA 3600 chip paired with the Atom Z2760 is derived from an old PowerVR design the benefits of which Windows drivers don’t fully bring out. Hopefully updated drivers will eek out more performance.

HP Envy x2 – Battery Life

The advantages you’re getting in exchange for the trade-off in power are passive (i.e. silent) cooling, light weight and of course jolly impressive battery life. HP claims up to 14 hours for its convertible tablet when combined with the dock, and this is almost exactly what the HP Envy x2 achieved in our light productivity test which includes some web browsing. The tablet on its own managed just under half that, at 6 hours and 55 minutes. This is what you’d expect given that the keyboard base adds a second battery of a similar capacity.

Battery (40 percent screen brightness, mixed productivity and web-browsing)

6 hours 55 minutes (tablet only)

14 hours 4 minutes (tablet plus dock)

While these figures are very impressive in their own right, the Asus Vivo Tab managed a whopping 19 hours, or just under 10 for the tablet on its own. Remember, both these convertibles share the same 11.6-inch size, and the Asus has to power a Wacom digitizer layer and a brighter 600nits screen.

HP Envy x2 – Price and Value

There’s no nice way to put this: at £800 the HP Envy x2 is simply overpriced – especially as both the Vivo Tab and Samsung Ativ Smart PC can be had for around £700. Both these convertible tablet/laptops offer the same specs, better connectivity (although they do lack full-size SD card readers), and bundled pressure-sensitive Wacom pens. The Asus also gives far superior battery life and a brighter screen. The Envy may be better-built, but considering its lesser feature-count, that hardly justifies the extra £100 it demands from your wallet.


The HP Envy x2 is a beautifully built Windows 8 convertible tablet/laptop. As long as you don’t stress its Atom processor it’s generally a pleasure to use and sounds great. Unfortunately similarly specced rivals offer better wireless and physical connectivity, bundled Wacom styli, and longer battery life, all for £100 less. In other words, unless you really want the x2’s premium looks, its full-size SD card slot or its decent speakers, there’s little to envy here.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Design 9
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Screen Quality 8
  • Value 6

Mike B

November 27, 2012, 10:10 pm

I would rather have the Toshiba U920t for £50 more and have a faster machine in a better form factor.

I expect these will be discounted heavily within 6 months when they fail to move the stock.


November 28, 2012, 6:22 pm

Definitely a faster machine, though generally £100 more and personally I prefer the detachable laptop/tablet form factor. Also keep in mind you get far inferior battery life and no stylus option.


December 19, 2012, 9:17 pm

When you're paying £800 surely you'd expect a bigger hard drive than just 64GB!!!

Mick Fischer

December 20, 2012, 1:06 am


Donald King

December 27, 2012, 5:55 pm

Got mine today. Shame they weren't available before XMAS. Contrary to Mich Fischer's mine has an OS Windows 8 and is the dogs bollox. Much better than my old ASUS (Andriod). I can now use real applications again and have a touchscreen to boot & it's not Korean! :)

Dave Lulham

January 5, 2013, 10:05 pm

I have a 13.3inch HP DM3 laptop which is now over 2 years old. Compared to this it has a faster processor, twice as much RAM, more disk space (320gb), the screen resolution is the same and it's a very good, portable little machine. You can still buy them new for £300 now, so why would anyone pay £800 for this? I don't see how a detachable keyboard, touchscreen and being slightly smaller and lighter justifies the vastly inflated price, or am I wrong?


January 6, 2013, 7:00 pm

Well, at least the caps lock key worked.


January 10, 2013, 4:33 pm

It would be helpful if you could clarify what HP did/did not do to rectify the situation - surely (as Endgadget suggests) you could just return it for a replacement?

Also, coming without an OS hardly makes the product JUNK...


January 10, 2013, 4:45 pm



January 10, 2013, 4:47 pm

No-one is suggesting you couldn't enlarge text and icons, and Windows 8's Modern UI scales automatically. Retina is marketing, but it (or rather high-res screens in general) is also a genuine enhancement to your viewing experience making everything sharper and potentially more detailed.


January 10, 2013, 4:49 pm

Indeed, Win 8 offers far more flexibility than rival operating systems for tablets/laptops.

Out of interest, what's wrong with a product being Korean?


January 10, 2013, 4:51 pm

Yes and also better specs. Mind you, the IPS screen, second battery and premium build do account for a lot of the x2's price compared to a better-specced laptop, but it's still overpriced.


January 10, 2013, 4:54 pm

Not wrong, though you are missing out on a few bits - the DM3 doesn't offer an SSD, which the x2 does. The screen is also far superior IPS rather than TN on the DM3. And last but not least, the DM3 doesn't last 14hrs on a charge...


January 10, 2013, 4:59 pm

Doesn't seem competitive at all at that price, esp compared to Surface Pro which is likely to be £799 and comes with core i5, a superior screen and is bundled with a pen.

William Dunlap

January 14, 2013, 3:38 pm

I have had mine since it shipped in December. This review is pretty much spot on. I will say that the extra money is worth it. The samsung ATIV and the Asus feel like cheap plastic junk when compared to this. The Samsung ATIV is so cheaply made the back of the tablet actually squeezes into the screen while you are holding it.

The HP functions very well as a tablet and in Windows 8 applications from the Windows store. It works okay as a laptop, but it will not replace an i5 or do any type of serious gaming. I have not had any problems running photoshop, Office, and doing basic video editing. The new atom chip is a 100% improvement over the old one, although it is still not quite a substitute for a real core processor. Since I don't use the HP to run serious games or run multiple comprehensive programs at once, it serves my functions perfectly. It will multitask and run multiple programs at once, so long as they are not memory intensive programs. In other words, it will run your email, news, and word all at the same time without any problem.

The screen may not be as beautiful as the iPad, but overall, the machine is a lot more functional than an iPad. The HP actually allows me to use the full versions of word, excel, outlook, etc, and it allows you to run most legacy or older Windows software. Having owned every iPad to date, I always felt something was lacking, a true laptop replacement. What the iPad lacked, HP has made up for with this machine. Kudos to HP for producing a truly great machine in the midst of the rest of their less than ideal products. This product gives me hope for HP. HP, keep innovating with this and hopefully Intel will improve its mobile chips, and you will have a perfect machine in the future.


January 16, 2013, 3:18 pm

its ssd not hard drive it is faster to load but is more expensive, however i agree £800 is 2 much..

Adam Christoffer Duus-Boolsen

March 14, 2013, 9:46 am

Odd... The Samsung Ativ Smart PC is a few percent more expensive than the Envy x2 where I live. The Asus Vivo Tab is slightly more expensive WITHOUT a keyboard dock; if you want the keyboard dock, it ends up at least 25% more expensive.


March 19, 2013, 7:43 pm

Question for you all, would you find it beneficial if HP released a functional case for the HP Envy x2? All is can find is a case for transport to get the laptop from A to B. I am looking for something similar to what I had on my Macbook, a case that protects both the tablet and the base while in use. Would you all find that beneficial?

Martin Vaillancourt

April 19, 2013, 12:33 pm

I have had mine since December as well and I must say that I have no disappointments at all. The speed of Win8 on this combo unit is excellent, the battery life is amazing and the overall feel is spectacular. The only thing is that I wish there was a smart cover available because in tablet mode it's a little naked.


May 14, 2013, 1:58 pm

Absolute pants...very disappointing, was looking forward to this device, its cheap plasticky and is very slow to start and perform any task, its old technology, move on...


May 26, 2013, 1:15 pm

Does the raised circle patten on the key boards pad sting your finger tips or is it just annoying?

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