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HP Envy x2 – Connectivity, Dock, Usability, Cameras

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


HP Envy x2 - Connectivity

Disappointingly, the x2 tablet’s own physical connections are very limited, more so than rivals. In fact all it has is a microSD card slot, headphone jack and proprietary data/charging port at its bottom. By comparison, the Asus Vivo Tab and Samsung ATIV Smart PC both throw microHDMI into that mix, and the Ativ offers a native full-size USB 2.0 port while the Vivo includes an adapter.

We really feel a full-size USB port should be standard on every Windows tablet, but HP doesn’t even include the adapter to hook up memory sticks or peripherals. If you want to connect these out of the box, you’ll need to keep the tablet in its dock.

The Envy x2’s keyboard dock/base holds most of its other connectors, including twin USB 2.0 ports, a full-size HDMI, a full-size SDXC card reader, and that ‘duplicate’ headphone/microphone jack. Unfortunately full-size SD card readers seem to have been dropped by the wayside on most of the x2’s rivals, something the average photographer probably won’t be too happy about. As such, HP deserves extra kudos for still including one.

On the wireless front, the x2 is decently endowed with Wi-Fi N, Bluetooth and NFC for wireless payments and linking (a feature both the Microsoft Surface and Apple iPad 4 lack), but the Ativ outdoes it with optional 3G/4G.

While we’re on the topic of connections and accessories, it’s worth noting that unlike its Ativ and Vivo rivals which come with iPad-like chargers, the x2 uses a more traditional charging brick without its own plug, which takes a clover power cable like most laptops. This may not look as elegant, making it a slightly odd choice on a designer machine like this convertible, but we do appreciate the extra flexibility it offers.

HP Envy x2 – Dock Keyboard and Touchpad

At least when it comes to usability, the Envy x2 almost lives up to its premium tag. While not up there with Lenovo’s ThinkPads, HP consistently makes some of the better laptop keyboards around. The one on the x2’s dock isn’t its best effort, but it’s certainly usable, and the typing experience it offers is slightly above that of the Asus Vivo Tab. Layout is spot-on with well-spaced keys, while key travel is average with a fairly responsive click, and the palm rest is comfy.

The touchpad, meanwhile, is a visual and tactile treat. It’s raised from its concave surround and sports a natty concentric ring pattern, offset by a chrome trim around its edge which also helps to keep your fingers in bounds. The ring pattern is just enough to give pleasant feedback without wearing out your fingertips. A touch that’s unique to HP touchpads is that double-tapping the top left corner will activate/de-activate the pad, though the pad never interfered with typing for us.

HP Envy x2 – Cameras

As with every high-end tablet, the Envy x2 offers both front and rear HD shooters, with 1080p video from both. Unfortunately, as with most tablets they’re not exactly great.

HP Envy x2 rear camera pic

HP Envy x2 rear camera pic

Shots from the 8 megapixel rear camera are a bit noisy and lacking in subtle detail, and for any non-urgent snaps you’re better off using your smartphone or (shock, horror) an actual digital camera. The front model is just about good enough for video chatting duties.

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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