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HP Envy x2 – Screen, Touch, Stylus, Speakers

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


HP Envy x2 – Screen

Similarly to nearly every other 11.6-inch Windows convertible running Atom, the Envy x2 sports an IPS screen with a 1,366 x 768 resolution. Naturally this isn’t up to the ‘Retina-like’ resolutions of the Apple iPad 4, Google Nexus 10 and Microsoft Surface Pro - but keep in mind that until recently this was the standard amount of pixels on far larger displays, and on one this size, it’s adequate.

If you want to move up to Full HD, you’ll have to gun for one of the higher-end convertibles like the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro, which will also have the grunt to drive it.

All the usual perks of a quality IPS panel are present here: superb viewing angles, smooth gradients, reasonably accurate colours, and excellent dark detailing letting you see even the subtlest grey shades. It’s also reasonably bright at 400nits.

Our only niggle is some backlight bleed from the right bezel, but thankfully in daily use you should only notice this during dark scenes in movies or games.

HP Envy x2 – Touch

Unlike many more expensive Windows 8 Core-i tablets which only support five-finger touch (like the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist S230U), the HP Envy x2’s screen will take input from up to 10 fingers simultaneously. It responded beautifully to even the lightest touch or swipe, making Windows 8’s Modern UI (we can’t call it Metro anymore) a pleasure to navigate and great for multiplayer tablet gaming.

There are plenty of scenarios where touch comes in handy even in ‘laptop’ mode, as it’s much nicer for complex selections in imaging software, certain gaming situations (point and click adventures particularly spring to mind, as the Atom processor should have little trouble running these), and for Draw Something.

HP Envy x2 – Stylus

If your digits are too clumsy, HP also offers an optional pressure-sensitive stylus for handwriting – or at least, the website claims it does. Unfortunately, it’s not a Wacom model, and HP’s reluctance to put a brand on it suggests it’s not even N-Trig. Rather, we suspect it’s Atmel, which only offers 256 pressure levels compared to Wacom’s 1,024. Either way it doesn’t really matter, as you can’t get the optional stylus for love or money weeks after the product’s release. All HP gave us was a vague indication of availability early this year.

HP Envy x2 – Speakers

HP definitely deserves some kudos for its speaker implementation. The front-facing stereo speakers are subtly integrated into the bottom bezel so that you won’t even spot them unless you know they’re there.

They also sound pretty great, considering they’re housed in a super-slim tablet. That’s not to say you won’t get far better sound from the average pair of headphones though, as they still distort at their maximum and bass is a little lacking. But the Envy x2 certainly joins the tablet elite on the audio front.

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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