HP Envy x2 – Screen, Specs, Battery Life & Conclusion
HP Envy x2 ScreenIf there’s one thing we can thank the iPad for – aside from popularising the tablet form factor to its current mania – it’s IPS screens becoming standard on rivals and convertibles. Like most of its ilk, the Envy x2 sports one of these rather than a cheap TN panel, meaning its display offers good contrast and excellent viewing angles. It’s also very bright at 400nits, so sunlight readability is decent despite the inevitable reflections from its toughened glass front.
The screen’s 1,366 x 768 resolution might seem a little low in these high-res ‘Retina’ days, but again this is the standard for this first wave of affordable Win8 tabs, even the Microsoft Surface (non-Pro). Mind you, the Envy x2’s price comes close to edging it into territory occupied by higher-specced Core-i tablets with 1080p displays…
We didn’t get a chance to test the HP Envy x2’s speakers in the noisy show environment but hopefully the Beats Audio branding will ensure that HP puts some effort into making this Windows 8 convertible sound better than the norm.
HP Envy x2 specsAs with its screen, the specifications for the Envy x2 are pretty much in line with similar offerings from other brands. At its heart beats a dual-core Intel Atom ‘Clover Trail’ processor running at 1.8GHz, which is backed by 2GB of RAM and 64GB for storage.
Windows 8 32-bit X86 is the OS of choice, meaning full backwards compatibility with your existing Windows eco-system. These specs should be more than adequate to run Windows 8 and any apps purchased from the Microsoft store, but demanding legacy software will struggle just like it would on a fast netbook.
This Envy sports a rear 8-megapixel webcam that can shoot Full HD (1080p) video while the front camera does 720p for video chatting.
HP Envy x2 Battery LifeThe great advantage most detachable convertibles offer over both traditional tablets and laptops is that they have two batteries: one in the slate and the other in the keyboard base. This effectively doubles their time away from a socket.
HP claims the Envy x2’s dual two-cell batteries are good for up to 14 hours, or about 7 for the slate on its own. That’s pretty good going, though some rivals like the smaller 10-inch Acer Iconia W510 claim up to 18hrs. Either way we’ll see when we get it in for our full review soon.
HP Envy x2 PriceNone of these new convertible tablets are exactly cheap, which isn’t too surprising when you consider you’re getting a device with an IPS screen, usually metal construction, dual batteries, and full-fat Windows. However, the Envy x2 tops them all, coming in at £800.
When you consider that the Asus Vivo Tab and Samsung ATIV Smart PC cost around £750 while offering more connectivity and a bundled Wacom stylus, the x2 doesn’t seem like great value. Of course the Envy name has always been associated with a premium price, but when it also offers fewer features, we’re not sure its stylish design is enough to recommend it over the competition.
The HP Envy x2 is a stylish Windows 8 convertible tablet/laptop that goes for a more premium aesthetic than its rivals and offers perks like Beats-enhanced sound. Unfortunately, it also comes with a premium price. It’s certainly well-built and attractive, and is generally a pleasure to use. However, it doesn’t offer a bundled Wacom stylus and also falls behind rivals in the connectivity stakes, so we’ll have to see if it can justify the extra it demands.