Surprisingly, considering HP was one of the pioneers in the convertible tablet/latop field with its TouchSmart tm2, it has taken the company this long to join the slew of other Windows 8 hybrid slates that have been announced. However, with the Envy x2, it certainly looks like the company will have a strong contender on its hands.
Like most of its rivals, the HP Envy x2 is an 11.6-inch multi-touch affair with a 1,366 x 768 resolution that’s running an Atom CPU under its hood, but the former is a 400nits IPS panel, and it also packs NFC, an 8 megapixel camera, and (likely Wacom) pen support for those who like to draw or write.
Other nice features include Beats audio enhancements and a rather fetching metal finish. This being HP, we think it’s a pretty safe bet that the keyboard will be great too. And unlike some rivals, the Envy x2 packs a secondary battery into its keyboard base, giving it up to 14hours of battery life.
Unfortunately, the tablet itself doesn’t appear to be strong on connectivity aside from its MicroSD card slot, but the dock adds two full-size USB ports and a full-size HDMI and SD card slot.
We’ll have to see how the ‘Clover Trail’ Atom CPUs in many of the affordable X86 Windows 8 convertible tablets hold up in the performance stakes, but at least with a 64GB SSD as standard and two card slots, storage shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
It will be interesting to see how this hybrid tablet/laptop fares against the likes of the Samsung ATIV Smart PC. A UK launch date and price have been confirmed for the Envy x2. The release date will be late October, while for price we're looking at £799.
You may think it hurts just a bit to be paying quite this much for an Atom device with an average screen resolution, and we would agree with you. But putting aside that this is otherwise a very stylish and well-featured slate hybrid where you’re paying a small premium for the ‘Envy’ name, we’re sure that price will drop fast - and as the largest PC makes in the world, HP in unlikely not to price its Envy x2 competitively.