New Toys: HP Envy x2

I landed myself a new toy a few weeks ago, an HP Envy x2 laptop/tablet convertable. The screen is detachable so you can opt to just take the tablet portion with you.  I was considering a Microsoft Surface Pro, but I was facing some upcoming travel at the time and wanted to go with a device I could be sure would arrive before I left and I REALLY wanted a real keyboard.

The HP Envy x2 is has 2 gigs of RAM and 64 gigs of storage space, basic Windows 8 pre-installed with a 32-bit Atom processor.  This is NOT a workhorse machine.  I consider it more like RT-plus; able to install all sorts of Windows applications, but doesn’t have any of the enterprise features. 
However, it makes a great “portal” to the Internet, any of your cloud storage and the battery life is pretty decent. I’ve taken it to several conferences and it’s lasted all day connected to WiFi and performing the type of tasks you’d often do while attending a conference – taking notes, checking email, browsing the web, social media, etc.

The majority of the guts of the machine are behind the screen – battery and hard-drive, etc, otherwise it wouldn’t work when disconnected from the keyboard base.  The keyboard contains another battery and it will use the keyboard battery first when connected to that, leaving you the most charge possible while you are in tablet mode.

Couple things that bug me:

  1. The screen is top heavy compared to the base when it’s connected.  It will sit fine on your desk, but tends to want to topple backwards if it’s on your lap. Also, it will rock if you are tapping moderately hard on the touchscreen.
  2. When the two parts are connected and folded closed, the machine is slim and slides in and out of a laptop bag easily. When the screen is disconnected the hinge where the screen snaps in is locked in it’s open configuration, making it easy to snag on the edges of a bag and difficult to stow when you only need the tablet part. I find myself wishing for a little latch I could switch to swing it back into closed position.
  3. The spacebar is really sensitive, often giving me an extra space when I’m not expecting it. That just takes a little getting used to. I’m not a big fan of the “island” or “chicklet” keyboard style – with all the keys evenly spaced in straight rows – but that’s my own personal issue.

Good things:

  1. The touch screen is bright and responsive.
  2. The power cord isn’t very bulky or huge. It has a proprietary connector that’s flatter than most laptop connectors to allow for the cord to power the device in laptop or tablet mode.
  3. It has a great all metal casing, so it feels sturdy. Of course, this means it can’t be serviced by the user, or probably much at all. 
  4. At least one of the USB ports is powered even when the device is off, so you can charge your phone. I discovered this when I was at a hotel where the available plugs were pretty far from the bed. I was able to use the longer computer power cord as an extension to bring the laptop closer to the bed and then charge my phone from the laptop, allowing me to keep the phone on the bedside table.  (A must when your phone is also your alarm!)

The bottom line, I’m pretty happy with the device overall.  It’s pretty unique its design and meets my needs. 


One thought on “New Toys: HP Envy x2

  1. Thanks for the review. I actually just picked up this same machine for $525 at Staples which seemed too good to pass up.

    I'm excited to try it when it arrives!


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