HP Envy x2: Design
At first glance, the Envy x2 looks like a compact, 11-inch ultrabook – one with more than a passing resemblance to Apple’s MacBook Air. It’s a little bigger and larger than the MacBook Air, as it weighs 1.4Kg and measures 19mm thick.
However, when you realise that the screen and keyboard panels both contain batteries, it's much more impressive. With the flick of a switch, you can simply detach the screen and use it on its own as a tablet. See also:
The tablet panel weighs 700g (barely more than a 9.7in iPad), so you can hold it in one hand for a spot of web browsing or watching video.
HP Envy x2: Screen and speakers
The screen is excellent too, with a 1366x768 resolution and an IPS panel that produces an extremely bright and colourful image – so bright, in fact, that we were able to conduct most of our tests with the brightness set to just 50 percent.
Viewing angles are close to 180-degrees but the screen is very reflective. Virtually all laptops and tablets suffer from the same drawback, though.
The Beats Audio speakers were a bit of a let-down. Higher frequencies sounded good, but the overall volume was poor and bass virtually non-existent.
HP Envy x2: Keyboard dock
When you need to get back to work you can simply reconnect the screen and keyboard and you’ve got a neat little laptop. Despite the compact design the keyboard and touchpad are both large and comfortable to use. The keyboard in particular has a nice action, so this is a device which you'll have no qualms about using for some serious typing.
The keyboard unit includes a pair of USB 2.0 ports - no USB 3.0, unfortunately – along with an HDMI port and an SDXC memory card slot.
HP Envy x2: Battery life
Battery life is impressive, living up to HP’s claim of seven hours when we streamed video from BBC iPlayer. And, of course, there’s a second battery in the keyboard, which provides an additional seven hours of battery life. No ultrabook that weighs a similar amount can claim to last this long.
HP Envy x2: Performance
Performance isn't going to rival an £800 laptop, though. The X2 is available in only one configuration: an Intel Atom running at 1.8GHz, a modest 2GB of memory and 64GB of solid-state storage.
The Atom produces an unimpressive score of 1402 when running the PCMark 7 benchmarks, but that's adequate for basic tasks such as web browsing, streaming video and running Microsoft Office. Don’t even think about trying the latest Windows games – Batman: Arkham City ran at a slideshow-like 2fps even on the lowest graphics settings at the native 1366x768 resolution.