HP Elite x2 1012 G1

AN­OTHER HP 2-IN-1 THAT HEWS VERY-CLOSELY TO THE SUR­FACE BLUE­PRINT.

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME - [ DAN GAR­DINER ]

IF IM­I­TA­TION IS the sin­cer­est form of flat­tery, then HP must re­ally love Mi­crosoft’s Sur­face line of tablets. The Elite x2 is its sec­ond stab at putting to­gether a Sur­face Pro clone, and it looks a lot like a pre­mium ver­sion of that fore­bear — the Spec­tre x2. HP has a fairly wide se­lec­tion of 2-in-1s in its por­ta­ble lineup, and both this Elite x2 and the afore­men­tioned Spec­tre veer more to­wards the ‘tablet’ end of the 2-in-1 spec­trum — and even with just a glance at ei­ther, it’s clear that HP has been work­ing very closely from Mi­crosoft’s Sur­face play­book.

These are both 12-inch metal­lic uni­body slates that in­clude a fold-out kick­stand in the back, sty­lus for writ­ing and draw­ing and a de­tach­able key­board-cover that helps pro­tect the screen when closed or turns it into a near-full lap­top when un­folded.

But while the Spec­tre x2 was look­ing to un­der­cut the Sur­face Pro 4, the Elite ac­tu­ally looks like it’s try­ing to match it — and it’s cer­tainly well-crafted. The gen­eral buildqual­ity and stur­di­ness of this 2-in-1 are hard to deny, both on the tablet it­self and the key­board-cover.

If the Elite does have one main draw­back, it’s the size. It has a slightly big­ger foot­print — an ex­tra cen­time­tre to the Sur­face Pro 4’s sides, com­ing in at 300 x 214mm (which is mostly just ex­tra bezel) — but more crit­i­cally, it’s an ex­tra 60% thicker, at 13.4mm vs the Sur­face’s sleek 8mm.

The Elite’s also heav­ier, at 840g ver­sus 785g of the Sur­face. That all adds up to make a de­vice that’s, frankly, just a tiny but too big and un­wieldy to use as a one-handed tablet, un­less you’re cradling it like a baby.

That big­ger size does have some pay­offs, how­ever. It man­ages to squeeze in a lot of ports, in­clud­ing a full-size USB 3.0 port, a Type-C USB 3.1 socket (which also doubles as the charg­ing port) and a mi­croSD slot for ex­pand­ing stor­age.

The key­board in the cover is nice and large, too: it’s al­most as wide as you’ll get on a 13-inch lap­top (just a cen­time­tre short of our MacBook Air’s key­board) and the track­pad is big enough that it doesn’t feel cramped — al­though in test­ing, our re­view unit was a bit over­sen­si­tive to taps and we of­ten found that we’d ac­ci­den­tally brush against it and send the cur­sor fly­ing.

The dis­play is mostly fault­less, too — a bright and clear 12-inch IPS LCD us­ing a 16:10 as­pect ra­tio and com­ing in at a res­o­lu­tion of 1,920 x 1,280. It’s pro­tected by Go­rilla Glass 4 — the same as what’s used on modern flag­ship smart­phones.

Hav­ing a fairly fru­gal Core M pro­ces­sor (our re­view unit had the midrange m5-6Y57), the Elite’s gen­eral per­for­mance is more than ad­e­quate for ba­sic com­put­ing and a lit­tle mul­ti­me­dia work, but push it too hard (like try­ing 4K video edit­ing) and it will choke.

We were also a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed with bat­tery life: de­spite that Core M chip, it only man­aged around four hours for pro­duc­tiv­ity tasks. While that’s about on par with the Sur­face Pro 4, it’s a full hour shy of the Spec­tre x2.

It’s a bit of a mixed re­sult, over­all, then. The big­ger key­board, handy va­ri­ety of ports and solid build qual­ity are all pros, but when you can have a higher-end Core i5 Sur­face Pro 4 for less than $100 more, HP needs to do bet­ter on price... or at least up the specs to match.

HAV­ING A FAIRLY FRU­GAL CORE M PRO­CES­SOR (OUR RE­VIEW UNIT HAD THE MIDRANGE M5-6Y57), THE ELITE’S GEN­ERAL PER­FOR­MANCE IS MORE THAN AD­E­QUATE FOR BA­SIC COM­PUT­ING AND A LIT­TLE MUL­TI­ME­DIA WORK, BUT PUSH IT TOO HARD (LIKE TRY­ING 4K VIDEO EDIT­ING) AND IT WILL CHOKE.

HP ELITE X2 1012 G1 $2,100 www.hp.com/au CRIT­I­CAL SPECS Win­dows 10 Pro (64-bit); 12-inch IPS LCD @ 1,920 x 1,280-pix­els; In­tel Core m5-6Y57 CPU; In­tel HD Graph­ics 515; 8GB RAM; 256GB SSD; de­tach­able key­board cover; 840g sans cover; 1.22kg with cover.

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