Yes, the Hp Envy X2 is a hybrid. But one look at the all-aluminium body of this ‘notebook’, and it is hard to tell that this is a device that can become just a tablet if the need arises. There is, however, little doubt that the X2 will be taking on the Samsung Ativ Smart PC in the Indian market, because these are the two most accessible hybrids at the moment.
The X2 has a very solid brushed aluminium body, which also makes it feel a bit heavy, especially when you are comparing it with the more plasticky Ativ Smart PC. But the clamshell design is more seamless, with even the power and volume buttons being integrated into the top face of the device. That is because when you tear off the keyboard the 11.6-inch IPS panel becomes a thin, handy, though slightly large tablet. Without the keyboard, it weighs just 700 gm.
On the tablet side you have just a micro-SD card slot and a 3.5mm earphone jack, which mean you have to yoke it back to the keyboard in case you need to charge it, or open a file from a USB drive. We think a USB port on the tablet side could have been added, maybe at the cost of making it a bit thicker. However, we have to agree that the fusing the speakers between the screen and its metal frame looks and sounds like a good idea. When Hp decides to display the Beats Audio branding as big as it does, you know how confident they are about the sound quality. This is one of the best sounding Windows 8 devices out there. The touchscreen is top notch and you will have no reason to complain.
Compared to the Smart PC, the X2 has a much better docking system. You don’t have to apply any effort to pull the tablet off, nor do you have to struggle to ensure that the screen is docked in place. The large dock too gels into the design superbly. The keyboard is really good, and the trackpad offers just the right amount of resistance. The 8MP rear camera with LED flash is good if you are okay with the 4:3 resolution. There are two USB ports flanking the keyboard, as well as an HDMI port and a power port.
The X2 like its Samsung rival runs an Intel Atom 1.8 GHz, Z2760 processor and has a similar level of performance. This means you will be able to do all basic computing functions as well as gaming and entertainment with ease. But anything that needs more power will find the X2 lacking. So this is undoubtedly a device for those who need a tablet that can do a bit more. Hp has been thoughtful enough to add some apps of its own, and we liked the Pagelift which lets you scan documents with the camera.
The X2 seems the better of the two hybrids that we tried, essentially because it has a better design and build quality. There is hardly anything to separate it from the other Atom devices as far as performance is concerned.