HP Envy x2 review: Hands on with HP’s Snapdragon-powered 2-in-1

HP has been dominating in the laptop department of late and, along with Asus, it’s done it again, beating much of the competition to be one of the first manufacturers to show off a Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 laptop. The first of its kind.

HP Envy x2 review: Hands on with HP's Snapdragon-powered 2-in-1

The HP Envy x2 was one of two “Always On PCs” debuted at the Qualcomm Tech Summit in Hawaii and it promises to deliver, not only always-on gigabit 4G connectivity and nippy performance but also battery life far in excess of that offered by current-generation Intel machines.

HP Envy x2 review: Key specifications and price

12.3in, 1,920 x 1,280 screen
0.7kg (without keyboard)
2.14GHz Snapdragon 835 processor with Qualcomm X16 gigabit 4G modem
Up to 8GB RAM
Up to 256GB storage
Windows 10 S (upgradeable to Windows 10 Pro)
Price: Not confirmed
Release date: Spring 2018

HP Envy x2 review: Key features and first impressions

The first thing to catch your eye about the HP Envy x2, apart from its Snapdragon processor, is that claimed battery life. It’s a little less than the Asus NovaGo claims to be able to produce, but is still nonetheless impressive at a huge 20-hours of video playback.

To put this in perspective, that’s two to four times better than most Intel-based Windows 10 laptops we’ve tested recently and, while our test results will likely deliver different findings, I wouldn’t expect those claims to be far from the truth.

Otherwise, this looks every bit the regular Windows 10 2-in-1 detachable. It’s designed, just like the Microsoft Surface Pro, for the keyboard to detach and be usable as a tablet. It has a 12.3in touchscreen display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,280 and stylus support.

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There’s no kickstand built into the 6.9mm-thin, 0.7kg tablet part, though; instead, the stand comes as part of the leatherette keyboard case and hinges down on a piano-hinge to prop up the tablet for use as a laptop.

The HP Envy x2 isn’t quite as well endowed with ports as the Asus NovaGo. It has a single USB Type-C port on the left edge, while the other edge hosts a 3.5mm headphone jack. Internally, of course, there’s that 2.14GHz Snapdragon 835 processor with gigabit 4G connectivity, along with Bluetooth and dual-band 802.11ac wireless.

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In use, in the short time I had with the device, it felt perfectly swish. The keys on the keyboard had good feedback and the ultra-wide touchpad was responsive, too. That stand means it won’t work for everyone as a device you can prop on your thighs, but as a super-light tablet-cum laptop device, the Snapdragon HP Envy x2 looks very promising indeed.

However, one word of warning: as with the Asus NovaGo and the Microsoft Surface Laptop, the Envy x2 is a Windows 10 S device, with a one-time upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. And don’t forget that, while Windows and its core apps may run smoothly, applications that require emulation to run, may not. Time will tell.

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HP Envy x2 review: Early Verdict

There are no prices yet for the HP Envy x2, but we do know it will be available to buy from Spring 2018. If the price is right and the performance with non-natively coded applications is acceptable, we may have a winner on our hands.

One thing is certain, though: the new wave of Qualcomm-powered laptops is here and they’re going to be highly competitive.

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