There’s a lot the HP Chromebook x2 11 can do. Launched in August 2021, this HP Chromebook follows other 2-in-1 portables that tout a detachable keyboard design that makes them feel more like tablets that can be transformed into a laptop – much like Apple’s higher-end iPads and the Surface Pro.
It’s a brilliant approach to the hybrid laptop model, especially since most 2-in-1 laptops with non-detachable keyboards aren’t really all that convenient to use as tablets. On a Chromebook, the ChromeOS interface is just as easy to use in tablet mode as in laptop mode.
Here is the HP Chromebook x2 11 configuration sent to TechRadar for review
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c compute platform (up to 2.4 GHz, 1 MB L3 cache, 8 cores, 8 threads)
Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno 618 GPU
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4x-2133 MHz RAM
Screen: 11" diagonal, 2K (2160 x 1440), multitouch-enabled, IPS, edge-to-edge glass, 400 nits, 100% sRGB
Storage: 64GB eMMC Flash storage
Ports: 2x SuperSpeed USB Type-C
Connectivity: Qualcomm Atheros 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2x2) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5 combo
Camera: 5MP (front), 5MP (rear)
Weight: 2.9 lbs (1.16 kg) tablet, keyboard and stand included
Size (W x H x D): 9.94 x 6.95 x 0.29 in (252.5 x 176.6 x 7.5 mm)
Battery: 2-cell, 32 Wh Li-ion polymer
But, with strong rivals like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook and the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 – not to mention, tablets like the iPad Air and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8, can the HP Chromebook x2 11 keep up?
Starting at $569 in the US, this 2-in-1 Chromebook is cheaper than the Surface Pro 8 but a tad more than the budget Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5. Unfortunately, this base model, which gets you a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c, 4GB memory and 64GB eMMC storage, isn’t available in the UK and Australia.
However, the model we tested is… at least in Australia, with an asking price of $599 / AU$999. This comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c, 8GB RAM and 64GB of eMMC – more than enough for your everyday productivity and media consumption needs. It also looks like a higher-end model with double the storage is on hand in the US at $679 and in the UK at £550.
So, if you’re looking for the best value, the HP Chromebook x2 11 is certainly a great contender, especially since it comes with a higher display resolution than the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 as well as the HP Wireless Rechargeable USI Certified Pen.
The good bits of this Chromebook’s design include a keyboard that’s incredibly satisfying and comfortable to type on. The tablet itself is thin, light and pretty robust, with a luxurious matte back that does an excellent job of keeping fingerprints at bay. There are also two USB-C ports – that might not sound like a lot, but for what you’ll be using this Chromebook for, it’s more than enough.
The whole detachable setup makes the HP Chromebook x2 11 extremely versatile, and it’s just as great to use in tablet mode as it is in laptop mode. Unfortunately, the same features that make it versatile also somewhat diminish the Chromebook’s ease of use.
The kickstand, which is useful both in tablet and laptop mode, is pretty great on its own. But the detachable keyboard cover isn’t very stable. It’s easily bendable and tends to flap around unless you put it down on a solid surface. This isn’t, therefore, a kit you can use on your lap or a softer surface without issue. In fact, even when it’s on a solid surface, slight pressure on it might cause the trackpad to register your presses incorrectly or have the whole device collapse on your hands.
Because the kickstand and the keyboard cover are separate units, and because the keyboard cover is floppy to begin with, the whole setup is also annoying to prop open and to put away. Propping it open in laptop mode is an especially tedious affair – you have to pry open the kickstand and keep the keyboard cover from swinging around. That’s definitely not what you’d call seamless.
The power button is also a tad inconvenient to use in laptop mode. You have to press and hold it to open a menu that lets you choose between shut down, sign out and lock. A single press does nothing. It doubles as the fingerprint reader, though, and that works seamlessly. Then there’s the trackpad, which isn’t very accurate and the easiest to use.
However, the audio through the Bang & Olufsen speakers is slightly compressed. The mids are pulled back a little, which makes the dialogue in movies and shows a bit hard to hear. The highs are decent, crisp enough but not super detailed either. And, there’s just not much low end. Next to the iPad Air, which delivers a louder volume, a decent amount of bass and a lot of mids while being roughly the same size and thinness, the speakers on the HP Chromebook x2 11 are a tad underwhelming.
Here is how the HP Chromebook x2 11 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Jetstream 2: 62.9
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 11 hours 6 minutes
The touchscreen display is, luckily, better. Boasting a 2,160 x 1,440 native resolution, which, to be honest, is a lot for an 11-inch screen. The Chromebook’s display also features 400 nits of brightness and covers 100% of the sRGB color space, which makes the Chromebook X2 a pleasure to consume media on. The picture quality is sharp, clean and vibrant. The dynamic range looks pretty wide too, even though HP hasn’t mentioned its contrast ratio. You’ll still see a lot of detail in dark shadowy scenes. It doesn’t do a great job of minimizing reflections, however, so we’d avoid using this in super bright places.
The HP Chromebook x2 11’s touch display works beautifully, especially with the included HP Wireless Rechargeable USI Pen, which has its own magnetic dock on the side for easy access and storage.
The 5MP webcam is not the sharpest, but it does deliver a better low light performance than expected. It can capture available ambient lighting for brighter video quality, and doesn’t use exaggerated smoothing to compensate. Just don’t rely on the mic too much as it picks up a lot of ambient noise, which means it’s not great for video conferencing.
Of course, that Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c chip inside has proven to be quite the snappy performer. The HP Chromebook x2 11 might not be a gaming device or a laptop for content creation, but it is a multitasking machine. We can run 20 or more Google Chrome tabs, five of which are streaming new content like The Eternals, Windfall and The French Dispatch on various streaming services (Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix and YouTube), without experiencing any slowdowns.
You won’t get 16 hours of battery life like the Lenovo IdeaPad Duet 5 Chromebook, but the HP Chromebook x2 11 still lasts pretty long on a charge. HP has given this an 11-hour battery rating, but we managed to squeeze a little more than 11 hours playing local media on a loop at 1440p. That’s still all-day battery life on a single charge.
Should I buy the HP Chromebook x2 11?
Buy it if...
You’re looking for a mid-range, great performing Chromebook
With a mid-range price, robust performance and a lot of vital features, the HP Chromebook x2 11 is a terrific Chromebook for productivity, multitasking and media consumption.
You need to travel light
More of a tablet with a keyboard cover than a laptop, this one is thin and portable, which makes it an ideal travel companion for commuting professionals and students already lugging heavy books around all day.
You’re on your tablet just as much as you using your laptop
That removable keyboard cover – not to mention, the adjustable kickstand and ChromeOS in tablet mode – makes this Chromebook easy to use as a tablet.
Don’t buy it if…
You’re looking for something super cheap
With a price tag over $500, the HP Chromebook x2 11 isn’t exactly inexpensive. You’re paying for portability and higher-end features here.
You want hardware that’s more seamless to use
The keyboard cover comes with an excellent keyboard, but the rest of it is a pain to use.