HP Envy x2 review

Laptop? Tablet? Ultrabook? Who cares, the HP Envy X2 is just plain awesome


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We liked

Overall the HP Envy x2 impressed us. Its outstanding industrial design really shows the potential of a tablet/laptop hybrid. There's little question this is the direction laptops will be heading going forward. After all, tablets are such powerful computers in their own right, there's no reason why they shouldn't also run full-featured desktop operating systems. It's just a waste of computer power to limit them.

We disliked

That said, the Envy x2 did show some of the limitations inherent in this hybridization. The major one we see is the difference between the ideal form factor for a laptop screen and a tablet. With a laptop, the bigger the screen, the better, as long as it doesn't increase the weight too much. A tablet, however, has to be comfortable to hold in your hands. A smaller form factor there has huge benefit. We're not sure if HP has found the happy medium between these two needs.

The biggest issue with this laptop is Windows 8. On the laptop side, it of course offers the widest range of apps and features. When used as a tablet, however, it's no match for iOS and Android in terms of app availability and overall optimization for the tablet user interface. This is sure to improve over time, but as of now, the limitations are real and undeniable.


In the end, though, we see so much potential in the Envy x2 we're willing to overlook some of its awkwardness. It's the type of device that is sure to improve over time, and it's showing the way to the undeniable future of ultralight laptops.