HP Envy X2 review: A Windows 8 tablet to covet
Smart in design and stingy on power, HP's Envy convertible works well as a laptop or a tabletFollow @syegulalp
The HP Envy is aptly named. One glance and you'll be coveting it. Its brushed-aluminum exterior and elegant curves make it one of the sleekest -- and slickest -- convertible Ultrabooks now on the market. Its feature set and preloaded software aim it squarely at consumers, but if performance isn't paramount, there's little reason it can't be used in a small-office fleet as well.
Like the Acer Iconia, the Envy X2 is a dockable convertible, with its keyboard also serving as the dock. When attached, the keyboard provides extra battery life, full-sized USB and HDMI ports, an audio jack, and a full-sized SD card slot. Apart from the keyboard/dock, the tablet offers audio, front and back cameras, an independent charging port (it's the same style charging port as on the keyboard), and a microSD card slot. It's a little hard to pop cards out of the last slot without a tool, but it's a handy way to add storage to the Envy without a factory upgrade.
[ Check out these other Windows 8 tablet reviews on InfoWorld: Dell Latitude 10 • Acer Iconia W700 • Dell XPS 12 | Stay ahead of advances in mobile technology with InfoWorld's Mobile Edge blog and Mobilize newsletter. ]
The whole unit is only 3.1 pounds when docked (1.5 pounds undocked), and the magnetically guided docking latch itself is quite sturdy. When the unit clicks into position, you can literally feel it. Dual speakers on the bottom of the tablet, powered by Beats Audio, provide good sound even when the unit's docked.
One detail you're not likely to complain about with the Envy is battery life. Both the main unit and the keyboard have separate batteries, which together gives 10 or more hours of use by HP's estimates. (HP claims up to 19 hours depending on the workload.) I got a whopping 11 hours, 15 minutes in my Netflix rundown test when using both batteries.