HP is doubling down on "detachables," or hybrids, or whatever the buzzword of the week is for touch-screen laptops that convert into tablets. Starting at $599.99, both the 11- and 13-inch version of the company's Pavilion line are set to release on November 17.
The 11-inch HP Pavilion houses an Intel Bay Trail processor, includes dual batteries -- one in the tablet and another in the keyboard dock -- and features a 1,366x768-pixel-resolution IPS screen that purportedly gets as bright as 400 candelas per square meter; however, I must say that even at maximum brightness, the screen didn't seem all that bright to my eyes, even in a dimly lit room.
Both the back and front cameras are rated at 2 megapixels and while microSD card storage is available, like theit's only accessible with the tablet disconnected from the dock. The tablet/laptop will be available with both 64GB or 128GB of storage.
The device felt like a typical plastic laptop, but according to HP is a replacement for itsline, which featured a more solidly constructed aluminum body. The device also features a sort of polka-dot texture pattern on the back, that aesthetically just didn't sit well with me. It's possible I'm just not one for texture patterns on my devices.
The 13-inch X2 is essentially a larger version of the 11, but with a few more options. First off, you'll have the choice of an AMD A6 or Intel Haswell processor. Also, you can choose to include a built-in 500GB hard drive instead at the time of purchase.
Despite its larger screen, the 13-incher features the same resolution as the 11-inch X2, which means an even lower pixel density. HP says customer feedback was such that most customers couldn't tell the difference between this resolution or a higher one at this size. While I'd personally disagree, I do know a few people that can't tell the difference between a Retina iPad screen and a normal one. Doesn't mean I'm not still befuddled by this.
There's a 2-megapixel front camera, but no back camera. Again, according to HP, most of its customers understand how incredibly awkward it feels (and looks) to take pictures with a 13-inch slate in your hands and on this point I'd definitely agree. There are dual USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, and a full-size SD card slot on the keyboard base, in addition to the microSD slot on the bottom of the tablet.
Like the 11-inch, the 13-incher as well was disappointingly plasticky and did seem to lag a few seconds when opening apps. Each follows HP's laptop house design with power button and volume rocker on the back.
X2s represent HP's low-end line of Windows 8.1 hybrids ("detachables" sounds too dramatic to me) and come in fairly low at $599.99, but with a newly announced $349 Asus Transformer Book T100 running Windows 8.1 hitting about a month before, HP's devices will need to offer something essential and unique if it wants to compete. Hopefully, we'll have a better idea of each unit's strengths at the time of release.