HP Pavilion x360 (11-inch) review: HP Pavilion x360 offers Yoga-like flexibility for less

Compared to many other ultraportable laptops, even the $899 11-inch MacBook Air, the x360 has a very generous selection of ports, including HDMI out, an SD card slot, and a full-size Ethernet jack. That's great -- if you need a small laptop with the ability to easily connect to a wired Internet setup, it's a big vote in this system's favor.

The Pavilion x360, in either its $399 base model or the $474 upgrade we tested, has the same CPU, a 2.16GHz Intel Pentium N3530. That's the exact same processor as in our Lenovo Yoga 2 11-inch unit, although that hybrid can be configured with Intel Core i-series CPUs for a few hundred dollars more.

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Sarah Tew/CNET
If you expect mainstream laptop performance, on par with your 15-inch or larger $1,000-plus machine, you're not going to get that. Both the x360 and the Yoga 2 felt sluggish at times, especially when working in the traditional Windows desktop view and menus or when starting up. To Microsoft's credit, the tile-based Windows 8 interface is fast and responsive with virtually any processor, and the preloaded native Windows 8 apps in it work great.

Comparing this system with the Yoga 2, the x360 ran some of our benchmark tests faster, but not by a large margin. The extra RAM, 8GB versus 4GB, likely gets the credit here. Trading up to a Core i-series processor would yield a big boost in application performance but would also cost much more.

Battery life is always a strong selling point for both ultraportable laptops and tablets, so you'd think HP would make this a major feature of the x360 hybrid. Unfortunately, despite the low-power CPU, battery life here was merely average, running for 4 hours 47 minutes in our video-playback battery-drain test. The Yoga 2, with the same CPU, ran a bit longer at 5 hours 35 minutes. Ironically, you really have to trade up to a more powerful Core i-series system to get the full benefit of Intel's recent battery-life gains.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Conclusion

By taking the Yoga's popular foldback hinge design and making it available for as little as $399/£329/AU$599, the HP Pavilion x360 performs a valuable service, and should be commended for that, as well as for being a budget laptop with a better-than-expected typing experience and plenty of ports and connections.

If you're willing to work with the limited performance expectations that come from using a low-cost, low-power platform, it seems like a sure thing on paper, but the frustrating screen quality is enough to make me want to spend a little more for the 11-inch version of Lenovo Yoga 2.

Handbrake multimedia multitasking test

Lenovo Ideatab Miix 2
1,001
Lenovo Yoga 2 (11-inch)
760
Dell XPS 11
751
HP Pavilion 11 x360
746
Lenovo Yoga 2 (13-inch)
475

Note:

Shorter bars indicate better performance

Adobe Photoshop CS5 image-processing test

Lenovo Yoga 2 (11-inch)
599
HP Pavilion 11 x360
477
Dell XPS 11
341
Lenovo Yoga 2 (13-inch)
310

Note:

In seconds; shorter bars indicate better performance

Apple iTunes encoding test

Lenovo Ideatab Miix 2
398
Lenovo Yoga 2 (11-inch)
313
HP Pavilion 11 x360
312
Dell XPS 11
167
Lenovo Yoga 2 (13-inch)
124

Note:

In seconds; shorter bars indicate better performance

Video playback battery drain test

HP Pavilion 11 x360
287
Lenovo Yoga 2 (11-inch)
335
Dell XPS 11
388
Lenovo Yoga 2 (13-inch)
435
Lenovo Ideatab Miix 2
442

Note:

In minutes; longer bars indicate better performance

System Configurations

HP Pavilion 11 x360

Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.16GHZ Intel Pentium N3520 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz;32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 500GB HDD

Lenovo Yoga 2 (11-inch)

Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.16GHZ Intel Pentium N3520 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz;32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 500GB HDD

Lenovo Yoga 2 (13-inch)

Windows 8.1 (64-bit); 1.6GHz; Intel Core i5-4200; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz, 1792MB (shared) Intel HD Graphics 4400; 500GB SSHD

Dell XPS 11

Windows 8.1 (64-bit); 1.5GHz Intel Core i5-4210Y; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 1792MB (sharedl) Intel HD Graphics 4200; 128GB SSD

Lenovo Ideatab Miix 2

Windows 8.1 (32-bit); 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3740; 2GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 128GB SSD

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Color Red
  • Weight 3.08 lbs
  • CPU Intel Pentium N3520
  • Installed Size 4 GB
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