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.

hp-pavilion-x36011-inch-product-photos07.jpg
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.

hp-pavilion-x36011-inch-product-photos03.jpg
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

Find more shopping tips in our Laptop Buying Guide.

What you'll pay

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy

HP Pavilion x360

Part Number: F8C35AV

MSRP: $399.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

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