The Good The HP Envy x2 has a clean, comfortable design and feels lightweight in tablet form. It has excellent battery life, and works just as well as a laptop as it does as a tablet.
The Bad The laptop mode is top-heavy, and the awkward tablet detachment mechanism isn’t perfect; it has limited ports; and a slower Atom processor means in performance it's far behind most ultrabooks, even though it’s priced like one.
The Bottom Line The HP Envy x2’s capacity to be a full Windows 8 tablet or dock with a keyboard works as well as advertised, provided you’re willing to live with slower performance at a high price. You’re paying for style.
Half-tablet, half-laptop, all Atom
Take a tablet; add a keyboard. Turn it into a laptop. Do it with full Windows 8. This is the dream of the HP Envy x2, and the dream, it seems, of Windows 8 in general. Break down the barrier between tablets and PCs. Create progressive computing. The future is now. Well, the future was also four months ago, when Hewlett-Packard first started showing off the Envy x2 in public.
We marveled then that the device was well-built, comfortable to hold, and, when you think about it, pretty shockingly practical. After all, theoretically, this is the best of both worlds: a laptop and a tablet in one. This is what I dreamed about all the way back to the teased-but-never-realthree years ago.
Slide a little tab, and the whole upper lid undocks and becomes its own multitouch tablet. But, at $849, the Envy x2 is more expensive than most ultraportable laptops and tablets...and far more expensive than those little, non-touch-screened, non-detachable-screened 11-inchers of old. It's also Intel Atom-powered, as opposed to having a far faster ultrabook-level processor. You're paying for style, and also for that clever split-function feature.