Tech Industry

HP prices Envy x2, its alternative to Microsoft Surface, iPad

Hewlett-Packard announces pricing of its high-end alternative to Microsoft's Surface RT tablet and Apple's iPad.

HP's 11.6-inch Envy x2 with it's well-integrated keyboard dock is an alternative to both Microsoft's Surface RT and Apple's iPad, albeit a pricey one.

Hewlett-Packard has priced its Envy x2 laptop-tablet hybrid at $849.99 -- a small tablet-laptop hybrid that runs the full version of Windows 8.

That price may be high for consumers, but HP is pushing it as a high-quality, high-end "hybrid PC" that effectively straddles both the laptop and tablet paradigms.

It comes with many of the ports found on a PC -- USB, HDMI, SD card slot -- a top-notch IPS display, a full-size keyboard with a large trackpad (what HP calls an Imagepad) for Windows 8 gestures, and a touch display that detaches to become a standalone 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablet.

And the 3.2-pound, all-aluminum device runs Windows 8 on top of Intel's latest power-efficient system-on-a-chip, the Z2760.

That means, of course, that it can run the traditional Microsoft Office suite as well as the millions of older Windows applications. Something, ironically, Microsoft's Surface RT tablet can't do.

HP CEO Meg Whitman, in fact, had some unflattering words for Surface today when speaking at a Gartner conference.

Surface "doesn't function like a laptop" and "lacks a keyboard you can do real work on," according to Whitman, as reported by ZDNet.

Competition for the Envy x2 includes Dell's $649 Latitude 10 -- sold only as a Windows 8 Pro tablet, without a keyboard dock. And Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2, also priced at $649.

Other Envy x2 features include Beats Audio, an HD Webcam, and an 8-megapixel camera, as well as near field communication (NFC) technology.

It is expected to be available in the United States on November 14.

See HP's press release for pricing and availabilty on all of HP's Windows 8 systems.

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