Among the latest device types going to the market may be the 2-in-1 — a tablet that, with the help of a keyboard, becomes a full-fledged computer. This is not a fresh idea — there were Bluetooth keyboards designed for tablets practically since “tablet” became a tech term. And there were tablets that was included with attachable keyboards aswell. But now it appears like the category has matured to the idea that the 2-in-1 sometimes appears just as one computer substitute, especially for folks who travel and use their systems to create presentations..
HP’s recent contribution to the market is its HP Elite x2, which is designed for a retail price of $855 (Amazon price – What’s this?). What sets the Elite x2 apart from some its opponents — such as for example Microsoft’s Surface Pro, Apple’s iPad Pro and Samsung’s Galaxy TabPro S — is that it’s aimed squarely at the enterprise user. HP is pushing not merely the Elite x2’s usability, but also its security and its own capability to be repaired by in-house IT departments.
Just like the Surface Pro 4 and the TabPro S, the 12-in. Elite x2 is a Windows 10 system which includes a detachable keyboard. Actually, the package includes both keyboard and an HP Active Pen stylus (constructed with technology from Wacom), which sets it aside from both Surface Pro (which charges extra because of its keyboard) and the TabPro S (which doesn’t have a pen).
The tablet is housed within an attractive silver metal casing with an individual black stripe along the upper edge. The energy and volume buttons are on the left edge (when the tablet is in typing mode), while two Bang & Olufsen speakers are on either end of the most notable edge. With the keyboard attached, the tablet measures 11.8 x 8.4 x 0.3 in. and weighs 2.65 lb. (1.8 lb. without the keyboard).
The 12-in. Full HD display runs a high resolution of 1920 x 1280; it really is bright, clean and quite satisfactory, though it does not have the intense, rich colors of an AMOLED screen including the one on the TabPro S. I also found the audio tracks sufficient however, not impressive.
Considering the specs
The Elite x2 also sets itself apart for the reason that it offers several permutations. The standard configuration (which lists at $899 on owner site) ships with an Intel Core M3 processor with 4GB RAM; 128GB of SSD storage with a micro Sdcard slot for additional storage; a USB-C port with Thunderbolt for docking and charging; a USB 3.0 port (in order that you have somewhere to plug in your entire non-USB-C devices); a 2-megapixel front-facing camera and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.
The Elite x2 offers other configurations, providing a selection of processor, memory and storage; the best end happens to be a $1,899 model with Windows 10 Pro, a sixth-generation Intel Core M7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
The review unit was fitted with a Core M5 processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, which prices at $1,349. (For comparison, a Surface Pro 4 with an identical configuration and a keyboard includes a vendor price of $1,430.)
PCWorld’s Mark Hachman puts the HP Elite x2 through its paces.
A fantastic keyboard and stand
A very important factor that HP has definitely gotten right — the keyboard. I’ve used the keyboards for the top 3 and the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S extensively, and sampled both keyboards for the top 4, and this may be the preferred one I’ve applied to a 2-in-1 yet. The keys are spaced well and also have excellent travel; actually, it could compare favorably with many notebook keyboards.
As with the top Pro, the Elite x2’s keyboard can sit completely flat or use a narrow fold near to the top to add magnetically to underneath of the tablet’s bezel, forming hook incline that means it is better to type on.
And the keyboard does not have to be detached from the tablet if you are finished working; just lift it against the display to create a cover. The trunk of the keyboard is covered with a felt-like material, and there’s a little ridge that your fingers can match, which makes it simple to carry.
The u-shaped are a symbol of the Elite x2 folds right out of the back of the tablet. Although it doesn’t have quite the number of motion that the top Pro’s stand has, within that range you can adapt it to any position you find comfortable (unlike the TabPro S, which includes only two set positions). And it worked quite nicely on my lap.
An HP rep demonstrates the way the Elite x2 could be opened for in-house repairs.
One more thing about the stand is that it’s actually user-replaceable in the event of damage. Actually — which is where HP varies widely from its competition — the Elite x2 itself can in fact be disassembled and repaired (although HP reps cautioned that was probably something only experienced IT staffers must do). At the recent press demo, a rep demonstrated by unscrewing four tiny screws and by using a suction cup to lift the screen from the machine, revealing the parts within.
Other features and test outcomes
I had no problem dealing with the HP Active Pen; although there is absolutely no destination to store it on the tablet or the keyboard, HP includes two loops which can be mounted on the tablet. And the cameras are very satisfactory for video conferencing and other business purposes.
HP also adds its HP Client Security software, with a password manager and a range of other security features, not forgetting the fingerprint reader on the trunk of the tablet.
I ran Futuremark’s PCMark 8 Windows benchmark 3 x; the Elite x2 averaged a quite reasonable 2746, which is at the region of good performance. (Compared, the Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, that includes a Core M3 processor and 4GB of RAM, ran at 2372.)
Battery test outcomes were good, however, not overwhelming. On PCMark’s battery rundown test — which puts the machine through a reliable diet of word processing, data crunching and video — the Elite x2 came in at 4 hr. 7 min. The TabPro lasted about one hour more, at 5 hr. 12 min. With normal, less intensive usage, the Elite x2 should last you through a day.