The aptly-named ENVY x2 is going to make a lot of laptops jealous. At first blush, it looks like a thin, brushed-metal machine. But when you flip a slick magnetic toggle and lift out the 11.6-inch display, you suddenly get it – this Hybrid PC packs all the important guts you need behind the screen. Are you the kinda guy that’s constantly debating whether to take a laptop, tablet (or both!) for the day? Here's your next PC.
Since I already put it out there…that base? It has a small connector interface that plugs into the tablet portion…and two additional magnetic struts lock it all into place. As a test, I lifted the ENVY x2 by the screen and it kept everything secure and together. When you have that screen plugged in, just think of this hybrid as you would an awesome-looking super-svelte portable. In that respect, it’s got everything you’d expect, coming complete with ports, keyboard, ImagePad….and extra battery life when you need it. (Unfortunately, I don’t have battery life scores to share quite yet…but when I do, I’ll update this story and let you know about it!) As for the on-board ports you get an SD card slot, micro SD, HDMI a couple USB ports…oh, yeah, and the whole thing – keyboard and display together? It weighs 3.1 pounds. That’s it.
Now, with the display lifted out, I started eyeballing the screen/ 1.5-pound tablet portion on its own merits. Looking around the edges, I spotted the Beats Audio logo…so, yep, quality sound experience on the ENVY x2. If you need me to go into that more, just check out this primer on Beats Audio in our computers. On the back, embedded in the brushed metal, you’ll spot an 8-megapixel camera facing outwards for when you want to snap pictures or capture video. A button on the back toggles the quick sleep function (think of the idle state like your smartphone) while a metal button-strip lets you adjust volume. Lurking somewhere under that lid is also an NFC chip – so you’ll be able to share URLs, photos, files….with a tap. Otherwise, just flip this over and check out that display.
The 11.6-inch screen looks crisp and has a native resolution of 1366 by 768 on the 400nit, IPS panel. While I didn’t get a chance to make off with one for my own testing, it should look good indoors and out. And, as you may have guessed, as a tablet it supports touch. It has multi-touch recognition…or you could go for the optional stylus if you wanted my precise on-screen input.
Powering the ENVY x2 is an Intel System-on-Chip (aka SOC) – that’s all we are able to say right now on that front. I also can’t tell you about the price quite yet, but you can definitely expect to hear more about this guy before he shows up this holiday season.
Speaking of hearing more, I had a chance to sneak into HP’s design studio to chat more with Stacy Wolff about the design process and how the ENVY x2 came to be made. For example, I was curious about why we chose to put the power button and volume controls on the back of the lid as opposed to around the edges like many tablets. Stacy explained to me that in part was to prevent accidental button presses that usually occur when you hold a tablet along its edges. He then went on to tell me that, "The volume buttons are like shift paddles on a sports car and the power button is press-and-hold....more phone-like. I even got the chance to check out some of the ENVY x2 prototypes that were created along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for a video interview series - and a whole lot more - from my recent trip, soon!
I’m not gonna lie. I can totally see this as my next PC. I’m saying this as a Spectre user….and I currently have technolust in my eyes after playing with it. OK, fine, I work for HP – you may think I’m supposed to say that, but just go back to the features I just listed (and pictures I’ve posted) and you tell me what you think.