When I first looked at the ENVY x2, I knew that I was holding something unique. Beyond the sleek aluminum case – or the fact that this is a hybrid PC – it’s difficult to compare it to other computers on the store shelves. Do you stack it up against tablets? What about slim Laptops? You ask me, I always thought of the ENVY x2 as a nimble little laptop that one-ups a tablet at the same time. My quick two cents on the matter to follow....
Compared to a laptop: It’s tiny and slim. 3.1 pounds. 11.6-inch, 1366 by 768 touchscreen. It is one of the first little laptops to offer up the Intel Atom Z2760 processor. What does that mean, exactly, in terms of what it can do? The average day – watching videos, listening to music, hitting the Web….and if you needed to work it out, a full Office suite. (I should point out that the ENVY x2 runs the 32-bit version of Windows 8 -- so just keep that in mind with your software.) And, yes, you CAN play games on the ENVY x2 - just not the likes of Far Cry 3. Remember, this is meant to be a nimble superportable. Just the other day, I even gave you guys a quick loadout of software that I’ve put on the ENVY x2 for perspective on what the x2 is capable of doing. EVEN IF you never pop the screen off to go into tablet mode, you’ve got a great little machine that will last you the better part of a day without needing a recharge. But since you can pop off that screen….
Compared to a tablet: OK, let’s get this out of the way. The ENVY x2 costs $849. But you’re not just getting a shiny screen that pops off for your money. In fact, in order to stack up to what comes with the ENVY x2, you’ve got to make sure that some costly competing tablet is properly kitted out. Here’s the abbreviated shopping list for all the cash you'd really need to spend...
Premium 64GB Tablet: As much as $699
Aluminum Keyboard / screen cover: as much as $169 for an aftermarket add-on
Card adapter: $29 (just works for pictures)
HD output: $39 (component cables)
Supplemental battery power: $79
You’re spending $1,015 to get a fraction of what the ENVY x2 offers. This ain’t some fuzzy math talking.
With the ENVY x2, you’re getting a full-OS experience. No walled gardens. You want to download some games from Steam? Go for it. I recommend FTL. No, seriously, download that NOW. You wanna grab random files and drop them on a MicroSD card? No problem. In fact, like I mentioned the other day, this has expandable storage in both the tablet and the keyboard base. It has an HDMI output. There’s a full second battery in the base which effectively gives you all-day use out of the ENVY x2. There’s an NFC transmitter. It has USB ports…..and it’s all in one tidy little package. No extra wires, no dongles to dangle, no extra packs to lug around. It’s as easy as picking up a 3-pound laptop and just going. (The tablet portion weighs 1.5 pounds and the base weighs another 1.5 pounds).
So. You tell me – what is the better deal?
Expect to see a bunch more observations about life with an ENVY x2 soon enough. I’m going to try to live as much of my digital life as possible with this little guy and tell you all about it.