You didn't think the world's top PC maker was going to sit out the laptop / tablet hybrid trend, now did you? HP, one of the last OEMs to share its Windows 8 plans, just announced the Envy x2, an 11-inch tablet that comes with a keyboard dock. And while that form factor may already seem tired, HP is dressing it up with some higher-end features, including an aluminum build, NFC, pen support, Beats Audio and a 400-nit, IPS display. (The resolution is 1,366 x 768, as is the case for many of these 11-inch Windows 8 hybrids.)
The tablet itself measures about 8.5mm thick and weighs 1.5 pounds, while the dock weighs 1.6. Unlike competing products, the device combines magnets and a mechanical latch to keep the tablet from falling out of its dock (watch us manhandle the x2 in the video below to see what we're talking about). All told, we were impressed by how surprisingly light the tablet and dock feel -- given the metal armor encasing it all, it's easy to assume otherwise.
Under the hood, the x2 runs an Atom-based Clover Trail processor. Though HP isn't ready to talk battery life, we've noticed that every other OEM releasing a Clover Trail device is promising between nine and 10 hours of runtime, so we expect the x2 to deliver comparable performance. What's more, the dock has a built-in battery of its own, so you'll definitely have some reserve power there. Poke around on the dock and you'll find two USB ports, HDMI output and a full-size SD slot. The tablet itself is home to an 8-megapixel rear camera and microSD slot, in case the 64GB of built-in storage isn't capacious enough.
Right now, it's unknown how much the x2 will cost, or when, exactly, it will go on sale, except that it's expected to arrive in time for the holiday shopping season. For now, feel free to poke around our hands-on photo gallery, and avail yourselves of our walk-through, embedded just past the break.
HP Envy x2 hands-on
Edgar Alvarez contributed to this report.
HP Unveils Innovative Multitouch Hybrid PC and Ultrabooks
PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 30, 2012 - HP today announced three consumer notebooks featuring multitouch displays, including a uniquely designed hybrid PC that gives people more choice in how they access information.
The HP ENVY x2 is a powerful and ultrathin hybrid PC with the advantages of two devices in one. As a notebook that doubles as a tablet, the HP ENVY x2 has a detachable screen that becomes a full tablet when separated from the keyboard via a seamless magnetic latch. Customers no longer have to choose between a product that lets them create rich content and another that lets them enjoy entertainment on the go-they can have both in one device.
The HP SpectreXT TouchSmart UltrabookTM and HP ENVY TouchSmart UltrabookTM 4 bring the intuitive power of touch to ultramobile PCs.
"Consumers want the flexibility to move between creating rich documents and losing themselves in a great movie," said James Mouton, senior vice president and general manager, Personal Computer Global Business Unit, HP. "With the HP ENVY x2, customers can have it all, and the touch experience on these three new notebooks brings out the best of Windows 8."
These notebook PCs are the first HP products announced with Microsoft® Windows® 8; additional notebooks, desktops and tablets will be announced later in 2012.
HP ENVY x2-the right device for the right time, every time
The HP ENVY x2 solves the "Do I bring my notebook or tablet?" dilemma. Consumers get the power of a notebook and the freedom of a tablet in one stylish, lightweight device.
Featuring a sleek aluminum finish and an innovative hinge with magnets that smoothly guide the tablet into place, the HP ENVY x2 weighs 3.1 pounds. When separated, the tablet portion weighs just 1.5 pounds.
Customers can interact directly with the optimized Windows 8 touch interface on the HP ENVY x2's vivid 11.6-inch diagonal HD touch display. Ultrawide viewing angles and a bright, 400-nit In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel provide a superb visual experience indoors and outdoors, while an HD webcam on the front and an 8-megapixel camera on the back capture high-quality photos and video.
The HP ENVY x2 also features Beats Audio for the best-sounding, richest audio experience available on a PC. An optional stylus offers added creativity, giving customers the freedom to write, draw and navigate with added accuracy.
The HP ENVY x2 also makes sharing and staying connected with friends and family a breeze. A new HP Connected Photo application seamlessly syncs photos across multiple devices and offers basic editing options and instant-sharing capabilities for social networks. HP Connected Music powered by Meridian allows consumers to experience music downloads, streaming services and internet radio all in one convenient place.
The HP ENVY x2 uses solid-state memory designed for improved reliability and faster startup times. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology lets users share content, including photos, contacts and URLs, with a simple tap.
HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook-a premium touch experience
With Windows 8, the HP TouchSmart experience expands beyond the desktop to deliver multitouch technology to notebooks.
Featuring a 15.6-inch diagonal multitouch Radiance Full HD display with IPS technology, the HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook delivers strong performance and the ability to go beyond keyboard and mouse with an optimized touch experience.
Measuring 17.9 millimeters (mm) thin and weighing 4.77 pounds, this premium Ultrabook stands out from the crowd with a sophisticated all-metal design featuring edge-to-edge glass, a soft-touch base for comfort and grip, a glass touchpad and tilted speakers with Beats Audio for optimal sound.
The HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook is HP's first notebook with Intel® ThunderboltTM technology for blazing-fast transfer of music, movies and data to external devices. HP USB Boost technology charges devices via USB ports while the Ultrabook is on or off.
The Ultrabook delivers great performance with the latest Intel CoreTM processors, an mSATA solid-state drive with Intel Rapid Start, Intel Identity Protection
Technology, Intel Anti-Theft Technology, Intel Smart Response and Intel Smart Connect technologies, and a full array of ports, including Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and HDMI.
The notebook also features exclusive HP innovations, including HP CoolSense for a noticeably cooler PC; an HP Imagepad for precise multifinger and gesture navigation; HP ProtectSmart for added hard-drive protection; an HP TrueVision HD Webcam; and applications such as HP Connected Photo and HP Connected Music for easy access to photos, music and more.
The HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook offers a clean software image with fully loaded versions of entertainment and security software and a concierge phone line for technical support dedicated exclusively for HP Spectre customers.
For entertainment, full versions of Adobe Photoshop® Elements 10 and Adobe® Premiere Elements 10 bring powerful photo- and video-editing capabilities, and sMedio 360 and HP Connected Music deliver easy media access between PCs and mobile devices.
To safeguard confidential data and thwart cyberthreats, the notebook is preloaded with one year of Absolute Data Protect, two years of Norton Internet Security, and Intel Anti- Theft for remote data protection.
The Ultrabook also includes 90 days of complimentary HP SmartFriend Setup Service, which offers expedited, one-on-one assistance to help customers get their new PCs up and running fast. HP SmartFriend Complete Service gives customers answers to how-to questions for setting up Wi-Fi, removing a virus, using new software or backing up files.
HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4-the power of touch
Featuring an eye-catching metal design, the HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 offers a 14-inch multitouch HD display, measures 23mm thin and weighs 4.77 pounds.
A backlit keyboard, up to 8 hours of battery life, a booming subwoofer with Beats Audio and an optional AMD graphics card with 2 GB of graphics memory allow customers to power through their day.
The HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 delivers powerful performance with the latest Intel processors, solid-state drive options, and the same Intel technologies available on the HP SpectreXT TouchSmart Ultrabook. HP innovations such as HP CoolSense, HP Imagepad, HP ProtectSmart, HP TrueVision HD Webcam, HP Connected Photo, HP Connected Music and HP Connected Backup also are included.
Pricing and availability
- The HP ENVY x2 is expected to be available in the United States for the holidays. Pricing will be available at a later date.
- The HP Spectre XT TouchSmart Ultrabook is expected to be available in the United States in December with a starting price of $1,399.99.
- The HP ENVY TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 is expected to be available in the United States for the holidays. Pricing will be available at a later date.