HP was one of the OEM partners that introduced a new laptop computer powered by Snapdragon at Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit in Maui, Hawaii. The HP Envy x2 is a skinny 12.3-inch laptop built with a removable tablet chassis. It is essentially a thin table that connects to a Surface Pro keyboard/stand with strong magnets. HP has approximately 20 hours of video playback and weeks of power in standby mode.
Unlike Lenovo IdeaPad 720s, which tries to be a good productivity laptop, the HP Envy x2 looks very sleek and thin. With dimensions of 293 × 210.2 × 6.9 mm, it looks like a genius Android tablet, but it runs Windows 10 S from the factory.
If you are not familiar with Windows 10 S, it is a simplified, more secure and optimized version of Windows that only runs applications from the Windows Store. You may want to check if the apps you need have the equivalent of a store, but many commonly used cases are covered, although we expect the road to have many problems as people have become accustomed to downloading random applications from the Internet and running them. With luck, they now have store equivalents.
The HP Envy x2 design is extremely slippery. When looking around, you will not find any escape and escape of hot air. At the moment, laptops run Snapdragon are fanless designs, and the thermal design point (TDP) is not expected to reach even 5W. PCs commonly have a TDP of 15W, yet many that use an Intel Core i3 processor, which is a line of CPU products with lower performance. TDP is a metric for thermal dissipation, but it is commonly used when talking about laptops, since it correlates somewhat with the use of energy (Intel made it popular). The more power used, the more heat is created and needs to dissipate.
HP Envy x2 has one USB-C port in its machined monobloc aluminum chassis. The computer seems very rigid and feels solid.
The detachable keyboard is made primarily of plastic and works similarly to the Surface Pro keyboard: it connects to the tablet with a powerful magnet. The keyboard also serves as a protective cover and a backing bracket. The design of the stand is well done and can accommodate angles between 110 and 150 degrees. It is possible to open it to 180 degrees if you want to place the PC flat and still have a usable keyboard.
With a 1.3mm keystroke and a chiclet key design, the keyboard feels comfortable to use during a short test. It has a bit of flexibility when writing because it is very thin. In general, this is a bit detrimental to maximum convenience and typing speed (depending on your style), but the quality of the keyboard is high within this product style.
HP Envy x2 Specifications
Photo Credit: Ubergizmo
The HP Envy x2 viewing quality seemed very good. We didn’t have tools to measure the brightness independently, but it seemed to be somewhere around 350 and 450 NIT, which is quite common for laptops today.
The colors were nice and saturated, and the black levels were very decent. People would be satisfied with the level of image quality.
The 1080p resolution (FHD or 1920 × 1080) is a good choice for a 12.3-inch tablet. Few people like the extra sharpness of a higher PPI screen, but we expect this PC to be rated at a level where 1080p is expected. Soon we will know with certainty. The phones already have higher resolution screens, so we know that the hardware can manage more.
The HP Envy x2 PC always connected has a battery capacity of 49 Wh (watt-hours), which is commonly used in the world of the laptop. You can compare that with the 11.5Wh of energy stored in the infinix note 4 pro smartphone, using the same processor and you have an idea of what kind of battery can be achieved. This is five times the capacity of a smartphone battery.
Obviously, some things are different. First, the screen on a laptop is much larger. However, we already know that Qualcomm can achieve ~ 20+hrs of video playback with a 1080p screen at ~ 150 NIT of brightness.
Video playback is often the best scenario because the video is decoded with special low power units and the screen becomes the main energy consumer. However, a normal use of the computer rarely involves using the system for more than a few hours at a time. Intermittent use means that energy saving functions become important when you do nothing or close the lid. That’s what Qualcomm is good because our phones already work like this.
Most likely, the battery life is excellent, as promised, and beyond what Intel PCs offer. However, the question is translated into performance: what kind of speed and user experience can we expect from that computer.
For now, it is a bit premature to conclude. First, we need to see if there are tests that run with native ARM code. We do not want to run benchmarking applications that run the emulated code, unless we want to measure the “emulated” x86 code in execution. Even in that scenario, the X86 code is not emulated line by line, but is recompiled in ARM code and cached. Therefore, there is a one-time hit for compilation; then the execution becomes native. Note that the compilation is not optimal because the compiler does not have a global knowledge of the application as the original compiler of the source code would do.
Still, we know that an Intel Core i5 or i7, especially the new 8th generation, should outperform Snapdragon 835 in sheet CPU performance. Even Qualcomm has said it targets specific core computing or productivity computing instead of high-end PC specifications. The question then becomes: Does it have a good performance.
As we played with the initial hardware of HP and ASUS, we felt that the overall user experience and responsiveness during UI browsing and web browsing were quite good. Next, we would like to run some tests with more applications, more web tabs and usual things that would be a somehow more challenging for the machine. This will have to wait when the unit arrives at our office. So far, this looks good, in fact, better than the ultra-thin Core-M feed we tried before (since then they have been changed to Core i5).
The performance of the LTE network is also an important factor to consider. Of course, Laptops have had SIM cards and wireless broadband for a while, but often go for smartphones when it comes to the quality of cellular connectivity. For once, a PC gets the best modem in the world of smartphones, fully integrated into the laptop.
From memory, I do not think there’s a Gigabit-class LTE PC powered by Intel in the market before you.
Where To Buy The HP Envy x2
N300,000- Buy Now
If your usage model is compatible with the use of Windows 10 S and Microsoft’s store applications only, you could receive a big change in the way you use a laptop. It is undeniable that today’s use is still influenced by the fact that the anxiety of the battery is established after 3-5 hours.
Laptops with Snapdragon technology offer a credible way to push this far enough so you do not have to carry the power supply with you, just like you would with a large battery pack.
It seems that hardware and software are almost ready for the always-connected PC (which also includes easy operator activation) and that real-world testing can start soon. We hope to complete this article with real-world data taken over several days and weeks.