When I saw that the HP Chromebook x2 is a convertible machine that comes with a kickstand, my excitement for it went down a notch. Kickstands are mostly flimsy and bothersome to deal with. We saw that in Lenovo Chromebook Duet, too. However, upon playing around with the x2’s kickstand a little, I realized I judged it way too fast. The kickstand on this Chromebook is one of the sturdiest and most robust kickstands I have ever used.
I have got to give the x2 points for how simple and classy it is. Minimal in its design, it features plain natural silver aluminum body with a camera lens on the top-right and the brand logo in the middle. It has a set of pogo pins on the bottom that attach it to a full-sized, detachable lunar grey soft cover keyboard that comes as a part of the package. The accessories also include an HP Imagepad with multi-touch gesture support.
In terms of controls, apart part from the power button and a volume rocker, you get two SuperSpeed USB Type-C ports and a microSD Card slot. There’s also a front camera on the top. The aforementioned part of the x2 securely attaches to the keyboard. The keyboard and the kickstand are deep blue and exude sophistication by their build quality.
The x2 measures 9.94 x 6.96 inches and has a total thickness of 0.3 inches. Weighing only 1.23 lbs., it’s a lightweight machine built to enhance productivity on the go.
As mentioned above, the x2’s kickstand is excellent, was convenient to use and stayed in place the entire time. It didn’t move unnecessarily, staying solid as a rock to ensure I work without any annoyance. The stand also provides fairly good give, so you get a number of mounting options.
The touchpad is also a generous size making navigation easier though I felt that the keys could have been a little larger than they are. The current layout feels clustered.
The x2 sports an 11-inch diagonal display featuring 2.1K (2160 x 1440) resolution. It supports multi-touch, IPS technology and a 100% sRGB color gamut. It has fairly thick bezels and edge-to-edge glass. Its brightness score is 400 nits. With the x2 making use of the integrated Qualcomm Adreno, don’t expect it to run extremely graphic-intensive games.
I found the x2’s 11-inch screen a little too small for the Chromebook’s $469 price tag. If I’m paying that much for a machine, I’d at least expect it to provide me with a comfortable viewing experience. The kind of experience I got on the x2 is equivalent to that of a Chromebook in the $2-300 range. Considering I can simply purchase a mid-range laptop at the price the x2 is available at, its display defiantly brings its score down. The thick bezels on all four sides don’t help with the screen size either.
The x2’s 400-nit display is impressive for a Chromebook considering Chromebooks usually feature around 250 nits. While IPS technology and a 100% color gamut are pretty standard features in most laptops now, the 2.1K quality isn’t. The x2 takes things beyond the standard FHD display featuring excellent graphics. The results are sharp, clear and focused. The colors have variety to them and really pop.
The display also offers quite responsive touch. Though I preferred navigating the x2 with my fingers instead of the stylus provided. The pen didn’t offer the same level of responsiveness that my fingers did.
For a Chromebook, the x2 did pretty well. However, I’m not sure if I can say the same about a Chromebook as expensive as this. The x2 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c compute platform, the Chrome OS, an 8GB working memory and a 128GB storage. I could multitask on this but when I had too many tabs open, and the number of programs I had open exceeded five, I sensed the machine slowing down a little. While I wouldn’t say the x2 is a slow or laggy Chromebook, I also wouldn’t recommend it for hardcore use.
The battery life on this machine is insane, though. It ran for a total of 11 hours which is impressive as is, but especially insane considering how many things I was working on at the same time. Its 2-cell, 32 Li-ion polymer battery came through with that long life and took only an hour and a half to be fully charged. The battery life made me truly realize how well this machine is suited to be a travel companion.
The x2 features an 8MP HD wide vision camera with integrated dual array digital mics, and a 5MP front-facing cam. The camera results are not too shabby. X2’s speakers are tuned by Bang & Olufsen. The dual speakers produce a fairly nice sound with excellent treble.
All in all, I believe the x2 has its pros and cons. But I wouldn’t recommend spending $469 on this machine.
Is It Hardcore?
For all the flaws we believe the x2 featured, its price is a little too steep. Apart from that, it has a very impressive battery life, great ergonomics, and a beautiful body.