HP Split 13 X2 review - hands on
Posted on 12 Sep 2013 at 22:38, by Tom Morgan
HP was among the first manufacturers to launch a hybrid laptop with the Envy X2, and although we weren't impressed with its small size and basic specifications, that hasn't stopped HP selling a fair few of them. So many, in fact, that the company is expanding the range with the Split 13 X2. It uses the same magnetic hinge, but virtually everything else has been changed to create an altogether more modern hybrid.
Part 13in tablet, part keyboard dock, the Split X2 runs the full version of Windows 8 and detaches with the flick of a switch. Once docked, the keyboard makes it feel like any other laptop, but when taking apart you've got a huge tablet that can still run all your desktop apps.
The 1,366x768 display won't blow you away, although at 13in it's more than big enough to get most everyday tasks done and still has the pixels to play 720p videos at their native resolution.
Power comes from an Intel 4th Generation Core i5 CPU and 4GB of RAM. The tablet contains a solid state disk for the operating system, and the keyboard has room for either a 320GB or 500GB hard disk for storage.
It also makes room for an HDMI video output, one USB3 port, one regular USB, SD and MicroSD card slots and Intel WiDi wireless display technology. Naturally it also includes Beats audio, although whether this is enough to sell you an £700 hybrid laptop remains to be seen.
HP's keyboards have been decent in the past, and from what we could tell during our short time with the Split X2 it looks set to continue that trend. The Chiclet-style keys are full-size and comfortable to type on, but there's no keyboard backlight to help you write in the dark.
Although HP issn't using Gorilla Glass, the Split X2 had a smash-proof screen - indeed, the bashing it took from a set of keys certainly suggests it can withstand punishment. It doesn't have an impact on readability either, at least in HP's dark demo room. We don't know how it will look in bright sunshine.
UPDATE: We've heard from HP that the Envy Split 13 X2 will be going on sale in the UK from October onwards. Prices will start from £699 direct from the HP online store and from most major retailers. Once we get a little closer to launch we'll hopefully be able to bring you a full review.
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