The HP Pavilion x2 ($329.99 as tested) is a detachable-hybrid Windows tablet at a budget price. It is a little light on features and speed, but it makes up for those drawbacks with long battery life and the added utility of a detachable In-Plane Switching (IPS) touch screen. It’s sleeker, and in some ways, more comfortable to use than the Editors’ Choice Asus Transformer Book T100HA, but it doesn’t quite measure up on specs and features. Still, it’s a very capable alternative, especially if you plan on using your system all day, untethered.
Design and Features
The compact, all-white polycarbonate body of the Pavilion x2 gives the system a sleek look. Other color options include silver or an orangey red. The tablet measures 0.78 by 10.39 by 6.81 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.58 pounds with the keyboard dock attached. Removing the dock slims the tablet down to 0.39 inches thick and 1.36 pounds. It’s just as portable as the Asus T100HA and just a smidge lighter than the Acer Aspire Switch 10 E (SW3-013-11N8).
The magnetic latch is very similar to the one on the Acer Switch 10E. It’s a snap to remove the tablet, and then reattach it to the keyboard base without having to fiddle with a sliding latch, as you do on the older Asus Transformer Book T100. There are guides built into the hinge that align the electrical connection for the keyboard. The magnets are strong enough to keep the tablet and keyboard attached if you pick the system up by its screen with one hand, but also easy enough to detach with a simple two-handed tug (one hand on the keyboard, the other gripping the tablet).
You can also attach the tablet to the keyboard with the screen facing in the opposite direction, allowing you to use the touch screen with the keyboard out of sight. The system’s modes include Notebook, Tablet (either with the tablet detached from or backed by the closed keyboard), Stand, and Tent. On the whole, it feels much more secure and usable than detachable-hybrid tablets with fixed keyboard angles, like the Lenovo Miix 2 (10-inch).
In Notebook mode, the Pavilion x2 feels more balanced than the Asus T100HA, which has a tendency to tip over if you put too much pressure on the screen. The 10.1-inch display has a 1,280-by-800 resolution, which is a bit lower than the 1,366-by-768 resolution screens that many budget laptops like the Lenovo S21e-20 offer, but you’d be hard-pressed to notice the difference, even if the two are sitting side by side. Since it uses an IPS panel, viewing angles on the Pavillion x2 are wide. The system’s Bang Olufsen-branded speakers flank the screen, but having them angled toward your face doesn’t help much with audio quality. The speakers are barely loud enough for a small, quiet room.
The system’s compact form factor means that the keyboard is smaller than usual, with relatively tiny keys. This is evident in the quarter-height row of function keys along the top row. While the keyboard is a little cramped, I found it easy to get used to for quick typing sessions. If you want a full-size keyboard, you need a larger 11-inch or 12-inch system. The one-piece touchpad is wide and easy to use.
There’s a USB-C connector on the right side of the tablet for charging, as well as for connecting USB-C-equipped peripherals, though not at the same time. You can also connect USB 3.0 devices to the USB-C port with a third-party adapter (not included). The right edge also holds a micro HDMI port, a micro SD slot, and a USB 2.0 port. I would have preferred a full-size HDMI port, since micro HDMI is inconvenient to use in general because it requires an adapter cable (also not included). Wireless connections include Bluetooth and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The system comes with 64GB of eMMC flash storage, which is limited to 45.6GB when you account for the operating system (Windows 10) and preloaded software. The latter includes apps and links for Amazon, Candy Crush, Flipboard, Minecraft, Netflix, Next Issue, Photoshop Express, Priceline, Snapfish, Wild Tangent Games, and the Weather Channel, all of which are removable. The tablet is covered by a one-year warranty.
The Pavilion x2 is equipped with an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 processor with Intel HD Graphics and 2GB of memory. This is sufficient for simple day-to-day computing tasks, as evidenced by the system’s average score of 1,478 points on the PCMark 8 Work Conventional test. That’s ahead of the 10-inch Lenovo Miix 2 (1,392), but behind the Asus T100HA (1,698), which has 4GB of memory.
Because of its 2GB of system memory, the Pavilion x2 couldn’t run the Adobe Photoshop CS6 test, but it completed the Handbrake test in 7 minutes 38 seconds, and scored 54 points on the CineBench test. That’s somewhat faster than the Asus T100HA on Handbrake, but much slower on CineBench. You can transcode the occasional video on the Pavilion x2, but we’d recommend a more powerful system if you’re thinking of doing photo editing or other multimedia work.
On our battery rundown test, the Pavilion x2 lasted an excellent 10 hours 39 minutes, which was just ahead of the Acer T100HA’s 10:32. That means you’ll be able to use the system all day, and then some. It outlasted tablets like the E-Fun Nextbook 10.1 (5:52) and the Lenovo Miix 2 (7:47), although the Acer Aspire Switch 10 E returned an even more impressive 13:30 on the same test.
The HP Pavilion x2 is a capable choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive detachable-hybrid tablet, especially if you’re going to be using it unplugged for most of the day. It’s also better balanced on your lap than other detachable-hybrid tablets we’ve tested. The Asus Transformer Book T100HA remains our Editors’ Choice for budget detachable-hybrid tablets, however, due to its extra ports and larger system memory, at a list price that’s $30 less than the Pavilion x2.