At Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Tech Summit 2017, the company is pushing their Snapdragon mobile computing platform to beyond just smartphones. We saw ASUS come up with a convertible notebook form factor for their NovaGo. Meanwhile, HP is another strong proponent of the always-connected notebook and they’ve implemented a detachable notebook form factor for their Envy x2 – much like a Surface product.
Also running on the Snapdragon 835 mobile processor, the HP Envy x2 manages to cram it all within a 6.9mm thin build and weighs under 700 grams! Granted it’s a 12.3-inch screen (1,920 x 1,280 pixels resolution) and it’s a detachable notebook, as opposed to the ASUS NovaGo with its convertible form factor on a 13.3-inch screen that's larger and weighs more, the two always-connected notebooks are gunning for a very different user base.
Here’s the Envy x2 with its detachable keyboard cover strapped on and as you can tell, it looks classy. Note that the cover actually added notable weight to the device, so if you intend to tote around the Envy x2 with the keyboard cover all the time, it will weigh closer to the ASUS NovaGo and that’s not much of weight savings.
The saving grace for the keyboard cover is that it looks and feels durable with a leathery finish – something we’ve not encountered on other detachable notebooks and their accompanying covers. Take a closer look, the texture looks good, yes?
This is how you prop the Envy x2 with its keyboard cover attachment, which integrates a 110 to 150-degree adjustable stand. The cover attachment also comes with a loop to hold the accompanying Windows Ink pen in place. In this view, you can also appreciate the device’s CNC machined aluminum build. Coupled with the leather-like finish keyboard cover, the combination does make the Envy x2 look sophisticated.
The right profile of the Envy x2 shows the B&O marking, hinting a collaboration to fine tune the audio output (and not to mention, a touch of class). On this side of the device, you’ll find a headphone output jack, volume buttons and a nano-SIM slot. Like the ASUS counterpart, the Envy x2 is equipped with a Snapdragon X16 LTE modem for gigabit download throughput and is the reason for its always-on/connected marketing as it’s always available at an instant – just like your smartphone.
On the left profile, the notebook comes with a USB Type-C port and a microSD card slot for expandable storage needs. Note that it only has a single USB port and it doubles up as a charging port too. Fortunately, the notebook boasts 20 hours of always-connected battery uptime, so you probably won’t be needing to charge this anytime inconvenient.
The HP Envy x2 sports a 13MP world-view rear camera that’s more advanced than standard ones and is able to sense depth information to help support mixed reality applications such as this example.
Here’s a screenshot of its system properties. Like the ASUS, the HP unit is also loaded with Windows 10 S and you can upgrade to Windows 10 Pro if you want to run traditional applications not certified by Microsoft. The catch is that x86 apps will run via an emulator and we all know how well that has progressed in the past. We'll find out in a few months if the Snapdragon 835 can pull off a decent experience. For now, here’s more info about the HP Envy x2.