The Pavilion x2 10t is a great option for kids or parents who want a cheap device to use at home and on the road. It can be an immersive media tablet, and it's a more-than-capable Web-surfing machine for when you want to do some shopping, check Facebook, or look up a recipe before cooking dinner. Starting at just $250 ($350 as reviewed), HP's affordable 2-in-1 comes in a trio of colors with a solid plastic body, more than 9 hours of battery life, and Bang & Olufsen speakers The one area in which this hybrid struggles is as a primary writing/typing machine, because of its undersized keyboard. Overall, though, the Pavilion x2 10t feels like a device punching above its weight class.
In white, the HP Pavilion x2 10t looks especially clean and frosty and features a sturdy plastic body, which aside from a little flex on its back, defies its budget price tag. However, if you're not down with the matte white plastic, you can choose from a more traditional turbo silver or bright sunset red for an extra $10. All of the Pavilion x2's controls are located in the top right corner and include buttons for Windows and power, along with volume rocker.
In order to transform the Pavilion x2 from laptop to tablet, all you need to do is grip the display while holding the keyboard in place, and simply lift away. The resistance of the magnets keeping the two halves together is spot on. In laptop mode, I was never concerned about either component randomly separating, but when trying to take them apart, there was no need to really tug or yank. Stability is aided by the addition of two black plastic tabs that slot into grooves on either side of the tablet, which prevents the wobble and rattle you sometimes get on detachable budget 2-in-1s.
Measuring 10.39 x 6.81 x 0.78 inches and weighing 2.62 pounds in laptop mode, the Pavilion x2 is thinner and lighter than competing detachable notebooks such as the Acer Aspire Switch 10E (10.31 x 7.09 x 1.01 inches and 2.82 pounds).
Keyboard and Touchpad
In order to fit a keyboard on the diminutive Pavilion x2's lower half, HP compromised on the size of its keys. I'm generally OK with the half-sized function row on top, but the 11 x 10mm keys are about 25 percent smaller than what you'd get on a typical keyboard with standard 12 x 12mm keys. Even with the relatively standard 1.47 mm key travel and 55 gram actuation weight, typing quickly was a challenge. On 10fastfingers.com's typing test, I managed just 69 words per minute (far short of my typical 70 to 80 wpm average) with an unusually high six typos.
At 3.75 x 1.75 inches, what the touchpad lacks in height, it makes up for in width. Using two-fingers to scroll felt smooth, but I often found that my fingers scrolled right off the touchpad when moving down websites. But when navigating Windows 10, the wide touchpad area gave me more than enough room to move from side to side.
The Pavilion x2 10t's 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 touch screen features wide viewing angles, but looks just average even among its budget competition. That's not to say the Pavilion x2's mediocre color range would stop you from enjoying a movie, but when I watched a trailer for the upcoming DC universe mashup, the deep reds and blues of Superman's iconic costume weren't as bright or vivid as on the pricier Dell Inspiron 11 3000 ($349).
When measured with a light meter, we found that the Pavilion x2 produced 264 nits of brightness. This showing is about equal to the Aspire Switch 10E and visibly brighter than the dim Transformer Book Flip TP200SA (243 nits). The Inspiron 11 3000 hit a brighter 308 nits.
The x2's color range topped out 68 percent of the sRGB spectrum, which is good for a budget machine. The Transformer Book Flip TP 200SA and Aspire Switch 10E were in the same neighborhood, at 69 and 70 percent, although the Inspiron 11 3000 was a good deal more colorful at 81 percent.
The Pavilion x2 turned in an impressive color accuracy rating of 0.43 (closer to zero is best). The Transformer Book Flip TP 200SA was just a bit better with a rating of 0.3, while the Aspire Switch 10E was pretty much the same at 0.4.
I really appreciate that HP included Bang & Olufsen tuned speakers on this budget system. The stereo speakers are front-facing, which means the sound gets projected at your face instead of into a desk or bed. This makes for a great listening experience. When I tuned into Breakbot's "Get Lost," I was instantly grooving to the rich synth-heavy bass and crisp, funky French disco-styled vocals.
On the Laptop Mag Heat Test, the Pavilion x2 kept cool in every location except one: below and to the left of the HP logo on its back. Most spots reached just 84 degrees after streaming 15 minutes of HD video, but that one hotspot reached 109 degrees, which is a good deal above our traditional 95-degree comfort threshold. It's not a deal breaker, but if you're used to holding devices in your right hand, don't be surprised when it gets a little sweaty.
Ports and Webcam
The Pavilion x2 embraces both current and next-gen connectivity with one traditional USB 2.0 port and one reversible USB Type-C port. The USB Type-C port also doubles as the power jack, so when the rest of the tech industry gets around to adopting this trend, you can use the included USB C power cord to juice up those devices as well. There's also a mini HDMI port so you can push content to an external display, as well as a combo headphone/mic jack and 1280 x 720 HP TrueVision HD webcam. Aside from the docking connection, there's aren't any additional ports located on the detachable keyboard.
The Pavilion x2 features a 1.44-GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8300 CPU, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC flash storage. If you opt for extra storage space (like on our review unit), you can double the capacity to 64GB. This combo of budget parts isn't going to set your world on fire, but it felt snappy during typical use cases, such as browsing the Web with five or six tabs open or streaming a high-def video. When you start really multitasking, you may notice a bit of stutter, although that's something I encountered on other machines in this price range as well.
On Geekbench 3, which measures overall system performance, the Pavilion x2 scored 2,289. While that's less than the more expensively configured $449 Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (3,406), it's slightly better than the Aspire Switch 10E and almost double what the Asus Transformer Book Flip TP 2000 delivered (1,315).
The Pavilion x2's 64GB eMMC storage drive registered a solid transfer speed of 42.76 MBps on the Laptop File Transfer Test, which involves copying 4.97GB of mixed media files. Acer's Aspire Switch 10E was close at 41.7 MBps, while the Inspiron 11 3000 and Transformer Book Flip TP 200SA were noticeably slower at 32.4 MBps and 34.14 MBps, respectively.
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When we used OpenOffice to match a spreadsheet of 20,000 names and addresses, the Pavilion x2 completed the task in 19 minutes and 12 seconds. That's faster than the Aspire Switch 10E (25:49), but slower than Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (15:28) and the Transformer Book Flip TP200SA (15:32).
With its Intel HD Graphics and low-power CPU, it's no surprise that the Pavilion x2 is not a machine for gaming. We couldn't even run our usual benchmarks in World of Warcraft. On 3D Mark's synthetic Ice Storm Unlimited graphics test, the Pavilion x2 managed a score of 15,457, far short of the 38,739 ultraportable average. On the same test, both Inspiron 11 3000 (19,986) and the Transformer Book Flip TP200SA (18,154) did better, though the Aspire Switch 10E (8,557) fared much worse
However, I did get Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to run, and despite some lag and stuttering, I was able to play a couple matches without too much trouble.
With a runtime of 9 hours and 33 minutes on Laptop Mag's battery test, which involves continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi, the Pavilion x2's battery life is a solid hour and a half longer than the ultraportable laptop average (8:04).
Asus' Transformer Book TP 200SA fared even better with a time of 10:56, while the Acer Aspire Switch 10E (8:28) and the Dell Inspiron 11 3000 (6:42) lasted significantly less time.
The HP Pavilion x2 starts at $250 in silver for a 1.44-GHz Intel Atom Z8300 CPU 2GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC flash storage. If you go into HP's online customizer, choosing the white or red color options costs an extra $10, and if you want to double the storage to 64GB, that'll cost you another $120, for a total of $380. The one way to get around that is to select from one of the pre-built systems, although at the time of writing, the $350 64GB model was only available in red.
Software and Warranty
The HP Pavilion x2 10t comes with Windows 10 pre-installed and a standard 1-year limited hardware warranty. Windows 10 helps you take advantage of the Pavilion x2's convertible nature by its ability to automatically switch from laptop to tablet mode whenever you detach the keyboard. Windows 10 also includes handy new features such as Cortana, Microsoft's digital assistant, and Edge, a faster and slicker replacement for Internet Explorer.
HP includes a fair bit of pre-installed bloat, which comes in the form of several apps pinned to the task bar (Dropbox, Amazon and TripAdvisor) with even more hidden in the start menu (Wild Tangent Games, Candy Crush and Priceline). We would prefer that HP let users decide what they want to download.
The Pavilion x2 10t succeeds at not feeling like a budget device. The body is small, light and sturdy, and available in multiple colors. Then, when you dive down, you find above-average performance for the price, impressive front-facing speakers and more than 9.5 hours of battery life. I just wish the keyboard were roomier, although that's a concession made for this system's 10-inch size; HP also sells an 11-inch convertible in the Pavilion x360 11, which doesn't detach but has a flip-around display.
If getting a better keyboard or a brighter, more colorful display is your priority, Dell's Inspiron 11 3000 is a slightly better laptop-first, tablet-second machine. But if portability is paramount and you like the idea of a detachable, HP's Pavilion x2 10t is an excellent budget Windows 2-in-1.