HP's Envy Split x2 isn't afraid to embrace Windows 8's split personalities. The 13-inch display on this $799 laptop detaches to become one of the bigger tablets around. However, the Split x2 includes not only an extra battery in its base for up to 11 hours of endurance but a hard drive to boost the storage.
The unit HP lets us try preview was a non-working model, but we do have plenty of details and impressions to share.
As a notebook, the Split x2 weighs a hefty 4.9 pounds, which is well above other 13-inch systems and nearly a pound heavier than the MacBook Air. The IdeaPad Yoga, another Windows 8 convertible, weighs 3.4 pounds, but its screen does not detach.
In tablet mode the x2 weighs 2.2 pounds and measures 13.38 x 8.5 x .44 inches. On the plus side, we like the soft-touch finish on the Split x2, which makes the device easy to carry.
The Split X2's touch display offers a standard resolution of 1366 x 768 along with an anti-glare finish. While bright, we'd prefer a sharper 1600 x 900-pixel panel.
The chassis features two USB ports and HDMI connectivity, and you'll find a microSD Card slot on the slate and a full-size SD Card slot on the dock. A 2-MP camera sits up front with dual microphones for making video calls. Like all models in the Envy line, the Split X2 features Beats Audio technology for the dual speakers.
In terms of specs, the entry-level configuration of the Envy Split x2 sports a third-generation Intel Core i3-3229Y processor and 4GB of RAM. The slate houses a 64GB SSD, while the dock has its own 500GB hard drive. HP told us it should be easy for users to tell which drive stores which of your files.
The Split X2 provides a roomy keyboard and a large and comfy HP ClickPad for navigating Windows 8 when you're not using the touch screen.
Overall, the Split X2 is on the heavy side for a 13-inch notebook, and we're not sure shoppers will want to use a tablet this large. However, the $799 price definitely makes a statement. Stay tuned for a full review.