HP has started to take pre-orders on its new Envy X2 2-in-1 notebook based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC and Windows 10 S. The 12.3” device is designed as a thin always connected unit, and rated for up to 22 hours on one charge. The price of the new Envy X2 is higher than we imagined when these devices were first announced: it starts at $999.

The 2018 HP Envy X2 2-in-1 detachable laptop comes with a 12.3” WUXGA+ touch-enabled display covered with Corning Gorilla Glass. The system runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC equipped with 4 GB of LPDDR4-3733 DRAM and 128 GB of eUFS storage (models with enhanced DRAM and storage are expected to be available later). The PC’s physical interfaces include one physical USB 3.1 Type-C header (with DisplayPort and USB Power Delivery support), a microSD card reader, and a 3.5-mm TRRS audio input. Wireless connectivity capabilities comprise of a 2x2 802.11ac Wi-Fi module with Bluetooth 5, and the built in Gigabit LTE modem from the SoC. The built-in SoC modem is meant to be one of the key features of the Envy X2 - it makes the device always connected in all areas with 3G and/or 4G networks, which essentially means everywhere in well-developed countries. For imaging, the device uses a 13 MP rear camera and a 5 MP front-facing camera.

The new Envy X2 is equipped with a 49.33 Wh battery that is rated to enable up to 19 hours of continuous video playback (at 150 nits brightness) or up to 22 hours of mixed-use workloads (HP does not tell how it tested these).

When it comes to portability, the HP Envy X2 is in line with professional tablets and advanced thin-and-light notebooks. The tablet itself it is 6.85 mm (0.27”) thick and weighs 698.5 grams (1.54 lbs), which is comparable to Apple iPad Pro 12.9”. When outfitted with a keyboard, the weight of the new Envy X2 bumps to 1.211 kilograms (2.67 lbs), which is similar to fully-fledged 13”-class laptops.

HP lists the S835 as running at 2.2 GHz base and 2.6 GHz turbo, which is typically how we describe an x86 PC, not a smartphone SoC: the S835 has two sets of cores, normally listed as 1.90 GHz on the efficiency cores and 2.45 GHz on the performance cores, neither of which correlates to HPs listing. So either this is a faster Snapdragon S835 bin, or there is miscommunication in the specification sheet. In this form factor there is a better opportunity for more cooling, which would be suitable for a higher frequency bin of SoC. But nonetheless, the 2.2-2.6 GHz listed on HP's website is not telling the whole story.

Specifications of the HP Envy X2 (2018)
  Model 12-e011nr
Display 12.3"
1920×1280
187 PPI
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
4 x Kryo 280 Performance (2.2 GHz - 2.6 GHz)
4 x Kryo Efficiency (? GHz)
Graphics Adreno 540 GPU at 710 MHz
RAM 4 GB
Storage 128 GB eUFS
Wi-Fi Qualcomm WCN3990
2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5
WWAN Qualcomm X16 Gigabit LTE
USB 3.0 1 × Type-C
Cameras Front 5 MP
Rear 13 MP
Other I/O Microphone, stereo speakers, audio jack, trackpad, MicroSD card reader, etc.
Battery 49.33 Wh
Battery Life 19-22 hours
Dimensions Width 292.8 mm | 11.53"
Height 210.3 mm | 8.28"
Thickness 6.85 mm | 0.27” (tablet only)
Weight Tablet 698.5 grams | 1.54 lbs
Tablet+KB 1.211 kilograms | 2.67 lbs

Like all Envy-branded devices, the new Envy X2 is designed to offer a premium experience: it comes in a brushed aluminum enclosure, features an audio sub-system co-developed with Bang & Olufsen, has a full-size magnetically attached keyboard/cover, and a stylus supporting Windows Ink technology (it is plausible to assume that the pen supports at least 1024 levels of sensitivity, but HP has not formally confirmed that). This premium look and feel comes at a price.

The Envy X2 model with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of NAND flash storage costs $999.99 and will ship on March 9. By contrast, the ASUS NovaGo TP370 with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage is priced at $799, whereas Lenovo’s Miix 630 is also expected to start from $799. Apple’s iPad Pro 12.9” with 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, a 4G/LTE modem and a keyboard is priced at $1197 (a version with 256 GB of NAND, a keyboard and stylus costs $1347), evidently HP aims its new Envy X2 at the same segment.

The latest HP Envy X2 is a product of Microsoft’s new attempt to marry nearly full-sized Windows and ARM. For HP, this is the first device running an ARM SoC and Windows for PCs. Several years ago, HP did not support Microsoft’s Windows RT (the software giant’s previous failed shot for ARM) and decided to focus on Atom- and then Core M-based Envy X2 running Windows 8/8.1/10 instead (many of such systems cost less than $1000). This time HP decided to go with S835 in a bid to offer a sleek always-connected Windows 10 device with an extra-long battery life. Since it is an Envy, it is priced accordingly and it remains to be seen whether end users are willing to spend this amount of money on this device. Obviously, the new Envy X2 is always connected and can work for a long time on one charge, but in Windows 10 S environment it can only run either specially-optimized applications, or perform binary translation (or another form of emulation) for 32-bit x86 applications (64-bit x86 apps are not supported) which naturally results in reduced performance.

Related Reading

Source: HP

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  • Manch - Monday, February 26, 2018 - link

    Wouldn't a surface pro with m series chip work? They're priced decently. Especially compared to this. Reply
  • name99 - Sunday, February 25, 2018 - link

    The cheap (and lousy) parts of low-end tablets are things like the screen (including the touch tracking), the flash, and the battery.
    The same is just as true (and just as lousy) for low-end laptops, only replacing bad touch-screen tracking with poor track-pad.

    What do you guys want? Do you WANT ONLY shitty-quality products, or are you prepared to pay for reasonable quality? I see the exact same thing every time someone talks about the wonderful world that is cheap Windows laptops, then I go and look at those laptops in Best Buy. Yes, the CPUs are adequate --- but hooked up to, like I said, inadequate hard drives, inadequate batteries, inadequate screens, inadequate trackpads.

    I have no idea what HP is selling here, but I strongly suspect that the (somewhat invisible) components I have mentioned all skew to the high end.
    But if you all refuse to pay 2x for a quality screen, or a quality battery, or quality flash, then you're going to return to the world you have today --- plenty of horrible horrible tablets (Android or Windows) and a whole lot of bitching about "why can't we have tablets that are as nice along every dimension as the iPad Pro?"
    Reply
  • Manch - Monday, February 26, 2018 - link

    We have such a device They're called Surface Pro's. Far better than an IPAD Pro, or this thing. It may be a well built device but it's priced way way too high. Personally for me I wont touch HP Reply
  • domboy - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - link

    You have a point name99. It very well could be that this device is made with quality parts. I just don't know. It better be for that price. As Manch said, the Surface line is also a premium product, and I would be more willing to spend money on a non-pro Surface running Windows 10 ARM Edition than an HP just because for the most part the Surface line has been good products. Maybe they'll release such a Surface with the Snapdragon 845 later this year... here' hoping... Reply
  • t.s - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    $999? Really??
    "To much self-confidence will kill you."
    Reply
  • seamonkey79 - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    Lo wait for it l

    That's about twice as much as it's worth
    Reply
  • ikjadoon - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    >So either this is a faster Snapdragon S835 bin

    It is a different bin with a different part number, internally called MSM8998PC. These 2.6GHz clock speeds were confirmed back in December, actually:

    https://youtu.be/xWP__0W5PU4?t=1953

    It's exactly as expected: more thermal headroom -> higher performance. They say this will occur in SD845, as well: PC-targeted SoCs will have higher clocks than mobile-targeted SoCs.
    Reply
  • ikjadoon - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    The YouTube link: the quote from Don McGuire, VP of Global Product Marketing at Qualcomm from the Hawaii launch in December 2017. Reply
  • Flunk - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage for $999? Even with a i5-U this would be overpriced. Add a totally untested (for Windows) CPU architecture and I can't see this selling. You'd almost think that HP was trying to build a device that wouldn't sell. Reply
  • Cliff34 - Saturday, February 24, 2018 - link

    Price point and specs are very off. Either they wait for a faster SoC or they drop the price. To try and pretend this is like a high end laptop is not going to do well. Reply

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