The HP Envy x2 Is A Compelling And Portable Package

Sponsored by HP

We get offered tech from companies all the time, loan units to test in a hope we’ll review them favourably. For me, the hassle of ensuring everything that I need is on the device, for the two week period it has been offered, far outweighs my desire to trial it. Having made the switch from iPhone to Android many years ago, I’ve been interested to discover the landscape outside of my regular laptop, but haven’t yet felt the urge to jump.

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With the amount of travelling I do, the introduction of supposedly powerful, transforming tablets, has inspired me to shift my attention away from Apple to look for a portable alternative suitable for short trips. As fate would have it, HP reached out and asked if we’d like to collaborate on some content around their new HP Envy x2 so I decided I’d throw it straight into the deep end. 

I planned to leave my laptop at home and venture to England with only the HP Envy x2, putting it to the ultimate test. My bare-bones requirements was a device that could run Adobe Creative Suite for image and video editing, as well as day to day word pressing for writing. Anything else was a plus.

From the moment I unpacked the HP Envy x2, I found myself pleasantly surprised. The tablet component snaps cleanly into its leather case come keyboard and unfolds to a become a laptop with a raised or flat keyboard, depending on user preference. The top of the case folds into a stand allowing any angle the user desires, which I found very handy while using the device on my lap and could see being particularly useful when flying domestically for both typing and entertainment while sitting on the confined economy table. The leather-wrapped exterior is wonderful to hold but is almost too lovely – I found myself stressing over scuffing it while transferring through security and leaving marks from greasy hands.

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Unlocking the HP Envy x2 I was impressed to find Adobe Creative Suite pre-loaded, so went about logging into Creative Cloud and my various email accounts and social platforms in preparation for the trip. Unfortunately, I realised just before departure that I didn’t have a Type C USB cord for my external hard drive and quickly realised my grand plan to leave my existing unit at home wouldn’t come to fruition. Ironically, on my quest for more portability, I ended up with two laptops on my trip but vowed to utilise the HP at every moment I could.

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On my first flight out of Sydney to Dubai, I wrote two articles on the HP Envy x2 and rather enjoyed using the keyboard to type them. Being able to touch the screen in the low light conditions to relocate my cursor, following the consumption of numerous whiskies, was both novel and efficient. I found myself using the touchpad less and less as I got into a rhythm. As I was flying Business, I hadn’t bothered to load up any entertainment, but the 12.3inch screen would have been a perfect size to sit on the table in front of me or for the tighter Economy Cabin. In the Lounge the device connected to the internet without delay, dealt swiftly with my email backlog and impressed the group of journos I was travelling with.

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I put the HP to use for daily image editing, getting on top of my emails and sharing content across our social channels, and used the tablet and stylus pen during a product information session on the final day. On my return trip, I used the HP Envy x2 quite extensively, compiling notes and composing numerous articles from the weekend both on the plane and in the lounge. When I packed it back into my carry on, I realised I hadn’t used the charging cable once. HP claims a battery life of up to 22 hours, and while I can’t prove that right, I can safely say it got a solid 10+ hours of use over the course of the trip and finished with 45% in the tank.

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If I’d had a bit more time to organise myself pre-trip by arranging a suitable external hard drive or cord I wouldn’t have needed to bring my laptop, which would have made the HP Envy x2 perfect for my needs. It matches my current laptop for RAM, and the size, weight and transforming ability make it the ideal solution for short international and domestic day trips. Finally, the battery life is superb. The thought of heading to work or travelling without a power cord is a dream. Slide it straight into a sleeve with your notebook and be on your way, confident you’ll get a full day of work and night of Netflix from a single charge.

The HP Envy x2 is available for $1999 at HP’s website

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James is the Founder and Editor of The Versatile Gent.

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