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Microsoft set the standard for convertible laptop PCs when it released the Surface Pro 3. But the success of the latest Surface also opened the door for competition from other PC makers. The HP Envy x2 is a great example of how this class of ultra-portables just keeps getting better. With features like an even bigger 13.3-inch display, dual BeatsAudio speakers and a backlit keyboard, the HP Envy X2 is worth a look for anyone considering a Windows 8.1 convertible PC.

HP Envy X2 Key Specs


  • 13.3-inch Full HD touchscreen display
  • Intel Core M-70 CPU at 1.1 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 5300
  • 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD
  • BeatsAudio dual speakers, HP TrueVision Full HD webcam
  • Bluetooth wireless keyboard/case with backlit keys and built-in trackpad
  • Integrated kickstand and stylus holders (stylus sold separately)
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI port, microSD card reader
  • Runs Windows 8.1
  • Weighs 1.84 kg


Full specs are on the Envy X2 product page.

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Not Quite as Svelte as the Surface Pro 3

There’s no disputing the fact that the Surface Pro 3 sets the bar high. It’s thin, lightweight and offers a beautiful big display.

Envy X2 top.jpgThe HP Envy X2 is a little larger (primarily because its display is also larger at 13.3-inches compared to 12.2-inches) and it’s a bit thicker and heavier, too. At 1.84 kg, the Envy 2 is still reasonably light for a device with such a large display and compares favourably to PC laptops in its size range. 

But Clearly Inspired by the Surface Pro 3’s Success

The influence of the Surface Pro 3 can be clearly seen in the HP Envy X2’s design. 

The silver case, the magnetically attached keyboard/protective cover, the flip-out rear easel stand, all-day battery life, the ability to transform between a tablet and a notebook, a selection of ports, the power and display size needed to run the full blown version of Windows 8.1 along with Windows software? 

Like the Surface Pro 3, the Envy 2 has all that.

And Does It One Better in Several Areas

Where the Surface Pro 3 set the standard in so many ways, the HP Envy X2 takes it to the next level in several areas.

The Envy X2’s display is physically larger. Choosing this convertible over a traditional 13-inch laptop doesn’t mean having to deal with a downsized display. With the Intel Core M-70 CPU, the Envy X2 still has the power needed to run Windows software, but it runs cool enough that no fan is required. Storage is beefed up compared to Surface models in its price range, with a 256 GB SSD on tap. The keyboard is included, not an extra. Finally, that big Full HD display is complemented by stereo BeatAudio speakers for a premium multimedia experience.

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Is the HP Envy X2 better than a Surface Pro 3? I’m not saying that.

However, when you compare models in similar price points (in this case you’d be looking at the 128GB Surface Pro 3 Core i5 once you also add in the cost of the keyboard), the HP convertible PC offers a bigger display, bigger hard drive and better audio—along with most of the core Surface features. In other words, more bang for the buck. It may have less appeal than the Surface Pro 3 for professional users, but the HP Envy X2 represents a welcome option for those who are shopping for a convertible PC, and as we all know, choice is good.

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. I have been writing about technology for several decades for a wide range of outlets including Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, MSN, About.com, Kiplinger, and GeekDad. I’m in my 10th year as a senior contributor for Forbes with a focus on reviewing music-related tech, Apple gear, battery power stations and other consumer electronics. My day job is with the Malware Research Center at AI-native cybersecurity pioneer CrowdStrike.