HP Envy x2 The Envy x2 impressed us. Its outstanding industrial design really shows the potential of a tablet/laptop hybrid. The HP Envy x2 has a clean, comfortable design and feels lightweight in tablet form. It has excellent battery life, and works just as well as a laptop as it does as a tablet. Performance: Unfortunately, as soon as we start talking performance we’re confronted by the fact that Clover Trail is still Atom, and Atom is still not in any way, shape or form a performance chip – and that 2GB RAM maximum doesn’t help here either.Don’t get us wrong, for navigating through Windows and average daily use such as browsing the web and running apps or light programs, the Z2760 in the HP Envy x2 runs smooth as butter. Performance is consistently superior to that in the netbooks of yore, especially when it comes to HD video playback and light multi-tasking, and most non 3D-gaming apps you’ll find in the Windows store should run without a hitch.
However, proper multi-tasking; running intensive HD video simultaneously with another program; or using demanding programs like an image editor can still quite easily bring this kind of machine to its knees. In other words, as a tablet the x2 performs admirably, but as a laptop replacement you have to be prepared to put up with its limitations.
3D gaming in anything but the most casual titles, meanwhile, is also a big no-no. Even at minimum settings our test games simply refused to run or crashed after getting through the menus. Mind you, this is not surprising given that Intel’s integrated GMA 3600 chip paired with the Atom Z2760 is derived from an old PowerVR design the benefits of which Windows drivers don’t fully bring out. Hopefully updated drivers will eek out more performance. Battery life: Battery life is impressive, living up to HP’s claim of seven hours when we streamed video from BBC iPlayer. And, of course, there’s a second battery in the keyboard, which provides an additional seven hours of battery life. No ultrabook that weighs a similar amount can claim to last this long. But, The laptop mode is top-heavy, and the awkward tablet detachment mechanism isn’t perfect; it has limited ports; and a slower Atom processor means in performance it's far behind most ultrabooks, even though it’s priced like one. The bottom line: The HP Envy x2’s capacity to be a full Windows 8 tablet or dock with a keyboard works as well as advertised, provided you’re willing to live with slower performance at a high price. You’re paying for style.
Windows 8 (32-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760; 2GB DDR2 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 747MB (Total) Intel GMA; 64GB SSD Processor 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760
Memory 2GB, 1,066MHz DDR2
Hard drive 64GB SSD
Graphics Intel GMA
Operating system Windows 8
Dimensions (WD) 11.9x8.1 inches
Height 0.6-0.7 inch
Screen size (diagonal) 11.6 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 3.1 pounds / 3.6 pounds (tablet + keyboard)
Category Ultraportable hybrid Price; $849 VS Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2 is a Windows 8 Pro tablet with its own stylus aimed at business users and mobile workers.The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 is the best-looking Atom Windows 8 tablet yet, and the optional keyboard dock is excellent. All-day battery life makes it great for travel. Performance and Battery Life: Put a full version of Windows 8 on a tablet you're in for a bit of a juggle, just ask the Microsoft Surface Pro. You've got two balls to keep in the air: processing power and battery longevity. While the ThinkPad Tablet 2 often fumbles with the former, it flourishes with the latter.
Unlike the Surface Pro or the Surface RT, which are powered by an Intel i5 and an ARM processor respectively, this tablet has an Intel Atom chip. You may remember this processor from the netbook era of a few years ago, before tablets came along and cleaned their clocks. Now the Atom is back to power Windows 8 slates, like this and the Acer Iconia W510.The ThinkPad Tablet 2 handled web browsing well enough, with Internet Explorer at least. Sites load at an acceptable speed, and we were able to begin scrolling down the page almost instantly, before images and video embeds finished loading. Google Chrome, as well as the Google app, performed poorly though. There's an obvious need for a patch or two here.
The system had just enough grunt for some light multitasking. Using Window 8's neat split-screen feature, we could watch run a YouTube video while browsing news headlines in the Bing Daily news app. We also enjoyed listening to music via the Music app while playing some Angry Birds or Cut the Rope.
That's the limit of the ThinkPad Tablet 2's gaming and multitasking abilities. The low-wattage Atom processor is meant for battery life, not blazing speeds. Lenovo estimates the battery life at 10 hours. We generally came in around 8 hours, after taxing it with heavy web use and streaming video. That's not bad at all, enough to get you through the average work day, or to watch several movies on a long flight.While we enjoyed the battery life the Atom provided, it had us wondering why it was paired up with Windows 8. What's the point of making a device with wide compatibility if it doesn't have the horsepower to run the most important legacy apps? Food for thought, especially if you're between this and the more powerful but not as long lasting Microsoft Surface Pro, or just a regular old laptop.
But, The Tablet 2 is expensive, especially considering the small 64GB SSD, lack of USB 3.0, and generally slow Atom performance.
The bottom line: This Windows 8 tablet from Lenovo scores with great industrial design and battery life, but adding practically required accessories makes the ThinkPad Tablet 2 very expensive for what you get.
System configurations Windows 8 (32-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Atom Z2760; 2GB DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz; 737MB (Total) Intel GMA; 64GB MMC SSD Specifications
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8
Display Type10.1 in
Weight1.3 lbs Price: $679.00 VS Microsoft Surface RT The Microsoft Surface's Metro interface is innovative, elegant, powerful, and versatile. The tablet feels strong and well-built, runs Office 2013, and includes rich video and music services. Its keyboard cover accessories are the best ways to type on a tablet, period.
But, The tablet's performance can be sluggish, its Windows Store is a ghost town, Metro takes getting used to, and the Desktop interface feels clunky and useless. Performance: A common misconception is that the traditional desktop isn't available in Windows RT, but that's not true; it's accessed via the desktop tile on the Start screen, but its relevance is severely diminished.
As Windows RT can't run traditional programs you need to use the old style Windows Explorer less, but it's still on hand for browsing file systems, USB sticks, organising folders and more.
The 'charm' bar to the right also includes search and share buttons and these are threaded through every part of the OS, from files to settings, to the information held within apps.Another triumph is the on-screen keyboard, which is large, sensitive and easy to use. It's not as smart as some third-party keyboards on Android, but we typed with two hands quickly and accurately and the extra inch of screen space made it much easier to use than its iOS counterpart.
We had a few problems with the large keyboard panel blocking information we needed, but the icon to show or hide the keyboard is always on hand in the bottom-right corner of the desktop.
As we've already mentioned, performance is a slightly mixed bag. The system is always responsive, with silky smooth transitions and snappy navigation.
However, we found that some apps were slow to load, with lingering splash screens. What's more, 1080p playback was a few frames per second short of perfect.
While we wouldn't say that the Tegra 3 chip performed appallingly, there's certainly no headroom, and it seems to be the graphics core that struggled most.
Multitasking apps never missed a beat, but it was loading the graphically-intensive apps and movies that showed the biggest strain on the processor.
Even some basic games ran at a noticeably low frame rate, so it seems that Windows RT might need some optimisation. Battery life:
Our experience of the battery life has bemused us somewhat. We started off a day with the Surface RT at 100 percent and only used the tablet intensely for around an hour and a half while shooting our video review. We then used the Surface RT in the evening for around 30 minutes web browsing. The next morning, however, the Surface RT needed the mains charger to switch on so the battery had full depleted overnight. Strange considering Microsoft touts 7-15 days idle life.
The bottom line: If you're an early adopter willing to forget everything you know about navigating a computer, the Surface tablet could replace your laptop. Everyone else: wait for more apps. Specifications
Display type10.6 inColor TFT active matrix - Yes
OSMicrosoft Windows RT
ProcessorNVIDIA Tegra 3
Wireless connectivityIEEE 802.11nIEEE 802.11bIEEE 802.11aIEEE 802.11g
Dimensions (WxDxH)9.3 mm10.8 in 6.8 in
Weight676 g Price;$494.98 to $599.00