There are very few Windows 8 hybrids that have impressed us in months since Windows 8 came out. One of them was the 11.6-inch HP Envy x2, an Atom-powered hybrid that balanced value and performance better than most of the competition. HP is looking to follow that up with an even better second act: the Split x2. This Windows 8 hybrid is a little more grown up. It has a 13.3-inch display, Core i3/i5 processors, and an optional hard drive. It will hit shelves later this summer (probably just as back to school shopping revs up) and will cost $799 – yes, the dock is included in that price.
The Split x2 is pretty much an Envy x2 made larger, so it has the same sleek lines and overall good looks. Most of the ports are in the keyboard dock: HDMI, two USB, and a full SD card. Just as before, the dock has its own battery, so you’ll get much longer life when connected to the tablet.
Something new in this version is the optional mechanical hard drive. The tablet will still utilize an SSD for the OS and programs. When connected to the dock, however, the hard drive provides additional storage and plenty of room for media files and other data that takes up a lot of space.
The Split x2 approaches primary laptop territory thanks to that hard drive option and 3rd-gen Intel Core i3 or i5 processors inside. When off the dock, the Split’s tablet is not quite as portable as a 10- or even 11.6-inch tablet is, but it does give users some extra options and functionality. The only units available for preview were pre-production models, so we couldn’t judge the weight or build – just the design. Larger tablets, even those that run Windows 8, have a harder time catching on than smaller sizes. HP says that customers asked for a bigger screen, and that’s why they developed the Split. Time will tell.
We look forward to getting the HP Split x2 in for review when it’s available later this summer.