HP Envy x2 with Qualcomm Snapdragon vs. Intel: Which should you buy?

These two devices may have the same name but they are in fact very different. For the majority of people, the lower price, better battery life, and superior keyboard of the Qualcomm version will outweigh the better compatibility with non-Store apps that an Intel processor provides.

Qualcomm vs. Intel: Spec comparison

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Header Cell - Column 0 HP Envy x2 (Intel)HP Envy x2 (Qualcomm)
ProcessorIntel Core i5-7Y54 (7th Gen)Qualcomm
Snapdragon 835
Storage128GB M.2 SSDUniversal Flash Storage (UFS)
Display size12.3 inches
12.3 inches
Display resolution1,920 x 1,280
3:2 aspect ratio
1,920 x 1,280
3:2 aspect ratio
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 615Qualcomm Adreno 540
PortsTwo USB-C (Gen 1, DisplayPort 1.3 Power Delivery), microSD, headphone and mic, SIM trayUSB-C 3.1
microSD card reader
3.5 mm audio
BiometricsIR camera for Windows HelloIR camera for Windows Hello
BatteryUp to 17.5 hoursUp to 19 hours

The HP Envy x2 with Qualcomm has a better kickstand and keyboard

On the Qualcomm version of the Envy x2 you get a Surface-like fold-out kickstand attached to the keyboard folio. On the Intel version, the stand is a "pull out and reset" like you used to get from Samsung and on devices like the first Huawei MateBook.

This means the Qualcomm one is adjustable, while the Intel only has two positions, leading to a much more restrictive and frustrating experience.

The keyboard on the Intel version is also just not as good as its Qualcomm sibling. The trackpad is Elan, not Microsoft Precision, and it's shorter, too.

Intel is more expensive

The pricing doesn't just concern the tablet, either. While the Intel version's list price is $150 more than the Qualcomm one, there's also a consideration to be made with the version of Windows each runs.

The Qualcomm version runs Windows 10 S which can currently be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for free. The Intel one comes with Windows 10 Home, and an update to Pro there will cost $99.

So the Qualcomm version is definitely the best value where your OS is concerned.

Intel for traditional apps, Qualcomm for everything else

One has a Snapdragon 835 and the other an Intel Core i5, but neither will leave you disappointed. However, there are differences in where the performance lies.

The Qualcomm Envy x2 has a better modem and is always connected with instant-on thanks to being an ARM processor. The Intel version will go to sleep after a while, where the Qualcomm is more akin to the experience you get using your phone.

Apps from the Microsoft Store are already optimized to run well on Windows 10 S and ARM processors, but it's hard to deny that the Intel version has the edge when running traditional desktop apps.

Battery life also tips in favor of the Qualcomm. It's easily possible to get an extra couple of hours from it over the Intel.

Get the Qualcomm version

Considering both of these products are the HP Envy x2, it's perhaps surprising that the differences go beyond just the internal hardware. But that's the case, and it's overwhelmingly in favor of the Qualcomm version.

The keyboard and trackpad are better, Windows 10 Pro is a free upgrade and it's cheaper than the Intel version while offering a constant data connection and incredible battery life.

An Intel-powered misstep

The better support for traditional desktop apps obtained outside the Microsoft Store, general compatibility and outright power is about the only reason to consider the Intel powered Envy x2. Everywhere else, its Qualcomm powered sibling is a lot better.

The single-position kickstand, lesser Elan trackpad and awkward keyboard are reason enough, especially when it also costs more.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine