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HP Envy x2 Always-Connected PC review: Lots of potential — and some compromises

The HP Envy x2 is garnering a lot of interest – and skepticism – as it is one of the first new PCs to be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The Snapdragon 835 used in the Envy x2 is found in many popular smartphones and questions remain about how good it can be at powering a full desktop OS like Windows 10.

As it turns out, the Envy x2 with its exceptionally long battery life, always-connected 4G LTE, and instant-on abilities indeed is a marvel. It is, in many ways, an iPad Pro but with Windows 10. That's not to say there aren't some rough spots, but if you stick to apps in the Microsoft Store, it is a surprisingly satisfying experience.

The $1,000 price will deter some, but that shouldn't for everyone. The Envy x2 is made for a specific user, and it has become one of the most transformative devices I have used in recent years.

HP Envy x2 hardware is exquisite

I'll cut to the chase: The HP Envy x2 is the most precisely machined, thin, and gorgeous Windows tablet PC I have ever used. While the Surface Pro is right up there having a device this svelte and light is a different level. It's perfect hardware.

The Envy x2 features an all metal, unibody design. It is ridiculously thin too at just 6.9mm making thinner than most smartphones including the OnePlus 5 and iPhone 8 Plus. That changes a bit once you put on the including keyboard and folio cover, but it is no thicker than a DVD case.

CategoryHP Envy x2 (ARM)
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 835
Memory4GB or 8GB
Storage128GB or 256GB UFS
GraphicsAdreno 540
Display12.3-inch WUXGA+ (1920 X 1280)
Corning Gorilla Glass
KeyboardBacklit, Precision Touchpad
MaterialMetal
Camera5MP front-facing
13MP rear world-facing
StylusN-Trig HP Pen (included)
WirelessQualcomm WCN3990 802.11ac (2x2) Dual-Phy and Bluetooth 5 Combo
PortsUSB-C x 1 (Gen 1, DisplayPort 1.3 Power Delivery), microSD, headphone/mic, SIM tray
SecurityWindows Hello facial recognition
Battery49.33 WHr
WeightTablet: 1.57lbs (0.71kg)
With KB: 2.67lbs (1.21kg)
Dimensions (W x D x H)11.53 x 8.28 x 0.27 in
Price$999

See at HP.com

The total package with the cover and the Envy x2 tablet is 2.7lbs (1.22kg) and solidly built. There are no creaks or flex, and the device feels perfectly balanced. The familiar HP mirrored logo adds an air of elegance to an already exquisite design.

Carrying the Envy x2 feels like holding a regal menu at a restaurant or carrying a stately ledger. It's the kind of PC that make you feel important.

Putting aside performance and the processor, everything about the Envy x2 exceeded my expectations.

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HP Envy x2

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The Envy x2 reviewed here has 4GB of RAM and 128GB SSD. HP is supposed to offer a version 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage though it is not yet available. Storage is not a huge deal as there is a micro SD slot to expand memory, which is very useful, but the 8GB of RAM would be nice to have too.

A display and pen to love

HP Envy x2

HP is using a 12.3-inch 1920 x 1280 IPS LCD touch display in the Envy x2. It has the familiar 3:2 aspect ratio that Microsoft uses in the Surface series and it works perfectly here. Viewing angles are superb, and color reproduction is accurate.

Brightness is excellent going beyond 300 nits though the stepping can be a bit haphazard towards the middle with one stop somewhat dim and the next bump brighter than expected. There is a sensor for auto-brightness with the display, which is welcomed and useful. The screen is glossy, but not distractingly so.

The bezels on the Envy x2 are a tad thicker than I'd prefer, but HP intends for this to be used a lot like a tablet, so the border to prevent accidental screen activations makes sense.

The screen is touch-enabled, and it supports an active pen (included in the box). The pen technology is N-Trig meaning you can take your newer Surface Pen or Wacom Bamboo Ink (dual protocol) pen and use it here too.

The HP pen has two buttons and takes a single battery. It's not the newer rechargeable Type-C pen that HP is using in some devices, but it's very good. It does lack the Bluetooth radio in it and corresponding button on top, which is disappointing for those who like to use it for secondary functions.

Pressure sensitivity levels for the pen seem to be about 2,048 levels, but HP at the time was not clear. It feels very similar to the Surface Pro 4's pen and the experience in using it excellent but perhaps does not meet the standards for all artists.

Two cameras, better than expected

HP Envy x2

HP built in two cameras into the Envy x2 – one front-facing for Skype and the rear as "world-facing."

While these are still tablet cameras in quality, they are much better than anticipated. For instance, the rear camera is 13MP, which is quite high (I even get the specs wrong in the video review). The front-facing camera is 5MP making both cameras better than 95% of the laptops and tablets on the market.

The 13MP rear camera is one of the better ones on the market for a PC.

The 13MP rear camera is one of the better ones on the market for a PC.

The Envy x2's camera won't replace your high-end smartphone, but they are also unexpectedly better than you would think and great in a pinch, or even for non-intensive quick shots. For Skype, the front-facing camera makes teleconferencing that much more enjoyable.

The front-facing camera also has an infrared (IR) component for Windows Hello facial recognition. It works most of the time, but there is a distinction between how well the Envy x2 performs and every other Windows Hello-enabled device I have used with occasional recognition failures due to being more finicky. This may be something that HP can tune, and it's not a deal breaker, but I do wish it could be a bit better.

A funky keyboard-folio combo that works

HP Envy x2

Like many, when I first saw the Envy x2's odd keyboard-folio cover combo, I wondered why HP did not just build the kickstand into the device. Moreover, the folding backend seemed weird.

I was wrong.

Building a metal kickstand into the Envy x2 would make it thicker, more substantial, or possibly reduce the battery size. Moreover, the Envy x2 is more tablet-friendly than usual, and HP is undoubtedly aiming to make this as iPad-like as they could. The design here works, and within a day I began to prefer it. Plus, that back cover now protects the metal chassis when tossing into your bag or briefcase, which is what I want.

HP Envy x2

The Envy x2's keyboard is outstanding. Take the Surface Pro's Type Cover and merge it with HP's EliteBook series and this is the result. The 1.2mm key travel is ample, the force-response curve is consistent, and the keys feel firm. I think this may be one of the most enjoyable keyboards I have used, which is excellent since the Envy x2 is perfect for messaging, email, and writing. It makes me want to write.

The keyboard is also backlit though there is no auto-sensor, so the user needs to turn it on manually through a keyboard shortcut. It's a single stage – on or off – type, but it looks great and contrasts nicely with the dark blue color scheme.

Turning to the trackpad, there is a lot of good news. The longer shape is an HP tradition, and it works here. I'll gladly take a larger trackpad even if it's only along one axis. The trackpad is glass, smooth and has a satisfying click. HP also uses Microsoft Precision drivers which is the right choice.

Real speakers that deliver on sound

HP Envy x2

HP puts to face-firing speakers in the Envy x2 near the top and the side of the display just like the Surface Pro. The speakers are tuned by Bang & Olufsen though there is no corresponding audio formatting app as found in other HP devices.

I usually don't expect much from laptop speakers, less so from tablet ones. These are excellent speakers, however. They're loud, crisp, and sound better than you think they should.

There's not a lot of deep bass, which I always find with HP's Bang & Olufsen hardware, but when using it for calls, watching videos, or listening to music, the Envy x2 is the top of its game.

Battery and performance is...complicated

HP Envy x2

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 brings many benefits to a mobile PC including instant-on, excellent thermals with no need for a fan, built-in LTE, and more.

For performance, I would classify the Snapdragon 835 well above the performance of an Intel Atom processor and closer to an Intel Core i3 or m3.

I own the Microsoft Surface 3 with LTE, which was powered by an Intel Atom x7 (Cherry Trail) processor and while I loved the concept of the Surface 3 its performance was frustrating. I don't feel that way at all with the Envy x2. Performance is outstanding and met my expectations (I did not imagine it could compete with a Core i7, for instance).

Of course, for this review, I did run Windows 10 April 2018 update (build 1803), and I kept the device in "S-mode" meaning locked to apps in the Microsoft Store. I did this because this is how HP and Qualcomm envision this device being used, whereas the emulation layer for win32 emulation as a fallback. This Envy x2 is also my device, and frankly, I choose to leave it in S-mode because all I need is found in the Microsoft Store. Your needs may vary.

HP Envy x2

I'll do a separate review of running win32 apps, but do not expect performance to be outstanding.

However, this situation is getting complicated because at Microsoft Build 2018 a preview SDK for developers was announced with the ability to recompile apps for ARM64. Qualcomm, Microsoft, and HP all feel that apps recompiled for ARM64 will drastically change how Windows 10 on ARM is perceived and used.

For now, this is what you need to know. Apps like Apple iTunes, Spotify, Slack, Amazon Music, Hulu, Slack, Sling, Polarr photo editor on the Microsoft Store all run without issue. Other apps like Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018, Affinity Photo, and any Xbox Play Anywhere games do not. Those latter ones should be fixed when they are recompiled with ARM64 – a trivial undertaking – but for now, those are a no-go. The amount of content on the Store that won't run on the Envy x2 is about 4 percent, which is not huge unless you need that one app right now.

Current Windows on ARM app development (left) vs. new SDK (preview) with ARM64 (right).

When it comes to gaming, the Envy x2 is not going to be a champion here at all. Sure, you can run things like Asphalt 8, but the initial loading of the game is frustrating. This is where the iPad Pro comparison falls flat as Apple's tablet is very good at gaming, while the Envy x2 is not. I could argue the Envy x2 is not designed as a gaming machine just like a Lenovo ThinkPad, but the point about performance has some validity.

But, with the Envy x2, you can get real work done, which is something an iPad still struggles with especially with reduced user controls, menus, and input options.

I had no issue with 4GB of RAM for my everyday tasks including running Word, Slack, Skype, GroupMe, EasyMail, Mail app, and Edge. However, I would not say no to an 8GB option either as more RAM is always better.

Battery life is a much brighter spot. HP claims 22 hours, which is being generous, but not by a lot. Getting ten solid hours is a breeze for the Envy x2 but pushing 15 or 16 hours is doable (it depends on how much screen brightness and keyboard light you use). There is no need to recharge the Envy x2 in a single day unless you are spending your entire day on it, which is absurd.

Recharging is also a breeze with the single USB Type-C port. The included charger is petite although the three-pronged wire is odd and bit clunkier than should be. Luckily, you can use any Type-C charger out there including for your phone and get the job done. The Envy also supports rapid-charge giving you a 50 percent charge in 30 minutes.

Some perks and bonuses

All Intel-based laptops and PCs go into hibernate or standby after a few hours of having their display turned off. That is why when you come back to your computer after a few hours you need to wait for it to wake back up. This behavior is different than your smartphone, which never acts that way.

With Windows 10 on ARM, the HP Envy x2 is just like your smartphone or iPad. It's always instant-on with no resuming. This point sounds trivial, but if you turn your device off and on many times a day, it saves a lot of time. It also makes you want to reach for the Envy x2 when on the couch, or on an airplane and waiting at the gate.

That's exactly how I used it when traveling to Build recently. Being able to knock out an email, respond to GroupMe, and post to Twitter in seconds versus painfully typing on my smartphone is liberating. I even used the Envy x2 on the way to the airport in the back of an Uber to do some quick edits on the Windows Central website.

Because the Envy x2 is always on it also means Cortana can still be listening. Even when the Envy x2's lid is closed the microphones on top let you say "Hey, Cortana" and ask when your next appointment is, what is the current weather, etc. It's like having a Windows Phone again, or a mobile Harmon-Kardon Invoke speaker. It also means Skype is much better as the Envy x2 is always on, so you never miss a call.

The Envy x2 also has fully functional GPS on board. You can use it with Microsoft's Maps app for GPS navigation, or geolocation with your favorite apps. A handy feature that most reviewers have missed.

The Envy x2 is for a specific user (and that's OK)

HP Envy x2

Is the HP Envy x2 a limited, over-priced PC that will go nowhere? For some users, the answer is yes. Just like how Razer's $4,000+ Blade Pro is an overpriced gaming laptop.

There is no doubt that HP, Microsoft, and Qualcomm have a bit of a messaging issue with the Envy x2 and they need to match this device to the right user with the correct expectations. If you want this to be your primary PC, run Visual Studio, or play Cuphead on the go, this is not your laptop. That's OK though. The world of PC has always been about finding that niche computer that works for you. It's choice and we should welcome it.

That may sound like an easy way to dismiss the Envy x2 but here's the rub. For me, this is the most useful, exciting, and productive 2-in-1 I own. The Envy x2 is now my preferred PC when I'm not in front of my desktop. I grab it when heading out the door, when I'm traveling, when I'm covering media briefings, or just goofing on the couch looking up things on Wikipedia - the Envy x2 is very much like grabbing your smartphone, but the display is better, and you have a working keyboard.

These features make shaming the HP Envy x2 difficult. I can't tell you not to buy it when I plan to keep using it myself. The two-day battery life, instant-on, solid typing, and always-connected LTE is revolutionary for my line of work. This point isn't me saying this is an OK tablet, it's me saying I use this personally.

Do I wish the Envy x2 was faster? Of course. But I also have never met any human who said their PC or phone was fast enough. More is always better. The question for me is, does the Envy x2 frustrate me when using it? The answer is no.

But does the HP Envy x2 fit in line with your life, work, and expectations? Windows 10 on ARM does have some growing up to do, even things like performance are solvable. Give it a year or two, and Qualcomm's latest processors will keep catching up to Intel. Recompiling apps for ARM64 will also bring those last remaining apps and games to the Microsoft Store.

Regarding value, the $1,000 price does get you the Envy x2 tablet, keyboard, cover, and pen all in the box. The Apple iPad Pro with 256GB of storage (non-expandable), Pencil, keyboard cover, and LTE is a jaw-dropping $1,431. The Surface Pro with LTE (plus keyboard and Surface Pen) is even higher at $1,708. Sure, the Surface Pro with LTE is a more powerful computer, but is that worth the extra $700? I'm not so sure.

Even dropping to the new 9.7-inch Apple iPad with LTE, Pencil, and Logitech keyboard cover you are still shelling out $806. You get a fantastic tablet, but a terrible PC. Suddenly, the HP Envy x2 seems to fit in nicely with all those devices. HP sees the Envy x2 as those who want something like an iPad Pro, but like Apple's tablet, it's not necessarily your main-rig PC either.

See at HP.com

Pros:

  • Extremely long battery life.
  • Outstanding build quality and hardware.
  • Instant on, 4G always-connected.
  • Nimble, light PC computing.

Cons:

  • Not all Store apps and games run on it (yet).
  • Some will find the price off-putting.

For those who like the Envy x2's look, HP will be selling a variant with an Intel 7th gen Core-Y processor and optional LTE. That version will be 1mm thicker, likely heavier, and lacks the cool hinge kickstand of the ARM version. It also won't have instant on, and it will have shorter battery life. There's no word on pricing, but I would not be surprised if it were $100 (or more) than the ARM version of the Envy x2.

Overall, it's hard not to use the Envy x2 and think this is the future of light, mobile computing for first-line workers, journalists, students, retail employees, realtors, business travelers, executives, and more. That makes dismissing it very hard to do, and for me, it has become one of the most useful bits of technology I own, and I'm glad it's here.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

137 Comments
  • As a student who needs to travel a lot, this looks pretty good! It would be soooo nice to not have to carry a charger with me every where I go!
  • and looks waaeeey better than iPads
  • It better be at 3x the price, but I doubt it actually is as well built as an iPad.
  • Man you waste a lot of your time hating on things you don't own or want.
  • I do want Microsoft to make good products, they just keep wasting time on garbage like this.
  • You need to get your hate straight.
    It's made by HP, not Microsoft.
  • WoA is Microsoft. HP is just a follower.
  • This is HP...
    WoA is just like x64, it's just another processor that Windows can run on.
    One day we might have something else and making Windows.PC run on it isn't a con, it's a pro.
    Like x64 era, adaption takes time that's all.
  • WOA is not like X64, if it had been these things would have been a hit, the emulation of X86 apps is pathetic, as Dan mentioned, its not for everyone.
  • x64 was not x32 TOO, get it?
  • I've had the HP Envy X2 WoA device for about a month now and I love it! I even sold my Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop and will be getting a mini gaming desktop to replace it for my PC gaming needs. Like Daniel was saying, the great battery life and instant on are really nice features. As long as you stick to UWP apps, you won't be disappointed in the performance and not once have I felt the need to switch to Windows 10 Pro.
  • But UWP development is basically dead. Sticking to the Windows Store doesn't give you many options.
  • You are aware you don't speak for everyone, right? I'm a pretty tech savvy person steeped in technology and even I can run in Windows 10 S mode just fine. People try to use iPads as real computers so there are crazier things in this world.
  • The iPad has a mature ecosystem and app store full of high quality software. This doesn't. A $329 iPad is more capable than this $1000 faux Windows machine.
  • See, here's the thing: I have both of the devices, iPad 9.7 + KB + Pen and the Envy x2. iPad is a great tablet, it's a terrible PC though even with a KB. If you can't admit then you are just delusional. If you need to bang out emails, write a paper, do Excel, hop into PowerPoint, or just do PC stuff with a mouse/trackpad and not have to touch the screen for every action the Envy x2 is the better choice. iPad is to play; Envy x2 is to work. You want a device to play, that's fine. I need to work though. That's the difference here. I'm a professional, you want something to play with on the couch or binge watch Netflix...but, when you want to get REAL work done, you know what you do...you grab your Surface Book because an iPad is terrible for anything but consumption.
  • Sure. Microsoft doesn't have to compete with Apple. When you can buy an iPad for $329, the Microsoft equivalent has to be cheaper. Pens and keyboards and LTE are irrelevant. Think about it, Apple sells 10 million iPads a quarter while Microsoft will struggle to hit even 100,000 WoA devices. Which one will have a future with developers and which will "not be a focus" in a year or two? Microsoft has to compete on price. Work or play, your argument doesn't matter. Sales do. They aren't going to sell at 3x the price of an iPad. This thing needs to be $299 at most with no accessories. $199 if Microsoft is serious.
  • "Think about it, Apple sells 10 million iPads a quarter while Microsoft will struggle to hit even 100,000 WoA devices." You DO realize that ALL Windows 10 devices have a connection to the Store right?
  • Then why hasn't the store seen more developers and growth? Why is there basically no apps in the store worth using? You lose absolutely nothing by ignoring the store.
  • The above guy is a troll. Why do you want to waste your time 😀 But anyways Apple makes money selling hardware and Microsoft makes money by selling software and now more of services.
  • I wish he was a troll. I really do. But he's right. While it is true that the iPad doesn't make a very good productivity device, this is for one reason only: no cursor. Add mouse input, and the lowest-end iPad will be more functional for most people than the most expensive Windows device. There is just no new software available for Windows. If you need legacy program support, you still may be stuck with it. But for everyone else...
  • > bleached
    SW Quality?
    Pls answer this, why api from Apple deprecates faster than other competitors? Why resize-window-from-any-corner is finally available to Mac users in 2012? A lilo too late don't you think? Why we still don't have a menu key on Mac? Why can't we switch WiFi AP within iOS's quick setting? Both Android and Win10 has it.
    How fast can you switch from AppA to AppB than A than B? How many steps does it take? Double tapping Android's task button twice fast?
    How fast can you launch your Mail app with an iPad? "winKey + m + a + i + enter" fast?
    How fast can you jump between apps? alt+tab fast?
    How to drag a file from file explorer to other apps? Or drag a file or image from one app to another? "start dragging, alt+tab, drop" fast?
    How to scroll TextField (e.g. adress bar) in iOS if the text is too long? Long press and wait for the input caret to show up then drag the caret around? WinPC aside, even Android does it better.
    Do you know what is Home and End button? How about ctrl+arrowKeys/backspace/del?
    How do you go to tab 6 then tab 2 in iPad's Safari? Ctrl+6 then ctrl+2?
  • and yet Apple's OS is more reliable, with fewer bugs, and not tested by insiders...btw, is the April Fools Update on wincrap 10 working or still has the endless blue,black screens and crashes? :)))
  • ... come with a price (programmer's standpoint). Fewer bugs... are you talking about the OS (it's no bug free, if you read news) or 3rd party apps (def not bug free)? Only 1 set of HW + SW combination, no user tampering and Apple kills api faster than others (which leaves no BC and it'll be harder for Apple to go cross platform). It's simple I can give you that, but def pro-feature-lacking. I'm a lead programmer in a major game studio / publisher. I'm a pro. I mostly go mouse-free cause it's efficient. Can you work without a mouse with Apple machines?
  • > ... it'll be harder for Apple to go cross platform... For a (self-professed) pro, you don't know history of your trade all that well: Apple changed hardware twice, quite drastically, while retaining backward compatibility. First was Motorola 68K to Power PC and the second was Power PC to Intel. Latter, admittedly, dropped compatibility with Mac OS 9, but that was about a time for it to go anyway. Developers were provided with the tools to produce "fat" executables which could run on both platforms, transparently to the user. OTOH Microsoft made several attempts to diversify itself off Intel, with ARM being only the most recent one. Before that there was Windows on Power PC and Windows on MIPS, both failing to produce any impression outside of the deeply professional circles. Windows on the DEC Alpha was a success of sorts, but that died along with the (un) timely demise of the platform. To be fair, not the fault of Microsoft per se, but it did feel like second class citizen, even in its day. Your "mouse-free" statement is even more amusing: Visual Studio 2017 *could not* be used without the mouse, end of the story, period. OTOH, if you scratch the lipstick off the Mac OS, there is a darwin core underneath, which was developed *without GUI* and, obviously could be used without mouse. Now whether there is a reason to do so, apart from (IMHO dubious) bragging rights is the completely different story.
  • I'm not really talking about CPU changes.
    The other day I heard programmer complain about API again got removed from new iOS update (and people start to talk about Apple actually drop api faster than others and then we talk about whether or not Apple have the capacity to follow MS to bring iOS to IOT, PC, other machines and cpus. In the world we live in, people run Windows in arcade cabinets, vending machines, surveillance, water meter, ATM and robots. And don't forget, AI and Azure are the backbone of all those frontends. We can finally have the ability to deploy 1 code to different machines. Even server side and client side can share the same code to some extent if you use C#) a year and half ago, the rendering lib (forgot the name of the lib) got replaced by the new one, all the sudden, making Unity user harder to adapt cause Unity updates on its own interval. DirectX is the standard in the industry. Havok is the physics engine, midware we use in most AAA games (including Uncharted and Zelda). Apple?
    And if you use Unity or Unreal, you use VisualStudio. And we can certainly use VisualStudio to code a Switch game.
    Do you think Apple have the capacity to merge Mac and iOS? Not another new OS but port the very same iOS or Mac to different areas / industries, different CPUs? How about api/lib maintenance? I do use VisualStudio (alt+ctrl+l to open Solution Explorer then you press Home then PgUp to go to "search", ctrl+t then o opens current file in FileExplorer. And there's ctrl, shift, alt, arrow keys, del, backsace, home, end pgUp, pgDn, number key commbinations and tricks), File Explorer, Office, etc mouse-free most of the time (alt+tab to switch between Windows, winKey+tons of other keys to manipulate window). And you can def navigte Windows UI (e.g. if you wanna press "save but (d)on't exit" button in a dialog, use alt+d. If you wanna access File Menu, alt+f. If you want to jump to "(n)ame" input field, alt+n. If you want to switch between tabs, alt+tab) without a mouse.
    For Edge or Chrome, I have my own "command line" injection.
    With Windows, if you want to "right click" on a object currently on focus, press menu key to bring out the context menu.
    The only thing I cannot go mouse free is Unreal, Adobe and 3dsMax, Reason or Komplete. Try this exercise for me on your Mac.
    Type "aple" then hit space, how do you fix it?
    Move your mouse over from the other side of the screen, click, move to the top of the context menu, click? Or just left arrow, menu key, enter?
  • You are hilarious... but, if you insist: RabbitsDen:misc sunny$ cat > HelloKBD.C
    #include <iostream> int main(int argc, char *argv[])
    {
    std::cout << "Hello, keyboard!" << std::endl;
    }
    RabbitsDen:misc sunny$ g++ -o HelloKBD HelloKBD.C
    RabbitsDen:misc sunny$ ./HelloKBD
    Hello, keyboard!
    RabbitsDen:misc sunny$
  • We have a few Apple devices in our household as well as Windows and Android and the reliability is about the same for all of them. Now if you want to talk about reliable. I remember my Nokia running Windows 8.1 can run for many months without a reboot.
  • That was Win8.1...hated by classic start menu lovers, but at least better tested than this junk 10.
  • I have not had many problems with Windows 10 since last fall's update. It has finally become stable, at least on my (many!) PCs running it. Now I just wish it had developer support.
  • Well my certs are MCSE, CCNA, and Master CSSA - just a bit more than tech savvy. This does need to be more within the price point of the lower priced iPads... Especially, with the failures of UWP. Even PWAs will not help this (with the current price point) IMHO. Look, Microsoft's upcoming lower priced Surface WILL NOT have or use an ARM Chip. They even know the reason why that device can't utilize WoA, and so should the consumer. Sorry, the Cons should be more obvious here today. However, with the much needed advancements, as it relates to processing power of WoA... this can be revisited.
  • Perhaps not include the keyboard and pen to lower the price. But I'm sure some here would complain about how those must be included.
  • LOL Hater.
  • As a developer, I can tell you that you're wrong.
    UWP is far from dead. It's really just beginning.
  • Good luck with that.
  • It's beginning for how many years? :))
  • Win10 was launched at July 2015.
    UWP for win10 start to mature a year later I think. API, XAML and stuff.
  • And where is it now? Ignored by MS and by devs. When Ms itself is more focused on other platforms than their own, one cannot wonder why no one gives a damn about UWP.
  • UMP is another terrible MS technology. So many hundreds of thousands of apps gone. Everything would have to be rewritten. A multi-threaded event driven async winforms app that could be written in a couple of hours is now turned into weeks of development. I have a "belief" as to why MS keeps getting these things wrong but I won't say it. So examples of MS products that should have really taken off, mappoint and windows ce. Tons of programmers who could have easily coded apps for mobile. But they let them slide and everyone had to learn android and deal with eclipse then later android studio with constant updates. Heck just keeping things compiling with those platforms is a headache. So when deciding what to learn and do next just go straight to android and xcode and forget about learning UWP. Just like the windows phone UWP will go away too.
  • Can I just say that for casual gaming this should be fine. It should play games as good as a phone, which should be what people expect
  • I was considering an iPad Pro 12, but jumped on the Envy X2 as soon as I learned of its availability. Boy, am I glad I did. This device does exactly what I had hoped, and is rapidly becoming my ultimate portable with LTE connectivity. Most importantly, the Windows on ARM and hardware combination is _stable_. I have used the laptop for a month, and so far have not been forced into reboots, like I often do with my Windows phone. As mentioned in this post, the battery life is excellent, and the experience quite pleasant. For me it is WinRT done right, so I hope MSFT sticks with the platform.
  • Try to do the following with an iPad Pro. Connect a USB drive to the type C connector, and seamless exchange data with your other computers. Or, even better, connect a USB hub, and access more peripherals seamlessly.
  • That is how you do it in 2007. In 2018 you drop the file into your cloud drive and it is available anywhere without any silly hardware or cables.
  • Ah yes, so useful when someone gives you a thumbdrive with assets in a meeting...
  • What if they hand you a floppy drive or a more recently defunct storage medium like a CD? Technology moves on. Use a dongle in the meantime if you really need to.
  • "What if they hand you a floppy drive or a more recently defunct storage medium like a CD?"
    Hyperbole and strawmen are not real arguments. What you suggest NEVER happens. Thumbdrives though in 2018? Very real. Same with mice. Same with external adapters. Look, no one is using an iPad in the office in 2018. This is just silly. I ge te dongle thing for Macs, but iPads are not in the work environment, period.
  • leave him alone, I guess retrenchment made a big impact on him, he's gone crazy basically.
  • No one is using ONLY ipads...there, a more accurate statement. But MANY use ALSO ipads besides their office PC/Notebook, especially in automotive.
  • It is reported that half of iPad sales are to the enterprise. That is 5x all Surface sales combined. I don't know how you can say they aren't being used in the office.
  • The only thing our company uses Ipads for is for scanning things in the warehouse. Those of us in the office either use desktop PC's and laptops with a few Macs.
  • They are used as a secondary device by marketing people in our company. For real work they use laptops.
  • Lol, no idea why you're wasting your time here. Floppy disk in 2018? Thumbdrives are still a thing in some places, maybe your home and office still use them, or even hospitals. USB-C is in don't mean USB-A is out immediately. Clearly your narrowed-vision world only allows iPad Pros to exist. This device is for some people, not all. You can play with your iPad Pro like a cool consumer. We wanna do real work here, which for some of us our real work can be done on a WOA device like this, while others have real work that need more power where Intel comes in.
  • Supposedly half of all iPad sales are into the enterprise.
  • I suspect that includes point of sale devices bolted to a storefront desk basically running one program. we still aren't doing real business are we? It's basically a point of sale device in retail. Not exactly the powerhouse taking over the enterprise.
  • Come again, USB thumb drives are defunct in 2018? I suggest a quick trip to your non Apple local computer store.
  • you know that even in 2018, you have not always acces to (fast) internet … no problem I'll share you GBs of files on your clud, I'll start to work with a thumb drive + mouse + keyboard + external monitor... let's see who will be more productive? P.s.
    don't forget to give the GBs of new files back
  • If you dealing with files that big, you aren't using this machine. You are using a real machine.
  • Dude, you're flying off the deep end. This device is more than capable of reading and writing large files from a thumb drive. No need for a real machine if this fits the bill.
  • This device does that too! But it's funny how your champion device can't even handle functions from "2007".
  • Great job Dan! Easily some of your best work. Of course I'm slightly biased just because I've had such high hopes for this device. :0) But glad to know that it lives up to its billing. Love my i7 Yoga 900, but have been looking for a slightly smaller, tablet like, device for on the go, and didn't want to have to go iPad again. Especially like the comparison between a similarly spec'd iPad Pro. Always been a pet peeve with Apple devices... once you add in all the expensive Accessories seems like you're almost always talking $1500! With an Android phone, and Your Phone connection, I could see this having real value on a daily basis!
  • Reading articles like this makes me HATE Intel for its lack of innovativon. Neither they're capable of building a 10nm CPU, while competitors are starting 7nm production.
  • ...and AMD says they're on schedule for 7nm too, which is crazy. Things will get interesting in the next few years. Re: Intel and innovation, at least now with competition maybe we can see some real improvements here.
  • You are confusing Intel and Microsoft -- going into S4 is the OS thing, not hardware (please, do not bother educating me on S4BIOS -- last I have seen it IRL was ThinkPad 701C AKA "Butterfly")...
  • My Surfacebook is on as soon as I open it. You keep saying "instant on", but I don't understand how it could be quicker. Too bad you cannot do an honest review. This reminds me of Windows Central's review of the Surface RT. They even called it "speedy"(https://m.windowscentral.com/review-microsoft-surface). I am sure this review will age as poorly as that one did. Even Microsoft is already backtracking from these RT2.0 devices. https://mspoweruser.com/report-microsofts-low-cost-surface-will-use-inte... https://www.windowscentral.com/how-microsoft-downplaying-qualcomms-poor-... Are you being too easy on this device? It is hard to find a positive review from anyone else.
  • "My Surfacebook is on as soon as I open it. You keep saying "instant on", but I don't understand how it could be quicker."
    Look, if you're going to criticize me learn the difference between Modern Standby/hibernate of your own PC. Unplug your Surface Book, close the lid, leave it off for a few hours and now turn it on. You're talking S2/S3 and I'm talking S4. Your computer definitely goes to S4, so once you learn the difference you can come back here and lecture me about your PC.
    " It is hard to find a positive review from anyone else."
    Try searching for "Envy x2". Two reviews in the last two weeks come right up. Both are positive. www.t3.com cnet.com That wasn't hard to find, which tells me you're not really trying but are trolling. I find your attempt weak. PS I'm posting this coming home from a concert in the back of my friend's car doing 65MPH on the Envy x2. Just being honest. Now you try to leave an honest comment versus just trolling and I'll think about letting you comment on this site again. Fair?
  • All I know is my Surfacebook turns on as soon as I open the lid. If the first boot takes a few extra seconds, I don't think that is enough of a difference to make WoA viable. The reviews were so bad Microsoft has even started backtracking on WoA. You even reported that. They also don't seem to think it is viable for their new Surface tablet. You could have banged that message out on a $459 iPad. "But it has a keyboard" doesn't make up for the extra $541 the X2 costs. Especially since that iPad has a mature touch ecosystem and will still be supported in 2 years. With Microsoft's recent treatment of WoA, it might be dead by the end of the year.
  • "All I know is my Surfacebook turns on as soon as I open the lid. "
    Your Surface Book 100% hibernates when on battery, usually after 90 minutes. It's the default setting. It's not "instant on" like a smartphone. If you can't admit to this then you either have no idea how your own PC works, how Intel systems works, or how Windows works, which is fine, just don't pretend that you now have the knowledge to compare it to a system you have never even seen in person.
    "The reviews were so bad Microsoft has even started backtracking on WoA. You even reported that."
    You're confusing Ward's editorial with what I say on things. You're wrong. He's wrong and I told him that. But hell, if you really want to use Ward to justify your position here, whell, I'll screen shot this for future generations.
    " They also don't seem to think it is viable for their new Surface tablet."
    Not every device needs to be ARM. And they are using it in Andromeda, so not really sure your point here. Either way, we need to wait and see on this rumored Surface.
    "You could have banged that message out on a $459 iPad. "But it has a keyboard" doesn't make up for the extra $541 the X2 costs. ."
    I have that iPad. It's terrible for banging out on and no, your math, again, is wrong. iPad 9.7 + LTE + KB + Pencil = $805. A "Mature touch ecosystem" is great for a smartphone, but fails for working creating in Excel. Look, if you're only device is a 9.7-inch iPad and you do your job and create documents on it...then what do you need a Surface Book for? iPads are 80% consumption, and maybe 20% production, but no one seriously uses those on a professional level. You know this. Just stop.
    "With Microsoft's recent treatment of WoA, it might be dead by the end of the year."
    You have this confused, bleached. I tell you the news and what is going to happen, you don't tell me anything. You have no privledge here, you have no knowledge, you are not a part of this world. You're an observer, so observe.
  • Dan I'm glad you had a talk with Jason, I felt the WOA Qualcomm MS article was far fetched, he took one statement of an MS exec from an interview and spun a whole story around that, I ll be honest, I'm a bit critic of the warditorials as they mostly exaggeration of statements that Ms execs give without any research into the background or applying own logic/practicality to the same.
  • Ward wasn't the only one reporting that story. It was specifically about a Microsoft statement. They certainly didn't sound like they were defending WoA.
  • You're trying so hard to "see" something negative about it. Your whataboutism is on point.
  • I'm thinking iPad Pro is dead as soon as it was out. It seems like it's mostly in the hands of fanboys who would get anything Apple. We're sure those reading / watching the review here are looking to see if there is a viable device that's lighter and better than what they currently have. I'm using a Surface 3 for a lot of Excel work, and the experience (emphasis on experience) of working on Excel has been better on a Surface 3 than on an iPad Pro for me at least. If this device is as reviewed, then it's better than my Surface 3 for my use cases.
  • "All I Know..." Man, you're getting lazy at this pretentious trolling thing.
  • > PS I'm posting this coming home from a concert in the back of my friend's car doing 65MPH on the Envy x2. Just being honest.
    I would really love to see detailed list of what would have prevented you from posting it on $130.00 Lenovo IdeaPad, married to your phone. Please, believe me, this is not sarcasm, this is an attempt to understand what additional $870.00 will buy me, or, rather, my college-age kid... Thank you.
  • Or just posting it from your phone like normal. Who wants to carry around a laptop at a concert?!
  • > Or just posting it from your phone This is not a comparison, I am interested in -- the answer (keyboard and the screen size) is obvious to anyone with any common sense. Comparing this thing with cheap laptop/phone combination is much more interesting. And I would prefer an answer from someone, who, actually used the thing -- which you, obviously, have not.
  • "Or just posting it from your phone like normal." I'd rather cut my wrists than write a post as long as the one Dan did using a phone's touch keyboard. "Who wants to carry around a laptop at a concert?!" I barely feel any weight carrying a device that light (in my case, a Surface Pr o 4) in a backpack. And you don't bring a laptop to a concert thinking you'll use it during the event, but rather that you may want to use it after it's over. Bigger screens still are, after all, more comfortable for consumption/creation than smaller ones.
  • " would really love to see detailed list of what would have prevented you from posting it on $130.00 Lenovo IdeaPad, married to your phone"
    This is faster and more convenient. I also get better speeds since you lose some by tethering wirelessly. I can turn on and be on the internet as fast as you turn on your smartphone. If you ONLY occasionally need internet then sure, go and tether. But there IS a reason why OEMs sell PCs with LTE and have done so for years. Some of us need constant connectivity. This is one of those "you need to try to understand it" situations. Yes, you can tether, but it is something I rarely do. The bigger point is while tethering is fine for some people it's GOOD to have options on the market for us that do want to. That's all this is: a new option. Not everyone has to be convinced it's for them - it's not, it IS for me though. And I say that as someone who has Surface Pro with LTE too. When PC is now always connected and you get amazing battery life, well, you tend to use it much more often. It's like dial-up internet vs. cable modem back in the day. they both got you online, right, so no difference? Well, for many it was the "always connected" bit for home PCs that drove up higher internet engagement. And while I could do some "work" on my phone I can bang out a full email, do a Skype call, multitask Office, all within seconds with a big keyboard. It's a big deal...for some of us. Another way of saying this is if I gave you this device, you would very likely end up using it a lot. The question is, is the $1,000 "worth it". That's a personal choice, obviously.
  • Thank you, your answer is exactly what I was looking for.
  • yes, I know the difference between hibernate always on etc. but the ssd in my pc is now so fast when I boot my pc it's almost instant on. so ssds are now so fast the advance of always on is almost none.
  • This bleached guy can't count that more than half the different people who have commented so far have found the Envy with its features, use cases, capabilities useful for them.
  • We could have found plenty of people saying the same about the Surface RT. We know how that turned out.
  • "We could have found plenty of people saying the same about the Surface RT.
    This is a statement, not an argument. Trying arguing on the technicalities of how Windows 10 on ARM runs apps compiled in ARM64, which includes Win32 apps. The issue here is you're talking as a pretend expert about a system you have never used or have experience with, that is what makes your criticisms here dubious. I mean, I just had to explain to you how Modern Standby works on your own PC, because you don't think your laptop actually hibernates. But sure, tell us what you think about Windows 10 on ARM from the 0% experience you have with it. Im waiting.
  • All I know is my Surface Book is ready in seconds and it is. Even from a cold boot, it starts plenty fast. There isn't much room for improvement there and it certainly wouldn't make up for all the deficiencies in WoA. "No apps, but that is ok, it starts immediately!" "It is 3x the base price of an iPad, but that is ok, it starts up immediately!" Boot speed is the last thing Microsoft needs to be working on.
  • There is no boot speed Microsoft was working on... These devices just stay on contrary to your Surface book, which needs to boot. Not everyone has such low standards as you with respect to switch-on delay. At the time your Surface book comes out of hibernate, i have switched the WoA device on, started a browser, googled something and switched it to standby again. Of course i could have also asked Cortana - which is entirely impossible with your "cool" Surface Book. Besides, >90% of all apps just work. No idea where you have the "no apps" mantra from...Ah i forgot, you do not have a WoA device and just spill clueless crap and hearsay.
  • My Surface book has the same useless app store. You might as well be using an iPad if you are related to the Windows Store. At least you would have quality software available, not just Microsoft services.
  • "All I know is my Surface Book is ready in seconds and it is. Even from a cold boot, it starts plenty fast. There isn't much room for improvement there and it certainly wouldn't make up for all the deficiencies in WoA. "
    Evidently, you don't do any real work multiple times a day then. It's also still evident you don't know how a PC works, so I will continue to dismiss all your comments here.
  • All I can see from your comments here is that suddenly, the surface book/Pro is no longer a good business partner because it starts a little slower after sleep and it has a few hours less of battery life. Sorry but this approach is plain BS. The way you are trying to promote this, is, sorry, a little bit laughable. You have not presented ONE viable advantage over other decent notebooks. Not one. Battery life? Please...tell me how many do work 20hs a day (bye bye private life and health), or work that much away from a power socket? I'm sure you're aware that many notebooks come with LTE modems as well...
    I expect when you review something and recommend a device, to have real objective reasons...not simply defending something in hope users will take the bait...at least this is how other reviewers do...you know, objective.
  • I think you are being overly harsh.
    I have a Surface Pro 3, use it a lot and absolutely love it and have no reason to upgrade it - it works perfectly and awesomely. The single only thing I would like it to do better is start instantaneously like this new tablet does.
    This device has numerous advantages over previous tablets that are extremely useful for people that do work that involves mobility and typing documents and emails - which is a lot of people. Pretty much everyone I know who bought or was given a Ipad Pro has ditched it and gone back to a laptop because the typing experience is so bad. This device would probably be the perfect device for those people.
  • Actually, my cousin finished college on a Surface RT 2. Decided to get a new Surface last year when he had to start clinicals.
  • I have the original Surface RT and it is by far the worst device I have ever attempted to use. Even after a factory reset it takes minutes to boot to the home screen. Forget trying to open a browser or actually use any of the apps. Excruciatingly slow, if you can even get it work at all.
  • Daniel, do you know whether Surface Dial is supported? I would assume it would work over BT, but the screen capability? Thanks 😊
  • what Apple Trying to do with iPod pro Take a phone OS Make into laptop desktop OS. iPod is good for watch tv show and moves rend a good e-book and Kindle Fire tablet is good with that too. I will love to make Windows tablet Jest a tablet like the iPod but cheap.
  • if I was on Budget I will get this but nat. So I'm getting Surface Pro with LTE.
  • Daniel, do you think polarr will work decent on the hp? I really wish that the texture app worked on windows. I would give my iPad to my wife and get a new envy. That app keeps me on iPad. I use it a lot while travelling.
  • Good piece. Partly because it's given me a good handle on it, including significant, clear benefits. I rely on Creative Cloud and Affinity apps, so it isn't for me currently. But in the future this new form is likely to be just what I want. Vive let difference.
  • I'm really liking this device. I find the Surface overkill/too expensive and a laptop too clunky to bring to meetings, speaking of which arriving at the start of a meeting and having instant-on rather than wait for boot- or wake up is a huge benefit. The only thing is the price. $1,000 USD can be tough for some budgets. I thought the SD was supposed to make these things cheaper? The price vs iPad is less relevant than the hurtle to spend that much (I'll say $800+) on a bridging device for most folks. My gut tells me people would value the benefit of such a device at around $500 b/c you'd have to shell out the extra carrying costs for the data plan, unless work is paying for it. If you're heavy on the go though and need LTE then there really isn't a competitor out there and $1,000 isn't too bad if you're in this camp. Just not sure how big this market is.
  • In reality, you have to compare this HP with iPad in "Hardware" not popularity. The build quality in comparison with other tablet makes HP a good deal. Smartphone costs more or less equal to this. Samsung cost $800 and that's just hardware because Android is free. On top of my head the benefit of 1000 hours standby time, 15 hours of usage, instant on, USB, LTE, and fully charge in 90 min alone trumps iPad.
  • No, it is supply and demand, not supply and hardware. They have to be much less than the iPad because there is no demand. Hardware doesn't really come into it unless it is revolutionary.
  • You just have proven that there is demand, because price is high...
    There is nothing else to conclude from your statement.
  • Did that work out for the X3? It's price was high and it had no demand.
  • Either there is a correlation between price and demand or not. Assuming there is a correlation, as you claim, then there must be demand. That is the only conclusion to draw, since neither you nor me have insights into demand.
  • Hi Dan, would you mind sharing the apps that you used while testing the Envy x2, and perhaps point out those that stood out as having great performance vs not?
  • MSFT, if you are reading this, please stop referring to win32 as legacy or/and obsolete. One of the key features, I believe, for this class of devices is the ability to recompile win32 to ARM64. Had you allowed and supported this use case in WinRT (ARM32), history might have been different. Always respect the past.
  • You mentioned using Atom in the past. I too currently have an HP X2 10.1 (not Envy X2), but the 10.1 inch 2-in-1 with an Atom processor. And unfortunately I find myself not wanting to use it, mostly because of the laggy processor. But also because the build quality. The keys feel cheap. So I'm super excited about the Envy X2 build quality you spoke of. But since you've used Atom in the past, and you mention that the 835 Qualcomm processor feels faster, what % would you say it feels faster over Atom? Can you put a # on it?
  • It's kind of a big difference. I'm running a new Atom device (Sirius A Pro from Ockel) and while the hardware is good the CPU is killing me on even doing basic tasks.
  • WoW this is the best review on Windows on a ARM Tablet/Laptop I saw. It seems to me
    that there is hope for Windows 10 on ARMs CPU devices. Since the Snapdragon 845 is a Faster more advanced CPU- Performance of these device is going to be better. Hmm I wonder
    if the folding 2 screen Surface Andromeda Mini Tablet/Cell phone Hybrid is going to use
    Windows 10 on ARM powered by a Snapdragon 845. I guess it wont debut until it does some with a Snap Dragon 845 CPU. Time will tell. Thanks Dan for the great review
  • Daniel, does envy support esim and is it available right now? Is desktop onenote works in window S mode? Currently, with envy x2, I am not lacking in term of apps or running window S mode. Questions is, should I wait for better ARM processor or it's just a matter of apps development.
  • "Daniel, does envy support esim and is it available right now? "
    I was told it needs a firmware update. Since eSIM is not big in the US yet, HP is evidently working on it to make it happen.
  • Yeah, that Justice Department collusion investigation might put a damper on esim for awhile...
  • Dan, do u see any new push from MS for UWPs, its sad that their own apps dont find the UWP love, PWAs can be a backup but UWP shouldnt have been abandoned if they were serious about true replacement of Win32 applications.
  • Build had a lot of UWP related announcements. More capabilities basically. It doesn't have to be a "push" but Microsoft's own apps are always getting updated. I was surprised to see a lot of fluent in the built in apps after I updated to 1803.
  • Daniel, how well does the hinge hold the angle?
  • Very well. If you wrap the keyboard around and use it as the base, it almost locks it for drawing.
  • Erm... I need to learn to phrase my questions... you were typing in the car -- did it held the angle as laptop would or was it trying to topple all the time like the tablet with the external keyboard?
  • I personally think it's great that there are more and more devices like this. Instant on is the killer feature together with battery life. People complain about what's not there instead of enjoying what it does have over other devices. Sure, I would like an i7 on everything, but top power is not the limit of computing. Use scenarios are what define devices. Most users don't need an i7 in most use scenarios anyway.
  • Great write up Daniel. I will be looking into these for my wife in the near future. She needs acomputer to organize and take notes on for our daughters schooling. This will be perfect also as she is charging device challenged lol.
  • Finally a nice Windows device that works well as a tablet and a very light and mobile laptop. Ever since Windows RT was killed, many of us have been pining for a version of windows that worked on ARM processors, has very productive UI (no, Windows 10 Mobile won't cut it as a tablet since you couldn't force "continuum" UI on a tablet) which would give us great battery life, instant on and always connected ability. I have owned a couple of Atom tablets but it was always too hot, sluggish (even in UWP), had atrocious battery life and slept like a baby (that means no alarms unless plugged in overnight, no torrex pro while sleeping, no emails and IM while sleeping, skype calls won't come in etc.) if it didn't contract the dreaded sleep or death, that is. Comparing this to the iPad, its cheaper, has better battery life and has the best OS for convertibles and 2-in-1s, so its a contender. I've no doubt this would be a great device for many. I would like to commend Dan for seeing immediately what this sort of device is aimed at. I notices many other reviews barely even took the device out of the office preferring to just run their usual bevy of benchmarks and tests. If they had taken it to Build 2018, they might have "got it."
  • Hi Daniel, one big draw for HP's Enxy X2 WoA over an iPad Pro is the ability to store files locally and conveniently. Type an email and you can drag and drop your file right there. Better yet is to have these local files synced with say your desktop at home or your cloud storage. How does the Envy X2 and WoA handle: - OneDrive (not the store app but the x86 desktop client)? Do you need to unlock full Windows 10 or is it baked into Windows 10S?
    - Dropbox (not the store app either)? I assume we need to unlock full windows to install the desktop client.
    -Google Drive (desktop client as well)? All the core apps for a mobile productivity device seem to run fine, judging from your review and video, so I was just wondering if any of these 'lightweight' file-syncing apps would slow the Envy x2 down to a crawl...
  • (Ignore the Dropbox part, their website states the Dropbox desktop client won't run on WoA)
  • Whilst I think that there is a good market for an always-connected device with extended battery life, I'm not sure the x2 fits the bill for the majority of that market. First of all, its just way too expensive for what it is. You know, by about double. The segment of users this will appeal to, don't need pens or extended screen resolution. Second of all, performance is an issue. I've owned Atom-based tablets before now, and performance was really at the lower limit of what was usable. I'm not even convinced Core m3-standard is usable either, so if this ARM variant can't meet that, it's not enough. The entire solution is heavily reliant on Edge as a browser, which isn't great, and especially if you use this in S mode as you should try to do. But even with all this, I am left with a nagging feeling: Win 10 is just far too large an OS to operate such a device. It cripples the life and performance, which is the primary raison-d'etre for it. Finally, and the killer, is that this is all still reliant on telcos to offer reasonable data plans. And they won't do it, because it cannibalizes the smartphone market for which they already have a solution where they charge you once for voice+data plans for web browsing/app use, and again for tethering/hotspot usage, on the one device they sell you. Having a second device and having basically a separate data plan for that, people just won't pay up for. Until there is a market for data-only plans from telcos, this whole device category will be hobbled from taking off. And possibly, we will have to wait for 5G for that to come about.
  • Oh, and one last thing. We were told that Win 10 on ARM was going to succeed over WinRT, because the 'missing feature' was the win32/x86 emulation. Come to find out now, that messaging is already being retired, and now we are being told that the 'killer feature' (which still isn't here, BTW) is going to be recompiling x86/x64 apps for ARM64. But really, you should have a UWP app anyway. Or maybe a PWA, wrapped in a UWP. Facts are, the 'legacy' apps people use are widely varied and many/most will not be recreated/recompiled as is being suggested; and the reviews state its fairly clear the win32/x86 emulation is only performant in very limited cases. When the messaging changes as much as it has for the device in question, you've got to question whether the market targeting has been properly understood, the solution has been built before that has been defined. Feels a lot like Fire, Ready, Aim. They know they need an ARM solution long term, they just can't quite figure out what and how to get there.
  • I have been using a Core M powered Surface Pro 4 for the last couple years and I find it more than usable. And I don't see why this type of device would cannibalize the smartphone market because who in their right mind would use this device as their primary mode of communication?
  • "First of all, its just way too expensive for what it is. You know, by about double. "
    For what you get here I don't think the math adds up, sorry. I did the math for iPad, iPad Pro and Surface Pro LTE. The same iPad 9.7 with LTE + KB + Pencil is $805; iPad Pro is $1,400. Yet why is $1,000 too much? Also, where do you shave $500 off from? Display? No Windows Hello? Inking? No keyboard?
  • Well, this is indeed over-engineered. They really need to create an ARM device which can go after as large a market as possible. This has all the niche features that are a niche upon a niche upon a niche, and want to charge top dollar for it. This won't help ARM get this form factor established. So yes, the answer is to downgrade the screen, not have inking, no Hello. Could you do it for $500? Probably not. I paid $350 for my LG latest gen smartphone (820 not 835 I think) and I paid $200 for my WinBook Atom tablet. So there is price, and there is cost (BOM). The BOM would be way less than $500, and using Apple with their premium pricing as a gauge isn't looking at things the right way because no-one else can sell at their margins. As well as being up against an iPad Pro or lesser, it should mainly be aiming at the (failed) Android tablet market; a combination consumer+limited Business device. There's a niche that need always-on/always-connected, but its a small one. And this device isn't competitive against an m3 or i5 Intel device if you need more creative grunt. If you're only doing limited business email and messaging, a smartphone will work.
  • The Surface 1 failed and, despite owning one, so did the Surface 2. The Surface 3 didn't do too bad but the charging time was simply crazy. Would I spend $1000 on this when I know that there's an amazing Core M Surface Pro out there for less? No way. Never. Ever. Will you? Possibly. How is this device any different than the two failed attempts, by MS 9and oems), to lock people (ish) into the store? Sure you have an emulation mode but, being realistic, other than battery life, there's possibly zero reason to buy.
  • To some of us battery life is a huge plus! Also the ability to charge both my phone and tablet/2-in-1 with a single charger. Emulation mode is still an unknown for me as there's one x86 application that I really use. Waiting for Dan's article about that.
  • Wow, so you would buy this to be able to charge your phone and table with the same charger :))) Seriously! Do you hear yourself?
  • I gave you the reasons of why someone would want this in review. No need to restate them. No one cares about "locking to the Store" when that is exactly how streaming boxes work, consoles work, and smartphones work.
  • You compare again other mature platforms with MS pathetic store. Really?
    You compare smartphones, consoles, streaming boxex and tablets which have a different OS designed for that form factor with Windows which is a desktop OS, no matter what you and other MS fans call it. If you say the tablet experience, UI/UX is great on win10 then I seriously question you being objective. On windows 99% use and want legacy apps! Whether you like it or not and the fact has been proved dozens of times! No users - no devs -no users ... remember?
    I understand your first part in the comment, that some may want this, but the second part...all those devices have always worked like that, and already have a decent platform supported by devs. Windows was built for the desktop and no matter how much you or MS wish for, legacy apps won't go away that easy, and providing a sub mediocre touch experience won't change that.
  • As a person who owns a 2 in 1 (11.6") and never owned a Surface device I think this device is good choice. Windows Ink, USB Type-C is a must in 2018, this means your device will be compatible with future hardware and Software from Windows ecosystem.
    I even read that Sprint made a partnership with Microsoft and HP and will offer free LTE for the rest of 2018 so that's great news for all of those who need a productivity device on the go and need to upload their work to the cloud anytime without requiring to find a Wi-fi spot.
  • I hope that WOA does well, but I personally cannot justify the price point of this. For $1k, I can get a Surface Pro or Laptop. I think this device seems nice, but not the same league as a Surface Pro or Laptop IMO.
  • Look at it more from a perspective of what your personal needs are rather than just pure specs. For some people they may not need to run win32/survive fine with UWP and they would really benefit from LTE and longer battery life.
  • Those several people won't buy enough of these, especially since it is 3x the price it should be, to make it a viable platform. Microsoft will back away from this within a year. It is too niche and pointless.
  • Other Intel laptops also come with LTE modems. The battery life with a few hours + is far from a reason to spend $999+ on this. Who on earth is working that much time away from a powersocket?? 15hs ??
  • Thanks for the unbiased review. I've been eyeing a WOA device, 2 in 1 to replace my aging Surface Pro 3. Its my secondary device as I use it mainly for work. I also have a powerful desktop as my primary computer. I'm in much of a similar position as you. Your breakdown on the quality build (its a beauty), keyboard, pen and LTE makes sense as it helps justifies the price. Australian version only comes with 8GB RAM, 256GB storage configuration for $1999. Jumped on the purchase when they had a EOFY special with $200 off. With the productivity apps I use, I've didn't noticed much lag. Working with Office 365 is fine. Win32 apps like Filezilla, Notepad ++ are fine. Chat apps (Win32) from the Windows store like LINE, Whatsapp, Wechat worked very well. I don't understand the commotion of people slagging the performance of these WOA devices without understanding its purpose and trying them out in the real world. Going to a local retailer and trying it first hand, helped convince me to be a believer. Apart from long battery life and LTE, USB C charging is a must which the Surface Pro line lack. I've got caught out on a trip to Madrid where I forgot my Surface charger and those things were a pain to find. Ended up buying the Surface dock because that is all I could find.
  • The performance should be closer to a Pentium than a i3/m3. Steve from Hardware Unboxed made a video on how slow the Snapdragon 835 really is.
  • I have been using the HP Envy X2 for a bit over a week and using the recently announced unlimited data plan from Sprint. I also have a Surface Pro (2017, Core i5) and previously used the Surface Pro 1, Surface Pro 3, and Surface 3. One of my main uses is keeping a lab notebook where pen support (and OneNote) are essential to capture design sketches and molecular structures. I also travel frequently and have wanted a lightweight, long battery life Windows 10 system to work on the road and give presentations. Otherwise, my main needs are a computer where I can work on manuscripts anywhere (using files on Box and OneDrive). I have been surprised how quickly I have come to rely on the LTE connection. I save my heavy computing/programming for lab computers. On the Envy X2, I am sticking to Windows S (Office, Spotify, Sling, Netflix, Whiteboard, Skype, Edge). I have no problems with speed on the Envy X2 even though I am used to the Surface Pro 2017. I echo the comments in the review: The Envy 2 is liberating. When I leave lab, I grab the Envy X2 instead of my Surface Pro. At home, my kids ask for the Envy X2 to watch Netflix or play Minecraft. I love this device. My only regret is that I will soon be plunking down another $1K when the next version comes out.
  • Awesome stuff! May I know the Webex experience? Also is the WSL already available in the latest build? I am also interested if Teamview works well or not. I am using iPad since version 1, currently iPad Pro with pencil. It is still an excellent tablet cept for use cases require keyboard and mouse extensively.