HP ENVY x2 vs. Google Pixelbook: Which should you buy?

Both the Chromebook (Pixelbook in our comparison here) and the HP ENVY x2 are two great portable choices that unlock access to two very different ecosystems. With the ENVY x2, you're locked into Windows 10 S and on the Pixelbook you're at the mercy of Google and Chrome OS.

Choosing between Windows and Chrome OS

The major differences between the HP ENVY x2 and Google Pixelbook are the OS and internals. You're able to kit either PC out with a 256 GB SSD and the Pixelbook will even go up to 16 GB of RAM. Google also has the upper hand in the screen department. while the ENVY x2 display is pretty good, it simply doesn't compare to the gorgeous 2400 x 1600 Pixelbook panel.

Where HP pulls things back is with the larger capacity battery, support for LTE, Bluetooth 5, and the ability for the screen to be detached from the keyboard — something the Pixelbook simply cannot do. The Pixelbook could be considered as Google's attempt to create a Chrome-powered laptop, while the ENVY x2 is more of a Windows ARM tablet.

And while there are some super-cheap and nasty Chromebooks out there, I didn't view it as a fair comparison to throw in a $200 Acer Chromebook against a $700 Windows tablet.

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Header Cell - Column 0 HP ENVY x2Google Pixelbook
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 835Up to 7th Gen Intel Core i7
OSWindows 10 SChrome OS
Display12.3-inch 1920 x 128012.3-inch 2400 x 1600
Camera5MP front-facing
13MP rear-facing
720p @ 60FPS
WirelessQualcomm WCN3990 802.11ac (2x2) Dual-Phy
Bluetooth 5
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2x2 (MIMO), dual-band (2.4 GHz, 5.0 GHz)
Bluetooth 4.2
4G LTERow 8 - Cell 2
Weight (w/ keyboard)1.57 lb (2.67 lb)
0.71 kg (1.21 kg)
2.4 lb
1.1 kg
Dimensions11.53 x 8.28 x 0.27 inch
292.9 x 210.3 x 6.9 mm
11.4 x 8.7 x 0.4 inch
290.4 x 220.8 x 10.3 mm

There is an Intel version of the HP ENVY x2, but we don't really recommend purchasing it. Compared to the Snapdragon model it's more powerful with the Core i5 CPU, but HP made some strange decisions in the making of the second variant, including a sub-par keyboard, smaller touchpad, less reliable LTE, and higher asking price.

Back to the Pixelbook and HP ENVY x2 with ARM. Both devices are worthy options but are rather expensive. If you need LTE and to be connected all the time, go with the ENVY x2. Bored of Windows and want to try something new? Pixelbook is your device.

HP ENVY x2 if you prefer Windows

HP's ENVY x2 is a stellar attempt at pushing ARM into the Windows ecosystem. It'll give Microsoft more of an incentive to get the Store sorted since owners of the tablet aren't able to install software downloaded from various websites. Sporting 4G LTE and a gorgeous design, you'll remain connected in style throughout the day.

Try Pixelbook if you want something new

Not content with Windows 10 S and the state of the Microsoft Store regarding apps? You'll want to go with the Pixelbook, or a more affordable Chromebook if the specifications and price are a little too much.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.