HP did something special with the Spectre Folio, creating a unique notebook that is not only made of aluminum but also 100 percent genuine leather. While it's not a true 2-in-1 by which it can be used as a detachable tablet, you'll be able to enjoy up to 18 hours of use on the go.
- Genuine leather
- Up to 18 hours of battery life
- 1W Intel display
- Excellent build quality
- Stylus support
- Cannot be detached
- Need to clean the leather
HP ENVY x2 has a kickstand, keyboard and active pen, and capable internals. Get a 7th Gen Intel Core CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and a speedy 256 GB PCIe SSD to handle most day's work, but watch out for the battery that really lasts only about eight hours.
- True 2-in-1 with detachable tablet
- Intel-powered tablet
- Smart design
- Stylus support
- Less battery than the Spectre Folio
- Cheaper materials used than ARM version
Should you be on the hunt for a premium notebook that's designed primarily as a laptop, go with the Spectre Folio. If a tablet sounds like the better choice, the ENVY x2 allows for some flexibility with the detachable keyboard cover, so long as you can make do with an ARM processor.
By the numbers
It's difficult to compare the two devices against one another since the HP ENVY x2 is available in both ARM and Intel processors. To keep things fair, we'll be using Intel processors in the ENVY x2, but if you were to go with the ENVY, we'd recommend considering ARM for reasons we'll cover below.
|Header Cell - Column 0||HP Spectre Folio||HP ENVY x2|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-8200Y|
Intel Core i7-8500Y
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
Intel Core i5-7Y54
|RAM||8GB||4GB or 8GB|
|Storage||256GB||128GB or 256GB|
|Display size||13.3 inches|
|Display resolution||1920 x 1080|
16:9 aspect ratio
|1920 x 1080|
16:9 aspect ratio
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 615||Intel HD Graphics 615|
|Ports||2x Thunderbolt 3|
1x USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1
|2x USB-C (Gen 1, DisplayPort 1.3 Power Delivery)|
|Biometrics||IR camera for Windows Hello||IR camera for Windows Hello|
|Battery||Up to 18 hours||Up to 12 hours (8 for Intel)|
|Dimensions||11.5 inches x 7.9 inches x 0.33 inches|
(292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm)
|11.53 x 8.28 x 0.27 inches|
(293 x 210 x 6.85 mm)
|Weight||3.28 pounds (1.45 g)||Tablet: 1.57lbs (0.71kg)|
With KB: 2.67lbs (1.21kg)
Intel vs. Intel vs. ARM
Performance is fairly similar between the Intel-powered HP ENVY x2 and Spectre Folio 13 since both devices use low-power Intel processors, though the Spectre Folio can be kitted out with a Core i7-8500Y CPU. It's also worth noting that the ENVY x2 comes with 7th Gen Intel processors, as opposed to 8th Gen chips inside the Spectre Folio.
The ARM version of the ENVY x2 is less powerful than all Intel processors available for the two devices, though it does allow the ENVY x2 to be "always on" much like your smartphone. You can press the power button and it's good to go. The ARM processor also lets you get more computing time out of the battery since it draws less juice overall.
So long as you do not need to do any video processing or intensive multitasking, the Snapdragon ARM processor is more than enough. It truly is a draw in this regard, since storage, RAM, and other internal components are all very similar, depending on configuration.
Leather looks better
The ENVY x2 isn't an ugly device, nor is it one we find lacking in the design department. The issue is that we're comparing it tothe Spectre Folio, which sports leather that results in a far more expensive and premium look and feel. By putting the ENVY x2 and Spectre Folio side-by-side, you'd be correct in assuming the leather-touting notebook was the more expensive device.
There is a disadvantage to having leather as part of the design, which involves regular cleaning. Both displays are similar in resolution and technologies, and the use of aluminum in both products make them look and feel high quality. Should you be all about looks, the Spectre Folio is a match made in heaven. N-trig technology is supported in both cases, making it possible to use a stylus like the HP Tilt Pen or Surface Pen.
Don't buy the Intel ENVY x2
Comparing the ARM ENVY x2 against the Spectre Folio is unfair due to the differences in performance between the two processors, but it's worth considering due to how HP managed to mess up the Intel version of the ENVY x2. As covered in our ARM vs. Intel ENVY x2 comparison, the company has cut corners on numerous factors.
If the device was identical in every way but the CPU, the Intel-powered ENVY x2 would be a great package overall, but this just isn't the case. The additional cost of going with the Intel processor means you'll enjoy shorter battery life, worse keyboard and trackpad, more restricted kickstand positioning, no instant-on and always connected functionality, and a price of $99 if you upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.
If you like the look of the ENVY x2 over the Spectre Folio (maybe leather just isn't your thing) we strongly urge you to consider the ARM processor variant.
HP Spectre Folio is a premium leather notebook
If only the best will do, HP offers the Spectre Folio and it's a unique notebook made from leather and aluminum. Using this notebook out in the wild will turn heads and make you feel better than the rest. The option of LTE and an Intel Core i7 makes it a capable Windows 10 machine.
HP Spectre Folio is one unique device.
HP decided to come up with a new Windows 10 PC and wanted to add some leather into the mix. The end result is the Spectre Folio, a premium notebook that not only looks stunning, but has the necessary horsepower to make it through even more intensive tasks.
HP ENVY x2 is a great ARM Windows 10 tablet
When portability is what you truly desire, you should go with the ENVY x2. The ability to detach the device from its base makes it possible to use it as a light notebook and a tablet, depending on the immediate needs. The only drawback is the battery life, which is around 8-10 hours less than the Spectre Folio. That is unless you get the ARM version, which we recommend over Intel.
Balancing portability and performance.
There are some serious advantages of buying the HP ENVY x2, including the exceptional display, somewhat affordable price, and configurations. It's possible to save some serious funds and go with an ARM processor with better battery life.
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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.