Surface Pro 6 vs. HP ENVY x2 (Qualcomm): Which should you buy?
We're a virtual company made up of tech experts from across the globe. We live and breathe Windows devices, including those from Microsoft and HP, and use and review plenty to find the best overall picks for you.
The Surface Pro 6 has been updated with 8th Gen Intel Core processors (CPU) and a new black color finish, but it doesn't yet have LTE support and is lacking USB-C. It has plenty of configuration options available, and it'll deliver a better inking experience.
- Different configuration options available
- IR camera for Windows Hello
- High-resolution touch display
- Superior inking experience
- No LTE connectivity (yet)
- No USB-C
If you need an always-connected PC for your mobile lifestyle, the Qualcomm ENVY x2 is a great choice. It has a smart design, the battery lasts up to two days, and the price includes a keyboard and active pen. However, it's not as powerful as the Pro 6 and won't offer quite the same inking experience.
- Superb battery life
- Premium build quality
- LTE connectivity, always-connected
- Price includes keyboard and active pen
- Not as powerful as Surface Pro 6
- Lower-res display compared to Pro 6
The Qualcomm-based ENVY x2 (there's also an Intel version that's not nearly as impressive) is a fine device for anyone who needs LTE connectivity and a lightweight computing experience. The Pro 6, which was the inspiration for the ENVY x2's design, has some perks — including better performance, higher-res display — which also makes it attractive. Let's compare the two to help you figure out which is best for you.
Surface Pro 6 vs. HP ENVY x2 (Qualcomm) tech specs
|Header Cell - Column 0||Surface Pro 6||HP ENVY x2 (Qualcomm)|
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i7-8650U
|RAM||8, 16 GB||4 GB|
128, 256, 512 GB
|Universal Flash Storage (UFS)|
|Display size||12.3 inches|
|Display resolution||2,736 x 1,824|
3:2 aspect ratio
|1,920 x 1,280|
3:2 aspect ratio
|Graphics||Intel UHD Graphics 620||Qualcomm Adreno 540|
3.5 mm audio
MicroSD card reader
microSD card reader
3.5 mm audio
|Biometrics||IR camera for Windows Hello||IR camera for Windows Hello|
|Battery||Up to 13.5 hours||Up to 19 hours|
|Dimensions||11.5 inches x 7.9 inches x 0.33 inches|
(292 mm x 201 mm x 8.5 mm)
|11.53 inches x 8.28 inches x 0.27 inches|
(292.86 mm x 210.31 mm x 6.86 mm)
|Weight||From 1.71 pounds (775 g)||From 1.54 pounds (698.5 g)|
Design and features
The Surface Pro 6 and Qualcomm-based HP ENVY x2 are both fine devices when it comes to build quality and design. They're both able to easily fit under your arm or in a laptop bag, but know that the ENVY x2 is slightly lighter and thinner than the Pro 6. In his review, Windows Central Executive Editor Daniel Rubino called the ENVY x2 "perfect hardware," noting precision machining on the metal, unibody design. Though heavier and thicker, the Pro 6 is still a premium device with a design that's been refined over the years (and from which the ENVY x2 no doubt took some design cues).
The ENVY x2 doesn't have a kickstand built into the tablet like the Pro 6, but instead relies on a cover folio for a kickstand. It still extends out from the middle of the back of the device, allowing for plenty of angles (unlike the Intel-based ENVY x2), but for a complete package, the Pro 6 is where it's at. The built-in kickstand can be used without a keyboard or cover attached giving you more versatility.
The included keyboard and folio cover for the ENVY x2 offers an excellent typing experience with a large touchpad using Precision drivers. Key travel is great, and there's a backlight for working in the later hours. The Pro 6's Type Cover, which is sold separately, will also get the job done, plus there's the option to have an Alcantara finish for a bit of extra comfort. You get Precision drivers for the Type Cover touchpad, and typing all day shouldn't be an issue here either.
Above the display on both tablets is an IR camera for quick logins through Windows Hello, and both have a rear-facing camera as well. Here the ENVY x2's 13 MP camera beats out the Surface with its 8MP camera. As for ports, you can get USB-C, a microSD card reader, and a SIM slot with the ENVY x2, while the Pro 6 is still stuck with USB-A, Mini DisplayPort, Surface Connect, and a microSD card reader. LTE support might come to the Pro 6 eventually, but for now, you'll have to go with the ENVY x2 if you want to stay connected wherever there's cellular data available.
The Pro 6 and ENVY x2 both have 12.3-inch touch displays with 3:2 aspect ratio for a boxier look that translates well to the tablet experience. There's enough bezel on both to get a good grip without accidentally hitting the touch portion of the screen, and both devices work with active pens. The ENVY x2 includes an HP pen with the price, and its N-Trig technology also works with other pens, like the Bamboo Ink or latest Surface Pen. The HP pen seems to hit about 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity for a great experience, but the Surface Pen (sold separately), with its 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity will make a better choice for anyone interested in creation and design.
Both displays offer excellent color reproduction, plenty of brightness, and great contrast, but the Pro 6's higher resolution is just going to look better when compared side-by-side to the ENVY x2. For general use, either display will be up to the job, though for specialized tasks the Pro 6 makes more sense (especially when you factor in the extra performance hardware available).
The ENVY x2 is a mobile, always-connected PC that keeps things light inside and out. It's using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU — the same type often found in smartphones — and has 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of UFS storage. These aren't particularly exciting specs, but they do allow for about 16 hours of battery life, no fan, and a super-slim build. The Snapdragon CPU performs close to an Intel Core i3 or m3, so don't expect any heavy lifting, but it can handle a light day of productivity tasks. This tablet is meant to be used on the go, so sitting down for some heavy video editing or gaming doesn't make much sense for most people anyway.
With 8th Gen Intel Core U-series CPUs, up to 16 GB of RAM, and up to a 1 TB SSD on offer, the Pro 6 is much better suited to a variety of tasks. You won't get as good of battery life, but you'll be able to get into specialized work and even a bit of gaming with much better performance across the board. If it's more of a PC that can turn into a tablet you're looking for, the Pro 6 is likely the better choice for you.
Go with the Surface Pro 6 for superior performance
Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 offers better versatility than the ENVY x2 thanks to faster hardware, more configuration options, and a superior inking experience. If you want a PC that can turn into a tablet, this is it. It does cost more, however, for a complete package, and anyone who's looking for an always-connected tablet they can carry around all day for light tasks will no doubt want to check out the ENVY x2 instead.
More configurations, better performance.
The latest in the Surface Pro line has 8th Gen Intel Core CPUs, a new black color finish, and mostly the same features as the last generation. It's a great all-around device whether you need a tablet or a PC, and it has the performance to easily get through a day's work.
HP's ENVY x2 is perfect for anyone on the go
The bottom line here is that the ENVY x2 offers up an outstanding tablet experience, especially for those who need internet access at all times, but it has a narrow audience. If you don't need LTE connectivity, you can get a much more versatile PC out of the Pro 6 thanks to speedier hardware and a 2-in-1 design that's nevertheless quite mobile despite not yet having LTE capabilities.
A superior tablet experience.
The ENVY x2 might not offer the same performance as the Pro 6, but the slim tablet, included accessories, astounding battery life, and LTE connectivity certainly make it a player, albeit for a smaller audience. If you need an always-connected PC, this is one of the best out there.
Get the Windows Central Newsletter
All the latest news, reviews, and guides for Windows and Xbox diehards.
Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.
By Jez Corden