Convertible laptops are hot these days, providing users access to two devices in one physical unit. Handy, eh? HP ENVY x360 15-u110dx is such a computer, offering a 360° touchscreen and components like Core i5 processor and 8GB RAM. Indeed, at a glance I can see many positive things about this laptop. But what does a closer look reveal us? Let’s see…
A processor called Intel Core i5-5200U is running this system. It’s a modern CPU, one of the 5th Generation, with a dual core setup and 2.2GHz clock speed. There’s also a turbo feature upping the speed to 2.7GHz when need be. The processor has low-energy design, prolonging the battery life, although making the performance worse than on full-blown Core i5s. In general, though, all i5s are still considered as upper mid-range CPUs, offering enough power for demanding use. All heavier software, such as VirtualBox and Photoshop, should run without issues on the i5-5200U.
This laptop contains 8GB DDR3L RAM, plenty for such a convertible device. It’s installed on one DIMM while there are no free memory slots. In other words, you can’t add RAM to HP ENVY x360 15-u110dx. If you ask my opinion about this, I don’t think it matters much. With the current 8GB you can use the laptop for basically anything.
The hard drive offers 1024GB space. That’s a lot, good for ~100 DVD’s worth of data, for example. There is no SSD cache in this drive so you must settle for the 5400RPM speed. If you don’t find that fast enough, you always have the option to go for a solid-state drive. It should be possible here too, although people commented it might be tough because the unit is factory sealed.
Display and graphics
The display of HP ENVY x360 15-u110dx is a 15.6″ touchscreen. It has a special hinge allowing for tablet and laptop modes. It is a 1920×1080 display, so Full HD fans can rejoice. I could see people saying mostly good things about the screen, so probably you’ll find it decent as well.
The laptop is not a full blown gaming rig. How do you know? There’s no dedicated gaming card, only the integrated Intel HD 5500. Some good news is that the HD 5500 is faster than previous HD 4000. For example, simpler titles such as League of Legends will get more than 30FPS on higher settings. The heavier Battlefield 4 would get 30 frames tops on low details and resolution. So yes, most games will work, but not with a lot of eye candy on.
HP ENVY x360 15-u110dx has three USB ports. Two of those are USB 3.0, giving you excellent transfer rates for your peripherals. In addition, if you own an HDTV, you can connect that to the notebook’s HDMI output.
Internet connectivity should be excellent. You’re offered a Gigabit RJ-45 port and 2×2 dual-band 802.11 A/C WiFi. Bluetooth 4.0 is also tied to the wireless card.
Keep this in mind: HP ENVY x360 15-u110dx has no internal optical drive. As such, if you want CDs and DVDs work with it, you must get an external DVD drive. Luckily, they are small and cheap (~ $30). Another workaround is the laptop’s SD card slot. Naturally, it works only if you have files put on memory cards.
The front-facing webcam offers HD resolution. It should be good enough for video chats and conferences.
Some other things to keep in mind?
Tablets are very easy to travel with. But remember, HP ENVY x360 15-u110dx is not a real tablet but a hybrid. It weighs 5.3 pounds, same than any normal 15.6″ laptop. Furthermore, the 3-cell battery should net around 4-5 hours on web browsing.
An useful feature for many, the keyboard is backlit. It also has a 10-key pad on the right. And when you flip the screen to tablet mode, the keyboard deactivates – so you don’t have to worry about accidentally hitting the keys and doing something weird with your laptop.
Summing it up
HP ENVY x360 15-u110dx is not only a 2-in-1 laptop but also a powerful one. The i5 processor and 8GB RAM make sure that the vast majority of applications will not lag on this machine. Also, many games will work stutter-free if you don’t mind lowering the settings. Portability is similar to other 15 inch laptops, although battery life should be tad better at over four hours. The laptop costs a bit, but if you’re able to find it at a discount, I’d definitely recommend checking it out.