HP Pavilion X2 10-k020nr is a true modern laptop. It’s not only small, but features a detachable screen that essentially turns it into tablet. It comes with Windows 8.1 and has performance adequate for everyday computing. The price is in the comfortable 300 bucks range, but a question arises: can you get a good notebook for this price? Let’s find that out below.
The main things
So, the laptop has a multifunctional screen. To start with, it’s a touch display so it’s a good friend for Windows 8.1 (32-bit). Secondly, it detaches from the keyboard part which means you also have a tablet at your disposal. The resolution is just 1280 x 800, but considering the 10.1″ size you should be good to go with that. The panel type is IPS – In-Plane Switching – which can be considered better than regular TN – Twisted Nematics – panels, at least for viewing angles and color reproduction.
The processor choice is Intel Atom Z3736F, a new system on a chip meant for power efficient devices, such as tablets and small notebooks. The Atom has four cores and 1.33GHz clock speed with benchmark tests showing it belongs to the low-end category of processors. The popular Intel Core i3s easily beat it in performance, although they also tend to cost more. As said above, the Atom processor is fine for basic stuff, including browsing, YouTube and text editing.
The system features 2GB DDR3L low voltage memory. It’s installed onboard and can’t be upgraded. For tablet use, it’s fine, but if you’re dreaming of using the laptop for some heavier stuff (gaming, video editing etc.), the installed two gigabytes aren’t sadly enough. You might’ve heard about adding SD card to expand memory, but it doesn’t really give you more memory. Adding a media card would expand storage space which is also good, but entirely different thing than expanding RAM.
Speaking about storage, HP Pavilion X2 10-k020nr is listed as having a 64GB solid-state drive. In reality, it’s an eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard) which is like solid-state drive’s little brother in terms of speed. The storage space itself is 64GB, nothing compared to hard drives sporting 500-1000GB space, but you can use the aforementioned SD card to at least double the storage if you want to.
Word about gaming
For gamers, this hybrid laptop isn’t the best choice. Its specs are rather slow, but the biggest culprit for players would be the graphics engine. It’s called Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), a chip known for subpar performance. Together with just 2GB RAM and entry-level Intel Atom processor, you won’t be playing most 2014 titles without heavy lagging. The older the game, the better the situation, and for example the crowd’s favorite Minecraft might just run around 15-20FPS on minimum settings.
The connectivity of small laptops can be problematic – there’s rarely room for all the ports. Indeed, HP Pavilion X2 10-k020nr comes with only USB 2.0 ports. There are two of those installed on the screen part with one being micro-USB port. Next to them, there’s a micro-HDMI output for using this hybrid laptop with a larger display, like a HD television. An SD card slot is also available which can be used to increase the already small storage size or just transfer data to the computer.
Unsurprisingly, the laptop doesn’t have a RJ-45 port so you can’t connect to Internet with a wire. Instead, the system features a 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi + Bluetooth combo adapter.
A front-facing HD webcam and dual array digital microphone are installed on the screen part.
There is no optical drive on this HP due to obvious size limitations. You can always plug an external DVD drive, although only enjoy USB 2.0 speeds.
Other noteworthy things
HP Pavilion X2 10-k020nr is no doubt a portable device. It weighs 2.5 pounds and comes with 11.75 hours battery life. The listed battery duration is superb but of course measured in the most optimal environment for the manufacturer. In reality, you’ll probably reach around 10 hours life on a single charge.
The keyboard is a non-backlit one and doesn’t feature a 10-key numeric pad, again due to the small size.
A neat thing about these new HPs is the included software: You’ll get a free MS Office 365 Personal subscription for one year, so you’ll be using Excel, Word and Powerpoint without paying anything extra. Just remember to activate it within six months of purchase and you’re good to.
Summing it up
HP Pavilion X2 10-k020nr looks like a laptop but has the performance of a tablet. The Intel Atom processor, 2 GB RAM and Bay-Trail Intel HD Graphics mean the HP suits for basic use, be it at home or perhaps in a small office, but gaming and demanding work all day long isn’t going to work on it. The device is also missing some real laptop features, like an optical drive and USB 3.0 ports. On the other hand, it features far better portability than regular notebooks with its 2.5 pounds weight and 10+ hours battery life. So my advice is this: If you’re not after a true laptop but want to get both notebook and tablet in one package, and you value mobility over performance, getting this HP might be a good idea. For the price, it won’t definitely break your bank anyway.