HP Pavilion x360 13-a010dx is not just a typical laptop. It’s also a tablet due to touch screen turning full 360 degrees. Such a hybrid might be a good choice if you don’t want to bother buying multiple gadgets. But let’s not make any hasty conclusions yet. It’s time to take this HP under closer examination.
Let’s start with the performance. It’s the Intel Core i3-4030U processor that’s powering this HP. A 4th generation 2014 release, it has a clock speed of 1.9GHz and runs on two cores. In general, Core i3s are Intel’s mid-range processors capable of running most software without problems. That also includes some gaming support thanks to the upgraded Intel HD 4400 graphics chip (more about that further below).
The system comes with four gigabytes of DDR3L memory installed. There’s in total one user-accessible slot on the mainboard. While I’m not 100% certain about this, it’s very possible that you can indeed swap the default chip for larger one (8GB) to upgrade the RAM.
The storage doesn’t receive any extra points, being a basic 500GB hard drive with slow 5400RPM speed. That is of course enough for most people because half a terabyte can still eat hundreds of movies, but the read/write speeds aren’t lightning fast like with solid-state drives.
The screen is a smallish 13.3″ display with appropriate 1366×768 resolution. But it’s a touchscreen (comes handy with Windows 8.1), and continuing the special feature list, it also turns 360 degrees which essentially makes HP Pavilion x360 13-a010dx a heavy tablet. As such, you have a laptop and a tablet at your disposal.
How about gaming?
Intel HD 4400 chip is better than some older members in that graphics engine family, mainly those chips seen in entry-level Pentiums and Celerons. On demanding games like Battlefield 4 reaching around 25FPS should be possible on this configuration. Minecraft would give more like any older title. Just keep the resolution and settings at minimum and you should get at least decent frame rates on most new games.
HP Pavilion x360 13-a010dx features three USB ports. Fortunately, two of those are actually useful USB 3.0. And while the display in this computer is truely multifunctional, there’s still an HDMI-out allowing you to connect the laptop to a larger, external display like HDTV.
A WiFi adapter with Bluetooth 4.0 is available for wireless networking. And while tablets don’t usually come with an Ethernet port, this hybrid model certainly does.
One possible disadvantage about this HP is the lack of optical drive. You must use an USB DVD drive if you want to play with dicsc. Fortunately, there are USB 3.0 ports present so transfer speeds won’t be a problem. An SD media card reader is also available for additional file storing and transferring.
The webcam is HP’s typical TrueVision HD camera with an integrated microphone.
What other things to keep in mind?
HP Pavilion x360 13-a010dx weighs 4 pounds which, in my opinion, makes it quite a portable laptop. Up to 6.25 hours is the advertised running time, but I would take that with a pinch of salt considering there’s just a regular 3-cell 43Whr battery installed. Four-five hours battery life is a more realistic estimate.
While the keyboards of some hybrid laptop models detach, this HP’s keyboard doesn’t. It’s always attached to the upper part. There’s also no numeric pad on the right, which can certainly be a good thing if you have no need for a quick number key access – the 10-key pad would be just on your way.
I can see from the specifications there’s bunch of bloatware included. That’s true for most cheap computers, and to me it’s just a little nuisance. Uninstalling any program is easy from the Control Panel.
HP Pavilion x360 13-a010dx might be good pick for people who fancy the idea of laptop and tablet in one machine. The computer works normally as an ultrabook, and after turning the display 360 degrees you now have a (touchscreen) tablet at your hands. The performance is adequate for basic web surfing, office stuff, video streaming and even low-level gaming. Missing optical drive is a small disadvantage. For the current price I can somewhat recommend this HP – the bigger discount you get the better.