For HP, Envy leads to a Split with two new laptops

the original x2 off with it's big brother Split x2 on the right side
HP’s original x2 off with its big brother the HP Split x2 on the right hand side.

The original Envy x2 launched with Windows 8 last year as a convertible notebook computer that doubled as a tablet. This time around HP’s taken the feedback from the Envy x2 to the HP Spilt x2 and the SlateBook x2 which HP’s first foray with Android in a convertible form. Since Windows 8 launched you have seen a multitude of form facts crop up that take advantage of Windows 8 and the popularity of tablets. The Split and SlateBook’s versatile 2-in-1 design provides the power of a notebook and the convenience and form factor of tablet when you need it.

The Split x2 has 2 batteries, one in the base and the other in the tablet which make sure that you can work all day without fear that you’ll be hunting for an outlet. The tablet has a 13.3-inch HD touchscreen with a modest 1,366 x 768 resolution screen compared to an 11.6-inch display for the original x2 which they changed because of  customer feedback HP.  The Split x2 runs Windows 8 and uses Intel’s 3rd generation Core processors (i3 or i5) which give the Split x2 a performance boost compare to the Atom powered original.

With the move to Intel’s Core i processors the Split is USB 3.0 compatible and have up to 8GB of RAM for your heavy duty computing needs and comes with beats audio to elevate your auditory experience with an 8 megapixel camera on the back and their 2 megapixel TrueVision Full HD webcam on the front of the tablet. The tablet itself has a micro SD slot so you can expand the Split’s storage capacity at your leisure. Weighing in at approximately 4.8 pounds it does weigh as much as your standard notebook but has the benefit of dual modes for both work and play.

The Split x2 comes with a 64 GB or 128 GB SSD with the base holding a traditional HDD for additional storage, 2 USB ports,  a HDMI port,  SD card slot and another battery to make it the complete package. David Conrad of HP said while they didn’t have the final numbers for battery life he estimated the Split x2 at “6 hours for the tablet and 10 to 11 as a notebook” for that all day convenience. What David said HP found is that what their “users really wanted was the ability to do more” with their hybrid device and HP’s Split x2 offers that in spades with more screen real estate, flexibility through its design along with power and compatibility that having a more traditional processor provides.

One interesting note is that when the tablet is connected to the base and not plugged in the system will run off the base’s battery to keep the tablet from draining until it’s disconnected. It makes a lot of sense to keep the tablet’s battery full since that’s what’s doing all the work and shows the thought HP’s put into this second generation of their x2 line.

Running Android along with a Tegra 4 processor from Nvidia.
Here you see the HP SlateBook x2 disconnected from the base.

The SlateBook x2 is the world’s first hybrid packing Tegra 4 which means that it’s a high performance quad core + system that gets comes with the impressive battery life that ARM and Nvidia are known for. The SlateBook has a 10 inch touch screen with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 and is designed to shift from tablet to notebook with ease. When I got a chance to take a look at the SlateBook it looked deceptively small with its tapered edges and elegant hinge design which make it look like a traditional notebook but makes it feel unique. The SlateBook has a full HD IPS display whose resolution is  with the same wide viewing angles and brightness you expect coming from HP .

David said they wanted the SlateBook to feel like a notebook computer so as part of that they pre-installed Kingsoft’s Office so you would have that office compatibility that people need and expect. Like the Split x2 the base has USB and HDMI ports. He said they “want to make it easier to get documents, various files in and out” of the system. HP also created the HP file manager because as David says “sometimes in Android it’s hard to find things” to make it easy to find all your documents and files.

HP SlateBook x2
HP SlateBook x2 in Notebook form.

So the SlateBook’s battery life comes 7 hours for the tablet and another 7 when docked for a total of 14 hours. This compares to the ASUS Transformer Prime which comes in at more than 9.5 hours for the tablet and 14 when docked according to their specs. So although you get a similar battery life in the SlateBook when docked, if you are using the tablet only it the Transformer Prime has 2 hours on the SlateBook as of this writing.

These two new additions to the x2 line carry a lot of similarities with both taking cues from HP’s design initiative Phi with their soft touch finish that welcomingly resists the vilified smudge syndrome but they do target different audiences. The the Split x2 targeting those people who want no compromises, full performance and the compatibility that an x86-64 based system provides. They want to run office, maybe do some Photoshop whereas the SlateBook is meant for portability first and foremost with that extra 4 hours in battery life making it perfect for people who are always on the go, are used to Android already and what it means to be mobile today.

Both HP’s Split x2 and the SlateBook x2 are a move to combine the popularity and battery life of tablets with the power and flexibility of a notebook. The Canadian launch of the SlateBook will be in late August, with the Split going on sale August 9 , both coinciding with the gear up for back to school and the fall, with Canadian pricing to be announced as we edge closer to release. American pricing stands at $800 for the Split x2 and $480 for the Android packing SlateBook, thankfully the docks are included in the deal as well. So if you’re looking for a hybrid notebook computer then your time is coming, no matter which side of the spectrum you find yourself on, HP has something for you.

*Updated the Canadian launch dates*

Eric Floresca
Eric Floresca
Eric Floresca is a writer who is passionate for technology and currently a world wandering backpacker. He loves uncovering how entrepreneurs are changing our lives through innovation and what it takes to turn their ideas into reality. Eric has a degree in Business from the University of Windsor and has written for Techvibes, The Ad Buzz, and Marketing Magazine among others since he started on his own writer's journey.

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