HP Pro x2 Detachable PC Preview

HP Pro x2 Detachable PC Preview

This morning, HP announced a new Surface Pro rival for businesses: The HP Pro x2 is a detachable PC that offers the flexibility of both tablet and laptop form factors.

This kind of device is becoming fairly common, and as an x2-branded PC, the Pro x2 is of course a business-focused revision of last year’s Spectre x2, which offered a few interesting advantages over Surface Pro 4. Plus a few compromises in the form of an Intel Core m processor and a kickstand with less range than Microsoft’s offering.

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HP sort of addresses those concerns with the new Pro x2—this device provides 165 degrees of screen angle possibilities, for example, and includes newer Y-class Intel processors—and it also offers a few improvements I never considered. The back of the keyboard cover is now wipeable, and no longer covered in a non-cleanable cloth material. And there’s a real pen loop (yay!), integrated at the factory for maximum strength.

At a high level, the HP Pro x2 addresses a real need: With more and more millennials coming into the workforce, HP is seeing more demand for “blended” PCs that work well for both work and personal needs, and in the disparate working environments that are becoming more common these days. Unlike with last year’s x2 products, HP no longer promotes the notion of “tablet first,” however, as the Windows 10 PC market has never really moved in that direction. Instead, this new x2 is designed to reduce the travel workload—it’s a PC and a tablet—and, because it’s a business device, it features all the manageability and security functionality that those customers demand.

From a form factor perspective, the Pro x2 is familiar: It’s a Surface Pro clone with a handsome and industrial magnesium design that is 25 percent thinner than the previous version while being 27 percent lighter and offering twice the battery life: HP now claims up to 10 hours here, which sounds actually usable. (HP told me privately that the real-world battery life is actually even better than that, and can reach up to 11 hours.)

Like previous x2’s, the Pro x2 is based on USB-C for both power and connectivity, and it also offers a legacy USB (A) port for compatibility and because they’re not Apple. Like the Spectre x2 before it, this x2 also sports integrated global 4G LTE capabilities as well.

The kickstand, as noted, is improved over the previous version and now offers what HP claims is 165 degrees of tilt. That’s a big deal, because Microsoft claims 150 degrees on Surface Pro 4, and the previous HP products couldn’t get anywhere close to that. It’s “lapable” now, HP says. I know. I’m sorry.

The Pro x2 also works with HP’s active pen, and HP is bundling an improved version of that peripheral in the box. The new pen has a launch button on the top (yes, like Surface Pen) so you have one-press access to your favorite pen app. And the device itself sports improved palm rejection.

HP also bundles a new keyboard cover with the device, another advantage over Surface Pro 4. This device gets a new version of the business-focused keyboard cover, called the Collaboration Keyboard. It offers keys specific to Skype for Business, which is handy, and is a real hardware keyboard, like last year’s versions. I found the Spectre x2 keyboard to be better than Microsoft’s keyboard cover.

HP is also including other business features with the device, including an integrated smart card reader, a touch fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello, and NFC for secure payments. There are a variety of peripherals available as well, including a USB-C-based dock and a travel hub.

The HP Pro x2 starts at $979 in the US, so it significantly undercuts the Surface Pro 4 a bit, especially when you factor in the keyboard. For that configuration, you get an m3-class Intel Core processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of SSD storage. Again, the keyboard and pen are included.


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Conversation 16 comments

  • agizmo

    26 February, 2017 - 10:24 am

    <p>Hey look, it has a pen loop.</p>

    • robincapper

      28 February, 2017 - 8:55 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#83126"><em>In reply to agizmo:</em></a><em> </em></blockquote><p>You think they'd have a better solution than that. But better than an iPad Pro I guess!</p>

  • Darmok N Jalad

    26 February, 2017 - 10:45 am

    <p>Sounds better than the Surface 4 pro, as it comes with all the accessories, offers LTE, and uses a standard connector for charging. I guess we'll see what SP5 offers. </p>

    • Vidua

      26 February, 2017 - 1:37 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#83212"><em>In reply to Darmok N Jalad:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>We are literally a month away from Surface Pro 5 so sure, this HP might sound better than SP4 but that's a year old piece of tech.</p>

      • Tony Barrett

        27 February, 2017 - 10:20 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#83703">In reply to Vidua:</a></em></blockquote><p>The SP4 is a year old 'extremely expensive' piece of tech. Get it right.</p>

    • dallasnorth40

      Premium Member
      26 February, 2017 - 5:13 pm

      <blockquote><a href="#83212"><em>In reply to Darmok N Jalad:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p><p>The screen is not nearly as sharp and beautiful as the Surface Pro 4.</p>

  • wunderbar

    Premium Member
    26 February, 2017 - 11:22 am

    <p>I look forward to the HP Pro X2 Pen Loop Review.</p>

  • RobertJasiek

    26 February, 2017 - 2:13 pm

    <p>So beautiful and robust, but I do have a few questions: Is it silent? Does it have a 3:2 display ratio and a matte display surface, or else how is the reflectance of a glare display outdoors?</p><p>EDIT: According to HP specifications of the HP Pro x2 612 G2, it is fanless (so might be silent), has 1920×1280 resolution (3:2) and BrightView (meaning: glare, sigh!). With a matte display, it would be nice.</p>

    • bluvg

      27 February, 2017 - 12:35 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#83792">In reply to RobertJasiek:</a></em></blockquote><p>Thank you for pointing out the missing 3:2 ratio spec. Another key missing spec is 2.22 pounds for the tablet, 4.09 with the keyboard. A little bit surprised these are missing.</p>

  • adamcorbally

    26 February, 2017 - 2:26 pm

    <p>Big bezels though</p>

  • harmjr

    Premium Member
    26 February, 2017 - 6:09 pm

    <p>Nice. Can't wait until they come out with the 3.0 version in 2018 because the processor on this machine is way too little the hard drive space way too small the ram lacking. The docking station not having to Mini DisplayPort is lacking as well. Once they make those changes this will be one hell of a device. I would not mind having a keyboard like this one on my Surface Pro 4.</p>

  • lordbaal1

    26 February, 2017 - 7:33 pm

    <p>for that price, it should have at least an i3</p>

  • Daishi

    Premium Member
    26 February, 2017 - 9:41 pm

    <p>Oh good. Another Surface clone. Just the market needed…</p>

  • brettscoast

    Premium Member
    26 February, 2017 - 10:56 pm

    <p>Good looking machine but why do you need an old school vga connector on the adapter full sized display port would be a far better option. I just worry a bit about the performance of these core m chips agree with commentor below that a core i3 would be a better option.</p>

    • Polycrastinator

      26 February, 2017 - 11:13 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#84706">In reply to brettscoast:</a></em></blockquote><p>VGA is still commonly used on business laptops to do presentations on projectors. I suspect that's the purpose of that small "dock" because the other video port is HDMI.</p>

  • jwillis84

    27 February, 2017 - 2:50 pm

    <p>HP Chromebook 11 g5 is very similar spec-wise, but not a tablet, not a tilt-able, and not loop-abled. But it does have a touch screen.. just runs about oh $600 less… and.. oh yeah has the Google Appstore behind it. </p>

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