HP Envy X2–An Option for Ultra-Mobile Fans. Video Hands-On

Posted on 12 September 2012 by

I hadn’t intended to write about Atom-based devices while at IDF this week but the HP Envy X2 caught my eye in a very good way and after a hands-on I came away thinking how far Atom has come and how this device represents something for those wanting the full flexibility of a modular PC and a focus on battery life.

P1120210

As a complete package I’m estimating it weighs 1.2KG and although this is running an Atom CPU, there are a couple of features that make it interesting. The removable touch-screen(1366×768) windows 8 tablet weighs around only 700 gram. The docking station has a good keyboard, battery, USB, HDMI and audio out . Video hands-on below.

I don’t have the combined battery capacity to hand so can’t give you an opinion on battery life and there’s a question mark over SSD speed but we’ll get this into the database and update this post with the link to the specs for you.

What do you think? An option for mobile users or will Atom cause too many limitations? Would the Asus Transformer Book be better perhaps?

  • Ali

    I wonder the extent of power (performance of these atom based pc’s. I remember using a netbook and you can barely get anything done on those they were just too slow. Will these be able to compete?

    • JohnCz

      The new Clover Trail generation of Atom processors are definitely better…you can now realistically run multiple apps. The question I have is how much RAM can these processors support. I think there are many people like yourself, who hear “Atom” and automatically discount it…maybe Intel should have used this conference to rebrand Atom. Haswell looks very interesting…with it Intel will be in a much stronger position to take on ARM and still deliver desktop performance.

      • James

        Intel is slowly removing the previous limitations to the ATOM.

        The Cedar Trail N2800 can already support up to 4GB, versus the normal 2GB max per RAM slot. Supposedly Clover Trail will also support up to 4GB but that remains to be seen.

        However, the 22nm update coming out in the later half of next year will allow for 1-4 cores and a max RAM of 8GB.

        Intel is also on record stating that starting with the 22nm update that they will advance the ATOM at faster than Moore’s law and this is backed by their reported road map that shows them going 14nm the year after the 22nm release, then 10nm, 7nm, and finally 5nm… Assuming everything goes as planned of course.

        So it looks like Intel plans to get very aggressive over the next couple of years.

  • JohnCz

    Not verified but I hear it can get up to 14 hrs when docked.

  • Adam

    I’d love to see a performance and efficiency head-to-head vs. the Core2Solo CPUs of yesterday.

    I’m guessing that Core2Solo would still have more perf than a Clover Trail Atom, but I don’t really know; it’s a great question.

    Atom is an option I wrote off long ago, but with the mainstream Intel CPUs taking backward steps in actual USAGE (not idle) efficiency, I think I’m going to have to reconsider Atom more seriously. I’d definitely prefer having x86 compat, thinner profile, longer battery life, and the cheaper price vs. the intel mainstream and I’d probably prefer it vs. ARM given the x86 compat…

    Hmm…

    Win8 Atom suddenly sounds like a smart decision IF video playback and Win8 apps can run with acceptable performance.

    Adam

    • DavidC1

      Actually unless you are doing things that depend almost solely on TDP power, idle power is very important.

      The only issue is that nowadays its only the CPU that has ultra low idle power. Clover Trail and Windows 8 will significantly improve platform idle power for Atom and Haswell will do the same for Core.

      To give an example how much it can be improved, the Atom-based UMPCs had idle power going nearly 2W, without the screen.

      For Ultrabooks, screen-off idle ranges from 2-4W depending on the design. Unlike the CPU, the rest of the platform can’t scale down as much. With Haswell you’ll have Intel and the parts manufacturers work really close together so the platform can scale down in power too. In addition to that Haswell will have faster transition times and lower TDP for the SoC to improve power usage at load as well, at least for Ultrabook bound SKUs.

    • James

      The Imagination PowerVR GPU based GMA will handle video pretty well at up to at least 20Mbps Blu-Ray, maybe a little higher if they finally perfected the drivers as previous tests never fully utilized the hardware to the max.

      Hopefully, they will be as Intel basically put the Windows 7 drivers on hold for supposedly because they were totally focused on getting the Windows 8 drivers ready on time.

      Clover Trail also makes use of many of the optimizations and features they developed for Medfield. So has things like a Burst Mode for performance boost as needed feature similar to the Core i5/i7 Turbo Boost, and can achieve really low idle states.

      Proper benchmarks and usage tests are still pending of course but so far most models are claiming over 8 hours run time for the tablet itself and maybe up to 14 hours with a keyboard dock.

      While one model at least apparently reported a WEI score of 3.3, which can be compared to the Oak Trail Z670 (which Clover Trail is basically replacing) that usually gets about a 2.1 WEI score.

      So apparently will give near ARM like run time, in part thanks to Windows 8 and the improved idle power usage, performance comparable to a N2800 Cedar Trail ATOM, and with Windows 8 should at least appear much more responsive than older ATOMs with Windows 7.

      Run times may be much less at full power usage of course and averages may vary but it’s looking pretty promising so far…

      While many Windows 8 apps will be pushed for the Modern UI and those are intended to also be usable on RT. So should be mostly easy to run apps that should be speedy on both ARM and ATOM.

      So mainly we’ll have to wait and see how well legacy apps run on these to get a full picture of performance.

      However, in another year we’ll be seeing quad core ATOMs with maybe up to 8GB of RAM. So waiting may be advisable as Intel will apparently be combining a Architectural update with the next FAB shrink for the ATOM and could be the biggest update since the ATOM was first released.

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