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Quick-Read Review: HP Pavilion11 x2 is a notebook that can become a tablet

HP has got most things right, but we hesitate to give the Pavilion11 x2 a solid recommendation

Rs 59,990 might be a bit too much for this device Rs 59,990 might be a bit too much for this device

The tablet-notebook hybrid is the ideal form factor for a Windows 8 device because you get the comfort of a regular laptop while also boosting the functionality with a tearaway tablet when you need it. That said, is the HP Pavilion11 x2 still worth a price of almost Rs 60,000?

Quick Tech Specs: 11.6-inch Antiglare display (1366×768 pixels) | 2GHz quad-core Intel Pentium N3510 processor | 4GB DDR3 RAM | 64GB SSD + microSD slot (tablet) + 3-in-1 memory card reader (base) | Intel HD Graphics | Beats Audio | 1080p FullHD front camera, 1080p FullHD rear camera | Wi-Fi b/g/n | Bluetooth 4 | HDMI out (base) | 2-cell battery (tablet), 2-cell battery (base) | Windows 8 (64-bit)
Price: Rs 59,990

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Design: Priced in the ultrabook range, the Pavilion11 x2 looks like a chunky clamshell in comparison. If the light weight of a MacBook Air or Sony Vaio Pro is something you like, you aren’t going to be happy with this. It’s also all glossy plastic, so no points there. The hinge mechanism to to connect the tablet to the keyboard dock is solid though and holds the tab steady, without wobbling when you tap it. Also, full marks for including a trackpad even though it’s for use with a touchscreen—it makes the Pavilion11 x2 feel like a proper laptop, not a makeshift hybrid. It’s squarely functionality over form here.

Screen: Notebooks are notorious for not having good viewing angles, but the tablet part helps here as the Pavilion11 x2 is bright and clearly visible from wide angles. The touchscreen is also responsive and 1366×768 isn’t bad on an 11-incher.

Performance: Sadly, the performance is where the HP Pavilion11 x2 disappoints the most. Don’t get fooled by that quad-core processor, it isn’t going to stand up to what a power user needs. For basic work tasks like light Internet browsing and Office software, it’s fine. But it can’t cope with gaming, FullHD high-quality movies, heavy Internet browsing or heavy multi-tasking.

Memory: The 64GB SSD seems a bit limiting at first, but that’s till you realise you can throw in microSD or SD cards into both the tablet and the keyboard to expand your storage. Not bad.

Connectivity: I would have appreciated a SIM card slot on this to make the tablet a bit more useful, but it’s not a big deal, to be honest. And the HDMI port is a nice addition.

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Software: It’s Windows 8. We’ve talked about how it’s not yet ready for touchscreens. But since this is a hybrid, it’s actually a great desktop OS for that. When you have the dock connected, use the Desktop mode and operate Windows as you normally would. Undock the tablet and you can do some tasks well, like Internet browsing (Internet Explorer 11 is really good for touchscreens) and reading (hello Kindle!), but that’s about it. However, as mentioned earlier, be ready to miss out on some great touch-friendly apps available on Android and iOS.

Camera: It’s got cameras on both the front and back, but you will only want to use the front camera for video chats and the back camera in dire emergencies. Still images aren’t good at all, but video is decent, provided the lighting is good.

Battery: The Pavilion11 x2 has fantastic battery life as a single unit. Separately, both the dock and the tablet will get you around four hours of average use; combine them and your laptop goes on for 8 hours, which is competitive by any standard.

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Verdict:
While HP has got most things right, we hesitate to give the Pavilion11 x2 a solid recommendation. Windows 8 is a major compromise as a tablet OS and if a tablet is what you want, you’ll still want a tablet OS. In that case, Rs. 60,000 seems a high price to pay. It’s worth it if what you want is a single gadget for all your needs, but be warned that the tablet portions of your needs will need to be severely limited.
Also read: Laptop-tablet hybrids are the future of computing, but not the present…

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