HP Elite X2 1011 G1 review
Processor: Dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Core M-5Y51, RAM: 8GB, Size: 298x204.2x20.8mm, Weight: 1.65kg, Screen size: 11.6in, Screen resolution: 1,920x1,080, Graphics adaptor: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300, Total storage: 256GB SSD
Transforming tablet-slash-laptops are popular for a reason; people want the convenience of a tablet and the productivity of a laptop, without having to buy both. Hybrids are now a dime a dozen, but few are aimed towards business users. The HP Elite X2 1011 G1 is one of those few.
It's enterprise-friendly, with a biometric fingerprint sensor to provide security above that of a standard password, smartcard reader built into the detachable Power Keyboard, integrated Trusted Platform Module and a suite of HP management applications. Signing into Windows was particularly satisfying, with just a simple swipe across the fingerprint reader located below the keyboard taking us to the desktop.
The Elite X2 can be used as either an 11.6in tablet or, when docked to its Power Keyboard, as a fully-fledged laptop. Using the Power Keyboard has the added benefit of also supplementing the tablet’s 2-cell battery with an additional 6-cell battery for extra longevity. With the two components combined, the Elite X2 lasted an excellent 12 hours 36 minutes, meaning it’ll easily get you through an average working day.
It isn’t the most compact tablet at over 10mm thick, and nor is it the lightest at 870g. The 11.6in screen means it’s also slightly awkward to hold, and is far from being a one-handed device. The Power Keyboard makes the overall package twice as thick at 21mm, but at just 1.65kg combined the Elite X2 is still reasonably light for an ultra-portable laptop.
Tablet and keyboard dock together using magnets and clips, which secure the pair together quickly and simply. The two components are evenly weighted, so there’s no chance of the laptop tipping backwards and it feels nice and secure, letting you pick it up by the screen. We were a little worried the Power Keyboard was obscuring the front-facing stereo speakers at the bottom of the tablet, but happily we didn’t hear a noticeable difference in sound quality while the tablet was docked. Sound quality is respectable but as tinny, as with most tablets.
The tablet is powered by an Intel Core M-5Y51 processor that runs at 1.1GHz, but can turbo boost to 2.6GHz. Performance in our multimedia benchmarks was respectable, with a score of 79, but the Elite X2 is unsurprisingly better suited to more day-to-day, office-based tasks. You might find it will begin to struggle under more processor-intensive tasks such as video editing, even with 8GB of RAM.
We found the Elite X2’s display to be somewhat disappointing. It has a 1,920x1,080 resolution and has perfectly acceptable brightness at 384.7cd/m2, but black levels were lacking at 0.45cd/m2. Colour accuracy was very disappointing, at just 63.5% coverage of the sRGB colour gamut, making the device a poor choice for colour accurate work. Viewing angles were at least respectable.
There’s not much in the way of connections on the tablet, with just a docking connector and a headphone jack on the bottom that is only exposed when the tablet is undocked from the keyboard. There’s another headphone jack on the keyboard for when they’re connected. There’s also a SIM card slot for the 4G modem and a microSD expansion slot. The Elite X2 has a 256GB M.2 SSD installed, so there’s already plenty of storage out of the box. A Wacom stylus is also hidden away in the bottom of the tablet, giving you another way to interact with the screen.
With no other connections on the tablet, there’s no way to charge it independently of the Power Keyboard, which we found disappointing. It means you can’t carry the tablet around separately from the keyboard in case the battery runs out while on the road.
Chances are you’ll be carrying the Power Keyboard with you anyway, as it holds the majority of the connections. There are two USB3 ports, which can be considered generous for a hybrid laptop, as well as a DisplayPort connection for an external monitor. There’s also a proprietary HP dock connector that can be used with an optional Ethernet and VGA adaptor (£36 inc VAT from store.hp.com). The Elite X2 also has the faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.
The backlit keyboard was comfortable to type on, although we did find that the occasional keystroke was getting missed on account of its small keys. The HP Forcepad touchpad was also pleasant to use; it’s a generous size and uses pressure sensitivity to register clicks. We found it fiddly to use, however, preferring conventional tap to click instead. You of course also have the option of using the touchscreen.
If you’re after a business-focused hybrid laptop, the Elite X2 has plenty of office-friendly credentials and display quality is the only real blemish on an otherwise capable machine. It’s a great choice for a run-all-day work laptop, but if you’ll be spending more time in tablet mode you should consider the cheaper Microsoft Surface 3 instead.
|Processor||Dual-core 1.1GHz Intel Core M-5Y51|
|Memory slots (free)||0|
|Sound||Realtek HD Audio (3.5mm headset port)|
|Pointing device||Touchpad, Wacom stylus|
|Graphics adaptor||Integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300|
|Total storage||256GB SSD|
|Optical drive type||None|
|Ports and expansion|
|USB ports||2x USB3|
|Memory card reader||MicroSD|
|Other ports||Smartcard, HP Docking|
|Operating system||Windows 8.1 Pro|
|Operating system restore option||Restore partition|
|Parts and labour warranty||Three year limited warranty|
|Price inc VAT||£984|