Although HP hasn’t been pushing out Chromebooks on the same level as Lenovo, Asus, or Acer, it’s still one of the best manufacturers in the ChromeOS space, responsible for the likes of the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook, which is currently the top dog across the board.
What we have at our disposal today appears to be a promising detachable Chromebook by HP called the x2 11. It is a bit costly, with its MSRP set at about $599, but it looks to be delivering the complete ChromeOS package. In this review article, we’ll be gauging precisely that as we take the unit for a spin and pluck out its significant strengths and weaknesses.
Keep on reading until the end to leave here knowledgeably well-equipped, and put your finger on a decision whether the Chromebook is worth the money or not. Let’s start with the hardware components of the x2 11.
HP Chromebook x2 11 technical specifications
- CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 7C processor
- Display: 11″ 2K (2160 x 1440p) resolution, 3:2 aspect ratio, IPS panel, touchscreen, stylus-enabled
- Graphics: Qualcomm Adreno 618
- Hard Drive Size: 64 GB eMMC flash memory
- RAM: 8 GB LPDDR4
- Camera: Dual-camera setup, 5 megapixels front-facing camera
- Ports: 2x USB Type-C ports, WWAN LTE card slot, USI stylus dock
- Battery: 2-cell Lithium-ion, 10 hrs battery runtime
- Charging Speed: 0-50% in 35 minutes
- Weight: 2.57 lbs (1.16 kg)
- Price: $599
- Buy on Amazon
HP Chromebook x2 11 in-depth review
The HP Chromebook x2 11 is up against the likes of the Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3 and the ever-effective Lenovo Chromebook Duet. Both of these Chromebook tablets are much more affordable than the x2 11, so this unit review will draw comparisons from similar devices to gauge the value proposition of this versatile HP Chromebook.
Of course, we don’t want you paying more for a device when you can get one that does a near-equal or even a better job with a far lower price tag. We’ve sized down the x2 11 based on its design, which comprises an array of affiliated parameters, performance, and battery life.
By the end of all these sections, we’ll leave our final thoughts in so you can decide whether the x2 11 is something you can get behind. Let’s kick things off with the design of the Chromebook first.
Starting with the looks, the HP Chromebook x2 11 is a visually attractive piece of tech, coming in with its powdered aluminum finish that tends to resist fingerprints and feels fantastic to hold. The chassis of the Chromebook tablet is colored in what HP likes to refer to as Shade Gray.
As for the keyboard and the kickstand cover that supports the exterior unit, the manufacturer decided to go for a Night Teal color scheme, which, in simple words, is just a relatively dark shade of blue. Moreover, the USI stylus of the unit attaches to one side of the screen magnetically in a remarkable fashion, providing simplicity and comfort in equal measure.
The back of the Chromebook sports the brand-new HP logo, which gives a fantastic look to it, along with the Chromebook branding that rests beneath it. Additionally, the volume rocker and the power button are placed in good positions, making it painless for the user to reach and use them daily.
Let’s get onto the build quality of the x2 11 and note down how good of a job HP has done with this unit.
Build quality and weight
Fortunately, very little gets in the way of the HP Chromebook x2 11 as far as the quality of its exterior is concerned. As iterated earlier, the finishing on the device makes its surface butter smooth, and holding the Chromebook in your hands does give off that premium vibe, no doubts there.
The unit feels firm and sturdy and takes advantage of its non-plastic build. Without the addition of the keyboard, the Chromebook tablet weighs merely 1.25 pounds, making it a feather to carry around anywhere with you and even letting you hold it in one hand for a considerable while easily.
Even with the keyboard attached, the device weighs 2.75 pounds, which is nowhere near the bulky space of heavy Chromebooks. And thanks to the aesthetic that HP has maintained with the x2 11, the unit looks outright splendid. You’re certainly going to be turning heads with this one while enjoying the portable experience yourself.
Onto the more critical side of things here, the back hinge of the x2 11 could’ve benefitted from being a little more sturdy. When laying the tablet flat on a table with the kickstand equipped, you’ll notice a fair bit of wobble to the device when you try sliding your fingers from one end of the screen to another. Other than that, the build is excellent on its own.
Coming down to the way the visuals look on the HP Chromebook x2 11, we have to say that the display panel on the unit took us aback with its superior quality. On paper, the specs sheet tells us that the device employs an 11-inch 2K (2160 x 1440p) resolution with a terrific 3:2 aspect ratio, similar to the tall form factor of the Acer Chromebook Spin 713.
It’s touch-enabled, of course, and the panel that it uses features IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology, practically making a display brighter, clearer, and full of life. The x2 11 has one of the best displays we’ve ever seen on a Chromebook tablet, and there’s no exaggeration here.
The colors on the screen pop out, the brightness is more than appreciable at a 400 nits maximum capacity, and the aspect ratio has been chosen just right for the x2 11. Everything seemingly appears phenomenally on the screen of the Chromebook, so it does live up to anticipations in this regard.
Furthermore, most models of the x2 11 come with a garaged stylus that sticks to one side of the screen for painless accessibility. We tested the peripheral out and found it to work outright smoothly, with no lag to its name.
The touch controls are also fluid and unlock the added expanse of Android apps that work great on tablet Chromebooks. Judging from the quality of the display alone, along with our experience with it so far, the x2 11 seems to be desirable so far.
Moving onto the keyboard of the Chromebook, we first have to cover the tablet-centric part of this component before we can express our opinion on how it stands on its own. Thankfully, we don’t have a sizable concern to voice here. The magnets attached to the keyboard frame are strong and latch onto the tablet firmly, even if the two ends are in the vicinity and not all in together.
HP has embedded a second layer of magnets in the keyboard frame, allowing you to lift the component slightly to adjust the typing height. This is an excellent addition to the unit’s overall accessibility and allows some users to calibrate their typing position before they get going.
Now, for the keyboard itself, we were delighted to find out that the x2 11 sports comfortable keys with a great click mechanism. The key travel also seems admirable, allowing fast typers to get themselves out there and dish out anywhere between 90-150 words per minute, given the quality of this thing.
It’s not backlit, though, so don’t expect anything otherwise. However, unlike the Chromebook Duet 5, the keyframe is well-built and isn’t flimsy. The keycaps also seem to be of a premium quality, so there’s that.
The good stuff continues with the HP Chromebook x2 11 trackpad as well. It’s pretty broad, easily accommodating those with large fingers, and boasts a glass build, unlike its competitors, where mainly plastic is employed. You can get a lot of work done with the quality of the unit’s trackpad, whose click mechanism is admirable, too, and the taps feel nice and firm.
We must consider that the x2 11 uses a keyboard and trackpad cover, not actual components built into the chassis. From that perspective, the peripherals of the Chromebook tablet are pretty capable, more than our initial expectations, to be fair.
The HP Chromebook x2 11 enjoys a decent port selection, among the other glaring utilities that set it apart from the competition. Most detachable Chromebooks do not come with adequate I/O, but that isn’t the case with the x2 11, that’s for sure. It comes with two USB Type-C ports and a WWAN LTE card slot.
On some models of the x2 11, you’ll see a microSD card reader slot inside the SIM card port. The only sad thing is that there’s no 3.5 mm headphone jack. Therefore, you must rely on Bluetooth headphones in your audio-listening endeavors.
The HP x2 11 uses a dual-camera setup, being a Chromebook tablet. While we can certainly vouch for the rear camera that offers 5 megapixels of clarity, the front-facing webcam is just passable. You’ll be able to get by on video conferencing apps, such as Meet, Zoom, or Skype, without having to turn to an external webcam off someplace like Amazon.
The texture quality isn’t grainy with the device’s rear camera, and can produce good-quality photos regularly. However, Taking photos at nighttime with poor lighting is another story and probably one that you shouldn’t rely on.
On the flip side, you may want to look into external speakers for the HP Chromebook x2 11 if you’re passionate about music and video watching because the ones on the device are mediocre. Nothing too fancy about them, but it’s not downright wasteful either.
The unit employs Bang and Olufsen-certified front-firing speakers on either side of the screen, so ideally, HP should’ve maintained a certain quality standard. The sound from the speakers sounds thin, and the loudness isn’t entirely up to par, either. Unfortunately, you can’t have everything on one Chromebook, can you?
The HP Chromebook x2 11 has pretty impressive aesthetics, and it gets a lot of things right with the 2K display panel that it uses, but, unluckily, it takes a considerable nosedive regarding the performance department. Don’t get us wrong—the web browsing isn’t all that bad; it’s just that you won’t be able to multitask like a pro on this machine.
Employing a Snapdragon 7C processor along with 8 GB RAM and 64 GB eMMC flash memory, the x2 11 looks quite capable on paper, but when you put it to its paces, you’ll discover that even opening four to five different applications on the Chromebook at once can start to make the system bog down in terms of performance, piece by piece.
That is not the most ideal of scenarios that we’d like to place a user in when they’re out and about buying a new Chromebook. That said, if you know your use case and it does not revolve around heavy work, the x2 11 will likely do the job for you. In case you’re going to focus on one task in a single given time, the unit can be reliable.
It can also run several Android apps simultaneously, followed by smoothly operating Linux software, but don’t push it past its boundaries, and you’ll be good to go. ChromeOS has come a long way from where it once kicked things off, so if the hardware of the Chromebook is adequate, moving around the interface and getting stuff done can get pretty seamless, as observed on the Duet 3 Chromebook.
Oh, and one quirky feature of the x2 11 is its fingerprint scanner mounted on the power button. You hold your finger there for a second or two, and voila! You get signed right into your Chromebook. It’s a welcome addition that makes log-ins instantly seamless and lightning-fast.
Currently, there’s only one available configuration of the HP Chromebook x2 11 that you can purchase from Amazon, and it’s the base version of the device that we’ve discussed in the article. If other variants of the x2 11 pop up anytime soon, we’ll update the article with new information.
3. Battery life
Thanks to the 2-cell Lithium-ion battery that the x2 11 comes equipped with, we can appreciate the battery runtime that the machine can offer on a reliable basis. It’s right up there with Chromebooks with the best battery life, spanning more than 10-11 hours on a single full charge.
The best part is that it gets juiced up quickly, allowing you to charge the unit about 50% within 30-35 minutes to boot. Regarding battery life, the x2 11 is a dependable Chromebook that can last you a full day of work or school and leave some time out for anything that comes afterward, such as Netflix streaming or playing PUBG.
4. Final thoughts
So when it comes down to purchasing this Chromebook or not, it all depends on the use case of you as the consumer. The HP Chromebook x2 11 is a fine piece of tech regarding its looks, display, and peripherals, but if you need a device that has to be a workhorse, you’re probably better off venturing elsewhere.
On the other side, though, if you have a thing for tablets and generally like using them, the Chromebook x2 11 will fit you well. It has a fantastic build quality and a terrific 2K resolution display, making the viewing experience utterly pleasurable.
We recommend looking out for a discounted deal on the device that makes its MSRP come down to the $300-$450 range. If you find the x2 11 within that price bracket, it’s an easy recommendation from us at Chrome Ready.