TAIPEI: MICROSOFT SHOWED OFF some Windows 8.1 devices built by its OEM partners on stage during its keynote at Computex on Wednesday, including the never before seen HP Pro X2 612, a 2-in-1 laptop and tablet that Microsoft said "has been designed from the ground up for business".
Until today, we didn't know much about the Pro X2 other than it has a 12.5in screen with full HD resolution, powered by either an Intel Core i3 or Core i5 fourth-generation Haswell chip. After spotting it on the show floor at Computex on Thursday we got to know it a little better and tried it out to see how well its specifications translate to real-world experience.
Design and build
The HP Pro X2 is a tablet that docks into a full-sized HP Pro x2 612 Power Keyboard with embedded battery. It features a VGA connector, RJ45 socket, Displayport output and two USB 3.0 ports. What initially stood out about the HP Pro X2 was its bulky design. It's heavy for a 2-in-1 device, weighing 1.87kg. It's also very thick, even when closed, so we can imagine that transporting it could be a hassle.
It comes with a stylus that is housed in the side for more accurate input, though we didn't get a chance to test this feature.
Overall, we were rather disappointed with the design of the HP Pro X2. Although it feels very robust in the hands, and does have a high quality finish, it's not very attractive and is rather cumbersome and not transport friendly.
The HP Pro X2 612 features a 12.5in touchscreen display, the same size as the Microsoft Surface Pro 3. In our opinion, the HP Pro X2 doesn't compare well against the Microsoft tablet's screen. It's bright enough but images displayed aren't as detailed and there are jagged edges to text if you look closely enough, which seems strange because it has a full HD 1920x1200 resolution display.
Nevertheless, HP's new business detachable proved very responsive to touch in our tests with no lag detected when swiping between menus.
Keyboard and trackpad
Like the chassis, the HP Pro X2's keyboard does have a good build quality, with a nice travel which ensures users will be able to type at high speed, which we'd say is quite an important feature for a business user. It's just a shame that the keyboard dock has to be so big and bulky, as its size, specifically its thickness, lets it down.
The trackpad seemed to work well in our tests although the mouse buttons did seem to click too far down for our liking, which we can imagine would become annoying and less efficient after time.
Powered by an Intel Core i3 or i5 processor with 4GB of RAM, the HP Pro X2 612 seems powerful enough to handle most basic office tasks. In our tests, operations were fluid and the Windows 8.1 operating system proved very responsive. However, we are looking forward to testing the Pro X2 thoroughly with benchmarks in a full review.
The HP Pro X2 has a 256GB SSD drive to ensure data transfer is nippy, although we were unable to test these kinds of features in our short hands on.
HP has built a battery into the Pro X2's tablet and power keyboard to provide a supposed 8 hours and 15 minutes for the tablet and up to 15 hours with tablet and keyboard combined. It is also worth noting that it will ship with HP Client Security for better protection against cyber threats.
The HP Pro x2 612 is expected to be available across Europe with a starting price of €899 (£730) with the Power Keyboard, HP said. µ