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CES 2018 | HP launches Intel Core Y Envy x2 variant to appease x86 fans

HP launches Intel Core Y Envy x2 variant to appease x86 fans
HP launches Intel Core Y Envy x2 variant to appease x86 fans
Not a fan of the recently revealed Qualcomm-powered Envy x2? HP has got you covered with a more "proper" Intel version albeit with some caveats and differences.

When Qualcomm made public its Snapdragon 845 and plans to support "always-on" Windows laptops powered by its family of ARM SoCs, both HP and Asus were on-site to show off their brand new Snapdragon-powered Windows convertibles. Other major manufacturers like Lenovo are expected to unveil their own versions come CES 2018.

Like most new chassis designs, however, it's not uncommon for manufacturers to eventually offer multiple SKUs for a better return in investment. The HP Envy x2 2-in-1 Intel Edition is our latest example as it is essentially a re-purposed Envy x2 2-in-1 Qualcomm Edition built around an Intel Core Y CPU. HP is promising us that most everything about the Intel version is identical to the Qualcomm version including the display size and resolution, the "Pebble" texture of their detachable backlit keyboards, the 5 MP and 13 MP cameras, battery size, aluminum build, and Silver color scheme. Indeed, it is difficult to tell the two SKUs apart at first glance.

Despite the similarities, there are actually numerous smaller variations that add up to significant differences as shown by our table and as illustrated by our comparison shots below. The Intel model is slightly thicker because of its larger Core Y chipset, houses an additional USB Type-C Gen. 1 port, and ships with support for the HP Pen Tilt feature. In contrast, the ARM model is slightly thinner and lighter, lasts for longer on a single charge, runs Windows 10 S with a free limited-time upgrade to Windows 10, and automatically comes with integrated 4G LTE due to its Snapdragon X16 chipset. HP is promising a nano-SIM SKU for the Intel model and support for Pen Tilt for the Qualcomm model at a future date, but there are currently no plans for eSIM on the Intel model even Microsoft has been pushing for the technology.

 HP Envy x2 ARMHP Envy x2 Intel
CPUQualcomm Snapdragon 835 Intel 7th gen Core Y w/ boost up to 6 W
Display12.3-inch WUXGA+ (1920x1200) w/ Gorilla Glass 4 12.3-inch WUXGA+ (1920x1200) w/ Gorilla Glass 4 
Battery Life Up to 20 hours Up to 15.9 hours 

RAM

Up to 8 GB and 256 GB SSDUp to 8 GB and 256 GB SSD
Ports and Connectivity1x USB Type-C Gen. 1, 1x 3.5 mm combo audio, MicroSD reader, Nano-SIM, Integrated Snapdragon X16 4G LTE 2x USB Type-C Gen. 1, 1x 3.5 mm combo audio, MicroSD reader, Nano-SIM (optional)
Keyboard baseMagnetic stand for flat or angled keyboard. Adjustable hinge up to 180 degrees Flat keyboard only. No hinge. Flaps are at fixed predefined angles 
Operating SystemWindows 10 S (upgradeable to Windows 10 Home) Windows 10 Home 
Dimensions293 x 210.2 x 6.9 mm293 x 210.2 x 7.9 mm
Weight1.21 kg (Tablet + base)0.750 kg (Tablet only)

 

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Perhaps the most notable physical difference between the two systems will be their respective keyboard bases. Even though the tablets appear very similar, the Intel model carries different POGO pins and is thus incompatible with the keyboard base shipping for the Qualcomm configuration. The Intel keyboard base also integrates a smaller trackpad than on the Qualcomm keyboard base and it utilizes a different stand mechanism as well. The rear hinge is now gone in favor of a flatter approach with preset angle adjustments. There are definitely pros and cons to each and we would have liked to have both styles as options instead of forcing one style exclusively to one configuration. Beyond that, the backlight, 1.3 mm key travel, and Pebble texture material are identical between the systems.

Envy x2 ARM. Revealed late last year running Snapdragon 845
Envy x2 ARM. Revealed late last year running Snapdragon 845
Envy x2 Intel. Visually very similar but with incompatible keyboard docks
Envy x2 Intel. Visually very similar but with incompatible keyboard docks
Envy x2 ARM. Note the bisected keyboard base cover for adjusting angles in laptop mode
Envy x2 ARM. Note the bisected keyboard base cover for adjusting angles in laptop mode
Envy x2 Intel. Note the flaps on the keyboard base cover for changing between preset angles when in laptop mode
Envy x2 Intel. Note the flaps on the keyboard base cover for changing between preset angles when in laptop mode
Envy x2 ARM. Leather-like "Pebble" base texture is easier to clean compared to the Surface Pro Alcantara
Envy x2 ARM. Leather-like "Pebble" base texture is easier to clean compared to the Surface Pro Alcantara
Envy x2 Intel. Made of the same base material as the ARM keyboard
Envy x2 Intel. Made of the same base material as the ARM keyboard
Envy x2 ARM. Keyboard can be flattened or angled similar to the Lenovo Miix 520
Envy x2 ARM. Keyboard can be flattened or angled similar to the Lenovo Miix 520
Envy x2 Intel. Keyboard base set to its maximum preset angle - perfect for typing on the lap
Envy x2 Intel. Keyboard base set to its maximum preset angle - perfect for typing on the lap
Envy x2 ARM. Magnetic keyboard base in its angled position
Envy x2 ARM. Magnetic keyboard base in its angled position
Envy x2 Intel. Keyboard base set to its minimum preset angle. Note that the keyboard base must be flat at all times
Envy x2 Intel. Keyboard base set to its minimum preset angle. Note that the keyboard base must be flat at all times
Envy x2 ARM. Backlit keyboard layout with 1.3 mm key travel
Envy x2 ARM. Backlit keyboard layout with 1.3 mm key travel
Envy x2 Intel. No changes to the layout compared to the ARM version except for the smaller trackpad
Envy x2 Intel. No changes to the layout compared to the ARM version except for the smaller trackpad
Envy x2 ARM. Supposedly no display, color, or brightness differences between the two models
Envy x2 ARM. Supposedly no display, color, or brightness differences between the two models
Envy x2 ARM. Backlight can only be toggled on or off with no multiple brightness levels
Envy x2 ARM. Backlight can only be toggled on or off with no multiple brightness levels
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). The volume rocker is designed differently. The nano-SIM Intel SKU will come at a later date
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). The volume rocker is designed differently. The nano-SIM Intel SKU will come at a later date
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). The 3.5 mm audio jack has been relocated to the opposite corner for the Intel unit
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). The 3.5 mm audio jack has been relocated to the opposite corner for the Intel unit
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). Note that the ARM version has one fewer USB Type-C port
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). Note that the ARM version has one fewer USB Type-C port
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). Thankfully, both models come with a MicroSD reader
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). Thankfully, both models come with a MicroSD reader
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). Incompatible POGO pins!
ARM (top) vs. Intel (bottom). Incompatible POGO pins!
ARM (right) vs. Intel (left). The Intel model is slightly thicker in order to accommodate the larger Core Y chipset
ARM (right) vs. Intel (left). The Intel model is slightly thicker in order to accommodate the larger Core Y chipset

From our short time with the two devices, we can already notice some light creaking when attempting to twist the unit side-to-side and that their respective keyboard stands can be finicky compared to the firm built-in metal kickstand on the Surface Pro, Elite x2, or Lenovo Miix 520. Users may need to be careful not to bump the tablet out of balance as it feels a lot less stable if not on a flat desk. This is perhaps the price to pay for having a stand on the soft keyboard base instead of directly on the metal tablet itself. Of course, we'll reserve our final judgments for a proper review.

The Envy x2 Intel Edition will be available worldwide this Spring to avoid cannibalizing sales of the of the Envy x2 2-in-1 Qualcomm Edition that's arriving months earlier. Prices are TBA, but the Intel version will very likely cost more than the Qualcomm version at launch. The same HP active stylus that ships with the ARM unit will also ship with the Intel unit while a longer active stylus with USB Type-C charging will be an optional $70 USD extra.

(Source: HP)
(Source: HP)
(Source: HP)
(Source: HP)

HP

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 12 > HP launches Intel Core Y Envy x2 variant to appease x86 fans
Allen Ngo, 2018-01- 8 (Update: 2017-12-19)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.