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HP Elite x2 1012 G1 review: Intel's Core m gets the job done in this sturdy convertible

Mark Hachman | May 17, 2016
Just be a bit careful when using it on your lap.

...but a weak keyboard connector is a design flaw

Laptops are called “laptops” because they’re built for resting on your lap, and we should really expect convertible tablets to do the same. But on my lap, a laptop isn’t comfortable to type on until it perches at or near the end of my thighs, near my knees. A laptop’s chassis holds the display in place. With a convertible tablet, only the magnet keeps the tablet itself from tumbling off.

HP Elite x2 hinge 
The Elite x2’s magnetic hinge land coupling looks identical to the Surface Pro 4, to my eyes. But the x2’s magnetic strip just doesn’t grab as tightly. Credit: Mark Hachman

Tablets like the Elite x2, the Surface Pro 4, and others generally have two points of magnetic contact: a shorter strip that houses the electrical connections between the keyboard and the tablet, as well as a secondary magnetic hinge that folds back from the keyboard, against the tablet. 

As I work, what usually happens is that I unconsciously inch the notebook or tablet farther and farther out, until it begins to teeter. If it falls, look out! But that’s how I tested the Elite x2 against the Surface Pro 4: I eased each back to the end of my legs, until they toppled over onto a pillow. (We hope to show this in a future video.)

The differences were clear: With the Surface Pro 4, the magnetic strip held just enough to prevent the tablet from falling. The Elite x2, on the other hand, plunged time after time. (Naturally, shoving the tablet harder added momentum, and the SP4 would fall as well.) To be fair, though, it looks like the Surface Pro 4 was simply built with this risk in mind. The Lenovo X1 Tablet flopped as easily as the HP Elite x2.

Fortunately, HP almost challenges you to test the Elite x2’s durability. The Elite x2 is rated to survive drops from as high as 36 inches onto a wooden floor, and 20 inches on concrete. Gorilla Glass 4 helps protect the 12-inch FHD LED-lit 1920x1280 screen. That’s a slightly smaller screen than the 2736x1824 Surface Pro 4, but it pushes fewer pixels than either the SP4 or the 2160x1440, 12-inch Lenovo X1 and Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro S. The massive screen bezel helps, too.

Pen, peripherals, and connectivity

Though the Elite x2 lacks what many equate with Windows Hello—facial recognition—HP added a fingerprint reader on the rear of the tablet. Setting up and using fingerprint recognition mimics Hello’s facial identification: Pick a finger, swipe it over the reader several times to establish a good reference image, and you’re good to go. Though you can’t actually see the reader without peering behind the tablet, the sensor’s ridges are easy to detect. So far, the whole setup worked perfectly, except for one occasion where it simply could not read my fingerprint. I defaulted to my Windows password instead.


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