Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

There are a small but still growing number of 2-in-1 Chromebooks on the market. HP has been on the Chromebook bandwagon for some time now, including the release of their X2 Chromebook back in 2018. The X2 has received an update in 2021, with the device now on sale in Australia.

The HP Chromebook X2 2021 is a smaller device than its predecessor with a more compact 11-inch screen. The internal has also been updated with a Qualcomm Snapdragon SC7180 processor, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of built-in storage.

2-in-1 has also seen the addition of 4G connectivity to keep you connected while on the go.

HP has also rethought the keyboard mount and support leg, moving from a mechanical hinge to a removable keyboard with a support leg cover that attaches magnetically to the back.

Priced at $ 999 RRP, the HP X2 is not the cheapest option – but there are a number of sales around that can bring the price down significantly if you check a little.

I’ve been using the HP Chromebook X2 for 2 weeks now and this is how it went.

Hardware and design

For all intents and purposes, the HP Chromebook X2 (2021) is a pretty standard 2-in-1 design. The 11 “QHD resolution IPS screen has some decent but uniformly thick frames around the edges, which actually makes the tablet easy to hold without worrying about phantom touches.

The screen itself is excellent, capable of up to 400-nit brightness, it looks good indoors, although it can struggle a bit when in the harsh glow of the sun, but even then it is still quite usable. The downside for anyone who wants responsive monitors is that the tablet only has a 60Hz update, which is a bit low compared to phone monitors these days, but overall it looks good.

There are a couple of Bang & Olufssen speakers on each side of the screen, and these can produce surprisingly loud and clear sound, although at higher volumes it tends to blur a bit. The only downside to this is that changing the orientation of the tablet to portrait also means that your sound suffers with the speakers now placed above and below the screen, making stereo sound a little more challenging.

The tablet itself is a rather thick and weighty device that measures 7.6 mm and weighs a little over a pound. It’s a little heavy to hold, the square design feels like it’s not the most ergonomic, and the metallic butt can get a little cold when you first pick it up. The addition of the back cover makes it a little more comfortable and warmer to hold, covering the rear metal panel.

However, the back cover helps offset some of these factors, and it looks beautiful in the ‘Night Teal’ color variant, which also adorns the detachable keyboard. The cover is robust and holds the tablet firmly in a number of different positions.

The keyboard cover is a decent size and comes with a built-in trackpad. The cover is mostly solid, but has a little flex in it, but it can be used on the lap reasonably comfortably. It’s a nice size for touch typing, so it’s not cramped, and the keys have a nice spring that makes it easy to type. Likewise, the trackpad has a nice size and is very responsive, whether it’s just navigating around or using gestures.

The only real change I would like to see on the HP Chromebook X2 is the addition of a backlight to the keyboard, which would make it easier to use at night – cross your fingers for next year.

The volume and on / off buttons are easy to reach on the tablet with the on / off button (which acts as a fingerprint reader) on top when in landscape position, and the volume button on the left with two USB-C ports at the bottom and SIM card slot above.

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