Students and professionals alike love Chromebook laptops. They’re inexpensive and offer just enough power to handle everyday productivity functions. Users looking to write papers and conduct research often prefer Chromebooks over full-sized laptops. The newest HP two-in-one, the Chromebook x2 11, is a compelling twist on the budget product.
For one thing, the Chromebook x2 11 isn’t just a convertible touchscreen laptop. It’s a real two-in-one, complete with a detachable keyboard. That makes it a rarity among Chromebooks, which typically don’t have such high-tech features. This device is an intriguing mash-up of budget software and premium hardware, which makes it one-of-a-kind. The question that potential buyers need to ask themselves is whether this unique gadget works for their needs.
The Chromebook x2 11 is a high-end piece of hardware. Its 11-inch screen supports 2K resolutions, all powered by a Snapdragon 7c processor. That processor makes it one of the most powerful Chromebooks on the market, which could be a backhanded compliment. You pay for that power, too: the x2 11 starts at $570, and that’s without the much-needed USI Pen.
Users who are on the go will likely love this gadget’s 4G compatibility. Thanks to the Snapdragon processor, the tablet functions like a giant smartphone. With its 11-hour battery and data connectivity, the HP Chromebook x2 is a perfect piece of hardware to throw in a bag to take to class or on a commute.
Buyers can also forego the 4G compatibility and go for the Best Buy version of the Chromebook, which retails for $600. This version trades the 4G functionality for a tablet pen and upgrades the internal RAM and storage.
Unlike the tablet itself, the keyboard and kickstand aren’t impressive. The keyboard cover is small compared to other laptops, making it easy to hit the wrong keys. It’s also not great for use on anything other than a sturdy surface. The device registers pressure on the palm rests as a click. This design flaw makes it difficult to use the Chromebook in laptop mode on a soft surface.
The pen included with the Best Buy version of the device is also strange. It can only receive a charge from the HP tablet, unlike most USI Pens. If you sell the HP tablet, the included pen becomes useless.
Overall, this is a great, premium device that will amply perform productivity tasks. However, the awkward peripherals and slower processor make the HP Chromebook x2 11 a bit overpriced at $600. If you can find it on sale, this could be a great purchase. Otherwise, there are better options in the $600 price range.