The Envy x2 won’t be available until after Microsoft formally releases the finished version of Windows 8 on October 26, but HP wants to get the word out about its innovative package ahead of time.
Specifically, the Intel-powered (Atom “Clover Trail”) Envy x2 sports a detachable, 11.6-inch display that can be carried and used as a full-fledged Window 8 tablet computer. The high res (1366 x 768) touchscreen features are also available in notebook mode for easier access to Windows 8 features.
“Touch is one of the most natural user interfaces,” said Fredrick Hamberger, HP’s VP of consumer category management.
Cleverly both notebook base and the display share batteries so either can operate on battery power when not plugged in. In normal full notebook operation, the base unit battery drains first so the display/tablet can still be fully charged when disconnected. HP isn’t releasing battery life stats yet, but Hamberger says the tablet or slate portion can run “well over 8 hours” when fully charged.
The aluminum casing includes a unique HP-designed hinge with magnets that guide the tablet display back securely in place when it needs to be reconnected.
“It’s a device that comes apart without any worries about doing it right,” said Hamberger, as a reporter effectively pushes the simple release button to disengage the display.
Other features include Beats Audio, an NFC chip for mobile payments and an HD webcam on the front side as well an 8 megapixel camera on the back. HP will also offer an optional stylus. The main dock unit includes two USB ports, HDMI output and a full-sized SD slot.
Pricing hasn’t been released. HP confirmed the Envy x2 will be available with either 32 or 64GB of storage in time for holiday shoppers.