HP Chromebook X2 11 – Surface Style Chrome OS Tablet
This is the hp chromebook x211. It has a detachable keyboard and pen and it looks a lot like a microsoft surface device, but it is running, chrome os and were going to take a closer look at what this tablet is all about in just a second. But i do want to let you know in the interest of full disclosure that this is on loan from hp, so were done with this, it goes back to them all the opinions youre about to hear are my own. No one is paying for this review. Nor is anyone reviewed or approved what youre about to see before it was uploaded, so lets get into it now and see what this chromebook is all about. Now the price point: as configured is 599, the price will vary based on the bundle that you pick for it, so you can buy it without the pen, for example, and pay a little bit less money. But this one came with the keyboard, the pen and the rear, kickstand and, of course, the tablet itself. Its got. A very nice display its 11 inches, its running at 2160 by 1440, which is a 2k display and its very bright at 400 nits. And i really like that. Its got a 3×2 aspect ratio which makes it really nice for browsing the web and working on documents, especially when youre in this laptop configuration. Now, when youve got all the accessory items attached here, this weighs about two pounds: five ounces or just over a kilogram.
When you detach everything the tablet itself weighs about one pound, four ounces or 567 grams. It is all metal here. It really feels very nice and solid. It is a little thicker, perhaps than some ipads and other tablets out there, but i dont think thats necessarily a bad thing. Its got a good amount of rigidity, but its not that heavy, and it feels very nice to hold this in your hand. As you write on it, so it does well as a tablet, and i think it does pretty well in a surface kind of configuration when youve got the keyboard attached to it. This rear plate is the kickstand, and what you do here is just to line it up with its magnets itll, basically put itself into place here. The keyboard will also align itself with magnets and reattach to the unit, and then you can drop the kickstand and use it like a laptop. I found that it actually works pretty well on the lap. These things are always kind of a hit or miss, but this one at least for my legs im able to use it relatively comfortably. You do, though, need some length on your legs, because you do have to account for not only the screen but the rear kickstand. Here so a laptop is going to take up less real estate on your lap versus something that has this surface like design now inside. This is powered by an arm processor, its got a qualcomm snapdragon, 7c first generation processor.
There is a second generation of that 7c chip that we saw running on a samsung windows laptop recently, so this will perform a little slower than that samsung laptop did, but i think for chrome os. This is a good pairing of a processor, especially given that a lot of the other arm based chromebooks are running with slower, mediatek chips. This one performs pretty well, i think, for what it is got a lot of ram on this one, eight gigabytes and you also have 64 gigabytes of storage, and the reason why the ram is important is because these chromebooks now run android apps and linux apps. And if you want all of that stuff running together at the same time, you definitely need the memory to do it, so it was nice to see an adequate amount of memory installed on this device. Now hp says the battery life on. This should be about 10. To 11 hours – and i would agree with that assessment – if you stick to the basics like web browsing and email and some document writing and keep the display brightness down if youre doing things that will tax the processor more like android games or some kind of crazy Linux, engineering app that, of course, will eat into your battery life more significantly. It does charge, though, via one of these two usb type c ports on the left hand side of the unit. These are full service, usb c ports, so they will output video to an external monitor.
You can also use data devices at the same time as well, so you could plug in a docking station, for example. One thing to note, though, is that these ports only allow one external display to be used at a time, so you can use either of these ports for an external display, but it only supports outputting to one of them at any given time. So you can have the internal display running and a secondary display, but not two. There is a volume rocker here above that is a sim card tray. There is a 4g version available of this device. I dont have that one, but this door will be on all versions, because you can also insert an sd card, a micro sd card, to augment its internal storage. So you can plug one of those cards in the side there and it will secure itself inside of that door. Youve got to use a little sim popper to get it out. Now there are a pair of stereo speakers on this device. Youve got one here and one here, so when you have it in landscape orientation, you will get decent stereo separation. The speakers are a little bit tinny, but it does have some very nice clarity to them. So i think itll do well for video watching and doing conference calls and whatnot, but you might want to attach a pair of headphones for better audio quality. Theres, no headphone jack on this because thats out of style these days.
But you can, of course, attach a usbc adapter to one of those ports on the side or go with bluetooth. One other thing to note here is at the top. This power switch is a fingerprint reader. So if i turn off the unit here and then just power it on itll unlock with my fingerprint that i programmed earlier, you can store multiple fingerprints in there. So if you have the tablet in another orientation, you can use the finger. From your other hand, to get it open on the side. Here is a capacitive charger for the pen and the pen that it comes with, at least in the bundle that i got will charge with that capacitive charger here on the side. Now the pen is a usi compatible pen, so its a standards compliant pen. You can use any usi pen with this, but this hp pen will charge on the side here which might be more convenient and it attaches with a magnet, so itll hold itself there pretty. Well, and you can have it stored either up or down, depending on how you attach it now its got a decent camera on the front of it. Here this is a 5 megapixel camera. It says it can shoot up to 25.92 by 1944 for video at least thats, what its showing me on the app here, but it can easily do 1080p, which is the demo shot that you see here. My only gripe with the camera is that it leaves a lot of headroom based on the angle of the tablet here, so i have to kind of hold it almost completely vertical to get myself into a good frame, so you may have to put it up on Some books or something to get a better angle of the shot.
It will do 30 frames per second max at all of its supported resolutions for video. It also shoots photos out of the front now theres a rear camera on here as well. This is an 8 megapixel camera. It too can do 1080p 30 frames per second video out of the back. The quality is not great either for video or photos. The colors are kind of washed out but its a camera, and if you need to take something in a pinch and you dont have something better, i think this will probably get the job done. I was not all that impressed with the keyboard. I will say, though, that for a small key keyboard, these are kind of chiclet size keys. It actually types, okay, because they are well spaced. So it is something it doesnt take too much getting used to, but it does feel like youre on a trampoline a bit. They are very springy keys. The entire keyboard here will flex as you type on it. This is not unique to this device. Ive seen surface devices that do the same thing, because this keyboard case is so thin. It has a good size track pad here. It tracks fairly well, but it too is a bit springy, and one thing i noted when it was on my lap is that it would often click when i push down or just put some weight on the keyboard deck here. Its pretty good at ignoring some of those accidental clicks, but youll get them every once in a while.
If you put down a little bit of extra weight on this while its on your lap, the keyboard also is not backlit. All right lets take a look now and see how it performs well begin with some web browsing. I did turn the display brightness down because it was blowing out my camera. So what well do here is load up a chrome browsing session and head over to the nasa.gov homepage and, as you can see, everything renders in here fairly quickly. Now we are running on my wi fi six network, so it does support wi fi six. So things seem to be coming in fairly quickly here. It doesnt seem to be any real lag or any other issues here doing the basics like browsing the web. Even some of these animations are looking pretty good here too. So from a web browsing side of things. I think this will be a very good experience and a little bit earlier. We ran some 1080p 60 frames per second youtube videos and we were getting a couple of drop frames here and there, but more or less it was able to keep up with the high frame rate video. So i think, if youre watching youtube or twitch or something where youll see a lot of that 60fps content, this should be able to play it back just fine and on the browserbench.org speedometer test, we got a score of 46. That is almost identical to the score.
We got on the hp chromebook 14a that was running with an entry level intel processor, and you can also see how this compares against some of the cheaper arm based chromebooks running with the mediatek chips. All right lets take a look now at its pen. Support ive got an app up right now called google cursive, which is a pen app designed for chrome tablets and, as i write on the screen here, the pen doesnt feel like its got the same level of precision that i would find on a ipad or on A windows device, for example, theres also a bit of latency as im writing. Additionally, there does not appear to be any pressure sensitivity, as i am doing things with the paint brush here, for example. So if i push down harder the line isnt any darker, so thats – something that, of course the ipad can do when the windows tablets can do as well and im pretty sure this pen supports that pressure detection. So the pen side of this is not quite there and i think thats more on google than it is on hp at the moment, so well have to see if software developments werent something to update you on in the future. But right now its just not a great pen experience and i would not buy this for its pen capabilities. That said, they do have some cool pen input options here. So right now, of course, im on a website, google and ive got the text.
Input form here pulled up and if i click on this little squiggly line here, i can write instead of type and for some people that might be a faster way to get text input into a field versus having to tap it out on a keyboard. Then you can just erase it here and then write in something else, but im also noticing that same lack of precision using this text. Input field that i saw on google cursive and im also still sensing some degree of latency on the pen. So all in pen, support on chrome os is not quite ready for prime time just yet now most chromebooks run android apps, but on the chromebooks without a touch screen, the experience can kind of be a hit or miss thing. This one being a tablet actually offers a slightly better android experience. You can find your android apps on the google play store. This is the same play store that you run on your phone, so theres a good chance. The apps you already own on your phone will install just fine on here, because this is an arm based chromebook. I think you might see a little better compatibility on here versus an intel chromebook a little bit earlier. We ran call of duty mobile, which is a pretty involved. First person shooter on the android platform, ran just fine. It looked just fine. The performance felt about right just a little bit harder to control with the bigger screen, but overall it was a very good android gaming experience with that game and a few other casual titles that we tried out and on the 3dmark slingshot benchmark test.
We got a score of 3148. That is a very good score for an arm based chromebook on this android gaming benchmark test. But it is not as good as what youll get out of a 9th generation ipad, which is, of course, the entry level ipad that when you fully deck it out with a logitech keyboard and trackpad and an apple pencil will cost about what this one costs. So my recommendation here is that, if youre looking to play games, this is probably not your device, its not your device. If you want to do a lot of pen based applications and if those two applications are the things youre looking to do the most, i think that ipad is the best way to go, but if youre looking for a chrome os device, that is a tablet. This is probably a good choice because it performs very well and its got a really nice display on board now, one more note on android on chrome, os and that relates to watching netflix and a few of the other popular streaming services on your device. If you load up the android app for netflix, for example, you will only get standard definition. Video not hd and remember youve got a nice 2k display on this device, so the video looks pretty lousy when youre running the android version of netflixs app – and this relates to drm digital rights management and the level that this device supports. So, to get technical for a second, this is still locked at wide vine l3 and you really want something that runs at l1 and because of this you only get standard definition video out of the app.
So if you want the best visual quality skip the app go to the web browser and load up netflix.com directly to get the best image quality now. One last thing to look at on the tablet is its linux. Performance lets have a look at that now. Linux on chrome, os is getting better all the time, but you do have to know your way around the command line to get software installed. I installed and a few other apps a little bit earlier, so we can take a look and see how they run is a photo editor, an open source version of photoshop and it runs okay, its a little on the sluggish side here on this arm based chromebook. So youll see the image here kind of loads in a little slow, but once you get it up and running here, you can zoom around and navigate the image fairly. Well, so not bad, but not terribly quick. I also loaded up libreoffice, which is an open source version of microsoft office. So you get a nice spreadsheet, a word processor and a few other apps here. This runs just fine and whats nice about the linux. Apps is that you can run them locally on your device without the need for an internet connection. So this app is running like any windows app would on a windows machine. You can turn the wi fi off and have full access to the app and all of its features.
Again, everything is going to be a little more sluggish, perhaps versus a mid range intel pc, but it does run these linux apps and just about everything i installed is running just fine. One thing to note, though, is that on the intel based chromebooks, you can install steam and maybe get a few games running, because this is arm and not intel. You cant get steam games running with this at the time. Im shooting this video, so the linux stuff will be limited to development work and some of these open source apps that i demoed here now every chromebook comes with an end of support date. This ones date is june of 2029. After that date, this device will no longer receive software updates, but it will still operate and that date is fixed. That is not based on when you bought it. So if you buy this thing five years from now, youve got two to two and a half years of support left on it before it ends, so just be aware of that when shopping for a chromebook. So overall, this is a very nice chrome, os device and easily the nicest chrome tablet i have looked at. Unfortunately, googles implementation of tablet functions on chrome os is not fully baked just yet. So if you are intending to use this for artwork or a lot of note taking, i would advise you to probably look at the entry level ipad that you can configure in a similar way for around the same price.
Their pen functionality is just much better than what ive experienced with this device. So i would consider the pen kind of a secondary input option, not a primary one here, but for chrome, os and all the things you can do with chrome os, including android, apps and linux. This is a very nice implementation and, if youre looking for a chrome os device, that is in a tablet form factor, this is a relatively affordable and high quality way to go. That also performs pretty nicely too thats going to do it for now until next time. This is lon simon thanks for watching this channel is brought to you by the lawn dot tv supporters, including gold level supporters, hot sauce and video games, brian parker, chris allegretta, tom albrecht, thomas anfang, jim tannis and handheld obsession.