Tablets have become increasingly popular as many PC owners awaken to the realization they can accomplish the majority of their day-to-day computing tasks with ease on a device like Apple’s iPad, iPad Pro, Microsoft’s Surface, or a variety of other touchscreen-equipped slates.
Arguably, of all the options currently available to consumers, Apple’s iPad and iPad Pro models offer the most intuitive full-featured tablet computing experiences, powered by some of the industry’s most well-oiled components like the company’s proprietary A-series SoC’s and the iOS mobile operating system which is home the world’s most prolific assortment of desktop-grade mobile applications.
Still, according to statistics, Apple’s iPad represented only 26.6% of worldwide tablet marketshare as of the fiscal Q4, 2017, meaning that offerings from companies like Microsoft, Acer, Samsung and others combine to make up the rest.
The world’s largest PC vendor, Hewlett-Packard (HP), recently announced its direct response to Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface, dubbed the Chromebook x2: It’s a rather attractive Chrome OS-powered slate that the company hopes will entice would-be iPad buyers into considering the competition.
Sadly, while HP’s new slate boasts plenty of impressive hardware specifications and fantastic accessories bundled inside the box, its operating system and inherent limitations make it a somewhat unworthy competitor amid the rising sea of tablet offerings.
Chromebook x2 Key Specs
- HP’s Chromebook x2 features a large, 12.3-inch LED-backlit display boasting 2400×1600 resolution.
- It’s powered by Intel’s Core m3 CPU — the same chip powering Apple’s entry-level MacBook.
- Inside, you’ll get either 4 GB of DDR3 RAM memory standard (or 8 GB as an optional upgrade) with 32 GB of expandable storage built-in.
- Other features include dual stereo speakers, a 13 MP camera, two (2) USB-C ports for connectivity, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and expandable storage via microSD.
HP further promises that the Chromebook x2, which ships with a detachable keyboard and stylus a la Microsoft Surface, is able to achieve an impressive 10.5-hours of battery life on a single charge. Though individual battery performance ratings will vary depending on usage, HP’s estimates exceed those of Apple’s latest iPad Pro by about 30 minutes.
Pros and Cons
Including its aforementioned keyboard and stylus attachment, HP is asking $599 for a base-level Chromebook x2 which, in all fairness, is a bit easier to swallow than the $649 cost of Apple’s base-model 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
Not to mention an Apple Pencil and Apple SmartKeyboard attachment would run an additional $249, making the Chromebook x2 seem like a steal, in comparison.
Unfortunately, the tablet is merely a Chrome OS powered device. And if you’ve ever used one of those, you’d know they’re not only limited in features and usable applications, but the underlying interface (consisting of predominantly web-based apps) leave little if any room to experience similar productive and creative potential like you’d get with an iPad Pro or even a Windows 10-powered Microsoft Surface device.
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