The HP Chromebook x2 11 is a very intriguing Chrome OS tablet that offers a premium built, an 11-inch display with pen support, as well as a keyboard cover and Chrome OS. You can get all of that starting at 599 US Dollars. So, is it worth that price? That’s what you’ll learn in this HP Chromebook x2 review.
Design & Built Quality
The HP Chromebook x2 11 looks like a good build tablet and that’s what it is. We get a full metal body that is 7.5mm thin and weighs 1.16kg including the keyboard cover. So, that combo is not that light. But it is well built and very premium-feeling. Just the transition from the screen to the body is not super elegant.
On the top, we get a power button with a built-in fingerprint scanner that is very fast and seems reliable. There are a microSD card slot, a volume rocker, and two USB C 3.1 ports on the right side. You can connect external monitors too. As is common nowadays there’s no headphone jack but we do get a magnetic area for an optional stylus.
A 5-megapixel webcam sits above the screen and on the back, we get an 8-megapixel camera. With both, you can take solid photos and videos especially considering this is a tablet. But as usual, most phones take better photos.
The keyboard cover of the HP Chromebook x2 11 is included and consists of two parts. We get a magnetic back cover for the back with an integrated kickstand that you can open very smoothly and wide. So, you can use the kickstand separate from the keyboard, if you want to watch a movie, for instance.
You attach the keyboard using a magnetic connector and folded up, it protects the screen. I love that this keyboard has a similar bathetic bar as the excellent Microsoft Type Covers do so that you can use the keyboard at an angle. However, unlike with Microsoft, here you can’t use the keyboard flat on a tablet because then it wobbles. So, you’ve got to use it at an angle, no other choice.
For a tablet keyboard, I think it’s very good. I didn’t encounter any problems when working with it and I think the touchpad is fine too. Sure, both are a bit small compared to a proper laptop. But it’s really good for a tablet. I wish it had a background light though.
Display & Pen
The HP Chromebook x2 11 has an 11-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 3:2. I think for office work this is the perfect aspect ratio. However, when watching movies, you’ll see black bars at the top and bottom. The resolution is very high with 2160 x 1440 pixels and everything looks sharp.
Sure it’s not the best, but it certainly has a very good IPS display. Viewing angles are stable, colors look great, and while with 400 nits it’s not as bright as an iPad, it’s bright enough for most environments. Just don’t use it at the beach. I think for this price class it’s great.
Netflix & Speakers
Despite those black bars I enjoyed watching movies and TV shows with this tablet. Using the Netflix Android app, you can watch in SD only because HD quality is not supported. However, when using Netflix in the Chrome Browser, you can watch everything in HD and it runs great.
On the right and left sides of the screen, we get two speakers in total. And considering this is an office tablet, the sound is very pleasing. I wouldn’t recommend it as an Entertainment tablet, however, because cheap Android tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 are much louder.
HP USI Stylus
Like many Chromebooks, the HP Chromebook x2 supports a so-called USI stylus. You’ve got to buy these pens separately and it doesn’t have to be an HP one. On the right side, there’s a magnetic bar that you can use to charge the optional HP Wireless Rechargeable USI Pen which works just like with the iPad Pro. But I have the standard HP USI stylus only and that one is charged using USB C.
I used this pen with the Lenovo Duet Chromebook and ASUS Chromebook CM3 already and what I said about those goes here too. The stylus itself, handwritten notes and drawings, all that works fine. But not amazing.
Tablets with the Samsung S Pen, Apple Pencil, or Microsoft Surface Pen are much more precise in a direct comparison. Handwritten notes look better. I even prefer using the Apple Pencil and iPad 9 with its not laminated screen.
On the software side, the pen is not that well supported either. There are some features built into Chrome OS but sometimes the stylus lags in some Android apps. Not always, but often, and I noticed that in Bamboo Paper and INKredible specifically. OneNote can’t be installed at all. However, with Nebo and Squid, the pen reacts very fast.
The HP USI stylus works, sure, and I think it’s a decent combo with Nebo. But if great handwritten notes are especially important to you, I would get an iPad, Samsung, or Microsoft tablet instead.
Hardware & Performance
Inside the HP Chromebook x2 11 sits a Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c chipset which is clocked at up to 2.4GHz. Depending on the version, we get 4GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB internal storage. There’s a 4G LTE option too. I got the cheapest version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
Geekbench 5 shows that the HP tablet is more powerful than the Lenovo Duet Chromebook and ASUS Chromebook CM3 which are two direct competitors. The multi-core performance lies above the Microsoft Surface Go 2 with a Core m3. However, the cheaper Xiaomi Pad 5 is much faster.
Sadly, it does not support most graphics benchmarks. But the Geekbench 4 Compute test shows that it’s much better than the Lenovo Duet Chromebook but most higher-end Android tablets are more powerful.
The Chromebook x2 is not a gaming tablet and doesn’t want to be one but you can play games with it, of course. Using the Google Play Store you can install tons of Android games and I tried PUBG Mobile with runs quite well. While I couldn’t select UltraHD graphics, it does support HDR graphics and runs well with those.
But the most interesting performance test is inside the Chrome browser because that’s why you’ll get a Chromebook. And indeed, for this price, I think the performance is excellent especially compared to similar priced Windows tablets. For my test, I opened four normal web pages, as well as a Google Docs and Microsoft Word web app, and was playing a 4K YouTube video. Switching between all tabs and using them is possible without any problems and YouTube runs great in the background. However, when switching to the 4K YouTube video, it begins to stutter at the beginning until it comes down and plays fine after some time.
If you watch the 4K video alone, there’s no problem at all. And you can switch between everything much smoother when streaming in HD only.
Cheaper Windows tablets often have to fight with YouTube and here, the browser performance certainly is better. The operating system itself and Android apps like Lightroom perform well too.
Chrome OS Software
The HP Chromebook x2 11 ships with Chrome OS which is being kept up-to-date by Google directly. In fact, the update policy is one of the highlights of every Chrome OS tablet. This one is supposed to get updates until June 2029 according to its settings. So, over 7 years to go which should be much longer than any Android tablet should get updates. Very cool.
Chrome OS should be more secure than other operating systems too – one reason for that is that it’s not that common.
Besides that, it’s especially interesting because of its Chrome browser. We get full desktop Chrome here which looks and works just as it does on Windows or macOS. Basically, it’s the same desktop browser with the same extension support. That’s why Web Apps like Google Docs run so well because it’s made for that.
Android tablets have a mobile version of Chrome with fewer features. One alternative is Safari on iPads, however, because since iPadOS it supports web apps quite well too.
Besides web apps, you can install Android apps using the pre-installed Google Play Store. The notes apps I already mentioned run well, the same goes for Lightroom, the Google Apps, most games, and even the Firefox browser.
I wanted to install a couple of apps that are not supported, however. Among those are Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, OneNote, and Adobe Premiere Rush. These are the apps I wanted to use. I’m sure there are many more that are not supported.
By the way, in the case of Microsoft Office, you can use the web app version in the Chrome browser, of course.
In my battery test, the HP Chromebook x2 got a runtime of 6 hours. So, it lasts longer than the Lenovo Duet Chromebook and ASUS Chromebook CM3 and as long as the iPad 9. For this, I’m always looping an HD YouTube video at maximum brightness using the YouTube Android app.
HP Chromebook x2 11 Review: Final Verdict
So, is the HP Chromebook x2 11 worth its price? Well, I think it’s the best Chrome OS tablet I reviewed. Which are not all by the way, because many are not available here in Germany. Still, it offers a fantastic build, a very good display, and it’s more powerful than its direct competitors. I love the full desktop-class Chrome browser and that it’ll get updates for over 7 years.
It’s mostly interesting if you’re looking for an office tablet and want a great desktop browser.
With that being said, I can’t recommend it as an entertainment tablet because gaming performance and speakers of similar-priced Android tablets are much better. If you’ll use the stylus a lot, I also think it’s better to get an iPad or Samsung or Microsoft tablet instead. The optional USI pen is fine but not outstanding at all.
Let’s look at some alternatives and you should compare local prices here.
An interesting alternative is the ASUS Chromebook CM3. While the CPU performance is weaker, the stylus is included and here too we get Chrome OS with long updates and a good keyboard. It performed well in my review.
The Lenovo Duet Chromebook is a much cheaper competitor. Here we get Chrome OS and a solid keyboard as well. Sure, the performance and battery life are weaker and the screen is a bit smaller. But if you just want a tablet with a keyboard and Chrome, the value is fantastic.
Keep the Apple iPad 9 in your mind as well. Including the keyboard and stylus, they cost about the same. I think the design of the Chromebook X2 is much nicer. However, the iPad 9 has much better performance, it has a great browser as well, and is a good entertainment tablet at the same time.
- Premium design
- Good screen
- Fantastic Chrome browser
- Long updates
- Solid keyboard
- Pen okay only
- Not a media tablet
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