As we come into the second half of 2021, there are a lot of new Chromebooks here and on the way. It feels like every time we turn around there’s a new package arriving in the office that begs for attention. We’re getting to them one by one – don’t you worry – but there are certain Chromebooks that arrive that are cause for a bit of extra excitement and they basically demand to be put on camera as soon as they enter the room. The HP Chromebook x2 11 is absolutely one of those Chromebooks.
So, why all the hype? I suppose it starts with the fact that we’ve been tracking this Chromebook for nearly a year at this point. Back in September of 2020, we found the first signs of ‘Coachz’ – this Chromebook’s internal code name – and I’ve been uncovering details about it ever since with heightening anticipation. The now-confirmed features listed in the Best Buy listing were all uncovered one-by-one along the way, making the wait for this detachable Chromebook tablet that much more agonizing. When a single Chromebook has this many tricks up its sleeve, it’s just impossible not to count the days leading up to the release.
- Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 7c Compute Platform
- 8GB RAM
- 64GB eMMC
- 11″ 2160 x 1440 (Full HD+) touch display @ 400 nits
- 2 x USB-C
- 8MP rear/5MP front camera
- Fingerprint reader
- Wi-fi 5
- Detachable full-size keyboard with touchpad
- Expansion slot for MicroSD
- 2.55 lbs with keyboard and case
- USI stylus with wireless charging
The internals aren’t that impressive, honestly. With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c, 8GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, there’s nothing eye-popping about the specs. Where this Chromebook stands out is in basically every other category. Starting with the detaching form factor, there’s an included magnetically attaching keyboard, kickstand, and USI pen. That pen charges when attached (like the Apple Pencil) and the tablet, kickstand, keyboard and pen all click together with a sturdy, confident feel. I’m already loving the way this all works right out of the box.
Taking off all the attachments, you get down to the tablet itself, and the powdered aluminum feels fantastic and seems to really ward off fingerprints. The 7.5mm thin chassis is only a bit over a pound and holding the tablet by itself feels satisfying and comfortable. I can see plenty of things this Chromebook will be great for in more leisurely settings.
The front side of that tablet houses one of the big highlights of the overall package: the screen. The 3:2 QHD display is crazy bright (over 400 nits) and honestly the perfect size for a tablet in my opinion. There’s enough screen real estate to do some work but the tablet doesn’t feel unwieldy because of it. I really think I’ll find a lot of use cases for this device that I don’t tend to use a Chromebook for.
Along the edges of that screen are the speakers that sound OK, but not great, the volume rocker, SIM/SD card slot, dual USB Type C ports, and the combo power button/fingerprint scanner. Above the screen sits a 5MP camera to go along with the 8MP shooter around back. When it comes to features, this Chromebook has them all. While I don’t expect class-leading performance from the Snapdragon 7c on the inside, it will likely be a big step up from the MediaTek MT8183 tablets we’re used to and I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can get done with this tablet in the next few weeks.
As always, there’s a honeymoon phase to these things. The HP x2 11 is a gorgeous, well-made Chromebook that I’m going to have to truly test in order to form some stronger opinions. Once the newness wears off and I have a full weekend with it, I feel like I’ll have a better handle on where this sort of Chromebook can fit into my weekly routine. I know the performance isn’t good enough for these Snapdragon 7c Chromebooks to be considered daily drivers, but I think a great Chrome OS tablet can find itself useful in different use cases than I generally find for my more-standard Chromebooks. We’ll see later in the review.