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HP Chromebook X2 11 Surface Style Chrome OS Tablet


hey everybody it’s lon seidman we’re taking a look today at another chromebook 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 we’re 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 we’re done with this it goes back to them all the opinions you’re about to hear are my own no one is paying for this review nor is anyone reviewed or approved what you’re about to see before it was uploaded so let’s 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 it’s got a very nice display it’s 11 inches it’s running at 2160 by 1440 which is a 2k display and it’s very bright at 400 nits and i really like that it’s got a 3×2 aspect ratio which makes it really nice for browsing the web and working on documents especially when you’re in this laptop configuration now when you’ve 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 don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing it’s got a good amount of rigidity but it’s 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 you’ve 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 it’ll 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 i’m 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 it’s 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 you’re

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 don’t 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 you’ve got to use a little sim popper to get it out now there are a pair of stereo speakers on this device you’ve 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 it’ll 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 there’s no headphone jack on this because that’s 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 it’ll 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 it’s 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 it’ll hold itself there pretty well and you can have it stored either up or down depending on how you attach it now it’s 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 that’s what it’s 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 there’s 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 it’s a camera and if you need to take something in a pinch and you don’t 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 doesn’t take too much getting used to but it does feel like you’re 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 i’ve 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 it’s pretty good at ignoring some of those accidental clicks but you’ll get them every once in a while if you put down a little bit of extra weight on this while it’s on your lap the keyboard also is not backlit all right let’s take a look now and see how it performs we’ll begin with some web browsing i did turn the display brightness down because it was blowing out my camera so what we’ll 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 doesn’t 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 you’re watching youtube or twitch or something where you’ll 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 let’s take a look now at its pen support i’ve 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 doesn’t feel like it’s got the same level of precision that i would find on a ipad or on a windows device for example there’s also a bit of latency as i’m 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 isn’t any darker so that’s something that of course the ipad can do

when the windows tablets can do as well and i’m pretty sure this pen supports that pressure detection so the pen side of this is not quite there and i think that’s more on google than it is on hp at the moment so we’ll have to see if software developments weren’t something to update you on in the future but right now it’s 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 i’m on a website google and i’ve 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 i’m also noticing that same lack of precision using this text input field that i saw on google cursive and i’m 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 there’s 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 you’ll 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 you’re looking to play games this is probably not your device it’s not your device if you want to do a lot of pen-based applications and if those two applications are the things you’re looking to do the most i think that ipad is the best way to go but if you’re looking for a chrome os device that is a tablet this is probably a good choice because it performs very well and it’s 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 you’ve got a nice 2k display on this device so the video looks pretty lousy when you’re running the android version of netflix’s 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 let’s 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 it’s a little on the sluggish side here on this arm-based chromebook so you’ll 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 what’s 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 can’t get steam games running with this at the time i’m 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 one’s 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 you’ve 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 google’s 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 i’ve 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 you’re 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 that’s 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 if you want to help the channel you can by contributing as little as a dollar a month head over to lawn dot tv support to learn more and don’t forget to subscribe

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