HP Elite x2 Is an Upgradeable Alternative to Surface

Owners of convertibles are usually required to take their mind off upgrading them, but that’s definitely not the case with HP’s Elite x2, a Surface clone that can be opened and upgraded at will.

With its Surface line, Microsoft really did set a standard for business tablets that can be turned into ultrabooks simply by attaching a keyboard. Both the design and the specs suggested that these are premium devices, and their instant success determined others to try and replicate the recipe. This is how Lenovo’s Yoga and Miix 700 series came to be, along with Dell’s XPS 12 and HP’s Spectre x2. Since a single product line hardly seemed enough for defeating Microsoft at this game, HP also launched the Elite x2.

In comparison to the Surface Pro 4, which seems to be HP’s main competitor, the Elite x2 is taller, wider, heavier and even bulkier than Microsoft’s product.

Something that the Elite x2 certainly does not lack is ports. There’s a SIM tray (indicating 4G connectivity options) and a lock slot on the left side of the tablet, just besides the power and volume buttons. On the other side, the Elite x2 sports a 3.5mm jack for headphones, a microSD card tray that enables users to expand the tablet’s storage, as well as a Thunderbolt 3 port for blazing fast transfer speeds. It should be noted that the Thunderbolt 3 port is also used for charging the convertible, and that it is fully compatible with USB Type-C. By the looks of it, it seems that this type of port is finally picking up.

The Elite x2 could’ve been a great competitor for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, but it disappoints in the technical specs department. First of all, HP’s convertible comes with a 12-inch screen with a 1080p resolution. That alone makes it a lot inferior, since the Surface Pro 4 packs a larger screen with a greater resolution, and consequently, a higher pixel density.

On top of that, the Elite x2 is powered by Skylake Core m3, m5, or m7 CPUs, which allow a fanless design, but can’t match the Core i5 or i7 found in the Surface in terms of CPU and GPU performance. Other than that, HP’s offering seems to provide similar connectivity and storage options. By the looks of it, it seems that only the SATA, encrypted SATA, or PCI Express SSDs in the M2 form factor can be upgraded. It would have been nice to be able to upgrade other parts, but I guess that’s better than nothing at all.

Check out the following image for a full list of specs and options available for the HP Elite x2 convertible.

HP Elite x2 1011 is currently available in various configurations on Amazon, and the 1012 model should be featured there shortly, too, as the manufacturer claims that it will start shipping in January at $899. If you’re a businessman who thinks that typical convertibles aren’t futureproof enough, and that they could use an occasional upgrade, then the Elite x2 is definitely something worth looking into.

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[source and image credits: ars technica]