- Review Date: 5/5/2014
- Bottom line: The HP Pavilion x360 is a convertible hybrid laptop that flips its touch screen around to act like a slate tablet. It has an entry-level price, making it a good system for the Windows 8 novice.
- Pros: Nice price. Quad-core, 64-bit processor. HDMI port. Ethernet port. Lid folds for Tablet, Stand, and Tent modes.
- Cons: Screen sometimes wobbles in Notebook and Stand modes. Shorter battery life. Only one of the three USB ports is USB 3.0. No 5GHz Wi-Fi. Lots of pre-loaded apps.
The HP Pavilion 11t-n000 x360 ($409.99, as tested) is a convertible hybrid laptop that flips its touch screen around. Thanks to a budget-friendly, quad-core Intel Pentium processor and its use of a hard drive instead of a pricier solid-state drive (SSD), the Pavilion x360, is a lot less expensive than the $1,000 convertible hybrid laptops we've seen over the past couple of years. Despite its budget price, the system is more than competent, and is a good starting point for the Windows 8 novice.
Design and Features
Like a flashy convertible automobile, the system grabs your attention with its all-red chassis and shiny, chrome-colored HP logo on the lid. Like the Lenovo Yoga 2 11, the Pavilion x360 flips its screen around the center hinge's axis, so you can use the system in four modes. Notebook mode is the standard clamshell-laptop orientation. Stand mode puts the keyboard facedown on the table, so you can use the screen to watch videos with the rest of laptop body out of the way. Tent mode flips the laptop over so the central hinge is facing the sky; this makes the touch screen more stable for extended touch sessions, like when playing a game (more on that below). Last, but not least, Tablet mode lets you use the Pavilion x360 as a (somewhat heavy) slate tablet. Detachable hybrid systems like the Asus Transformer Book T100TA are lighter in Tablet mode, though there's always the danger that you'll accidentally leave the Asus T100TA's keyboard behind.
Heavy is a relative term, of course, since the laptop weighs a comfortable 3.23 pounds. The system measures 0.86 by 12 by 8.5 inches (HWD), so it will fit in most commuter bags or student backpacks. The exterior is soft-touch plastic, and the keyboard deck has a brushed-silver metal finish. The chiclet-style keyboard is comfortable to use, though not quite as comfortable as the one on the Lenovo Yoga 2 11. The Pavilion x360 has a multi-gesture touchpad, which responds to commands quickly.
The 11.6-inch, 10-point touch screen has a 1,366-by-768 resolution, which is quite common in sub-$500 laptops. You will have to pay a higher price to get one with 1080p or higher, like on the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. There is a noticeable amount of screen bounce when you use the touch screen in Notebook and Stand modes. This bouncing could be distracting or annoying when playing touch-oriented games or when drawing on the screen. When in Tent and Tablet mode, the table or back of the laptop, respectively, gives the device a solid base, so the screen feels steadier. The Pavilion x360 comes with Beats Audio, to enhance music and the audio from videos and games on the built-in speakers. The sound from the speakers is fine for a small room. Other compact entry-level laptops like the Yoga 2 11 have similar audio quality.
You'll find more physical connectors than other convertible hybrid laptops, with two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, an SD card reader, an HDMI port, and an Ethernet port. The last port is notable because many laptops, at all price ranges, omit Ethernet to save space and cost. If you travel a lot, having an Ethernet option can mean the difference between speedy wired Internet or no Internet at all. The system does come with 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but no 5GHz 802.11 a/n Wi-Fi. HP says a model with 4G/LTE will be available later this year.
There are quite a few preloaded apps. Our review unit included Box (cloud storage with a 25GB free subscription for life), WildTangent games, Kindle, McAfee Central, HP Connected Photo, HP Connected Drive (cross-platform file sync), YouCam, WordAment (a game), Fresh Paint, Taptiles (another game), Netflix, HP Savings Center, eBay, Microsoft Office trail, HP connected Music, Snapfish, and Pinger (a messaging app). Budget a few hours to remove all of this stuff if you don't need any of it, but don't worry about running out of room. The 500GB hard drive has lots of space left. The Pavilion x360 comes with a one-year warranty.
The Pavilion x360 has a quad-core Intel Pentium N3520 with Intel HD graphics, along with 4GB of memory. The processor is related to the Bay Trail Atom processor seen in tablets like the Acer Iconia W4-820-2466, Asus T100TA, and Asus VivoTab Note 8. The big difference is that the Pentium processor in the Pavilion x360 is clocked a bit faster, and is 64-bit compatible, while the Atom CPUs are 32-bit. This doesn't affect day-to-day performance as much as multimedia performance.
The Asus T100TA was actually faster on the PCMark7 test (2,485 points) than the Pavilion x360 (1,775), due to its faster SSD storage. However, the Pavilion x360 was faster than the Asus T100TA on the Handbrake video encoding test (2:08 vs. 2:41, respectively). The Asus T100TA didn't complete the Photoshop CS6 test, due to its lower system memory, while the Pavilion x360 finished the test in 15 minutes 59 seconds. That's slow compared to more expensive systems with Core i5 processors, but quite good for entry-level systems with budget processors.
The system lasted a decent 5 hours 40 minutes on our battery rundown test. This paled in comparison, however, to competitors like the Lenovo Yoga 2 11 (6:53) and the Asus T100TA (11:20). This makes the Pavilion x360 a good mobile companion on a road trip, but the Asus T100TA is just in another class altogether.
The HP Pavilion 11t-n000 x360 is a tempting alternative to the Lenovo Yoga line of convertible hybrid laptops. However, the Editors' Choice Asus T100TA has significantly longer battery life and is much lighter in Tablet mode, as it detaches from the keyboard, making it a better choice for the road warrior. The Pavilion x360 is a convertible hybrid laptop system for the user who needs a slate tablet experience from time to time, but can't bear to leave their keyboard at home.