Channel 5

HP Pavilion 11 x360

Thursday 03 April 2014

G-Rating

Rating of 3

The basics

Following in the footsteps of the more expensive Lenovo Yoga 11s, the HP Pavilion 11 x360 is a portable, affordable laptop with a literal twist - get bored of typing, and you'll be able to flip the screen over and use it as a tablet instead. What's it like as an everyday machine though? Read on to find out.

The good

At just £350, there's a lot to like when it comes to the spec of the HP. That swivelling display measures in at an ultraportable 11.6 inches, and it's a reasonably sharp 1366x768. Sure, it's not Full HD, but it's easy enough to fit a couple of documents or apps side by side.

It's also easy to swivel into a tablet, and although it feels too bulky for one-handed use, the screen is responsive and you'll be swiping, pinching and tapping your way around the operating system in seconds.

The Windows 8.1 OS runs along at a fair old lick; there's only a 2.13GHz Intel Celeron N2820 processor under the hood, but it's part of Intel's latest Bay Trail platform. Along with 4GB of RAM, it's actually pretty nippy.

Sure, things start slowing down when you've got lots of apps open, but it's fine for streaming vides, catching up with The Gadget Show or hammering out the odd document. We managed a battery life of around six hours, which is reasonable if unexceptional.

Quality is also pretty good, with the HP made from tough, brightly coloured plastics. It's no MacBook, but it's certainly robust enough to live up to the daily grind.

The bad

The screen is arguably the most disappointing feature on the HP Pavilion 11 x360. Irrespective of brightness settings, it's incredibly washed out, and viewing angles are also pretty poor. Even compared to rivals like the Asus Transformer Book T100, which itself features an unexceptional screen, colours are dull and lifeless, and blacks are much closer to grey. It completely ruined movies and photographs for us.

The keyboard also comes in for criticism, although quality is good at this price point. We had high hopes that it would be a comfortable performer; the rather ugly oversized bezel around the screen means there's plenty of room for big, well spaced keys, but unfortunately our hopes were dashed within one or two words. It's certainly not a patch on the Lenovo Yoga 11S and its ThinkPad style typing heritage.

An incredibly shallow keystroke - closer to the keyboard-case on a Microsoft Surface than an actual laptop - needlessly ruins the ergonomics, resulting in uncomfortable and error-prone typing. Sure, it's something you can get accustomed to, but considering it's a reasonably bulky device, it seems completely unnecessary.

The bottom line

With its bright colouring and swivelling screen, the HP Pavilion 11 x360 looks good, performs well and has quality to match. On paper it's a great buy at £350, but it's difficult to recommend. The screen is a complete wash out, the keyboard isn't as comfortable as it should be, and despite being responsive, it's just too bulky as a standalone tablet.

Even though it's more expensive, the Lenovo 11S offers a much better all-round experience. Or, if you can get past the relative lack of storage (at 32GB of SSD), the smaller and cheaper Asus Transformer Book T100 also performs better as both a laptop and a tablet.

Currys Top Products

HP Pavilion 11 x360 is tagged with HP Pavilion 11 x360, laptop, windows 8.1 and red. Select a tag (HP Pavilion 11 x360, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

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