If my budget was $400, I’d buy the HP Chromebook X2 today

While there are plenty of Chromebooks in the $200 to $400 range to choose from right now, I’d say the best deal at the moment is the HP Chromebook X2 for a few reasons. That’s partially because the first detachable Chromebook is $200 off at Best Buy, down to $399.

You’ll have to nab this device today since it has actually been part of a 4-day sale and today is the final day; several readers have written in to me sharing the discount information but I’ve been swamped with a final coding project for my CompSci class.

Even at the full price, I raved about the Chromebook X2 when I bought one last year. I was concerned about the Intel Core m3 processor but it performed like a champ in every instance of my usage. I was concerned about the 4 GB of memory but even that wasn’t really a hindrance. However, expectations and use cases vary: If you’re more of a power user with two dozen tabs open simultaneously, you’d probably want a Chromebook with 8 GB of memory. And while only 32 GB of eMMC storage is available, you can expand it with a memory card.

If I could sum up the HP Chromebook X2, I’d say it will meet the needs of at least 80 to 90 percent of mainstream Chrome OS users. And it does that in style with a fantastic 12.3-inch 2400 x 1600 IPS touch and pen-enabled display that can be removed from the keyboard.

When attached to the keyboard, the typing and trackpad experience is quite good, with very little display wobble. The HP Chromebook X2 is a little “back heavy” due to the metal hinge mechanism, something I quickly got used to. It adds stability for the laptop mode, so it is a compromise.

What other Chromebooks have the versatility of a detachable display, the same screen resolution and clarity as the Google Pixelbook, stylus support and solid performance at $400 or less? I can’t think of one but I’d say the closest are the two Samsung Chromebook Plus v2 models.

Neither have a detachable display, although that may not be a key requirement for many. Both have high resolution displays and an equal amount or more storage.

The currently priced $399.99 Samsung Chromebook Plus v2 includes the same memory and storage capacities as the HP Chromebook X2 but drops you to a Celeron processor. The $499.99 Samsung Chromebook Plus v2 has a comparable Core m3 processor and 64 GB of storage but costs $100 more than the X2 right now and like its less expensive sibling has a lower resolution 1080p display.

Any of these would be decent choices for the price, but if I was buying now and my budget was $400 or less, it would the HP Chromebook X2 for me. I know many readers have purchased this device for the full $599 price; I’d be curious to hear how they’re getting on with the X2 and if it’s worth the purchase for $200 less.

11 thoughts on “If my budget was $400, I’d buy the HP Chromebook X2 today

  • April 27, 2019 at 9:31 am
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    It probably is just fine – for now – for most people. I just can’t stomach the 4/32 architecture. I find it an incredibly weird way to cheap out. I know that companies also balance against pushing people into more expensive choices to get those options if they want them. So it’s not just the few dollars they save on each machine, which does add up over thousands of machines of course. But personally I wonder if the cost in sales really balances out.
    For me, I’m not buying this. But I probably would have bought it with an 8/64 setup at about this price even though I’d really like a fingerprint reader. Though I’d prefer 8/128 at this point. In either event I’d have been happy to pay them the difference in cost to them for that additional memory. It wouldn’t be too much. But where we stand now I’m not buying this and I’ve not been shopped up into a more expensive item of theirs either. I’m just not their customer.
    I don’t think I’m the only member of my little club either.
    Frankly I’m getting tired of waiting for Google’s long game to play out.
    I’m tired of waiting for fingerprint sensors to become common.
    I know you are happy with your Slate but overall I found the fiasco of the release of that device demoralizing as a longtime Chrome OS user. I waited and waited for that device to launch and when it Did Google tripped right onto its face. Months later it doesn’t seem like they’ve done as well as they should have getting back up either.
    Last year I purchased my first iOS device for my Dad. An ipad. No acceptable Android tablet was even in the ballpark of what I could get for the money with that ipad.
    Now I need to replace my Chromebook this Summer as it falls out of update.
    And here I am waiting still for some reasonable choices running Chrome OS. I don’t think a fingerprint sensor is too much to ask in the Summer of 2019. Something with a reasonably recent processor would be nice too.
    All in all I find myself rethinking just what I use my Chrome OS device for and wondering if those ipads might not serve me too. I know at this point I’ll be watching the updates to iOS as closely as I’m watching for some decent modern hardware running Chrome OS.

    Reply
  • April 27, 2019 at 9:53 am
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    I bought my X2 last August on a small sale direct from HP when Best Buy was still charging $50 over MSRP for it. I love it. I use it in both tablet and laptop modes about equally. The M3 chip shows no lag in any activity I have asked of it. I have not felt limited by the 4GB as I typically have less than a dozen tabs open at one time. I was concerned about the 32GB storage. I bought a 128GB microSD card and changed my default download location to it. I still have about 14GB internal storage left.

    The screen is identical to the Pixelbooks, and the M3 has no trouble pushing those pixels. The keyboard is quite good, and the touchpad is better than several Windows laptops I have used that cost twice as much. The speakers can fill a room but have little bass. I am quite happy with the performance of the wi-fi radio. I get a strong signal in places where previous devices have struggled.

    I am happy with my purchase at a price over $100 more than this sale.

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  • April 27, 2019 at 12:12 pm
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    I’ve had this X2; hated it. When used on the lap, the display is top heavy and tends to be very unstable. (The pen is rarely used by me.) In contrast, the HP X360 14 Chromebook, even though it is not detachable and has no pen, is perfect in that it sits fine on the lap, plus 8gb ram is a bonus and its price is about the same. Save yourself the trouble, buy the X360.

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    • April 27, 2019 at 1:42 pm
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      That’s a bit of an exaggeration about being top heavy. I tried the 360 and it is totally useless as a tablet. 3x the weight with a dull and dim screen that can’t stand up to sunlight from a window let alone be used outside or use a pen and the speakers are much worse not to mention the worse aspect ratio 16:9 vs 3:2, The fan noise is a little loud for how little it’s doing too. The only advantage was that it’s faster but what exactly do you need blinding speed for on ChromeOS anyway and it’s still only dual core.

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      • April 27, 2019 at 2:21 pm
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        There is very little which I envy of the US at the moment. The X2 however costs 999 euro in Holland, which is 1115 dollar. Nearly 3 times as expensive.

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  • April 27, 2019 at 5:22 pm
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    Noted and purchased!

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  • April 28, 2019 at 1:01 pm
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    Purchased my X2 last November when Best Buy was running a sale and I have been very happy with it. The m3 has proven to be up to any task I have thrown at it, and while I too was concerned about the limited storage and memory I have yet to run into any issue with it.

    If you are looking for a pure laptop there are better options out there, but as a 2 in 1 I think the X2 is the best offering. As a detachable I prefer the X2’s clam shell keyboard over the Slate’s folio style and if cost is a consideration then the X2 is a better option hands down. My biggest gripe is the lack of back lighting on the keyboard, the low contrast between the lettering and the background of the keys makes the keyboard very hard to read in low light.

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  • April 28, 2019 at 1:03 pm
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    £500 in the UK thats $645 but have to add that includes taxes

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  • April 28, 2019 at 1:47 pm
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    It seems I had it all wrong

    The X is £800 thats $1,033.24

    BTW the link to best buy has it now much more expensive

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  • April 28, 2019 at 3:08 pm
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    I didn’t know about this sale but paid $500 on Amazon for it 3 weeks ago. I love it. I specifically wanted a detachable screen so it would function as a Chromebook tablet. If you primarily will use it as a laptop it’s true that it’s a little too heavy. But it you’re like me a really want a Chromebook tablet get it, you won’t b sorry.

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  • May 2, 2019 at 5:45 am
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    Got one in November and love it. Use it mostly as a tablet but as a laptop, I prefer to use it more than my company Pixelbook most of the time. In the UK you pay slightly more but get 64gb and a backlit keyboard – same for the rest of Europe I think.

    Reply

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