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HP Chromebook x2 11 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c inside

There should be a successor to the HP Chromebook x2

Want a small ChromeOS tablet with good battery life? I’d recommend considering the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3, last year’s successor to my 2020 Chromebook of the Year. Other choices include… well, there really aren’t any other choices unless you want to sacrifice some performance with the Asus Chromebook Detachable CM3. Whatever happened to a follow-up from the HP Chromebook x2, which offered stellar build quality and decent performance?

HP Chromebook x2

Room for improvement in the HP Chromebook x2

In case you forgot about the HP Chromebook x2, like the Duet 3, it had an 11-inch touch display and a detachable keyboard. Given when it hit the market, HP chose the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c to power the ChromeOS tablet. The newer Duet 3 uses the second generation of that chipset, which offered a nice performance boost.

Aside from updating the original HP Chromebook x2 with a newer processor, I see two areas of potential improvement here for HP.

The first is to find a way to knock the price down. You might not recall but the HP Chromebook x2 arrived with a $599.99 list price. That’s a big ask for an ARM-based tablet with a detachable keyboard. Lenovo was wise to start the Duet 3 at $399.99. Yes, discounts help in both cases, but without one, I didn’t recommend the x2 after reviewing it:

If you’re specifically looking for a light and portable Chrome OS solution, this device is worth considering. No, it’s not the fastest by any means but the use case of general web usage on the go is filled here. However, at the full price of $599.99, I’d say wait. Just wait for a sale as we’ve seen the price dip down to $379. At that price, you’re getting a much better value. At full price, I think you’re overpaying for what you’re getting.

The second improvement I’d want to see from a new HP Chromebook x2 is a better detachable keyboard. I simply couldn’t use the tablet on my lap because of how unstable the keyboard made the display. Even worse was the flimsiness of the keyboard itself, causing unintended trackpad clicks:

I know this is a 2-in-1 Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard and not a laptop. But the point of adding a keyboard to a slate is to create a laptop-like form factor. If you’re going to use this device on a flat surface, like a desk or table, you’ll be fine. But using it on a lap for me has been a letdown. The keyboard attachment has far too much flex in it for that purpose. I can’t get past the many times that lightly resting a palm triggers a mouse click when using the HP Chromebook X2 11 on my lap.

Fix those HP Chromebook x2 issues and choose a newer chip

I don’t think either the price or keyboard challenges are insurmountable. Especially when so many of the original design elements can be reused. Aside from the detachable keyboard, the main hardware improvements can be had with a different compute board and newer ARM processor.

I’ve heard great things about the MediaTek Kompanio 1380, for example. It provides a great balance of performance and battery life; two elements that are ideal for any Chromebook but perhaps more so in a ChromeOS tablet. You can find it today in the Acer Chromebook Spin 513, which has a retail price of $599.

Acer Chromebook Spin 513

Surely if Acer can use that solid ARM chip in a full Chromebook at that price, an updated HP Chromebook x2 with the same CPU can be done for $100 less. After all, there are fewer materials and likely fewer components since tablets tend to have fewer ports and no keyboard chassis.

Could HP simply use the second-generation Snapdragon 7c in an upgraded version? Of course, and that would help cut the cost down as well.

But there wouldn’t be any major advantage compared to the already available Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3, which is now a year old and often on sale. A new HP Chromebook x2 would have to use something with a little more pep, while also maintaining similar (or better) battery life. Oh, and given that 1080p webcams are becoming the new norm for Chromebooks, that might be part of the product too.

I wanted to like the original HP Chromebook x2

For all of my thoughts on improvements, I really liked the original HP Chromebook x2 hardware quality. Aside from some key design choices, it was like using the ChromeOS version of an iPad Pro; at least from the look and feel. That’s why I’d like to see a successor device with the key changes outlined above.

HP Chromebook x2

Yes, the Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 is a fantastic little ChromeOS tablet.

I still recommend it to folks looking for something with that size and portability. But there’s just something about HP’s choice of materials and build quality that has me wishing for a follow-up to the old x2.

author avatar
Kevin C. Tofel

14 thoughts on “There should be a successor to the HP Chromebook x2

  1. I couldn’t agree more on the Duet 3. I waited and waited…and waited for the HP Dragonfly Pro until I couldn’t any longer. So, I started looking for an interim device that would hold me over and ordered the Duet 3. I’m surprised at how happy I am with it. In fact, I’m at the point of wondering if I even need the Dragonfly Pro now. YMMV, but the Duet 3 pretty much does everything I need, along with the pluses of light weight and great battery life.

    1. There’s such a world of difference between those two models, it seems hard to compare. Mostly they serve really different needs. All the better if you can say 7 or $800 and get your needs met with the Duet!

  2. Oh, I would like to use Duet 3 as an upgrade to Duet original, but it is unavailable to buy in Europe, at least in Slovakia/ Czech/ Austria/ Germany markets. Truly badly missing ChromeOS tablets in EU market.

  3. I’ve using this portable since shortly after it was released and I agree there is a place for a high quality iPad pro competitor in the Chromebook space. I would add improved battery life as a possible upgrade.

  4. I know you are about Chromebooks. I have a Pixelbook 2 and use it frequently. But I am looking for a replacement for my Dell desktop with a larger monitor and keyboard and I was really excited by the HP Chromebase. Unfortunately, HP seems to have abandoned that system instead of making improvements to ports, memory, ram and video.
    I just want a computer not dominated by Microsoft 10-11+ which interferes with accessing Chrome.
    From you review of HP’s Chromebook X2, it seems that skimping/cost cutting is the new normal at HP.

    1. I currently own and have owned quite a bit of HP hardware, and you’re so right about cutting corner on cost in some stupid ways. However in the case of the X2 (I paid $250 with 8GB RAM) as I work always on a hard surface (not my lap) and only without being plugged in when using temporarily as a tablet, none of the concerns noted apply to my experience. While on paper the processor shouldn’t be as good as it performs for me, I have no complaints there, though I don’t do processor heavy things like gaming, coding, media editing.

      The big downer for me is the same for all 10-11 inch detachables: the keyboard is not full sized, and having typed using all fingers for years, I need that for speed. I have an 11-inch convertible (and another clamshell) that both have full-sized keyboards, it’s a shame they didn’t endeavor to make that happen on these 11-inch models.

  5. 1000x yes!!!! I love my X2 and use it everywhere. Even with 8 gigs of RAM it can be slow.

  6. That’s a darned nice looking device. Don’t know how I missed it. Even though I own a Duet, I’d jump at a next generation x2 if it had better specs. Maybe one day? We can hope …

  7. I’ve the original Duet. Been thinking of upgrading. Just need to wait for one of Lenovo’s numerous sales.

  8. I use the first gen Duet and I didnt see any argument to upgrade to another tablet so long the battery life is well. I heard many people who blames the duet for it performance. I cant follow these args because the duet can run smooth when you use it how it should be used. Its a nice second device to reading, writing and prog on i.e. jsfiddle or research with the dev tools in chrome.
    Also minecraft runs (sideloaded with a flatpak app)

  9. I’m glad you mention the X-2, as I forgot it in my “article” (long comment on BORING). It is my other 8GB Chromebook/convertible/tablet. And oddly it has the best memory management of all 4, with that weenie processor! But the processor itself is “red lining” quite a bit, yet I don’t performance issues.

    I have no complaints since HP replaced the defective keyboard, and as I use it almost exclusively on a hard surface, I have none of its infamous keyboard issues, never, not once. I prefer the screen ratio of the Duet (my original I gifted) but otherwise I love the speakers, the fingerprint reader, the screen clarity, and that stylus, all for $250! I don’t recall how I got that price (8GB) but it was about a year ago. I love it!

  10. Have said this in the past so will keep it brief: an HP x2 redux – or any ChromeOS tablet for that matter – should use AMD Mendocino or Intel N-series chips instead of ARM as they perform a lot better while offering similar TDP (think battery life/heat). Were ASUS to launch a ChromeOS version of this Windows 11 tablet it would be a Chromebook X/Chromebook Plus model that would get Steam:


    Only the very cheap “for education and kiosk” ChromeOS devices should be ARM going forward.

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