HP Pavilion x360 Review

This convertible laptop is heavy compared with other 11-inch models. A wobbly touchscreen, narrow viewing angles, and loads of bloatware also disappoint.

The Hewlett-Packard Pavilion x360 (starting at $400, Amazon) strives to provide the flexibility of a convertible laptop at a reasonably low price. It's a tough challenge, and HP Pavilion x360 reviews suggest the company didn't quite hit the mark with this product. An expert from PC World considers the HP Pavilion x360 bulky compared with most other convertibles. Tablets are supposed to be thin and light, and the size and weight of the Pavilion x360 make it impractical to use in tablet mode. The touchscreen is quick and responsive, but it uses a TN panel rather than IPS technology, which results in pretty narrow viewing angles -- not ideal for a convertible laptop that also has tent and stand modes. The screen looks fairly washed out, according to this expert.

Experts seem to disagree somewhat on one score: how solid the laptop is when set up in tent or stand mode. PC Mag's HP Pavilion x360 review commends the sturdy hinge that holds the keyboard to the screen, allowing it to rotate 360 degrees (hence the name). Having said that, an expert from Laptop Mag found the Pavilion x360 a bit wobbly in tent and stand mode. He observes that the display bounces back a little when you press the touchscreen. This reviewer wasn't particularly impressed with the laptop's performance but says it's still respectable given the rock-bottom price. The battery life of 5 hours and 40 minutes leaves something to be desired, which isn't surprising given the machine's two-cell battery. The Laptop Mag reviewer was also annoyed by the amount of bloatware HP stuffs into this laptop.

The HP Pavilion x360 runs the Windows 8.1 operating system using an Intel Pentium N3520 CPU. The system has 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The 11.6-inch touchscreen has a resolution of 1366 x 768, or 720p high definition. This convertible laptop doesn't have an optical drive, but that's often the case with small systems such as this one. It does include an SD memory card slot and several ports: a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and an Ethernet port. The machine weighs just over 3 pounds.

The HP Pavilion x360 looks good on paper, and HP deserves props for trying to make a good convertible laptop at such a low price. But this device is pretty heavy and bulky for a tablet, and being able to switch your laptop to a tablet is the main reason to get a convertible in the first place. If using the Pavilion x360 in tablet mode is impractical, you may as well stick with a regular budget laptop with a bigger screen and better performance.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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