Previously, if you wanted a beautiful Chromebook with a great screen and good specifications, your options were slim and probably designed by Google. But over the past year or so, some manufacturers have had the idea and have begun to publish devices capable of competing with more than a dozen tabs. In the end, you spend $ 500 or more on the privilege, but it remains much less than Google for the Pixelbook.

The HP Chromebook x2 is one of these devices. But instead of presenting itself as a very good Chromebook, it has been designed to allow you to detach and use the keyboard as a tablet. A removable keyboard has other compromises than the classic 360-degree hinge found on other “convertible” Chromebooks. If you plan to use it in tablet mode, you can save weight by leaving the keyboard behind. And if you’re holding the keyboard, you do not need to feel the keyboard behind the screen when it’s bent.

At $ 599.99, the HP Chromebook x2 is more expensive than most Chromebooks, but according to the “semi-professional” level, we’re seeing more and more. Theoretically, it is designed for a world where Chrome OS is flexible and powerful enough to handle almost every major operating system imaginable: Windows, Mac OS and iOS on iPad. This world always has more potential than reality, but in the meantime, the x2 is behaving quite well.

In the strange world of convertible laptops, we spend a lot of time talking about the different methods used by companies to get a full keyboard with a tablet. This usually means that we talk a lot about hinges, where the bowels of the machine are, and bulky words like “lability”.

When it comes to solving these problems, the x2 is a little more ambitious than usual: it puts the whole computer behind the screen, so the keyboard is little more than an accessory (fortunately) for The strike. But unlike other tablets with keyboard support, this keyboard has a hinge much more pleasant and similar to that of a laptop.

It opens like a normal laptop and the hinge is strong enough to hold the tablet in a passable angle without moving too much. The keyboard has little more than a trackpad, a pen loop and buttons, it does not weigh much. Finding the right balance so that the screen does not let everything filter when it’s open is a challenge – a challenge that many other manufacturers have thrown in the past.

The x2 usually meets this challenge. On a desktop, it is absolutely stable in notebook mode, even when the screen is tilted as much as possible. It’s also stable on my lap, but barely. You can say that it is very heavy, but that should not upset you. There is a slight flicker when you tap the screen.

I’m also happy with the way the display comes from the keyboard: you just have to remove it. There is no button to separate it and you can attach it as easily. It is held by magnets that are just powerful enough to hold it together, but not so strong that it’s hard to separate them.

The keyboard cover is a synthetic leather that I do not like, but it’s not offensive. The trackpad is big and accurate and the buttons are easy to type. Unfortunately, the keyboard is not backlit. Of course, the tablet itself is a little thicker than you would expect – especially compared to an iPad – and the glasses are remarkably large nowadays.

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