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Frankentablet

January 15th, 2013 - 10:44 am

The Verge’s David Pierce reviewed HP’s new Windows 8 laptop-that-converts-into-a-tablet, and he really seemed to like it. Until he got to the screen:

It’s a little big for a tablet — you need monstrous hands to reach everywhere on the screen with your thumbs — and a little small for a laptop, but is still completely usable in both cases. But while HP may have gotten the size right, the particular screen it picked isn’t very good. The IPS display’s contrast is seriously lacking, so blacks and whites both look a little grayer than they should. The screen’s also a terrible mix of very reflective and not very bright, which meant that during particularly dark scenes in The Walking Dead I was watching my own face more than I was watching the actual show. It’s an excellent touchscreen, at least, totally responsive to gestures and taps.

1366 x 768 is a fine resolution for a laptop, which you’re usually looking at from a few feet away, and on an 11.6-inch machine it’s sharper than many laptops out there. But when you hold the x2 closer to your face and use it like a tablet, it feels pretty low-res. Text looks blurry when you look from up close, and images look vaguely impressionistic. Again, it’s a delicate balance — a 1080p screen on the x2 would look fantastic when you hold it to watch movies, but would make everything too small too see and use when you’re using it like a laptop.

There are many reasons I don’t want a notebook that tries to be a tablet of a tablet that tries to be a notebook or a weird hybrid that tries to be both — and the screen is one of the big reasons.

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