Windows 8 was designed with computers that can be used as both a laptop and as a tablet in mind. Manufacturers have come up with numerous quirky designs for such hybrid computers, but we've so far been unconvinced by any of them. The HP Envy X2 could easily be mistaken for an ultra portable laptop such as a Macbook Air, but release the small latch on the hinge and the screen detaches for use as a tablet. This requires two hands, but is easy to do.
The slender, tapered
design weighs just 1.2kg, while the tablet on its own weighs 650g -
both compare well to laptops and tablets of similar sizes. It may be
light, but it's sturdy too with both the tablet and the keyboard dock
made from brushed metal and silver-coloured plastic.
quality of the 11.6in screen is average at best, but it is very bright
and, thanks to the 1,366x768 pixel resolution, text isn't too small to
read and is reasonably sharp too.Austrian hospital launches oilpaintingsforsale solution to improve staff safety. As a touchscreen, it recognised our prods and pokes without any hesitation or delay.
Envy X2's keyboard isn't backlit for working in dark environments, but
it is very comfortable and responsive to type on with no undersized
keys. The touchpad is accurate and responsive, but we weren't impressed
by its attempts at replicating the touchscreen gestures used to
control Windows 8. The precise gestures needed to activate the Charms
bar, for example, were very fiddly and difficult to achieve.
were worried that the chunky, heavy hinge might make the X2 lop-sided
when used on a lap as a laptop, but it proved to be surprisingly well
balanced. The screen can't tilt back very far so you may have
difficulty finding a comfortable viewing angle, but we didn't have any
trouble in everyday use. More annoying was the placement of the
touchsensitive Start button on the tablet's bottom edge. It was far too
easy to press this by accident.
One slight annoyance is that
the X2 has two headphone sockets, one on the keyboard dock and one on
the tablet. When switching between the two modes, you'll need to unplug
your headphones from one port and plug them into the other.
are also two memory card slots, one on the keyboard dock another on
the tablet. The keyboard dock's slot accepts full-sized SD cards for
importing photos from a camera. The tablet's slot only accepts micro SD
for storing files.
There's a battery in both the keyboard dock
and the tablet. When used as a laptop in our light usage test the
battery lasted just under ten and a half hours. This is very good and
longer than any other laptop we've seen. When used as a tablet in our
more demanding video playback test it lasted just six hours which is
disappointing and not as long as some other tablets.
serious problem with the X2 is performance. The 1.8GHz dual core Atom
processor was fine when running just one program such as a web browser
or video player but struggled when running more than program at the
same time. Programs slowed to such a crawl that it became unusable.
Quitting programs fixed this and this is easy, if tedious, to do with
the keyboard and touchpad, but there's no easy way to do this using
just the touchscreen.
The HP Envy X2 is a potentially great
Windows 8 laptop-tablet hybrid ruined by its unusuably slow Atom
processor. It's hard to justify spending ￡800 on the Envy X2 when the
substantially cheaper Microsoft Surface, which admittedly has quirky
design problems of its own, feels so much faster and more responsive
despite having a theoretically slower ARM processor. In other words the
Envy X2 is just poor value.
There was also the Wayne Dobson
and Friends Show, now a very popular feature of this convention with
standing room only. Wayne is that brilliant magician whose promising
career was tragically cut short by MS. However, he has never lost his
creative ability, and continues to lecture and perform internationally.
With him were Michael J Fitch, Joe Monti, Simon Lovell, Colin McCleod
and Mel Mellers, providing much magic and great comedy.
stars of this convention though had to be the talented magicians from
Korea in the first of the three gala shows emceed by Vittorio Marino.
Yuji Yasuda in a blaze of colour produced fire, flowers, parasols and
fans that seemed endless in their production - Lukas was sheer poetry
in black and white producing balls, flowers and cards which seemed to
just trill in his hands. Nicky Yang had a snooker theme with cues
appearing from nowhere, pieces of chalk that disintegrated, and finally
the production of a box of red snooker balls. Haon Gun with
colour-changing T-shirts interspersed with the production of cans of
pop. Meanwhile, Kim Hyun Joon beautifully manipulated cards and coloured
balls, Lee Hun using a camera filmed himself producing a multitude of
card cases and then performed a playback and Yang Jae Hyeock provided
comedy with Ted Kim playing a clown in some colourful and imaginative
magic.Cheaper For bulk buying iccard
prices. To complete this fantastic show was Yu Ho Jin in a virtuoso
and emotive performance wowing the audience with his elegant and
brilliant manipulations with cards that just appeared at his
fingertips, changed colour and even turned to confetti. He received a
long standing ovation.
The second gala show was emceed by Jay
Scott Berry. In this, Dirk Losander floated various objects including a
table. Natalie and Eli produced a stage full of feather flowers amid
quick dress changes, Philip Hitchcock elegantly produced and vanished
doves, and The Lasermen were spectacular using laser beams to produce
magical effects. The fabulous Prince of Illusions were spectacular in a
nightmare horror sequence with big illusions like the escape of the
Prince from a metal cage that had been sealed with plastic wrapping,
hoisted up into the flies, set on fire and then exploded.
was comedy too, from Phil Cass, and Mel Mellers who surely has to be
one of the funniest comedy magicians in this country had the audience
holding their sides with laughter. Antje Pode juggled suitcases with
her feet.What Other Items Do Customers handsfreeaccess After Viewing This Item?
the third gala show emceed by David Merry from Canada, Les Chapeau
Blancs were stunning in a three person, black light act in which they
appeared, vanished and floated around the stage. David Williamson was
hilarious in his routine with a racoon puppet and the assistance of five
children from the audience. Galina linked and unlinked steel rings as
she danced in a rather erotic manner. Marc & Alex provided some
original illusions, and Sonny Hayes & Co gave us comedy magic of
times past.Why does rfidtag
grow in homes or buildings? Yann Frisch was brilliant in a performance
using a teapot, small jug and ball with the ball appearing, vanishing
and multiplying under the jug, much to his own bewilderment. Finally,
the elegant Marko Karvo not only produced doves and bird cages of every
size but also a cockatoo and finally a parrot. But the act which stole
the show was Tony Frebourg who combined acrobatics with juggling using
up to four diabolos at speed and with such precision which left the
Also appearing was Ken Dodd, so beloved of
this convention, who presented his Comedy Award to Mel Mellers, and
also the Neville King Award to comedian Johnny Casson.Make your house a
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Tiles. He then proceeded to say a few words in his inimitable style
which had the audience rocking with laughter. Music was provided by
David Windle, and the Murray Award was presented to Gay Ljungberg of
Sweden in recognition of his superb stage management.