2013年2月28日 星期四

HP Envy X2 review

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.

The image 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.

The 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.

We 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.

There 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.

The most 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.

The 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.

There 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?

In 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 audience breathless.

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 home with Border and iphoneheadset 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.