HP Envy x360, Pavilion x360 convertible laptops get makeovers, better battery life

HP Envy x360, Pavilion x360 convertible laptops get makeovers, better battery life

These consumer models take cues from the higher-end Spectre x360 to bring convertible talents to budget-friendly levels.

HP knows consumers are into the sexy looks of the high-end Spectre x360 but can't always put out the shekels for it. So with its revamped Pavilion x360 and Envy x360 lineups, the company's extended the look and feel of the Spectre x360 to more budget-friendly consumer machines.

Why this matters: Budget convertibles don't garner much attention, but they're an important bread-and-butter category for PC makers. With the October deadline looming for the PC and printer business to split itself off from the rest of the HP, every refresh and launch will become increasingly important.

Consumer-friendly convertibles

You won't get the milled aluminum body of the Spectre x360, but you will at least get the same lines and the same hinge of HP's premium convertible ultrabook.

The Envy x360 sticks with a 15-inch IPS touchscreen. The primary internal upgrade is a slightly bigger battery, which, combined with software and hardware tuning, gives it up to 8 hours and 45 minutes of run time. It's maybe an hour more battery life over its predecessor--a nice improvement but not huge.

We reviewed the 2014 Envy x360 here, and it was fair. The redesigned model features a backlit keyboard, and brushed aluminum cover and keyboard accents. Again, you're not going to get a pricier milled-aluminum body for $679, which is the price of the base unit with 4GB of RAM, a 1366x768 screen and 500GB hard drive. Higher-end options are available, of course.

HP's Pavilion laptop gets a more significant makeover. Like the Envy x360, it sports the look and feel of the Spectre x360, as well as the hinge. Inside the 11-inch Pavilion x360 you can now find Intel's Core M CPU, as well as Intel's Pentium N3700.

That chip is Intel's next-generation budget chip. Codenamed Braswell, this little quad-core Pentium N3700 should offer comparable or better performance than Microsoft's Surface 3, which uses a similar Atom X7-8700 in it. While the 13-inch Pavilion x360 sticks with a fan to keep it cool, HP says the 11-inch version with the Core M or Pentium N3700 will be fanless.

Like the Envy x360, the Pavilion's battery life should improve over the previous iteration. HP again says, however, that it's the result of a slightly larger battery and tuning of hardware and software.

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