HP's Spectre x2 looks like a Surface Pro killer, with a better keyboard and a lower price than Microsoft's flagship 2-in-1. You also get active stylus support, which will let you take notes and annotate documents directly on the x2's display, all for just $800. Unfortunately, HP's hybrid is held back a bit by short battery life.
Like the Surface Pro 4, the HP Spectre x2 is a 12-inch tablet that comes with a snap-on keyboard that effectively turns it into a laptop. The tablet even sports a handy flip-out kickstand that props it up while you type. Workers will actually enjoy typing on the x2, which offers snappy keys and a metal keyboard deck that's far sturdier than what you'll find on the Surface Pro 4.
The x2 is also fully compatible with HP's Active Pen stylus, which features full pressure sensitivity, so you can take notes on the x2's screen using Microsoft's OneNote or similar software. An active pen is much better for note-taking than a standard capacitive stylus because it allows for palm rejection and lets you vary your stroke width for a more natural writing experience. The Surface Pro 4 offers similar functionality.
Other hardware highlights include an Intel Core m7-6Y75 processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, which provide pretty good performance for everyday work tasks like managing your email box, multitasking on the Web and running light applications. If your job requires more processing power, the Surface Pro 4 is a better bet. And while the x2's 12-inch, 1080p display is nice to look at, it's a bit smaller and less sharp than what you get on the Surface.
The x2's low point is definitely its battery life. It ran for just 6 hours and 31 minutes on our battery test, which is pretty dismal compared to the ultraportable average of 8 hours and 10 minutes. To be fair, the Surface Pro 4 fared even worse, dying after a mere 6 hours and 5 minutes on the same test.