The HP Are We There Yet? Challenge

Back at Easter we were invited to an HP event to showcase their printer capability.  Of course you also need computers to operate these printers and we were really impressed with their range of devices on display.

One of these was the HP Pavilion x360 which easily converts from notebook, to stand, to tablet mode.  With optimised touchscreen performance and BeatsAudio, all your productivity and entertainment needs are at your fingertips and having not seen anything like it before and it went straight to the top of our wish list.

At the beginning of the summer holidays, HP invited us to take part in their “Are we nearly there yet” challenge, and sent us a HP Pavilion x360 to play with over the summer, with a variety of challenges we had to undertake.

Over the summer we have travelled miles and there have been fun and smiles as well as squabbles and tears as we took the “HP Are We Nearly There Yet Challenge”, which involved combining the powers of the versatile, flexible and sturdy HP Pavilion x360 PC (RRP £329) with the HP ENVY 4500 wireless printer (RRP £49) to see if, together, they could help combat the scourge of I.C.C.I. (In-Car Child Irritation).

Our first job was to charge it up, to ensure the battery lasted for the trip…… fact, the battery lasted very well.  It has a much better battery life than the iPad and my iPhone but it does depend on which apps you are using.

It is no ordinary laptop!  It has an 11.5 inch touch screen, full keyboard and a hinge that lets you fold all the way back, so not only does it function as a laptop, you can convert it into tablet in one simple step and can even be propped in tent mode without the need for any additional stands or casing, which is great for Eliza who has been known to drop our beloved iPad or you could fold the other way and make it into a stand to watch a film.

I have to admit that Windows 8 is a new beast to me, but hubby and Kian both use it at work/ school so have been helping me navigate doing it for me.

Firstly, the kids love drawing on it and have produced some impressive artwork, thanks to a brief training session by Kian.  We have saved all the artwork to the memory although have yet to print it off as have no room to display it.

Kian has adopted it as his music player, thanks to the BeatsAudio dual speakers which have been optimised for use in any position.  The HP Pavilion x360 is designed for the best-sounding, richest audio available on a PC and although I am not keen on his taste in music, it does sound good – plus he just plugs in his headphones on car journey’s whilst we are subjected to the Frozen CD again, and again, and again!

There were some fun free apps preloaded and probably the most enjoyed game that could be played by everyone was Animal magic.  This app is suitable for ages 3+ and using the three available hints, you get the kids to guess which animal the sound belongs too.  It starts off fairly easy, however it does get frustrating when you get stuck as it doesn’t give any further clues.  We got stuck on level 21 each time, but are determined to complete all 89 levels at some point – maybe when I am not concentrating on the road.

HP Pavilion 360

The Air Hockey app is my favourite and you can play a two player game which does get rather raucous but the boys just adore Asphalt 8 Airbourne which they play in tablet mode as you can drive by tilting the screen to make use of the Pavilion x360’s gyrometer.  From the giggles and shouts behind me, I am quite relieved that they don’t actually drive in real life!

The paper aeroplane  building app is brilliant too – who doesn’t love building and throwing them?

We have done this at home and I have been quite surprised  how well they all fly.  You can choose between tutorials for a Canard, Delta, Glider and a Silke – The Glider flies the best.

HP Pavilion 360

The one disappointing issue we have had with the Pavilion X360 is the camera.  It keeps failing to launch and nothing we do seems to fix it permanently.  The helpdesk have been brilliant and I have just had to send it away to be fixed as they just couldn’t do it remotely.  When it has worked it is fine as a webcam, but the Pavilion is quite heavy so it would make taking photo’s when you’re out and about a challenge.  The kids do love to take a silly selfie though.

I love its versatility, flexibility, ease of use of the different modes and style, although being a Chelsea fan I’d prefer it in blue.  With the exception of the camera it has been very reliable and most of all fun to use, especially with the HP Envy 4500 printer we reviewed earlier in the year as the kids can search for activities they want to print.

One of the activities we printed was Road Trip Bingo. Isaac and Eliza were sat in the back with a printout each and crossed the items off when they spotted them.  It certainly beats a game of eye spy and deflects any grumbles.  It even managed to keep Eliza occupied after announcing she needed a wee and there was nowhere to stop for 20 minutes!

The main user of the HP Pavilion 360 is hubby though.  He picks it up when he gets home from work and reads the online papers, answers his emails and follows the football scores whilst I am watching my TV!

In our opinion it is a fabulous all-rounder and saved us from boredom on our countless journeys over the summer!


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