HP Envy x360 2-in-1 13.3″ Touch-Screen Laptop Review

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What is an HP Envy x360?

Envy sits above the HP and Pavilion sub-brands and below the Spectre (prosumer and business) and EliteBook (enterprise). It targets consumers who want the good, better best scenario. They may want a Spectre but settle for an Envy for value.

Starting with the specs on the HP Envy X360…  Below is a list of what this thing actually has:

– AMD Ryzen 7 2700u APU

– 4 Core, 8 Thread

– 2.20 GHz base, 3.8 Ghz Turbo

– Vega 10 @ 1300 MHz

– 1 GB of RAM for graphics

  • 8 GB of DDR4 2400 MHz RAM (7 GB useable)

– According to Windows, 2/2 slots used (dual channel)

  • 256 GB Toshiba SSD

  • Gorilla Glass 1080p WLED Touchscreen

  • Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 7265

  • Bang & Olufsen speakers

  • Backlit keyboard

  • Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack

  • 2 USB Ports

  • 1 USB C Port (I have confirmed with a USB C to HDMI cable that this port can be used for powering a secondary display)

Packaging

This HP AMD Envy 13 x360 comes in a very light and well packaged box, a bit large for the laptop. The laptop itself comes in a plastic protective sleeve with some Styrofoam on top and a protector between the keys and screen. A power brick can be found contained in its own box inside a plastic bag.

Unveiling

Upon taking out the laptop it’s easy to tell that it’s a premium machine. The chassis, sporting the HP premium logo in chrome, feels good and soft to the touch, but is stable and firm when using it. I found no creeks or bending and the hinge feels well built. There are two grip strips on the bottom which hold the laptop down to a desk really well. When opening the laptop you’ll find a keyboard that nicely fills the width of the laptop. Key presses feel good and are very quiet; they have a bit of a mechanical feel without the noise.

The design brings an air of sophistication and elegance. It also comes with a stylus for some quick note taking with the laptop – something only more expensive laptops have.

Speaking of width, this laptop is tiny considering its screen size! The WLED Gorilla Glass screen has very small bezels on the sides allowing for a narrow laptop and the whole thing is very thin and light. The trackpad is also a good size considering this is a 13″ laptop. The trackpad has a bit of a metal feeling to it with no friction. It’s the kind of style I like, but I know many people who would prefer it to be rougher.

Bloat

As per usual for most laptops this one comes with some bloatware. There are about 8 different HP applications/services, MCAfee Anti-Virus, and some Windows Games. Most of these are easy to remove and actually do not slow this PC down much due to the Ryzen 7, quick RAM and SSD.

Performance

– The laptop can boot up and be on the desktop in around 10 seconds and has very snappy performance throughout Windows.

– The first thing I did was fire up some Fifa 18. At max graphics this laptop was able to pull off 30 FPS . During the busiest parts of the match it would dip down to about as low as 10 FPS.  I found by adjusting graphics settings it would make a bit of a difference so I’m sure on a lower graphics setting it would be able to handle it better, because it doesn’t seem to be getting CPU bottlenecked.

– I then ran the 3DMark Firestrike benchmark and got 1691, which is not exactly great for a 2700u.

– At one point I copied a 8 GB ZIP from one part of the SSD to another and it averaged about 200-250 mb/s.

– Additionally the wireless seems to have a good range. This laptop can pretty easily pick up my wireless network outside my house for a good distance

Throughout all these tests the laptop did get decently warm at times, but never” burning hot” and stayed pretty quiet. Note that all of this is using the old 17.7 AMD drivers. I have heard if you force the later 18.x drivers that it can perform better in many games and benchmarks. It’s also worth mentioning that the laptop never crashed nor has it ever crashed yet as of writing this. It’s clear to see that the benchmarks are not crazy impressive considering the specs and that this laptop is probably limited by heat and 15W as the 25W Ryzen APUs tend to perform much better.

Screen

The brightness level on the screen is okay outside, but may not be great in direct sunlight. To my eye the colours, clarity and contrast look excellent. Honestly the blacks look close to even my LG OLED. The touch aspect of the screen feels and performs about as well as a smartphone. Because this is an x360 model the screen can fold all the way backwards to turn it into a tablet. It transforms pretty easily without issue.

Audio

The audio out of the headphone jack seems good, about in-line with almost anything else. The actual speakers sound very clear and have pretty decent highs. They don’t distort with the lows and seem to have better bass than most laptops. Compared to say a bluetooth speaker this would blow away most of them. It also comes with an HP/B&O equalizer which is a pretty sweet extra feature.

Battery life

 I can  get somewhere around 6 to 7 hours of use . It’s worth noting that when charging the power brick does get quite hot, much hotter than most laptops. The battery life is quite good

Final Comments

After spending two weeks with this machine that’s about all I have to say at this point. Laptop looks very solid. There are minor things to nit pick like having the power button on the side and having the button and ports behind the heat vent on the left side. I also wish it had an extra type-A USB port on the right side but those aren’t really deal breakers. Overall I think it’s a super great laptop for everyday office use with some unfortunately slower than expected gaming benchmarks.

Published in partnership with  HP South Africa

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