HP Envy x360 13 all-metal laptop stamped aluminum
Envy x360: Better performance at a lower price? That’s not how laptops are customarily sold, but that’s precisely what the latest HP Envy x360 proposes.
HP’s Envy line has performed second fiddle to the company’s premium Spectre laptops. It has been the midrange option and has eternally resulted in corner-cutting.
The Envy line has been HP’s midrange choice; it’s a rung over the budget Pavilion, but a level below the flagship Spectre.
This model Envy x360 price, which starts at $699, really blurs the following line. It’s easily the best laptop under $1,000 that you can buy right now. Not only does the 2020 Envy x360 look as nice and work as well as last year’s Spectre x360 (which begins at $1,099), but using it also feels considerably similar to using HP’s $1,500 Elite Dragonfly, one of the best business notebooks on the market.
A big part of that is its processor. The new Envy x360 can appear with a few different AMD Ryzen 4000 chips. My $799 review unit has the Ryzen 5-4500U, along with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. (It’s also implemented with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.)
The six-core 4500U is designed to compete with Intel’s U-series Core i5, but its execution is comparable to that of an i7. It flies. Throughout my everyday browsing and streaming, as well as my reasonably heavy load of office work that carries around a dozen apps and Chrome tabs with occasional downloads, Zoom calls, editing photos, and copying files, everything was smooth with no sign of a slowdown.
Design of HP Envy x360
The Envy x360 13 is an all-metal laptop, built of stamped aluminum in the classic Midnight Black color that’s also an option on the Spectre x360 13.
The difference here is that the Spectre is machined aluminum, but you won’t understand the difference holding them side-by-side. The Envy x360’s build exudes quality, and thanks to some modifications in the Envy’s bezel, both feel very short for 13-inch laptops.
Related to competitors in its price range, the Envy x360 stands out. The elements are far more trustworthy than a laptop like the all-plastic (and much larger) Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 14. Though that laptop is around $200 cheaper, it uses the same Ryzen 5 processor and emphasizes the same 2-in-1 functionality.
AMD’s integrated Radeon graphics, which can control some gaming. Able to run Overwatch at 1080p at an average of 70fps on Medium and 62fps on High — both were quite playable. The keyboard did receive miserably hot, though. Those results are similar to what you can assume from a lower-powered discrete GPU like a 10W GeForce MX150. It’s impressive stuff for integrated graphics.
The system did not testify as well-optimized for video editing, unfortunately. To run our routine video test, which includes exporting a five-minute, 33-second 4K video multiple times using hardware acceleration, and Adobe Premiere Pro consistently dropped during the export.
Disabling the hardware acceleration in Premiere and relying individually on software got the job done, but it took an hour and 15 minutes. So if you’ll require to be working with Premiere Pro for video on the go, don’t buy this at least until Adobe fixes that problem.
It’s been fantastic to find an AMD chip in a premium option (in the vein of Lenovo’s Thinkpad Carbon, the HP Spectre, or Acer’s Swift 5). That’s what’s so interesting about this laptop: It matches the Ryzen 4500U with a high-end design that looks and feels premium.
This is the nicest-looking Envy I’ve ever witnessed. Next to last year’s model, this one has a smoother and chicer vibe. A big part of that is the display: the 2020 Envy has an 88 percent screen-to-body ratio, matched to 79 percent on last year’s model.
The displays on HP’s midrange laptops have tapped it out of the park in the last few years, and this Envy is no different. The 13.3-inch 1080p display doesn’t have the contrast that you’ll see on higher-end laptops like the Spectre, but it’s certainly more satisfying than I’d presume from an $800 device.
HP trades 300-nit, 400-nit, and 1000-nit options, which all have 1080p resolution. You may require the brightest configuration if you plan on doing work outdoors, but the 400-nit version, which is tested, is just nice for indoor use.
The Envy isn’t the lightest 13-inch laptop around at 2.9 pounds — wouldn’t have needed to carry it around with one hand or use it as a tablet for long periods — but the plus view is that it’s quite well-built and sturdy. There’s almost no flex in the screen or deck, and the whole aluminum chassis feels polish.