HP Envy x360 13
A DESIRABLE, REASONABLY-PRICED, SLEEK-LOOKING ULTRAPORTABLE WITH SOME NIFTY FEATURES
HP’s marketing material raves about HP’s rst 13-inch notebook-tablet combo. In conjunction with AMD’s gushing claims about performance and battery life, we were expecting the real deal. But is this x360 13 really enough to inspire a deadly sin?
At 1.3KG there’s no mistaking the Envy’s ultraportable nature. That’s an impressively slight frame to be sporting a 13-inch Full HD display. It looks classy and feels solid too. There’s minimal ex in the screen although it can wobble on the hinges a bit if you type too vigorously. It’s coated with Corning’s super-tough Gorilla Glass which should protect it well. It does a good job of repelling ngerprints to boot which is always very useful for a touchscreen. The glass extends well above and below the screen but this makes for a nice design ourish – just note that it’s all very glossy.
The Full HD image is crisp and clear with text but also with moving images. While colours don’t pop quite as much as with the best rivals, video still looks very vibrant and smooth. Despite the diminutive chassis, the Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers sound impressively punchy and we liked watching movies on this device.
Above the screen is a rather disappointing HD web camera which doesn’t feel very sharp at all – this will be more of an issue in tablet mode when taking pictures. However, the dual-array digital microphones do mean that audio when web conferencing sounds crisp and clear.
The keyboard has large, lowtravel, backlit keys which are very comfy to type on and the trackpad is responsive enough. The lowtravel keys mean that they don’t intrude much when you fold the screen all the way round to the back to engage tablet mode. As a tablet it works well and the included stylus is responsive. We’d complain that the slim bezel meant that we continually, accidentally closed Windows that we were working within, but maybe that’s just our own clumsiness?
Inside resides a 2GHz AMD Ryzen 5 Mobile 2500U CPU. This is a quad-core processor with eight threads and a Turbo boost up to 3.6GHz. As with many modern ultraportables, there’s only 8GB of RAM but this is countered by the speedy performance of the 256GB NVMe hard drive. It ies along in general use and scored a very-respectable 3,374 in PCMark 10 which puts it in more-powerfulthan-most-of ce-PCs territory. It’s no gaming machine though, even despite AMD’s ravings about the Vega graphics – it failed to run any of our 3DMark tests including the verylow end Cloud Gate test which represents older games. Note that it doesn’t take much for the fans to spin up – they make an unobtrusive audible whoosh.
HP boasts of battery life lasting over 11 hours. However, it only played our Full HD movie for four hours 20 minutes and ran PCMark 8’s battery test for three hours 48 minutes (the latter at 85 per cent of the plugged-in score). You’d have to dial everything down to minimum settings and only perform basic tasks to come close to doubling longevity. However, it’s worth noting that HP’s fastcharge technology means that it can charge to 50 per cent in 45 minutes which (while not lightning quick) is reasonably fast.
Connectivity includes a USB
3.1 Type-C connector which is compatible with HDMI 2 and DisplayPort 1.4. A USB 3.1 Type-A port sits on either side of the chassis. There’s also a 3.5mm audio jack plus a microSD card reader slot.
Our version has a product code of ag0014AU and costs $1,799 with availability from either Harvey Norman or HP directly. A lesser $1,499 variant can be had from the website and JB HiFi. The warranty is one year Return To Base.
There’s much to like about this Envy but it doesn’t blow us away. Nonetheless, it’s good value and, despite costing under two grand, the sleek looks and solid build make it feel very much like a desirable, premium notebook.
2GHz AMD Ryzen 5 Mobile 2500U CPU • 8GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM • AMD Radeon Vega 8 GPU • 256GB NVMe SSD • 13in 1,080 x 1,920 display • HD webcam • 1x USB 3.1 Type-C • 2 x USB 3.1 Type-A • MicroSD card reader • 3.5mm audio jack • 1yr RTB Warranty $1,799 • www.hp.com.au