HP Envy x360 13 Evaluation

Today we are finally looking at another Ryzen Mobile laptop, the second system we were on time with. Despite some difficulty finding these systems on the market, HP has prevailed with its brand new Envy x360 13-inch, and this – spoiler alert – is a fantastic system. The level of performance you get in this form factor and at a price below $ 700 is hard to beat, without mentioning the many other features that HP has built into this computer.

The Envy x360 13 also provides us with a platform to see how Ryzen Mobile scores in a 13-inch form factor for the first time. When we first tested Ryzen Mobile in the 15-inch Envy x360, it was good, but we thought the real strength of this APU would be in ultra-compact notebooks that are directly compared to Intel Kaby Lake Refresh systems without discrete graphics . Finally, we know how disappointing Intel's integrated graphics are. It is therefore very attractive to get an APU with a more powerful GPU in exactly the same form factor. I'll talk a bit more about performance later.

If you don't know the price, you can easily confuse the Envy x360 13 with a high-end system. The pressed aluminum shell with anodized gray looks incredible for a mid-range device. Elements such as the patterned back and the deep black glass panels contribute to the premium finish. The newer HP logo on the lid in combination with sprawling metal plates and relatively few seams or material changes provides a minimalist design that we love.

The 13-inch Envy x360 is also super compact. The 13.3-inch 1080p display has fairly slim bezels, not the thinnest I've ever seen, but it's hard to complain about. The wedge design is fairly thin at 15mm, and despite the 360-degree hinge, the entire unit only weighs 1.27kg, which is slightly below the average I would expect for a laptop of this size.

Only on the 360-degree hinge is again not a function that I personally use frequently, although some people find the tablet and stand mode useful in certain situations. The only thing I love about these convertible designs is that these additional modes in no way affect the laptop experience: you still get a great keyboard and trackpad that you can easily use on your lap. The more tablet-focused devices like the Surface aren't nearly as good in this regard.

HP includes a pen that supports the native color feature of Windows 10 and offers 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity. HP, however, tells me that a quad sensitivity pen is available as an optional extra for those who need it. The pen works very well and it's great that you have it in the box for those who want to make notes or drawings. You don't have to spend $ 100 on an accessory to get functionality.

I / O is decent, you get two full-size USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports and a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port, no Thunderbolt 3 here, but you can charge the laptop via USB-C if you have a charger that supports the corresponding amount of output power. Otherwise, the Envy x360 is also charged via a proprietary connection. This is the included charger. There is also a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card slot.

The sides also include the on / off switch, volume buttons and a large fan opening, so there wasn't much additional space for additional I / O. However, what is included is sufficient, especially since you can turn the USB-C port into a variety of display outputs via a dongle. This laptop is just too thin for something like full size HDMI.

The keyboard is better than ever and has exactly the same design as other Envy and Specter devices. The clicking tactile response is one of my favorites among ultra-thin laptops. Each button is extremely stable and the layout is decent, so you get a fantastic typing experience. The trackpad is not that good, it's fine, but it could use a little more vertical height and it doesn't have quite the same responsiveness or accuracy as the best trackpads I've used.

A large area above the keyboard is used for the speaker array with the Bang & Olufsen logo, and the sound quality they produce is quite decent for a laptop. Nothing surprising, they lack the low-end punch like most laptop speakers, but at least they can get pretty loud without epic distortion. And I wouldn't call them super thin either.

The display is, at least in my test device, a 13.3-inch 1080p IPS LCD with a performance that corresponds to the average price of this laptop. The brightness is average and is only 250 nits, as is the contrast ratio, which drops a touch below 1,000: 1. However, the viewing angles are excellent and as you can expect from a convertible, it includes a touchscreen that works well.

In terms of color performance, we see 89% coverage of the sRGB gamut, which is slightly below what I would normally like to see, but significantly better than the 15-inch Envy x360, which only supports 67% coverage . If you look at the accuracy tables, everything is again very average, with DeltaEs in the range of 4.0 to 6.0. The display looks good at first glance, but you don't want to use it for serious color work, at least not without full calibration.

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