Today we're taking a look at the first Ryzen Mobile laptop to hit the market: the HP Envy x360. This is the same laptop that we used to test the mobile APU Ryzen 5 2500U a few weeks ago to measure it against Intel's 8th generation Kaby Lake Refresh CPUs in the battle for CPU and GPU performance.
While Ryzen Mobile is very interesting, it is worth talking about the Envy x360, especially if AMD enthusiasts or really anyone looking for decent laptop graphics might be interested in buying one of these systems. It's also available in an Intel version, but Ryzen is the star of the show here, so it will be the focus of this review.
The Envy x360 is the mid-sized 15-inch convertible notebook from HP, which is located under the Specter x360, which is available in sizes 15 and 13 inches. As a convertible, it has a 360 degree hinge that allows you to use it in different modes, e.g. B. as a tablet, tent, stand or simply as a standard laptop. It is sometimes convenient to have convertible features. At this size, using the system as a tablet is a bit difficult, so you'll likely stick to laptop mode for the most part.
The display is a typical 15.6-inch 1080p IPS LCD touchscreen, and there is a standard range of configurable hardware: 8 GB to 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB to 1 TB SSDs plus 1 TB hard drives and a rather small one 55.8 Wh battery (more on that later). The processor, at least in the AMD model, is a Ryzen 5 2500U without additional discrete graphics.
If you choose the Intel version, you have the choice between a Core i5-8250U or a Core i7-8550U, either with or without discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics. This is a typical hardware combination for 15-inch laptops and will continue to be Ryzen Mobile's main competitor with its powerful integrated graphics in this form factor. Unfortunately, HP didn't provide me with the Intel model, so I don't have data for this modern discrete GPU combination yet.
A quick note on the price: The Intel base model is currently available for $ 700, while the Ryzen Mobile variant costs $ 750. If you search for the Intel + MX150 combination, you'll get $ 800 back for otherwise equivalent hardware, making Ryzen Mobile a little cheaper.
The Envy x360 is not a premium laptop in terms of price, but the build quality is excellent. In many ways it can compete with the Specter, HP's super slim 13-inch notebook, which I liked very much when I tested it some time ago. HP has used a combination of metal with a subtle shade of brown on most surfaces, along with the glossy glass that protects the display and the gray-toned keyboard and trackpad. Combined with minimalist branding like the new HP logo and subtle Envy text, this laptop looks great and feels sturdy.
Despite the size and weight of the display assembly, the 360 hinge is strong and allows smooth movements. I like deliciously slim bezels on laptops, but HP didn't do the Envy x360 quite as well as the Specter x360.
It feels like some space has been wasted here, although HP may have to offer some sweet bonuses for those who spend more money on the Specter x360. One thing that HP fits into the frames is a Windows Hello camera for quick facial recognition, which, apart from that, seems to get faster and more accurate every time I use the technology on a new device.
Let's talk about ports. The most boring but one of the most important aspects of a laptop. The Envy x360 performs well with two USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type A ports on each side and a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port. No, this is not a Thunderbolt 3 port as Ryzen Mobile does not support Thunderbolt, not that this is too important as the Intel versions of this laptop also do not include Thunderbolt 3.
Other ports include a 3.5mm headphone jack, full-size HDMI 2.0b, an SD card slot and, disappointingly, a proprietary charging port. It would have been neat if it had been charged via USB-C, but it can't.
Interestingly, the USB-C port on this laptop can display DisplayPort through an adapter, although it's not Thunderbolt. The strange thing is that the Ryzen variant supports DP 1.4, while the Intel version only supports DP 1.2. This means that this Ryzen model can operate 5K 60 Hz monitors, while the Intel model cannot.
Like many other HP laptops, the Envy x360 has Bang & Olufsen speakers. Bang & Olufsen are known for making high-end speaker systems, so I always find it strange that they put their brand on such crappy laptop speakers. Seriously, these speakers are not good and will sound even worse (if possible) if you disable the Bang & Olufsen Experience software setting.
In other words, the keyboard of this laptop is very similar to the keyboard of the Specter. In other words, it's excellent, with a solid, clicking response that is rarely seen on slim, ultra-portable keyboards. The itinerary is great, it's a 15-inch laptop, so you get a number pad too, and the layout is generally good. My only real complaint here is the half-height arrow keys.
Surprisingly, the trackpad on this laptop is not that good, I would probably say that it is below average for this class. Earlier HP laptops I used included a decent trackpad, so the surprise here, though I wouldn't say it's useless or anything.
Go ahead with the display and there is no good news for HP here. The Specter line uses high quality panels, but that's clear with the Envy x360. The display is an area where cuts have been made.
For starters, there is nothing inherently wrong with the technology used here: I've seen many 15.6-inch 1080p IPS LCDs that perform well. This panel has good viewing angles and a sufficiently good resolution. I think that's something. Unfortunately, the brightness is very weak with a peak performance of only 217 nits and is thus far below the standard. The contrast is good at 1500: 1, but that is not worth much if the display itself cannot be so bright.
In terms of color performance, the Envy x360 does a good job in grayscale. The respectable color temperature is just below the accuracy and is fine, if not terrible Delta E values. However, the display can only output 67 percent of the sRGB spectrum, which is very bad and leads to subdued, unsaturated colors. Achieving 100% sRGB is standard in all but the cheapest panels these days, and without this feature, no developer would consider using it.
You may have guessed it, but the lack of proper sRGB rendering leads to terrible Delta E averages in Saturation and ColorChecker tests. And since the problems are largely due to the sRGB coverage, this cannot unfortunately be remedied by calibration.