HP is a giant that for some time has tried to flee from the image of a reliable company but anchored in the past . Since the division of the company into two (one oriented to the manufacture of devices and the other oriented to the business world) the part dedicated to manufacturing laptops has put the batteries to make more modern and groundbreaking designs. The HP Envy 13 is one of the models that best reflects this evolution. This ultrabook for entertainment and multimedia falls in love from the first moment . As soon as I opened it, I had the feeling of being in front of something different. A sensation that is not easy to provoke at this point.
This model is reinforced by an eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 500 GB of SSD memory (something unusual in a computer below 1,500 euros) and a 13.3-inch screen with Full HD. As usual, not everything is lights in this laptop, such as the low versatility of the position of the screen or its weight of 1.38 kilos, below ultrabooks like the Acer Swift 7 (1.1 kilos and 14 inches screen) or the LG Gram (980 grams for 14 inches). Something to keep in mind if you are looking for a laptop as light as possible. But this is not your battle, and honestly it does not seem like a determining point after having used it regularly for a few weeks. All in all, the HP Envy 13 shoots up to 1,200 euros in its most powerful configuration, although you can find it in its most basic version for less than 800 euros . We have asked to try the most advanced version, we will tell you our impressions after trying it.
HP Envy 13 datasheet
|screen||13-inch WLED with Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels)|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-7200U Dual-core 2.5 GHz or Intel Core i7-7500U|
|Graphic card||NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with 2GB dedicated|
|Storage||128GB / 256GB / 512GB on PCIe SSD|
|Battery||53.6 Wh (around 5 hours of continuous use)|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home|
|Connections||WLAN 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2|
|Ports||2 x USB 3.0. 2 x USB type C, microSD card slot|
|Dimensions||305 x 215 x 13.9 mm, 1,320 grams|
|Featured Features||HP Orbit, HP Coolsense, Bang & Olufsen Speakers|
|Price||From 800 euros (1200 euros the tested version)|
A design that falls in love
You have to admit it. The HP Envy 13 is a laptop that dazzles from the first contact. It has that rare “I want to have it” effect that a few technological gadgets cause , and it is also capable of differentiating itself from the rest of its competitors with a brand as personal as it is unique. And is that the Envy 13 is "something else" , something really complicated in the field of laptops in which there are many proposals but not so many differentiating elements (something that also happens with smartphones today).
This sensation begins with its color, in an old gold that attracts a lot of attention. The color is not only found in the case. It also reaches the internal part throughout the entire keyboard. The only area that is not this color is the panel, which maintains gloss black in the frames with a silver HP logo. The Bang & Olufsen speaker area is a strip that runs along the entire upper part of the keyboard and is integrated into the design in an excellent way , so that instead of detracting from the equipment or being half hidden, it adds it and is very present at all times.
And what about the quality? For a laptop, outstanding. The truth is that the audio experience is very clear and reaches a lot of power. Having the speaker spread out across a strip from side to side of the laptop allows you to create a certain immersive experience. Without forgetting that we are talking about a laptop with its logical limitations, it is a real success.
There are no mismatched elements on the team. Not even the connections, which are distributed almost symmetrically on both sides and do not break the design. This idea of not breaking the design has a negative counterpart. We cannot find an HDMI or a DisplayPort port among its connections, so we will have to use a USB type C to HDMI or DisplayPort converter. Speaking of USB Type-C, we have two such ports and two full-size USB ports. It is appreciated that two of these connections have been maintained to be able to connect the mobile, mice, USB memories ... The connections are completed with a microSD card slot, a headphone slot and the charging port.
What has caught our attention is that one of the type-C USB ports has not been chosen for charging , as we already see in other models such as the HP EliteBook x360 1020 G2 or the Toshiba Portégé X30.
One of the main buts that I have found in the design of the HP Envy 13 is the maximum tilt of the screen. Not bad, but I've gotten used to the versatility of many current ultrabooks that allow the panel to be folded down to close to 90 degrees or 90 degrees (and I'm not talking about rotating screen laptops anymore). One of the successes of this team is a hinge system that also works as a base to slightly raise the laptop when resting it on a surface. That facilitates both heat dispersal and typing.
As we anticipated before, it is not a particularly light laptop for what we are used to in recent times. Its weight of 1.38 kilos adds a few more grams, but is perfectly explained by the presence of elements such as a dedicated graphics card, something that ultrabooks usually give up. At the handling level, it does not seem like a problem to me and it is easy to transport anywhere.
Correct but not great keyboard
The keyboard on this laptop is good, but it is far from the excellence of the EliteBook in my opinion. That is precisely its main handicap. Live in the shadow of HP business notebook keyboards. In this comparison it is clearly the loser, but outside of that it is a quite comfortable keyboard with a good separation between the keys. What doesn't convince me so much is the layout of the keys on the right side of the keyboard.And it is that HP has decided to put the starting fabrics, repag, avpag ... to the right of everything. That changes the position of keys like enter or shift, which are usually on the edge (for example, on the EliteBook x360 1020 G2 itself that I tested a few weeks ago). It also drags the position of other keys as the accent further to the left than I usually find them, which causes more than one error until you get used to it.
What should be highlighted is the backlighting of the keyboard, in an elegant violet color that goes very well with the elegance of the laptop. The function keys are also marked very well, so that you can find the one you want to use at all times. Of course, there is only one level of brightness, while in other models you have the option to vary the power of the LED lights. It doesn't seem like a great handicap to me, but it doesn't hurt to mention it.
Good power and memory
Here you have to take into account the differences between each configuration. The most basic incorporates an Intel Core i5 processor and 4 GB of RAM . In principle, a sufficient configuration for a standard use of the laptop. Personally, I always recommend that you reach at least 8 GB of RAM to be able to handle the different processes of the computer with ease. At least in my use the type of processor is not so key (if the differences are not as great in normal use as between an Intel Core i5 and an i7). In my case, I have tried the most advanced version with an Intel Core i7-7500U processor, along with 8 GB of RAM .
A good set for a laptop that fully meets day-to-day. The big surprise comes by also introducing an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics card with 2 GB of dedicated memory in the most advanced version. It is not a very powerful graphic but this extra is appreciated in a laptop with these characteristics. In principle, it should be enough to play most modern games without setting the settings to maximum.
But perhaps the most outstanding point of this model is its internal memory. We are talking about a PCIe SSD type disk of up to 512 GB. The test leaves no room for doubt, with almost 1,800 MB / s read and 1,000 MB / s write . The speed of the disk is key to load the operating system and applications faster, regardless of the file movements that we carry out. Without a doubt, one of the great attractions of this Envy 13.
As often happens in these cases, the "real" range of the Envy 13 is far from the numbers given by the manufacturer. In my tests I have been able to use it between four or five hours with continuous use and the brightness close to 80% . This should give you two or three movies without searching for the plug and makes it quite reliable on travel and commute. Of course, the time drops considerably in the case of using it directly for games.
Brilliant screen with good definition
In the panel field, we are faced with a glossy type screen. However, a good job has been done and the truth is that it has considerably less reflections than other notebooks we have tested. In addition, the level of brightness that is achieved is quite remarkable, so it can adapt well to different environments such as outdoor use. The resolution is Full HD, enough in my opinion for this screen size. Movies and videos look great, with pretty vivid colors. It must be remembered at this point that we are facing a laptop in use, which does not have a touch screen in any of its configurations. At this point there are not many models in this price range - outside of gaming equipment - that do not have a touch panel option. But the truth is that only at some very specific moment have I missed the presence of a screen of this type.
Price and reviews
The Envy 13 is one of the most attractive multimedia notebooks that I have been able to test to date. The truth is that both its golden color and the general appearance are different from other proposals on the market. That is combined with a good Full HD screen, an autonomy of about five hours of continuous use or an audio system with a Bang & Olufsen invoice that has left a good taste in my mouth. On the contrary, it is not a model that has a touch screen and the screen does not fold as much as in other models. Its price ranges between 800 and 1,200 euros , although the most basic version is somewhat fair with only 4 GB of RAM.