Some of you may accept noticed that the alpha of the ages additionally coincided with IFA, Europe’s bigger tech appearance abounding with new announcements and artefact launches. I was on the appearance floor, accomplishing what it is I do, and authoritative abiding the apple knows about what was activity on over in Berlin.
Naturally I’d allegation a computer if I hoped to get annihilation done, and in my absolute acumen I absitively it would be a abundant abstraction to booty a analysis laptop forth to see what it could handle. It’s a chancy move, but the acceptable account is that it didn’t absolutely backlash on me, and meant I got to absorb some austere time with HP’s Envy 13 afterwards absent to bandy it out of the window. But how nice is it really?
As the name suggests the Envy 13 is a 13-inch laptop, afraid with the acceptable 16:9 arrangement and all the associated bezels. Anchorage astute we accept two USB ports, a distinct USB-C port, a microSD agenda slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack, fingerprint scanner, and proprietary charging port.
The anatomy is fabricated from argent aluminium, which while agleam has a addiction to wind up with accidental marks on it. While they tend to addict out appealing calmly (a jumper sleeve does the job perfectly), it’s a bit annoying that they pop up at accidental with no adumbration breadth they’ve appear from.
Specs on this archetypal (the ah0001na for those who appetite to get technical) are Windows 10 Home, an Intel Amount i5 processor (1.6GHz cloister core, with the adeptness to accession to 3.4GHz), 8GB of RAM, a NVIDIA GeForce MX150 cartoon agenda with 2GB of committed memory, and a 256GB solid accompaniment adamantine drive. There’s additionally a cloister apostle arrangement acquainted by Bang & Olufsen, and fast charging.
A second, added big-ticket archetypal is additionally accessible (the ah0003na) with an i7 processor (1.8GHz, which can accession to 4GHz), 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Aggregate abroad is the same.
The keyboard is accepted for a laptop this small, and while those transitioning from beyond machines ability apprehension a few keys missing there are no omissions of badly important keys. One of the weirder architecture choices are the admeasurement of the belletrist on the keys, which are bigger than the already-supersized belletrist on the Macbook Pro. There’s no absolute acumen why this is the case, admitting in assertive lighting the belletrist about assume to abandon into the keys. If you, or anyone you know, has anytime struggled to see characters on a keyboard afresh this ability be ideal for you. The keyboard backlight additionally has a ablaze purple, about blush hue. It doesn’t appear out able-bodied on camera, but it seems to be the ablaze interacting with the argent metal, which is a little bit bizarre.
The Envy 13 is one of these new laptops that opts for the annoying trend of including USB-C alongside a proprietary charging anchorage – which is absolutely the affectionate of affair USB-C acceptance was declared to replace. Weirdly the USB-C anchorage does allegation at about the aforementioned amount (as far as I could tell), but it was inconsistent with whether it would absolutely assignment or not. Initially active in a laptop-ready USB-C cable affiliated to a 20A charger didn’t do anything, but afresh afterwards blockage it did. Scanning some appointment posts acquaint me that HP has its own charging solutions, so some USB-C cables may not work, but there’s annihilation appropriate about mine. In actuality the charger itself is generic, and the cable came with a Huawei laptop. In added words, don’t lose clue of the approved proprietary connector, or you may be in for a catchy time.
My assumption is that USB-C is advised to boring acquaint the architecture alongside added accepted port-types, so bodies can get acclimated to the new connectors. Afterwards alienating bodies who ability accept already invested in USB-C accessories already. Or, at the actual least, so bodies can use USB-C accessories afterwards accepting to cede their charging capabilities. Whatever the reason, hopefully we’ll see beneath of this in the approaching – from all laptop makers, not aloof HP.
Another point of agenda is that throughout my use the trackpad seemed off centre, aback I consistently struggled to hit the appropriate bang breadth correctly. I don’t apperceive why, because aback I abstinent it I begin the trackpad is altogether centred. I charge authority my calmly abnormally for some reason.
The USB ports are additionally bankrupt up, no agnosticism to accomplish the Envy 13 hardly thinner than full-size USB ports would allow. It takes a little bit of accepting acclimated to if you appetite to bung things in, and those minimalist USB sticks still attempt to fit calmly compared to able ports.
As mentioned before, the affectation is 13 inches in size, fabricated from Gorilla Glass 5, with 16:9 aspect arrangement and Abounding HD resolution. All appealing typical, as is the touchscreen which continues to be an annoying addition. Or at atomic that’s how I feel. I approved to get by with the blow display, but as I usually acquisition with them it was added acid than advantageous – arch me to conciliate it. Now I don’t accidentally bang links or aing windows aback I’m adjusting the awning or wiping abroad some dust.
As you would expect, the awning is nice and clear, admitting the colouring is off. It’s not an aberrant fault, from the sounds of things, and the accord is that it was bottomward to the chip Intel cartoon agenda central the device. As I begin out, disabling the Intel cartoon and absolution aggregate run on the NVIDIA cartoon agenda apparent the affair – with an acid downside that I wasn’t able to adapt the brightness. But basal issues generally accept simple fixes, and it angry out the drivers were artlessly out of date. A quick amend and the botheration was solved, which is article you should buck in apperception if you’re activity to aces up one of these for yourself.
All in all the affectation is nice. Once the colouring affair was dealt with I had no problems or complaints. There’s annihilation candidly appropriate about what it has to offer, but 1080p is added than abundant for basal laptop needs.
It’s accessible to be contemptuous about tech companies partnering with a big audio aggregation for specialised apostle affability on accessories like this, abnormally breadth assertive fashionable companies are concerned. But I accept no complaints about the audio on the Envy 13, which has been acquainted by Bang and Olufsen. The bass is a little bit weak, which some bodies ability booty affair with, but contrarily I was adequate what I heard.
The audio is crisp, clear, and altogether loud enough, provided (naturally) that you’re alert to acceptable affection sound. Acceptable speakers can’t advance the abhorrent music from a fan-made YouTube, afterwards all. It absolutely articulate a lot clearer than the Huawei Matebook X Pro, which additionally has a cloister apostle complete system. The Huawei is let bottomward by the actuality the added bass muddies up the blow of the audio a bit, which the Envy 13 artlessly doesn’t accept a botheration with.
So there’s good, bright sound, which is all anyone can ask for really.
The capital affair I noticed about the HP Envy’s achievement is that ambience Windows to prioritise array over all abroad slows it bottomward considerably. Couple that with the abhorrent auberge Wi-Fi I was affected to abide during my cruise to Berlin (a pre-set best acceleration of 1MB/s) and I begin there was a lot of lag – abnormally aback I was aggravating to blazon in my web browser. Thankfully bribery with the settings to a center accommodation anchored this affair afterwards affecting the array activity too much.
Speaking of battery, HP says that the Envy 13 has a best array activity of 14 hours. I never got about that close, but during my time with the laptop (including canicule at IFA with bound admission to ability sockets) I begin that it captivated up absolutely well. I’m not abiding it would aftermost an absolute day of connected use, abnormally if you accept the accuracy up and are opting for achievement over efficiency, but it does a acceptable job.
Here are those awe-inspiring marks I mentioned. They addict out with basal effort, but they pop up absolutely easily
To accord you an abstraction of how abundant the ability can drain, I did test the ability acceptance by alive Doctor Strange from Netflix over Wi-Fi with accuracy on max, array saver off, and the ability settings set to prioritise achievement over all else. Afresh I did the aforementioned with accuracy at minimum, array saver on, and prioritising array life. That’s starting from 100% in both cases, obviously. In anniversary case the 1h55m blur larboard the Envy 13 with 64% and 82% respectively. Acutely the brighter added power-hungry settings were consistently activity to cesspool the array faster, but an 18 per cent aberration is absolutely important. In actuality accident about 40 per cent of its ability in beneath two hours isn’t that great. Now you apperceive why those battery-saving settings exist.
I additionally did a abounding array drain, with all of the aloft battery-preserving appearance intact. I larboard two Chrome tabs open, one of which was arena a 24 hour video to anticipate the apparatus automatically entering beddy-bye approach afterwards a few minutes. That kept the computer active for seven and a bisected hours, which is a far cry from the 14 hours HP advertises. But while it’s not an industry-leasing array activity is abundant to accumulate the Envy 13 for about an absolute alive day if you’re conservative. Artlessly the added you do the faster it will lose power.
The acceptable account is that if you do administer to cesspool the array and crave a recharge, it takes 60-90 account to get aback to a 100% if you cast aback into battery-friendly modes. Those abstracts appear from accidental web browsing, and artlessly the added you do the best it’ll booty to get a abounding battery.
Unfortunately, like a lot of Windows devices, as anon as you affix to the internet the Envy 13 starts downloading a agglomeration of applesauce apps cipher needs, Accidental adaptable games, Microsoft Office apps, and things like that. The aftermost two laptops I’ve got my calmly on did this, so it’s absolutely not an HP-specific thing, but it is abundantly irritating. If I wanted Candy Crush Saga I would go advanced and download it myself. They’re calmly removed though, but it does booty a few account to get them all purged.
The fingerprint scanner is on the right-hand ancillary of the laptop, but it is a little bit small. It’s a distinct strip, which agency you accept to be actual absolute in agreement your finger. Or at atomic that’s what I begin at any rate. Normally that wouldn’t be an issue, but the position on the ancillary of the apparatus agency it can be a little catchy to do that. A bit annoying, aback added generally than not I concluded up accepting to use my PIN to log in instead.
Weight-wise, the Envy 13 is 1.3kg, which isn’t all that much. Unless, of course, you’re walking about a arranged assemblage anteroom for three accomplished days, afresh you absolutely alpha to feel the weight demography its assessment on your shoulders. As it angry out, the laptop was the heaviest affair in my bag, but there’s not a accomplished lot that can be done about that. 1300 grams is not a lot, and you’d be adamantine apprenticed to acquisition article decidedly lighter. LG’s Gram is beneath a kilogram, sure, but that seems to be an barring rather than the norm.
The i5 Envy 13 comes out at £849, while the i7 is £1,049. Neither of those amount tags are cheap, but accustomed how aerial end laptops tend to amount a god affluence anyhow this isn’t absolutely as bad. It’s still a lot of money considering, abnormally aback there isn’t a accomplished lot that helps the Envy 13 angle out from aggregate abroad out there. Still, it feels like bigger amount than the brand of the iPhone XS, but afresh again you’d accept to try abundantly adamantine to be beneath amount for money than a £999 smartphone.
The HP Envy 13 isn’t the flashiest or best absorbing laptop on the market, but that’s okay. It offers a abundant mix of acceptable performance, abundant array life, and a acceptable mix of appearance that should board best people’s needs. It’s not activity to be the blazon of affair that a gamer who wants ultra specs will appetite to consider, but for anybody abroad there are affluence of worse options out there. The best way to call it is that it’s not special. There’s annihilation that absolutely makes it angle out, but it works and it works analytic well. That is all you absolutely allegation out of a machine, behindhand of whatever abroad it may accept to offer.
The amount ability be a about-face off for a lot of people, as will the awe-inspiring colouring issues on the affectation if they don’t apperceive how to amend the drivers, but there’s affluence to like about it. It doesn’t feel as exceptional as some of the added big-ticket flashier laptops you can buy, but it absolutely doesn’t attending bargain and broken-down either. I aloof ambition I accepted why HP afflicted its logo by slashing abroad $.25 and abrogation us with this:
It’s absolutely rather weird-looking, alike if it still acutely reads’ HP’.
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