HP Envy 13 mini-review: Spectre fans, meet your budget option

Valentina Palladino

.

We provide a great deal of attention to flagship PC households– and for excellent factor. Gadgets like the Dell XPS 13 and HP’s Spectre 13 typically get brand-new innovations and style benefits prior to other lineups in the OEM’s portfolio. That stays real, however Dell, Lenovo, HP, and others are revealing their other PC lines some love, too. Now, it’s not so unusual to think about an Inspiron or an Envy laptop computer even if you typically looked for the current and biggest makers for their advanced tech and processing power.

HP’s most recent Envy 13 laptop computer might trigger Spectre diehards to rethink. With upgraded processors, optional Nvidia graphics, and a sleeker style, the Envy 13 appears like it can hold its own versus gadgets like Dell’s Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition, and even its cousins the Spectre 13 and the Spectre x36013. Just like anymore cost effective laptop computer (this one begins at $799), it makes some sacrifices to keep expenses down, however those might show irrelevant even for the most strong Spectre enthusiasts.

Feel and look

Specifications at a look: HP Envy 13 (as evaluated)
Screen 133- inch 4K (3840 ×2160) IPS touchscreen
OS Windows 10
CPU Intel Core i7-8565 U
RAM 16 GB LPDDR3
Storage 512 GB PCIe SSD + 32 GB Optane Memory
GPU Nvidia GeForce MX250
Networking 80211 air conditioning 2 × 2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Ports 1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 (information transfer just), 2 x USB-A (1 x information transfer just, 1 x HP Sleep and Charge), 1 x microSD card, 1 x headphone/mic jack, 1 x power port
Size 1208 × 8.32 × 0.57 inches
Weight 2.59 pounds
Battery 65 Whr 4C
Beginning cost $79999
Cost as evaluated $ 1,15999

The Spectre 13 and all of its versions are not for everybody, especially those who do not like making a declaration with their laptop computers. Its metal edges and accents make it fancy, and its angled corners are a nod to precious jewelry style. The Envy 13 gives up all of that and rather appears like an expert, yet streamlined, work maker. I checked a silver design, however it’s likewise offered in a gold surface, which might attract those who desire their laptop computer to have simply a little more character than the rest.

While the Spectre 13 and x36013 pride themselves on being thin and light, the Envy 13 isn’t as interested in that– although you do get a remarkably compact laptop computer. I’m unsure why I anticipated it to feel bigger in my hands and in my knapsack– possibly its blocky back edge tricked me– however the 12.08 × 8.32 × 0.57- inch, 2.59- pound laptop computer was an easily portable gadget.

The Envy 13 has a premium style in its own right, it simply uses that premium nature in a different way than the Spectre 13 does. Its premium feel mainly depends on its all-metal chassis, slim bezels, angled edges, and smart hinge that raises the laptop computer somewhat when you open it. HP took a comparable technique that Dell utilized when making the Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition, which concentrates on updating the laptop computer’s products and dripping down some, however not all, high-end style components.

Like the Inspiron, the Envy 13 has a finger print reader, however it rests on the palm-rest location rather of being incorporated into the sliver of a power button that rests on the top-right corner of the keyboard location. Some makers permit you to power on and log in at the exact same time when they have actually incorporated finger print readers on their power buttons, however Dell’s gadget does not have that function, and HP’s gadget can not, because the 2 pieces of hardware are different. However, the finger print reader works as assured and is the only type of Windows Hey there authentication on the Envy 13.

Included functionality can be found in with the Envy 13’s ports: one USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port (for information transfer just), 2 USB-A ports with drop-jaw styles, a microSD card slot, an earphone jack, and a barrel charging port. I value the drop-jaw style on the USB-A cable televisions due to the fact that they permitted HP to keep the gadget decently thin while likewise not jeopardizing on connection choices. HP likewise brought over the web cam kill-switch from the Spectre series to the Envy 13, enabling users to digitally disable the web cam whenever they please.

Screen and keyboard

The 13.3- inch display screen can be tailored a couple of methods: you can get an FHD panel, an FHD touch panel, or a 4K touch panel. Our design had the 4K touchscreen, and it was as beautiful as you ‘d anticipate. Because the Envy 13 is a routine laptop computer, many users will be served well by the base FHD panel. Touchscreens include restricted effectiveness to basic laptop computers, however undoubtably there are users who have actually grown familiar with touchscreens on all of their gadgets and will desire one on this gadget, too.

The keyboard on the Envy 13 is rather good– it extends nearly to the side edges of the chassis thanks to the speaker grille positioning above it, closer to the hinge. The secrets have good travel, however they are likewise peaceful– it resembles typing on soft pillows. Some users like the clicky nature of many keyboards, however others will value this design due to the fact that it will not audibly trespass on the work spaces of those around you. The up- and down-arrow secrets are a little small, however HP handled to consist of a column of page navigation secrets on the best side of the keyboard.

The only disadvantage to the excellent keyboard is that the Accuracy trackpad suffers a bit from the keyboard’s size. It’s narrower than many trackpads, determining about 2.25 inches in width, which might obstruct of comfy cursor motion, swiping, and gestures.

Efficiency

Offered its comparable specifications, the HP Envy 13’s efficiency resembled that of the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition. HP’s maker stood apart in its graphics ratings, however, thanks to the optional MX250 GPU in our evaluation system. We likewise ran a Grand Theft Car V standard on this maker to see how it may deal with gameplay, and we rapidly discovered that the Envy 13 could not run our test as we typically run it, with many graphics choices maxed out. So, we maxed out as numerous qualities as we might prior to the video memory was surpassed and after that ran the benchmark test. The maker played GTAV at approximately 62.5 fps.

If you do not spring for the Nvidia graphics card, you’ll get the exact same integrated Intel GPU as the Black Edition has, so you can anticipate the Envy’s graphics efficiency to be comparable. While running our video gaming test and a few of our more extreme standard tests, the Envy 13’s fans spun enough for me to hear them try. The bottom-center part of the chassis warmed up a bit, however insufficient to make it unpleasant to utilize on a lap.

You can utilize HP’s Command Center to select the thermal profile that’s finest for your use, too. By default, HP enhances the system to stabilize efficiency and temperature level, however you can utilize Efficiency mode to kick up the fan speed to cool the CPU more effectively while it offers as much power as possible or Convenience mode to cool the gadget down if it begins to get too warm.

Battery life

The Envy 13’s battery life depends greatly on the screen setup you select. HP approximates approximately 18 hours of battery life with an FHD panel and approximately 10 hours with a 4K panel. Our tests revealed that to be real, a minimum of for a 4K display screen: the Envy 13 lasted approximately 11 hours on our Wi-Fi test and simply over 6.5 hours on our webGL test. Those are strong numbers that resemble those of the Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition, however they’re no place near the remarkable battery life of the most recent Spectre x36013. The Spectre x36013 has numerous things the Envy 13 does not, however the most beneficial perk is its exceptionally long battery life that assists it last a minimum of a complete 24 hours on a single charge.

Simply adequate high-end to stand apart

While I enjoy the concept of a convertible, I’m more of a basic laptop computer woman. My work does not need a great deal of sketching or anything that would be simplified if I utilized a stylus or a gadget that twists into a tablet. Convertibles are rather beneficial as multipurpose gadgets, however not everybody requires or desires that adaptability. The HP Envy 13 is a strong laptop computer option for those users, along with those who do not wish to drop $1,000 on a brand-new PC.

We might have evaluated the top-tier design, however the base $799 design has the exact same Core i7 CPU along with 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of PCIe SSD storage. To put things into viewpoint, those are the exact same specifications discovered in the HP Spectre x36013 that’s presently our preferred Windows ultrabook convertible, however the Spectre costs $1,349 Naturally, that cost consists of numerous things that the Envy 13 does not have– a convertible style, an IR electronic camera, a consisted of stylus, 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, and the maker’s crazy-long battery life.

If any of those functions are necessary to you, it’s most likely worth it to think about the Spectre x36013 or another flagship ultrabook like it. Nevertheless, if you can compromise those superior functions, the Envy 13 is a strong laptop computer that you might get for a cost that will not destroy your budget plan and likewise offers adequate choices for you to spec it out as you please.

The Great

  • Expert, light-weight style.
  • 2 USB-A ports with drop-jaw style.
  • Web cam kill-switch.
  • Optional Nvidia graphics card and Optane Memory.
  • Great battery life.

The Bad

  • Finger print reader not incorporated into power button.
  • No IR electronic camera.
  • No Thunderbolt 3 ports.

The Unsightly

  • Charges by means of barrel charging port.