In addition to giving its flagship detachable Spectre x2 a makeover in 2017, HP is also slimming down its Envy line of notebooks and convertibles. Although not a flagship PC line, the Envy represents HP’s premium computing offerings. With this year’s refresh, we’re starting to see some technology innovations from the Spectre trickling down to the Envy range, which means consumers will get even more value, upgraded performance with Intel’s and AMD’s latest processors and better design.
The Envy refresh comprises of three products: a 13-inch laptop, a 17-inch laptop and a 13-inch convertible form-factor notebook with a 360-degree hinge.
HP’s 13-inch notebook in the Envy line will be available solely with Intel’s 7th Generation Kaby Lake processor. On the Envy Laptop 13, you’re getting a U-series Core i3, i5 or i7 processor along with up to 16GB RAM and a 1TB PCIe NMe M.2 format SSD. An optional discrete GPU with 2GB DDR5 video memory is also available, or you can choose to stick with Intel’s integrated HD Graphics.
As part of HP’s premium notebook experience, you’re getting HP’s nearly bezel-free Micro Edge Display design here, giving this notebook an elevated aesthetics. The 13.3-inch IPS display comes with FHD resolution and a wide-angle HD webcam sits up top. You can upgrade the display configuration to include touch or touch and 4K UHD resolution.
Battery life is rated for up to 14 hours of mixed use, but if you run out, a quick 90 minute recharge will recharge your battery to 90% with HP’s Fast Charge technology. Charging can be done through one of the two USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports on the device. In addition to the USB Type-C ports, you’ll also get two USB 3.1 Type A ports, SD card reader and a combo audio jack.
You’ll also get a full-sized backlit keyboard with 1.3mm key travel and a wide trackpad on the Envy Laptop 13. A fingerprint reader is built into the trackpad for security.
Constructed out of machined aluminum with a durable magnesium chassis, the Envy Laptop 13 measures 12.04 × 8.49 inches and comes in at just 0.55-inch thick. The notebook weighs 2.72 pounds. It’s available in silk gold with dual matte and polished finishing. The notebook itself is finished in a brushed metal finish, giving it a matte appearance, while the rear edge of the lid has a polished finish to give it a premium look. When the lid is open, that polish edge will come down and lift the keyboard up, giving you a more ergonomic typing experience.
Pricing starts at $889 for a Core i5 configuration, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD when the Envy Laptop 13 becomes available in the June and July timeframe. An upgraded model with a Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and a 4K UHD touchscreen will cost $1,179.
Bigger doesn’t always mean bigger. HP has redesigned the 17-inch Envy notebook to be slimmer and lighter than the previous generation that it replaces, and this year’s model is 2.2mm slimmer at 23.3mm thick, compared to 25.5mm from before.
Being part of the Envy Laptop family, the Envy 17 utilizes a similar machined aluminum design as its smaller 13-inch counterpart, and the bottom of the lid also helps to elevate the keyboard for a comfortable typing experience.
Here’ you’ll get slim bezels, an FHD IR web camera for Windows Hello, FHD and UHD IPS display options and up to 10.75 hours of battery life on the FHD model. Fast Charge is also available on this notebook, which helps to bring you to 90 percent battery life in just 90 minutes of charging. Because this is a larger notebook, HP says that it was able to fit a larger Bang & Olufsen-tuned speakers with discrete amplifiers in this model.
You can choose between an Intel Core i5 or i7 in the 7th Generation Kaby Lake family. And because of its larger size, you’ll find an optical drive on this model, in case you want to view an old family DVD, and the laptop comes with dual storage options, which tops out with a 1TB HDD and a 256GB SSD. Ports are also plentiful on the larger notebook, with a single HDMI port, a single USB Type-C port, three USB Type-A ports and an ethernet jack. Memory can be configured with up to 16GB DDR4 RAM.
The HP Envy x360 looks the premium part, having borrowed various design elements from HP’s top-of-the-line Spectre x360 13-inch. On the surface, the Envy x360 looks like a hybrid of the Spectre x360 15-inch and the EliteBook x360 13-inch that we previously reviewed. All three notebooks come with a 360-degree rotating hinge, and while the Envy comes with the nearly bezel-less Micro Edge Display like the Spectre, it comes with a more angular design that’s a hallmark of HP’s business-oriented EliteBook. Like its counterparts in HP’s family, the Envy x360 comes with an all-metal chassis.
“The industrial design is the biggest news to the update of the Envy x360,” Nash said during a conference call. “There is a 50 percent bezel reduction.” The notebook weighs 6.96 pounds and measures 14.16 × 9.8 × 0.77 inches.
Given the larger 15-inch display on this model, you’ll not only be getting a full-sized keyboard, but one that offers plenty of key travel at 1.5mm. Additionally, if you work a lot with numbers, you’ll appreciate the inclusion of a dedicated number pad to the right of the backlit keyboard.
Compared to other models in HP’s recent premium lineup, the unique part about the 15-inch Envy x360 is that you can choose from either Intel or AMD processors. On the Intel side, you can choose between Intel’s 7th Generation Kaby Lake Core i5 or i7 CPUs, along with optional discrete graphics with 4GB VRAM. On the AMD side, you can choose between an AMD A9, A12 or FX APU.
There are also subtle differences between the processor families, with HP claiming you’ll get up to 11.25 hours of battery life with an Intel configuration and 10.25 hours of battery with an AMD system. Fast Charge is also included, so you’ll be able to get up to 90 percent of your battery charged in as little as 90 minutes.
Cosmetically, there are also differences in the processor selection. The Intel model is available in Natural Silver, while the AMD model comes in a Dark Ash Silver. Unlike the dark ash silver on the premium Spectre x360, there aren’t any gold or copper accents on the Envy AMD model, so this laptop is more understated than the Spectre.
Another difference is that with the Intel models, you can choose a display that’s up to 4K UHD resolution. The standard configuration comes with a 1080p display. Audio is tuned by Bang & Olufsen, and the Envy comes with dual speakers and discrete amplifiers positioned on top of the keyboard deck. At the top of the display, there’s a wide angle IR web cam, which can be used for Windows Hello logins.
Pen input is also supported on this model. In terms of ports, you’ll find a single USB Type-C 3.1 Gen 1 port, two USB 3.1 ports, an HDMI port, SD card reader and combo audio jack. The convertible can be configured with up to 1 TB HDD, 512 GB SSD or dual-storage. Memory tops out at 16GB DDR4 RAM.
Pricing starts at $699 for an AMD FX model, 8GB RAM and 1GB HDD with a FHD IPS touchscreen. The Envy x360 will be available in the June and July timeframe, with a higher end model costing $929 for an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, 1TB HDD and FHD IPS touchscreen.