Previously, we reviewed the HP Envy x360 15 and found it pretty hardcore for its price. In 2022, HP released a successor to the 15-inch model but tweaked quite a few of its features. The recently-released version starts at $899 and boasts a 13-inch display along with a number of specs that the older Envy x360s did not feature. Let us take a look at what these specs are and whether or not they impressed us.
One thing’s for sure: the x360’s body is as portable, lightweight and premium-looking as it can get. Weighing a total of 2.8lbs with a total thickness of less than an inch (0.6 inches), this laptop is perfect for being stowed away to be carried on the go. On its underside, it hosts a decent-sized vent for heat management along with a pair of speakers. You will also come across a pair of rubber feet to keep the laptop from moving when in use. The rubber feet also help protect the lid from scratches when the laptop is in tablet mode.
The x360 does commit the fairly common laptop sin of making its lid way too tight. Unfortunately, you’re going to need both hands and a considerable amount of force to open it. And if your nails are long, you might struggle a little more in an attempt to not scratch the area.
Hosting a 2-in-1 design, this convertible comes with a magnetic rechargeable stylus in the package that’s pretty impressive considering its extremely reasonable price. The charger sports a woven nylon cable that not only exudes sophistication but also prevents tangling. All in all, the x360 both looks and feels like a premium device that’s definitely not under a thousand bucks.
While it’d be unfair to say that the x360 skimps on ports, we believe it could have displayed a little more generosity in that department. It hosts a 3.5mm jack, a microSD card and a SuperSpeed Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 port on its left. The right side features two Type-C Thunderbolt 4 ports along with a SuperSpeed Type-A 3.2 Gen 2 port. No, an HDMI port isn’t present and, yes, that is a little disappointing. However, it’s not much of a deal breaker. Especially with two Type-A ports present, the option to invest in a Type-A HDMI adapter is always there. Looking on the bright side, the microSD card slot facilitates data transfers for content creators, and with the latest port spec being used, lag or stutter is not a problem to be concerned about.
We became instant fans of the keyboard on the x360. Though some might say the keys don’t feature enough travel, they are snappy and tight. Thankfully, they aren’t hollow. Instead, they give a pretty assuring response. They have a sharp and crisp feel to them, which feels awesome. They’re also fairly intuitive. Chances are you’ll get used to typing on them within just a few minutes with negligible missteps. The response on the keyboard is also pretty impressive.
Plus, the keys are quite well-sized; in fact, even the punctuation keys aren’t trimmed down. However, the arrow keys host a feature that may be slightly irritating. They’ve been paired with the Fn key to facilitate functions such as Page Up, Page Down, Home and End. That isn’t very user-friendly.
A Couple of New Features
The rest of the features we see on this keyboard are typical of HP laptops: backlighting with varying brightness options and function keys that facilitate volume control, brightness control, a mute button for system sound, a mute button for mic, and playback options. We see some relatively new features, too. HP decided to take a page out of Mac’s notebook and introduced an emoji key that gives the user access to a wide range of ASCII emoticons, emojis, symbols and punctuation marks. There is also a camera button instead of a physical privacy shutter. Moreover, there is a customizable HP button that allows the user access to a variety of functionalities. These include launching the HP Command Centre, the Omen Gaming Hub, myHP, and the HP Palette. I liked the range of customization the button offers as it accommodates regular everyday users who could benefit from the Command Centre, as well as digital artists and gamers.
The x360 does not feature a numpad which makes sense given its portable size and weight. The only minor complaint I had regarding the keyboard on this laptop is that its Power key is squeezed between its camera button and Delete key. This increases the chances of missteps. It’s an unsaid rule to have the Power key located all the way on the top-right so that users don’t accidentally press it while they’re trying to achieve something else. Placing it between two keys that are used frequently might often lead to accidents.
The touchpad is admittedly a little tight. It also doesn’t provide enough feedback both in terms of travel and sound. However, it is very responsive and well-sized. It is also positioned in around the center, instead of being left-oriented as usual. This makes it ideal for ambidextrous and left-handed folks.
The configuration that we received hosts a 13.3’’ multi-touch enabled UWVA display with OLED technology. With most laptops these days featuring IPS displays, it’s a shocker to see OLED on HP’s latest release. The screen boasts a Corning Gorilla Glass coating, and a resolution of 2.8K (2880 x 1800). Its SDR brightness score goes up to 400 nits, while its HDR setting offers 500 nits. (Other configurations offer an IPS display and slightly varying resolutions.)
One of its coolest features is that it’s capable of switching between color gamuts. The user can choose between default, sRGB, Adobe RGB and DCI-P3. The ultimate choice depends on what the user’s needs are at that moment: scrolling the Web, printing, photography and film, etc.
AV enthusiasts would know that the downside of OLED technology is unimpressive brightness. However, our tests yielded pretty great results. The colors are bright, rich and saturated. The overall tone of the display is warm and the contrasts are extremely striking. We watched tons of 4K videos and every single video left us in awe. The slim side bezels leave plenty of space (86.5% screen-to-body ratio) for you to enjoy your content. Though the glossy display and the absence of IPS technology makes glare quite a bit of an issue.
As mentioned previously, HP has generously included a pen as part of the package. The pen comes with spare tips and uses the laptop’s Type-C charger when it runs out of juice. It facilitates excellent palm rejection and is sufficiently responsive. We did notice some stutter, which makes it more suitable for art purposes rather than scrolling the web.
The x360 doesn’t host a docking port for the pen. Instead, it magnetically attaches to the side of the laptop. While that sounds a bit risky, the magnets are strong and support a secure connection with a satisfying click. Overall, the pen impresses. It’s lightweight, well-sized, intuitively designed, and easy on the hand.
Starting at i5 with a clock speed of up to 4.4GHz, featuring 10 cores, 12 threads, and Intel Iris Xe Graphics, the laptop goes up to i7 and 4.7GHz. Similarly, there are multiple configurations offering both 512GB and 1TB SSD storage options, and 8GB and 16GB RAM options. We received the i7 version with 16GB RAM and an 8GB ROM.
The x360 is not mind-blowing in terms of performance. We performed the Geekbench 5 and the Pugetbench for Photoshop tests on it. The single-core score for the Geekbench test was 1314 while the multi-core score was 7034. Geekbench 5 scores are calibrated against a baseline score of 1000 (which is the score of an Intel Core i3-8100). Higher scores are better, with double the score indicating double the performance. While the single-core score is still not too shabby, the multi-core score is nothing special. Single-core scores are more relevant for games and applications that are lightly threaded, meaning they rely on a single core to process instructions.
The PugetBench for Photoshop scores were pretty good considering this we’re looking at an integrated GPU here instead of a dedicated one. The general score was 544 out of 1000, the GPU scored 49.2 out of 100, the General score was 63 out of 100 and the Filter score was 45.8 out of 100. There was no lag or stutter while we browsed the internet while the rig was running the Adobe tests. The threads came through allowing us to multi-task without any interruptions. This isn’t to say, though, that this machine is for hardcore, processor-intensive tasks such as intense video editing, heavy gaming or 3d rendering.
Performance and Battery
We also found the x360 a little too loud, even during tasks that did not demand the RAM to be overworked. HP offers multiple profiles to choose from: Balanced, Cool, Performance, Power Saver and Quiet. You can either manually pick one of these or enable SmartSense to let your machine decide the temperature and fan speed it is going to operate on. SmartSense was enabled by default when we tested the laptop and that made it excessively hot and loud. It was only after we manually switched it to Quiet that it slowed down.
The x360 features a 4-cell, 66Wh Li-ion polymer battery that supports fast charging. We got it from a dead battery to a 100% charge in just a little more than an hour.
Camera, Speakers, Security
The Wide Vision 720p HD camera on this laptop delivers sharp and focused results though they slightly lack color and saturation. One of our favorite features was the HP Enhanced Light, which is essentially a digital ring light with options to change the warmth, brightness as well as shape and size of the light. HP GlamCam provides a couple of options the user can choose from to smoothen their skin, hide flaws, and so on.
Bang & Olufsen has partnered with HP to provide audio on the x360. The speakers are clearly treble-focused as the bass is not very prominent. There is little sound imaging. The tracks sound somewhat clustered and there is not enough space in the orchestra. The mids sound pretty decent, and the overall sound profile is more cool than warm.
While a finger print reader is not found on the machine, there is an IR sensor-powered face ID sign-in option.
All in all, the HP Envy x360 is a pretty great machine if you’re not looking for an insanely powerful rig. It hosts a portable, lightweight design that is ideal for students. The addition of a stylus as part of the package makes it ideal for consumers who are inclined towards art. It hosts a generous number of ports that add to the user-friendliness of the device. The keyboard is nice and snappy, and the touchpad offers a pretty impressive response. The display is absolutely brilliant with fantastic contrasts, color and saturation. The CPU and GPU are both more than enough to power through an average user’s daily tasks. Overall, with a price tag of under $1000, the x360 is an excellent machine to go for.
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