HP ENVY 13 Slim Review
The Hp envy 13 slim laptop is a device that rolls elegance, power, and a great design into a laptop for people whose pockets do not have crater-like depths. Its eight-generation Intel Core i7-8565U CPU and MX 250 GPU combine to give an excellent performance that accentuates its portability, all the more impressive when you consider its very competitive price.
This laptop has all the luster and looks on its aluminum frame and silver-lined finish. Its portability is fairly obvious, a weight of about 1.3kg, thickness short of 15mm, and sleekness make it top-shelf for use on the go.
The build is impressive unless you factor in a lid and keyboard deck that is too flexible, but that is not much of a problem. As the display is diagonal, there is the tendency to be met with a bendy screen, thankfully that is not the case here. The all-metal chassis of the frame brings rigidity to the top and bottom parts of the device.
Now, this is the part that I find pretty impressive, the display is stunning for a laptop of such price. For its IPS 1080p display, you get images and text that are crisp, bright, and pleasing.
The unwanted bezels are thin, except for those at the top and bottom of the screen. The colors are vivid and vibrant for the FHD (165ppi IPS LCD) model display, and simply brilliant for the 4k configuration. The downside to the former display is the lack of professional calibration and support for industry color gamuts, this might not be ideal for people who need display colors to be exact for their work.
The 1920 x 1080 touchscreen is scratch-protected by its Corning Gorilla Glass technology, that’s not saying you should place it on your kitchen countertop. Our colorimeter tests put the display brightness at 371 nits and that’s pretty much above average, the contrast at an average of 820:1 falls short of the standard(1000:1 or better).
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keyboard is spacious, with two backlighting levels and silver-colored, short travel-distance keys that are noiseless when clicked. A heat grille takes up little space above the keys, summing up to an appearance similar to the Spectre x360 13’s.
Its plastic trackpad is the real drag though, swiping on its surface is not as silky as you’ll expect. However the trackpad works, its precision driver tech and multitouch gesture support make it more responsive and navigable.
Flexibility is what you get from the lineup of ports around this laptop, with two standard USB-size ports and a single newer USB-C port that offers a charging option. The latter is no thunderbolt and will limit external displays, but it still comes in handy. You can spot a power jack on the right side too, and a microSD-card slot that steals the show for some of us.
Look down the keyboard and you’ll find the fingerprint scanner in place of the previously used facial recognition feature used to grant access to Windows 10.
There is a touchscreen that looks to be more suited to the fingers than to a stylus. But don’t be deceived into thinking that this device is a hybrid, the hinge only permits 135 degrees of rotation. A 720p webcam that is unspectacular is fitted to the top of the display, keep that in mind.
With Bang & Olufsen speakers, you can expect impressive sound quality, this is no different, even for a laptop. Equipped with quad speakers and a smart amplifier, this device gives audio with reasonable bass and a loud volume that operate with nominal distortion at full strength. The dual speakers are located under the chassis of the laptop, with another, a driver placed above the keyboard.
Integrated graphics hold out for tasks requiring lesser graphics power, but the Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics card is much better. And that is what you get with the Hp envy 13s’ higher configuration model, a GPU that is well suited for the most advanced multimedia editing and graphic designing. As more high-end creative applications start becoming reliant on extra graphics power, users with the MX250 GPU configuration will be at ease.
The battery gives different levels of endurance depending on which of the models ( 4K model or the lesser FHD )are in operation. CPU and GPU intensive tasks usually deplete battery life faster, luckily for the user, the device features a fast charging tech that takes 45 minutes to raise it from zero to 50%. And with a USB-C port that provides alternative charging options on the go, you can keep your device continually powered on. Its 52 watt-hours of battery power give you about 10 hours (for FHD) of regular laptop work like web design, browsing and video playback before the next charge. A bump in resolution to 4K will bring that value down significantly to around 5 hours.
While the chassis may get warm, there is little chance of your device overheating. The fans kick in on cue(and with minimal fuss too) when the laptop is doing some heavy lifting, except for when it is set at performance mode. Now and then they draw a blank when the device is doing light work. On a very bad day, the bottom of the laptop posted 113 degrees F, and 107 degrees F at the top of the keyboard and that is while performing arduous tasks. It would be better off closer to 100 degrees but it still suffices for comfortable handling.
The HP Envy 13 does well at gaming as it is equipped with the Nvidia GeForce MX250 graphics card in addition to its own CPU’s graphic chip. Gamers will enjoy the most recent top-rank games with some little compromise in performance settings. For example, you get around 30.2fps at graphics set to “Low” while playing Ghost Recon: Wildlands at 1080p, this value drops alarmingly to 4.2fps at “Ultra”, and this drop is accompanied by some in-game distortions. It helps to reduce the resolution to a more practical 720p.
The Hp envy 13, 4K model is equipped with a top-drawer Intel Core i7-8565U CPU. It is eight-generation- a tad dated, but it pulls a lot of weight and battery power. With 16GB of memory and ITB SSD of storage to draw from, this laptop is capable of performing a load of tasks at the same time without going into a meltdown. I once opened over 20 chrome tabs while being engaged in some photo editing at the same time, and the only drawback was hearing the fans kick in almost immediately. The Envy 13’s performance is at par with, or better than what you’ll expect from most 13″ laptops available, and it is more affordable too.
The Envy 13 does creditably well in blending a mix of sleekness, good performance, and affordability that will appeal to many, the battery Is not great on 4k, and those display bezels still need to be trimmed down, but it remains a bargain buy.
Intel Core i3/i5/i7
Full HD (1920×1080 pixels) resolution
Nvidia GeForce graphics
Bang & Olufsen speakers
1x USB-C 3.1
2x USB 3.1
microSD card slot
1 USB 2.0 port
3.5mm Headset jack
52 Wh lithium-ion battery, non-removable
307 x 212 x 14.5mm
4.8 lb (2.2 kg)