The HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Laptop 13-bf0022TU (to give it its full name), is yet another another business-class, ultraportable in our labs. But, despite its office-friendly credentials it’s actually designated as a consumer-friendly device for Creators by HP. It’s a crowded market, but, on the surface, this Intel-Evo-certified Envy looks like it could shake things up. Will it? And, if so, who should buy it?
Table of Contents
- HP Envy specs
- Design, Handling & Ergonomics
- Portability and battery life
- Price and availability
- 5 Alternatives to the HP Envy
HP Envy specs
|Screen||13.3-inch, glossy, 60Hz, 1,920 x 1,200, IPS, touchscreen display|
|Processor||3.5–4.7GHz Intel Core i7-1250U CPU|
|Graphics||950MHz Intel Xe GPU|
|Hard drive||1 x 512GB PCIe NVMe|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6E |
2 x Thunderbolt 4
2x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 (one with power delivery)
3.5mm audio jack
|Security||Windows Hello via webcam|
|Speakers||2 x speakers|
|Dimensions||298 x 215 x 16mm|
Design, Handling & Ergonomics
The HP Envy’s sandblasted aluminium chassis is as good-looking as it is lightweight and robust. It’s classy and sophisticated enough to impress casual glimpsers but also sober enough to fit into a stuffy office.
Opening it up reveals the glossy, IPS touscreen which is surrounded by a rather thick bezel (especially at the top and especially-especially at the bottom). The gloss comes from the protective Gorilla Glass which makes it very rigid. Together, with the impressive hinges, the screen folds back on itself to become a decent, convertible tablet. It’s stylus-compatible but one isn’t supplied. It’s responsive when used with fingers though.
The screen displays a crisp and clear 1,920 x 1,200 Windows Desktop – regardless of orientation. For multimedia, colours are vibrant and both colourful and monochromatic transitions are smooth with no significant banding. Contrast is impressive although the 400-nit-rated screen means things can get particularly bright and, at its top setting, some detail can get lost in bright areas. But, we’re not complaining, it’s generally excellent.
It’s not perfect though. The high-gloss Corning Gorilla glass might offer excellent protection against knocks but it turns into a black mirror when dark content is viewed. Also note that the pixel response time isn’t great. If you felt like trying some fast and frantic gaming (or watching anything with very-fast-moving objects) they can get a bit blurry.
The HP Envy’s dual speakers are tuned by none other than Bang & Olufsen and to a degree it shows. Fidelity is impressive from top to bottom and there’s even a little bass. While we did detect some treble distortion at max volume (which is otherwise impressive), but it wasn’t there long and doesn’t define its performance.
The webcam is an excellent Full HD model that also supports Windows Hello login. It’s also supported by a dual array microphone array and produces some of the best all-round web-conferencing quality we’ve experienced. We’re also fans of HP’s Enhanced Lighting app which easily adds different-szied white (or coloured) bars on the screen to act as a light source. You can easily change the size and intensity of the lighting and it can make a positive difference.
All in all, the HP Envy is excellent to interact with.
We ran our usual benchmark tests to establish the HP Envy’s performance plus a ‘new’ CS:GO test that will become normal (for us) in 2023.
Inside the HP Envy is a 3.5–4.7GHz Intel Core i7-1250U CPU which has 2 Performance cores and 8 Efficiency cores. It’s flanked by 16GB of low-power LPDDR4-4266 RAM plus a 512GB NVMe hard drive. In the general-computing-oriented PCMark 10 test these combined to score 5,105. This isn’t slow, but even in the current-gen, ultraportable market, it’s at the back of the pack.
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In the processor-rendering Cinebench tests it scored 1,257 in R15 and 7,347 in R23. These are also a bit lower than other ultraportable laptops, but not heinously so. However, this might be worth bearing in mind for some of the Creators that the HP Envy is targeted towards.
The HP Envy uses Intel’s Integrated Xe graphics, running at the more-pedestrian 950Hz (rivals run at up to 1.4GHz). However, clock speed doesn’t seem to matter much here…
It couldn’t run the difficult 3DMark ray-tracing tests – Speed Way and Port Royal – but it scored 1,480 in Time Spy. This benchmark demonstrates whether the HP Envy can play AAA-title games but the score equates to an average of just 8fps. It also scored 1,956 in the similar 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme test which is an average of 8.5fps.
While those scores are low overall, they’re a little higher than other, similar ultraportable laptops. Meanwhile, the HP Envy also scored 14,536 (average) 82.4fps in the lesser Night Raid test indicating it will play many casual and competitive games.
We also ran our ‘new’ CS:GO test which forces all of the key, performance components to work together in a torture test. It’s to establish the 1% Low score which is the average of the lowest one per cent of the frame rates in the CS:GO FPS Benchmark. This is important because the game generally moves along at high frame rates… until smoke grenades start going off… then the game can turn into a slideshow if your hardware isn’t up to it. It also show how the HP Envy performs under intense workloads.
The Envy performed relatively well. Despite the power surge, it didn’t get overly hot and the max’ed-out fan (which is silent most of the time) remained at a quiet swoosh. It average 61fps for the benchmark but the 1% Low score was just 10fps. That’s actually quite good for an ultraportable but you wouldn’t want to be planting a bomb when the smokes rain in.
Ultimately, the low-powered components might be a little sluggish when it comes to 2D performance but they make amends in 3D… that’s all in the context of lightweight ultraportables. It should be fine for the Creator market it’s targeted at so long as users are not regularly rendering.
Inside there’s Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. While it might seem sparse, the important ports are there and we’ve certainly seen more-stingy complements from the likes of Dell recently.
Portability and battery life
The HP Envy weighs just 1.4KG and the small power supply and cables add just 235g more to the mix. The tough aluminium body should ensure that it will survive life on the road and the Gorilla Glass screen will help on the journey.
Meanwhile, the low-powered components and four-cell, 66 Watt-hour battery ran the PCMark 10 Modern Office test for a seriously impressive 19 hours 30 minutes.
The HP Envy is a seriously portable laptop and that’s particularly impressive for a convertible tablet.
Price and availability
There are several variants of the HP Envy available. Our SKU, bf0022TU, is widely available in retail stores from just $1,875. That’s impressively cheap for a top-class ultraportable laptop. Especially one that doubles as a tablet.
5 Alternatives to the HP Envy
We’ve reviewed several similar business-grade ultraportables and convertibles lately and some alternatives offer different combinations of strengths and weaknesses:
– Lenovo ThinkPad Z13
Much faster | More expensive | Less portable | Not convertible
– HP Elitebook X360 1040 G9
Similar looks | Similar power | Corporate friendly | Less portable
– Dynabook X40L-K
Business oriented | Fingerprint magnet | Also convertible | Bit more expensive
– Asus Expertbook B7 Flip
More expensive | Also convertible | Slightly larger | Many more ports
– MSI Prestige 14 Evo
More powerful | Bit pricier | Weaker ergonomics | Less portable
HP cites its Envy laptops as representing its premium, consumer range. But, they don’t cost what we’d expect for premium ultraportables. It’s the second-most-portable laptop we’ve ever tested and, at $1,875, represents great value. While the performance scores aren’t particularly high, it’s far from excruciatingly slow and remains significantly faster than many other ultraportable laptops with extra-long-life batteries. It rightfully sits in the top 5 of our Best Portable Laptops list and, at this price and with the quality on offer, it’s very tempting.
Excellent battery life
Not very fast
HP Envy results
It’s good looking, has great build quality, doesn’t weigh much and has superb battery life. The HP Envy is a superb ultraportable.