HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13"!

JT JT 18 September 2020 Follow
HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13"!

The HP Envy x360 is a premium 2-in-1 device featuring AMD’s latest Ryzen 4000 processors. I’ve got the 6 core 12 thread Ryzen 5 4500U here, so we’re able to hit levels of performance that were previously unheard of in a 13 inch machine.HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 The build quality feels great, the lid, interior and bottom panel are all metal with a dark finish, and there weren’t any sharp corners or edges.HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 Mine weighed in just under 1.25kg or 2.7lb, and then about 1.55kg or 3.4lb total once we add in the small 65 watt power brick and cables for charging. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13It’s on the thinner side which I thought was quite impressive given it’s got that 6 core processor inside, and the smaller footprint results in 6mm thin screen bezels on the sides. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13The slimmer sides combined with the weight made it awkward to hold from the sides with one hand, two hands on the sides or one on the bottom was alright but it still felt a bit weighty as a tablet, and the keys on the back don’t feel great when holding it in tablet modeHP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 at least compared to say the Surface Book 3 which is all flat.

The 13.3” 1080p IPS touch screen is glass and has a glossy finish, so fingerprints will show up if you touch it. It worked fine for me as a touch screen and felt responsive, but does not come with a pen, though HP does sell some. I’ve tested it with the Spyder 5, and got 96% of sRGB, 73% of AdobeRGB, and 73% of DCI-P3.HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 It was bright enough at full brightness and had an 840:1 contrast ratio, so it looked pretty good. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13Backlight bleed wasn’t bad at all, I never noticed the small imperfections when viewing darker content, but this will vary between laptops and panels. It can’t quite be opened up with one finger, and of course due to the 360 degree hinge the screen goes the full way back. This lets you use it in normal laptop mode, reverse mode, tent mode, or tablet mode.

Screen flex was minor owing to the solid metal lid, and the keyboard wasn’t too bad either, it feels quite sturdy. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13The 720p camera is above the display in the center, no Windows Hello support though, but there is a privacy cover that goes in front of it when you press this shortcut on the keyboard.  HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13The keyboard has 1.5mm of key travel and white backlighting, which illuminates all keys and secondary key functions, and brightness can be adjusted between two levels or turned off with the F4 shortcut key. As I’ve got larger hands, when typing I had to kind of rest on the edge of the machine rather than the palm rest area, though I didn’t find it uncomfortable.

There’s a fingerprint scanner tucked in between the right alt and arrow keys, which I found to work fast and from different angles no problem. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13The precision touchpad worked well, no problems there. It clicks down anywhere and is using the most of the available space. Fingerprints and dirt show up on the matte finish, but as a smooth surface it’s not too difficult to clean with a microfiber cloth.

On the left from the back there’s a 3.5mm audio combo jack, USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A port, and USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C port with DisplayPort 1.4 support, and Type-C can also be used to charge the machine, no Thunderbolt though. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13On the right there’s a MicroSD card slot, second USB 3.2 Gen1 Type-A port, and the power input. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13Both of the Type-A ports have a little latch that you need to push down in order to plug something in, I found them a bit annoying and often needed to just lift the machine to use them, but I suppose it’s a compromise of the thinner machine. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13The back just has an air exhaust vent and subtle Envy branding, and there’s nothing on the front, but there is a gap to get your finger in to open it up without issue.

It was clean underneath, with just some air intake vents up towards the back. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13There are two TR5 screws down the front, then there are three more Phillips head screws underneath the back rubber foot. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13Inside we’ve got the battery down the bottom, and above it to the left single M.2 storage slot, and Wi-Fi 5 card, memory is soldered to the motherboard though, which is pretty typical for a 13” device so make sure you get it with what you need. The speakers are down here too towards the front on the left and right sides. They sounded decent for the size of the machine, above average with some bass, and the latencymon results were looking good too.

The Envy is powered by a 3-Cell 51Wh battery, and it was holding up well when compared to others with bigger batteries, lasting for more than 9 hours in the YouTube playback test.HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 It lasted for more than 2 hours in the gaming test, but it was only able to run The Witcher 3 at around 22 FPS while most other results were 30 FPS. The Envy comes with HP’s Command Center software installed, which lets you pick between four performance modes, recommended, performance, comfort, and quiet.

It was cool to the touch at idle in the lowest quiet mode. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13With a CPU stress test running it’s still hardly warm. HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13Comfort mode was a bit cooler, but the fans are louderHP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 then the highest performance mode was a bit warmer, but again it’s nowhere near hot, it’s hardly getting warm.HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 It was silent at idle, still quiet even with the stress test running in quiet mode, recommended was a bit louder, then comfort mode louder still, while performance was the loudest. I think these are good results considering this is a worst case and you’re given some level of user control.

Here are the temperatures with the same stress test being run in the different modes, so 80 degrees Celsius worst case.HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 These are the clock speeds for those same testsHP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 so up to 3.1GHz over all 6 cores in the best performance mode, and this was while running at around 18 watts long termHP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 it would of course boost up higher initially.

Here’s how the different modes translate into Cinebench performanceHP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 I’ve also used Ryzen Controller here to try and get a little extra boost and it helped a bit. WHP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13hen we look at how it stacks up against others, it’s ahead of all the quad core machines but behind the more powerful 6 core options, however the single core performance was close to those higher tier machines.

Although not a gaming laptop by any means, you can get away with some light 1080p gaming with the Radeon graphics with lower settingsHP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 some heavier games would likely be possible too if you’re willing to drop the resolution down to say 720p, but either way still an impressive result for integrated graphics in a 13-inch machine.

For some reason my Adobe Premiere export test was estimating more than 5 hours, which is far beyond my worst ever recorded result. Again this is my first time with the 4500U, so I’m not sure if that’s normal or not, I suspect it just needs discrete graphics to do well, as I was seeing similar from the 4800U in the Lenovo Slim 7.HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 I’ve used Crystal Disk Mark to test the storage, and the 512gb NVMe M.2 SSD was doing wellHP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13and the MicroSD card was reasonable but not great.HP Envy x360 Review - 6 Core Ryzen 13 The card clicks in and sits most of the way into the machine.

The 13-inch model I’ve tested, though with double the memory, is $1000 USD, but there are also other options with Ryzen 3 or 7 processors, or the larger 15 inch model too. Meanwhile, here in Australia we’re looking at $2000 AUD for the same specs I’ve tested. Alright with all of that in mind let’s conclude by considering the good and the bad to help you decide if the Envy x360 is worth considering.

Overall, this is a solid machine with not many issues. Before Ryzen 4000 this level of processing power in a thinner 13 inch devices like this was simply not possible. It doesn’t run too hot even under heavy stress test and doesn’t get too loud, but either way there is some level of user choice available there. The Radeon graphics allow you to perform some tasks like light gaming, but I’d be looking for something more powerful in the GPU department personally for video editing, that said, don’t forget it’s a 13” 2-in-1 machine. Build quality was great, battery life was excellent, the touchscreen in this model, keyboard and touchpad were good, speakers were above average, and of course you’ve got the option of using it in four different modes. It was a bit heavier for me personally in tablet mode, but it would definitely be easier to handle than the larger 15 inch model. So all things considered, I could definitely recommend the Envy x360 if you need a smaller portable machine, it’s got a lot going for it without many downsides. Upgradability was a downside, but I can’t think of any 13 devices like this that don’t have soldered components, at least this doesn’t extend to storage and WiFi and is only memory.

Let me know what you thought about HP’s Envy x360 down in the comments, which specs would you pick? 

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