Home / Computing / Laptop / HP Envy x360

HP Envy x360 review

By

Updated:

1 of 6

HP Envy x360
  • HP Envy x360
  • HP Envy x360
  • HP Envy x360 1
  • HP Envy x360 2
  • HP Envy x360 3
  • HP Envy x360 4

Summary

Our Score:

7

Pros

  • Metal design
  • Speedy SSD
  • Light for its size

Cons

  • Slightly wobbly screen
  • Mediocre processor
  • So-so keyboard and touchpad

Key Features

  • Dual-core 2.9GHz AMD A9 9410 processor (reviewed), Intel Core i processors available
  • AMD Radeon R3 graphics
  • 1,920x1,080 touchscreen display (reviewed), 4K screen available
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • Weight: 2.01kg
  • 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 3.0 Type-C, SD card reader, HDMI, 3.5mm headset jack
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Manufacturer: HP
  • Review Price: £529.00

What is the HP Envy x360?

The Envy x360 is HP’s newest revision to its Envy line of notebooks. It fuses solid metal construction with a touchscreen display that can be rotated through 360 degrees.

It’s surprisingly cheap for an Envy-branded device, but that's because HP has made a few compromises when it comes to hardware. As a result, it isn't the most powerful convertible on the market and its size can be unwieldy. But even with these flaws, it's a decent machine overall.

Related: Best laptops

HP Envy x360 – Buying Information

My review sample featured an AMD A9 9410 processor, a 256GB M.2 SSD and a 1080p IPS display: model number, 15-ar002na. There are other configurations available, inlcuding models with Intel Core i5 and i7 U-suffix processors, a higher capacity hard disk and Ultra HD screens.

HP Envy x360 – Design and Build

The Envy x360's design looks slightly above its price point, with a decent-looking brushed aluminium coating and angular features.

The metal shell is free from flex, and the rubber pads on the base prevent the Envy from moving around when placed on a solid surface. It’s 1.9cm thick, which makes it easy to throw into a laptop bag; but it isn't the lightest laptop, weighing just over 2kg.

In terms of connections, the Envy x360 houses one USB Type-C port, two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI connector, an SD card reader and a 3.5mm headset jack. The power button and volume rocker are located on the left of the device, making them easy to use in tablet mode. HP Envy x360

The touchscreen display is held in place with a pair of hinges that rotate nearly 360 degrees, which enable the x360 to be used as a tablet or hybrid laptop. The issue here is that the hinge can’t support the weight of that large 15.6-inch screen particularly well; the display can flop down into a lowered position when moved around.

Related: Best Laptops For Students

In addition, the screen tends to wobble when pressing on the touchscreen, which is a problem for a device that places the screen front and centre.

The usefulness of the display’s bend-ability is most stark when you just want to kick back with some Netflix in bed and try to rest the laptop, in tablet mode, on your knees. Tent mode is great for compact spaces such as trains and planes.

HP Envy x360 – Keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard, on paper, should be decent, presenting large, chiclet-style keys that are easy to find. They’re backlit, too, which makes finding the key you're after much easier in low light.

The travel distance on each key is satisfactory, but unfortunately, there isn't much tactile "feel" to them. I found myself missing a few more key presses than I'd like, which is slightly disappointing for a laptop that could otherwise be an effective work machine.HP Envy x360 1

The touchpad is also a mixed affair. The trackpad is large, with plenty of space to use the multitouch gestures. Tracking is pretty good for a laptop at this price, and while it isn't the worst I've tested, it doesn’t come close to laptops that get Microsoft-certified Precision touchpads.

The issue comes when you want to start clicking: while left-clicks work without issue, I found that right-clicks were frequently missed, even when using the two-finger method – which is frustrating.

HP Envy x360 – Audio

The Envy x360 uses Bang & Olufsen-branded speakers, and on the whole they’re pretty decent performers. Mid-tones are delivered with suitable clarity, and the high-end doesn't sound sharp – even at high volume. HP Envy x360 2

The speakers do lack a bit of punch in the low-end, however, so for music you’ll be better off with headphones. For watching YouTube or Netflix, however, the Envy does a respectable job of delivering a solid audio experience.

HP Envy x360 – Screen

While its large form factor can hamper the user experience, the screen doesn't – for the most part. The Envy comes packing a Full HD IPS display on the baseline model, which is great for a laptop at this price. The 1080p resolution will be sharp enough for all but the most demanding users, although a 4K variant is also available. HP Envy x360 4

The display delivers decent contrast, but overall colour coverage is akin to a lower-end laptop. Still, contrast is king and I have no complaints there. It’s bright, too, although it won’t do enough to overcome the reflective touch coating outdoors on a sunny day.

HP Envy x360 – Performance

While the Envy x360 is available in a range of specifications, the baseline model comes equipped with an AMD A9 APU. This dual-core processor simply isn't the fastest out there by a large margin, and the resulting performance leaves the laptop lacking.

It managed a score of 2,278 in the Geekbench 4 single-threaded tests and 3,485 in the multi-threaded tests, while in a PCMark run it achieved a score of 2,483. This makes it quite a lot slower than the significantly cheaper HP Pavilion x360 when multi-tasking; the Intel Core i3-6100U on board this significantly cheaper device has Intel Hyper-Threading, which speeds up multi-tasking performance. This makes choosing the AMD A9-powered edition of the Envy x360 a little puzzling. HP Envy x360 3

In everyday use you probably won’t notice the difference, but when rendering photos you might feel the pinch.

What really helps every day snappiness is the high-speed M.2 SSD running in the device, which achieved a read speed of 810MB/sec in the AS SSD benchmark and 136MB/sec write speeds. The write speeds are much lower than I'd expect, but system feel is defined by read speeds, and these are sky-high.

While real-world performance is more than sufficient for day-to-day use, gamers will want to look elsewhere – the Radeon graphics aren't up to the task of playing modern-day titles. In Minecraft, the frame rate displayed plenty of variance, jumping between 20 and 40 frames per second. Turn up the settings, and you really won't have a playable experience.

Using the touchscreen is a pleasure, and the responsiveness is slick in both tablet and laptop modes, but there is an issue triggering tablet mode when converting from the standard laptop stance. While it does use Windows 10's Continuum feature to switch modes, it doesn't always recognise the switch, which can be frustrating.

The x360's design also incorporates an active fan-based cooling system, which becomes audible at medium to high loads.

HP Envy x360 – Battery Life

The battery life is very respectable for a laptop of this size and price, and it shouldn't be an issue for all but the heaviest of users. In TrustedReviews’ PowerMark test – which involves 10 minutes of web browsing and 5 minutes of video – the laptop lasted 8hrs 13mins, with brightness set to 50% and key backlighting switched off. In a real-world scenario, the x360 managed around five hours of screen-on time, which is fine, if not spectacular.

Should I buy the Envy x360?

While it isn't the most powerful, nor the lightest convertible notebook on the market, the Envy x360 does just enough to differentiate itself from the Pavilion x360. This is largely down to the M.2 SSD, which helps pick up the performance shortfall caused by the processor.

The cheaper Pavilion is still probably a better buy in terms of raw value for money, but the Envy’s lighter weight and better build are big plus points.

Verdict

It isn't without flaws, but the cheapest HP Envy x360 is an attractive convertible laptop.

Overall Score

7

JonnyRingo

November 28, 2016, 10:06 am

"Trusted" reviews? More like busted reviews. The entire review is just whining about how amd sucks, yet when you try to support this by saying it's "quite a lot slower than the significantly cheaper" hp pavilion with intel processor, you shouldn't have included the link... I checked it myself and the pavilion is SLOWER on pc mark, just 39 points faster on single-threaded Geekbench and has a significant speedup only on gb multicore, which is to be expected. But that review is just as skewed as this one, in the opposite direction. Just listen to this language in your *Intel* pavilion x360 review...

"Overall performance of this laptop is absolutely fine. The Intel Core i3-6100U rattles through any task you throw at it with ease, such that only those regularly doing heavy work like editing lots of pictures and cutting together videos will find they need more power.

This is reflected in a perfectly decent PCMark 8 score of 2,163 and Geekbench 3 scores of 2,317 (single) and 5,013 (multi). It can also cope with some very light 3D gaming – a bit of Minecraft and the like – with a 3DMark score or 42,409."

Funny how you don't include 3DMark performance on the AMD though, even though you had it in your Intel review, since AMD will blow Intel out of the water on 3d performance. Go ahead, try to prove me wrong, you can't, this laptop costed slightly more than the intel one because it's slightly FASTER than the intel one, because it has better graphics. Post 3DMark benchmarks if you really think you're right, or apologize for lying to people!

...Unless maybe you're on Intel's payroll? ;)

comments powered by Disqus