Envy HP 13 Review. The HP Envy 13 is a laptop to take into account if you need something that looks lovely but isn’t too expensive.
In this regard, it’s similar to the MacBook Air. Not cheap, not high-end, and not a bad computer to use on a daily basis. And, as you might expect, the HP Envy 13 is significantly less expensive than the MacBook Air.
There is only one significant criticism. The HP Envy 13 2021, like the previous generation, has a polycarbonate touchpad rather than a glass one.
HP may have chosen plastic to maintain an obvious build quality gap between both the Envy and the more expensive Spectre series. Or, more likely, to keep costs down.
Envy HP 13 Review: Price and Availability
I’m looking at the HP Envy 13 2021 model. It has an Intel 11th-generation CPU. If you come across that processor production while shopping, you’ll know we’re discussing the same laptop.
The HP Envy 13 with just a Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, and the Nvidia MX450 GPU costs £899/$899/€999. The 512GB SSD rounds out a great value package.
A £1199/$1199/€1499 Envy 13 with a Core i7 CPU, 1TB storage, and 16GB RAM is also available. While that is a reasonable upgrade, going to have to pay £1200 for a polycarbonate touchpad laptop does not sit well with me.
Envy HP 13 Review: Design
- The aluminum designs look premium and strong.
- It weighs only 1.3kg, making it easy to transport.
- The keyboard is excellent, but the trackpad is made of plastic.
The Envy 13 is HP’s entry-level ultraportable laptop. It lacks the Envy x360’s 360-degree hinge as well as the Spectre series’ design flashiness.
But if you’re looking for a portable desktop workstation, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. The HP Envy 13 looks and feels fantastic.
All of its body panels are silver aluminum, making it appear much nicer than some of the magnesium carbon steel laptops that cost significantly more. Magnesium sacrifices much of the metallic vibe of metal in exchange for lighter weight, and I’m not always convinced it’s a worthwhile trade for everyone.
The HP Envy 13 isn’t much heavier either. It weighs 1.3kg and has a small footprint thanks to its widescreen screen and small-ish screen borders.
Something about high-quality all-aluminum laptops such as the HP Envy 13 reminds you of their worth every time you sit down to work on them. The more substantiative build quality factors are all positive as well. It has a stiff screen and a keyboard that does not bend under finger pressure.
Envy HP 13 Review: Screen
- The screen on the HP Envy 13 has a resolution of 1080p.
- The screen is sufficiently bright for outdoor use.
- The contrast is outstanding, but the color accuracy is not.
- The screen is the first indication that the HP Envy 13 isn’t a low-cost laptop. Even these, however, necessitate a trained eye.
This is a 1080p 13.3-inch screen, which is typical for a laptop under £1000. A 4K screen would appear sharper, but the update is arguably not good enough to justify it for most users, as higher resolution has a significant impact on battery life. Only the MacBook Air, with a 1600p resolution, finds a nice comfortable middle ground.
Color is the mid-range “tell” I was referring to. The HP Envy 13 meets 100% (well, 99.8%) of the sRGB color standard, but only 79.3% of DCI P3 as well as 74.7% of Adobe RGB.
What exactly does this mean? It provides a good indication of a display’s color accuracy. While sRGB is the traditional laptop standard, DCI P3 is quickly has become the standard for high-end phones, laptops, and tablets. Its colors are deeper, resulting in a richer, more punchy picture.
However, the wide gamut color requires a higher price. It’s also missing from the MacBook Air. And, personally, I’m completely satisfied with the color coverage of the Envy 13. This is aided by a very high contrast ratio of 1675:1.
With a peak brightness of 423 nits, it is more than adequate for outdoor use. I wrote a portion of this review while sitting in the park with my legs folded and the HP Envy 13 laying down on a rucksack. Despite the glossy surface, pins and needles were not an issue, but seeing what I had written was.
Because the HP Envy has a glass-topped touchscreen, a glossy finish is unavoidable.
Envy HP 13 Review: Performance
The Intel i5 processor is adequate for basic productivity tasks.
The Nvidia GPU enables entry-level gaming performance.
I have the mid-range HP Envy 13, which provides the best balance of performance and cost for most people. It has an 11th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD.
The Intel Core i5 processor is slightly slower than the Core i7 chipset discovered in the Dell XPS 13 and the Ryzen 7 CPU found in the Lenovo Yoga Slim 7. But it won’t make much of a difference for the kinds of basic productivity jobs that a slim, as well as light laptop, is well-suited to.
The HP Envy 13 places the budget in which the non-tech crowd can see it most clearly, which is something to be celebrated. To begin, this laptop features an Nvidia MX450 graphics chipset.
Let’s compare this to the main processor’s Intel Xe graphics, which is far more powerful than what you’d find in most slim laptops from earlier generations. In 3DMark’s Time Spy test, the Nvidia MX450 outperforms the Intel Xe by 66%.
This also indicates the type of gaming performance you can expect. The Witcher 3 runs smoothly at 1080p with the graphics settings set to Medium. If you can tolerate frame rate would drop into the 20s, you can even employ ‘High’ graphics.
The HP Envy 13’s fans make a primarily innocuous noise when stressed, a constant “fffft” of air rather than sounding as if the laptop is just about to take off. However, it does not take much for the fans to become involved. When trying to deal with something very light, such as writing a document, a couple of browser active window panes and a folder download can do it at times.
Under heavy load, the HP Envy 13 isn’t overly loud, but you might wish the fans didn’t start up so quickly. It appears to be quieter when running on battery power because the laptop’s processor is limited to prolong charge, reducing the amount of heat produced.
Envy HP 13 Review: Battery
In our benchmark tests, the battery lasted 12 hours.
AMD and Apple processors have higher battery efficiency.
The HP Envy 13 does have a 51Wh battery, which is comparable to the Dell XPS 13’s capacity (52Wh).
HP claims a 10-hour battery life or 16 hours and 45 minutes of video streaming. When streaming a youtube clip over YouTube, I discovered that it lasts 12 hours and 15 minutes, implying that HP’s numbers allude to a much lower brightness down than our 150cd/m standard.
Still, this demonstrates that the general 10-hour figure is attainable if you don’t put too much strain on the HP Envy 13. It’s typical endurance for a laptop of this size. The Lenovo Yoga 7 Slim, and it has a bigger battery as well as an AMD Ryzen processor, and even the MacBook Air will produce better results.
MacBooks are currently unrivaled in terms of battery life under heavy loads. The HP Envy 13 has a battery life of about 3 hours under heavy load, which is nowhere near that of a MacBook. Nonetheless, I’d be content to utilize the HP Envy 13 as my primary work PC.
The HP Envy 13 (2021) is an excellent value laptop with excellent build quality as well as skilled performance, despite costing significantly less than the Dell XPS 13 and Apple MacBook.
It lacks a few of the more expensive features available elsewhere, including a glass trackpad, convertible design, and high-resolution display but it does everything so well that it’s difficult to complain.