Review: HP Envy 13 Is A Good Laptop But Have Two Drawbacks

Published on November 27, 2019
HP Envy 13
Image Credit: ksassets.timeincuk

In the past few years, the HP Spectre x360 has been one of our favorite laptops. But this is certainly not for everyone. That’s why HP brought us the Envy 13.

We tested Envy 13’s high-end setup. It has 512 GB (SSD), 16 GB RAM storage, 8th-gen Intel Core i7-8565U Whiskey Lake, and 4K screen (3,840x 2,160). This devise costs $1,200, characterized by a list price of $1,430. You can also invest as little as $1,000 ($799 on sale) on a 256 GB SSD, 8 GB RAM, built-in graphics, a Full HD screen, and a Core i5-8265U. The Envy 13 offers a nice collection of features at $1,200 for the configuration. Is it good enough to buy than somewhat more costly laptops?


Essentially, the HP Envy 13 is the flagship computer at the mid-range premium rate for HP. It’s a step down from the line of the Spectre. But it’s not just a budget tool. Its luxury style, however, doesn’t try to imitate its more costly siblings. The Natural Silver chassis of the Envy 13 has a mixture of sharp angles and subtle curves. It is similar to the previous generation of Spectre than the newest models. Amazing wood trim versions comes in the fall under the keyboard.

Ultimately, we like the style, finding it to be more understated than the Spectre of today but still new. Although largely the same as its predecessor, to justify its price. It typically competes in its overall design with the Dell XPS 13 and Asus ZenBook 13 UX333. When we consider the build quality of the Envy 13, we begin to pick some nits. The keyboard deck and cover are just a little too versatile. The bottom of the chassis, though, is quite rigid. All the more powerful computers are the Precision x360 13, XPS 13, and ZenBook 13.

The Envy 13 size will also be a source of contention for some. HP, like some other vendors, did not embrace the tiny bezel. The side bezels of the Envy 13 are fairly thin. But the bottom and top bezels are larger than many rivals. Creating a screen-to-body ratio of 80.92 percent compared with the IdeaPad S940 and Asus ZenBook S13 of well over 90 percent.

The bezels and overall size of the Envy 13 do not make it harder to use in any given circumstances. It’s not an unbelievably small unit, but it’s small enough. Nonetheless, it’s hard for everyone to be comfortable with the laptop’s bezels. HP would seriously consider joining or facing falling the tiny-bezel party.


The keyboard of the Envy 13 feels much like the 13’s Spectre x360. It’s an island keyboard with black lettering and silver buttons. With two effective degrees of brightness, the backlight is efficient. It’s not so deep, it’s a little bit steeper. For the lengthy typing sessions, it gives a very nice keyboard. But it’s just a tiny bit of total comfort than the XPS 13 and Spectre keyboards. We also noted that on the Envy 13, the space bar is quieter than the Spectre.

Windows 10 Hello fingerprint reader offers password-less authentication service. Like the new Spectre notebooks, the keyboard deck is on the right side. It’s easy to access and works perfectly. The Envy 13 for Windows 10 Hello does not allow facial recognition.

HP brought over an attractive feature from the more costly sisters of the Envy 13. The same button for enhanced security which turns off the monitor. This functions as much as it does on the Spectres. Switch off the toggle and the camera completely disappears from the network. It is a nice solution that removes one vector of user privacy attack completely.


The Envy 13 lasted approximately three and a half hours in our most demanding web benchmark in Basemark. The Asus ZenBook 13 performed better than it for 80 minutes. The Acer Swift 3 lagged behind it with 40 minutes gap. But, with more than five hours, the Dell XPS 13 4K was much stronger.

Then, until the battery ran out, we visited a number of websites. In this situation, the Envy 13 achieved well, six and a half hours. That’s less than half an hour from the XPS 13 4K. So much less than the ZenBook S13’s eight hours. The Envy 13 shut down just after nine hours when we looped our nearby Avengers 1080p test video. Defeat the seven-hour XPS 13 4K and fall well short of both the ZenBook S13 and the Acer Swift 3. This makes sense since their Full HD displays are more effective.

The 4K version of Envy 13 will drain quickly. Therefore, if you choose the utmost of sharpness, battery won’t be sufficient for a full working day. If that matters to you, get the full HD edition. Because the resolution fall results in additional resilience for a few hours.

Final Verdict

The Envy 13 offers many good features in a low price. In reality, the Spectre 13 hasn’t been modified in quite some time and is not even mentioned on HP’s website. It has solid performance but not well for playing heavy games. If attached with a quality 4K, it can provide a good battery life but not more than a day.

The Dell XPS 13 and Asus ZenBook 13 are two good alternatives of HP Spectre 360.

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