Trying to find a budget-friendly laptop that still performs well can be a difficult task. HP’s lineup of Envy notebooks is arguably one of the best when it comes to this. The company just announced two updates to its Envy line that are attractive options for content creators.
The Envy x360 15 and Envy 17 feature modern hardware, a generous array of ports, 4K displays, and are configurable with AMD’s Ryzen graphics processors. While their specs won’t blow away devices that cost thousands of dollars, they are very respectable for the price.
Part of what makes HP’s Envy lineup attractive is the look of its devices. It only takes a moment of handling the x360 models to see that they boast a high-quality build. They feature a sleek form factor that makes them perfect for working at home or on the go. Although they don’t have the fancy edges and color pallets of HP’s Spectre line, the Envy laptops are sharp-looking devices.
The two latest releases are no different. As the names suggest, the x360 15 features a 15-inch display while the Envy 17 boasts a sizeable 17.2-inch screen. In terms of power, the two devices are fairly even, with the Envy 17 ready to configure to higher specs than its smaller counterpart.
Both devices feature a 16:9 aspect ratio with thin bezels and a generous screen-to-body ratio. The smaller 15-inch version comes in at 88.7 percent while the 17-inch model’s is 86.3 percent. It would have been nice to see HP do away with the large “chin” bezel at the bottom of the display. However, it certainly isn’t a make-or-break factor.
Both devices are available in either “natural silver” or “nightfall black.” While the names sound cool, they are essentially the same black and silver colors that we’ve seen on every laptop for the past decade. The HP Envy x360 models don’t get any points for being unique in the color department.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the smaller device is a convertible that lets you use it in laptop mode or tablet mode. The 17-inch laptop features a clamshell design that does not rotate. That’s not really an issue, though, since a 17-inch computer is a bit too big to use as a tablet anyway.
In order to make its new Envy laptops more attractive to content creators, HP decided to upgrade the display. Both models feature a full HD screen that brings photos and videos to life with incredible clarity.
Consumers who want an even better-looking device can also configure it to include a 4K OLED panel. That’s good news for anyone who needs a laptop to work on visual projects. The larger 17-inch model is outfitted to handle streaming, gaming, and light video production. Although it certainly won’t replace a desktop with a dedicated GPU, the Envy laptops are a good entry point into content creation for many consumers.
As noted, HP regularly updates the Envy line with the latest processors and hardware to keep the devices up to date. That’s the case with its latest models.
The 17-inch version ships with Intel’s 11th Gen processors. Specifically, the most expensive model boasts a Core i7-1165G7 chip. The performance improvement is noticeable compared to last year’s Envy laptops, which ran on Intel 10th Gen processors.
The 15-inch model is where things get interesting. Consumers will have the choice of either an Intel 11th Gen processor or an AMD Ryzen 7 chip. That added flexibility makes it possible to configure the laptop exactly how you want it according to your budget. The AMD model is the cheaper of the two while the entry-level Intel version costs $150 more.
On the graphics side, the new Envy devices don’t disappoint. Both can be configured up to an Nvidia MX450 graphics chip. Although it certainly raises the price, the upgrade is worth it for anyone that plans on doing intensive computing tasks like video rendering, 3D modeling work, or playing graphics-heavy games. The base models come with Intel’s Iris X graphics, which delivers respectable performance for what it is. Just don’t expect anything incredible.
The new laptops are configurable up to 1TB of PCIe SSD storage and 32GB of RAM. The base model comes with 512GB of storage and 12GB of RAM. There are also several options in between for those that want to tailor their new laptop’s specs to their needs.
HP devices tend to include a few features that make them unique and help them stand out from other laptops at similar price points. The new Envy x360 15 and Envy 17 are no exception. The 2-in-1 model comes with a magnetic active pen that attaches to the side. This is great for anyone that wants to use it as a tablet.
Although the included pen might not be good enough for digital artists, it is certainly capable of everyday drawing and writing.
Meanwhile, both models feature a larger touchpad than their predecessors. It is roughly 19 percent bigger, giving users more space to move around.
There’s also a new feature called Enhanced Lighting. Essentially, it turns the display into a selfie light to improve your picture quality during video calls. In today’s age of constant Zoom meetings, that’s a welcome addition.
Finally, HP is launching a new wireless mouse that works on three devices simultaneously. While that isn’t something everyone needs, it is nice for creators working on multiple machines. The mouse connects via USB-A or Bluetooth. It features seven programmable buttons, giving users even more flexibility.
As noted, HP’s Envy devices have a reputation for being budget-friendly. That doesn’t change with the latest additions to its lineup. The x360 15-inch model starts at $750 for the AMD version and $900 for the Intel equivalent. Meanwhile, the 17-inch laptop starts at $1,000.
Those are very reasonable prices considering the amount of computing power you’re getting. If you’re in search of a new device, HP’s new Envy laptops might be worth a look. Both models will start shipping in April.