HP Envy x360 13 (2022) First Impressions

Posted on November 6, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Hardware, Mobile, Windows 11 with 2 Comments

The mid-market Envy lineup has long been the sweet spot in HP’s family of PC products, and the Envy x360 13 is a great example of why that’s so: with its premium look and feel, the Envy x360 13 seems more expensive than it is. And, as a convertible PC, it can be used in a variety of configurations.

I like the Envy’s understated look—I especially like the ENVY logo on one of the display hinges—and its solid, all-aluminum build quality. It can be had in bland silver like all other laptops or in the classy blue/black of the review unit. The latter is my preference.

There are two 12th-Gen Intel Core U-Series processor choices—a Core i5-1230U or a Core i7-1250U—on hand and each can be paired with 8 or 16 GB of soldered RAM and 512 GB or 1 TB of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage. The review unit is the highest-end configuration with a Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of storage.

But the biggest change this year is with the displays. As we’ve seen with more premium PCs, HP is bringing superior 16:10 aspect ratio displays down to the mid-market Envy lineup. And this PC can be configured with one of three panels, each of which is 13.3-inches on the diagonal: a Full HD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS panel with 400 nits of brightness, a WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS panel with 400 nits of brightness, or a 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED panel with low blue light and 400 nits of brightness. The review unit includes the OLED panel and it looks fantastic. But the bezels aren’t particularly small, offering an unexceptional 86.5 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Expansion is reasonable given the thinness of the Envy. There is a combo headphone/microphone jack, an SD card slot, and a single full-sized USB-A (10 Gbps) port on the left.

And on the right, you’ll find two USB4/Thunderbolt 4 (Type C, 40 Gbps) ports and a second full-sized USB-A (10 Gbps) port. Both of the USB-A ports feature a drop-draw bottom hinge.

The keyboard seems excellent in my early testing, but I would have preferred a column of Home, End PgUp, and PgDn keys, and there’s no fingerprint reader in the keyboard for some reason, a troubling omission.

There are, however, dedicated keys for microphone mute and camera shutter, which is the desired configuration.

The precision touchpad is large, given the size of the PC. It seems fine so far, but I can already see that I’ll be disabling three- and four-finger gestures.

HP includes an HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen with each Envy x360 13, and it’s a nice, full-sized smart pen and not a tiny stylus. But don’t try attaching it to the side of the Envy, as the magnetic hold is particularly weak.

Connectivity is modern, with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2. But the webcam is a mixed bag: it supports Windows Hello facial recognition, which is nice, but it’s an old-school 720p camera and not a more acceptable 1080p or 5 MP unit. This is one area where the Envy’s lower cost could come back to haunt you a bit, but the camera quality looked pretty good during a quick test. I’ll spend more time with it.

HP includes one of its standard 65-watt power supplies and you can allegedly charge the Envy x360 13 to 50 percent in about 45 minutes. Portability seems decent: the Envy is a bit heavy at 2.95 pounds but it is quite thin for a convertible (about 0.63 inches at the thickest). Fan noise has been minimal so far.

The Envy x360 13 is the first review PC I’ve received that arrived with Windows 11 version 22H2, and it was upgraded from Windows 11 Home to Pro. But HP continues to bog down its consumer and prosumer PCs with far too much crapware—McAfee LiveSafe and Personal Security, Adobe Offers, Amazon.com, Booking.com, Dropbox Promotion, a superfluous Simple Solitaire game, and others—and about 15 HP bundled utilities.

The Envy x360 13 starts at about $900 for a configuration with a Core i5 (U-series) processor, 8 GB of RAM, 512 GB of storage, and a Full HD+ display. The review unit, with its upgraded processor, RAM, storage, and display—and that bump from Windows 11 Home to Pro—costs about $1370. These seem like reasonable prices for the quality I see here.

More soon.

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