HP Envy x360 15 (2021) evaluation: A giant convertible that ticks the best packing containers

The HP Envy x360 15 is one thing of an odd duck within the laptop computer world. You don’t see a variety of 15-inch laptops with touchscreens that flip into pill mode, maybe due to the efficiency and weight compromises. Laptops of this measurement additionally usually embrace discrete graphics playing cards, whereas most Envy x360 15 variants don’t.

Nonetheless, the Envy x360 15 manages to carry its personal. Its $1,000 record worth is affordable given its specs. Even when the convertible design isn’t of a lot curiosity, the Envy x360 15 continues to be value contemplating as a pretty 15-inch laptop computer on this worth vary.

This evaluation is a part of our ongoing roundup of one of the best laptops. Go there for info on competing fashions and the way we examined them.

There’s one caveat: On the time this evaluation posted, the obtainable Envy x360 15 fashions supplied a show with a most brightness of 250 nits. The display within the one we examined has a most brightness of 400 nits. As an example, this comparable mannequin that’s $990 at Greatest PurchaseTake away non-product hyperlink has the dimmer show. Blame the pandemic for provide and transport points. Any Envy x360 15 you purchase ought to perform about the identical in any other case, however chances are you’ll wish to watch for the brighter display should you work outdoor or in brilliant indoor situations.

Tech specs

Our HP Envy x360 15 evaluation unit, which lists for $1,000 on HP.com (when obtainable), contains the next specs:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U
  • Reminiscence: 16GB DDR4-3200
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Show: 15.6-inch 1080p touchscreen (400 nits’ most brightness)
  • Webcam: 720p 
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Connectivity, left aspect: USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 (SuperSpeed 10Gbps), USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 (SuperSpeed 5Gbps), headphone jack, HDMI 2.0
  • Connectivity, proper aspect: Energy adapter, USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 (SuperSpeed 5Gbps), SD card reader
  • Dimensions: 14.13 x 8.98 x 0.72 inches
  • Weight: 4.11 kilos (4.71 with energy brick)
hpenvyx360right Jared Newman / IDG

No dongles needed right here; the full-sized SD card slot permits you to again up your digicam photographs at will.

Like many different HP laptops, the Envy x360 15 is extremely configurable. There are variations with as little as 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and with the 250-nit and 400-nit show choices, as famous above. Intel variants can be found as nicely, together with ones with Nvidia GeForce MX450 graphics.

Some fashions even have devoted quantity pads—our unit doesn’t—and HP continues to promote fashions with AMD’s Ryzen 4000-series CPUs. (Word, nevertheless, that the 5700U CPU reviewed right here makes use of AMD’s older Zen 2 structure.) Pay extra-close consideration to the configuration you’re shopping for, because the tech specs and corresponding expertise can fluctuate.

hpenvyx360left Jared Newman / IDG

HDMI 2.0 is a pleasant inclusion, letting you hook as much as 4K TVs and displays with out challenge.

One fixed: All of the laptops have nice port picks, together with two high-speed USB-A ports, USB-C, HDMI 2.0, and a full-sized SD card slot. HP’s inclusion of a 65W barrel charger is a bit disappointing provided that that is nonetheless a comparatively light-weight PC, however the laptop computer does settle for a cost through its sole USB-C port should you carry your individual charger.

Design and show

In comparison with HP’s high-end Spectre sequence, Envy laptops are usually extra reserved of their designs. There’s no “gem-cut” sample or gold trim, however you continue to get a sturdy aluminum chassis and edge-to-edge show glass. Our unit got here in darkish grey, although HP additionally sells variations in silver and pale gold.

At 4.11 kilos, the Envy is significantly heavier and bulkier than convertible laptops with 13- or 14-inch shows, and it gained’t match simply into small-to-medium journey baggage. Meaning you should assume lengthy and onerous about whether or not the additional display actual property is definitely worth the sacrifice in portability.

hpenvyx360tablet Jared Newman / IDG

The Envy x360 15’s touchscreen can fold all the way in which again into pill mode—a rarity on laptops of this measurement.

The show has its ups and downs. All Envy x360 fashions embrace 1920×1080 decision screens, with no choices for 1440p or 4K. You’ll discover the pixilation on that 15-inch panel greater than you’d on laptops with smaller screens. The show touts 100-percent sRGB colour gamut assist, nevertheless, and the height brightness of 400 nits on our unit is simply sufficient to remain legible outdoor on a sunny day. 

Keyboard and trackpad

Typing is a pleasure on the HP Envy x360’s backlit keyboard. The keys give off a satisfying tactile bump, they usually actuate even should you hit simply the nook of a key together with your fingernail. Meaning you gained’t run into typing errors by not hitting a key at useless middle. It’s not a very silent typing expertise, although: Whereas the principle keys are quiet, the spacebar and backspace keys are on the clicky aspect.

Once more, word that our evaluation unit has no numerical pad, so the keyboard is centered with audio system on both aspect. Excel execs might wish to search out the alternate keyboard, however the design on our unit is significantly better for on a regular basis writing, and southpaws might admire its centered trackpad.

hpenvyx360keys Jared Newman / IDG

The Envy x360 15 keyboard has an amazing format and is cozy to sort on, offered you don’t want a quantity pad.

HP must also get some credit score for stretching its trackpad to reap the benefits of the 15-inch laptop computer’s giant footprint. Whereas the press mechanism has the identical affliction as most Home windows laptops do—it will get more durable to click on close to the highest edge—that turns into much less of a difficulty when you’ve gotten extra floor space to click on on within the first place. The trackpad additionally has a super-smooth floor and helps Microsoft’s Precision Touchpad options, equivalent to three-finger swipes to reveal the desktop or the multitasking menu.

Webcam, safety, audio

Now we get to the a part of the evaluation that’s just about the identical throughout all higher-end Home windows laptops. Middling 720p webcam? Test. Fingerprint reader? Test. Privateness shutter for the digicam? Test.

Sure, the HP Envy x360 15 has all of these issues, although it’s value noting the actual means HP implements its privateness options: As an alternative of a shutter that you just bodily slide over the digicam, the Envy x360 15 keyboard has handy kill swap keys for each the digicam and the microphone. Hitting the previous does in actual fact throw up a visual cowl over the webcam, whereas the latter quantities to a straightforward technique to mute your self on Zoom calls. Each keys even have indicator lights to forestall unintentional muting.

hpenvyx360camera Jared Newman / IDG

Press the keyboard’s digicam kill swap, and a white cowl pops into place.

As for audio, the Envy x360’s audio system pack an honest punch, although they don’t sound significantly crisp and also you gained’t discover an enormous bass response. The laptop computer’s twin microphones are extra of a standout, producing loud and clear audio for videoconferencing.

A bloatware disclaimer

Whereas preloaded software program is a typical a part of the Home windows laptop computer expertise, HP nonetheless deserves some scorn for having extra annoying bloatware than most. After setup, you’re bombarded with annoying notifications, together with a nag to make use of Dropbox and an try to vary your default search engine. McAfee antivirus is pre-loaded, however merely uninstalling the core program doesn’t take away all the corporate’s software–you need to take away a separate Net Advisor program to maintain the corporate from scanning your downloads. The corporate additionally seems so as to add its personal bookmarks to Microsoft Edge.

All these annoyances could be eliminated, in fact, however they make an in any other case nice laptop computer really feel decidedly user-hostile out of the gate. HP ought to actually think about scaling again some of these things.


AMD isn’t any bit participant within the HP Envy x360 15 expertise. In our evaluation unit, the Ryzen 7 5700U CPU turned in spectacular benchmark scores for productiveness, and the built-in Radeon graphics can deal with some light-weight 3D gaming.

In PCMark 10, which simulates a spread of productiveness duties, the Envy x360 15 maintained a slight edge over a number of laptops with Intel’s Eleventh-gen Core i7 processors, with a rating of 5,337. Curiously, the Envy x360 posted a subpar rating within the “Video Modifying” part of this benchmark—3,577, versus 4,769 for HP’s Intel-powered Spectre x360. Different benchmarks that observe appear to save lots of this content material creation laptop computer’s fame.

hpenvyx36015pcmark10 Jared Newman / IDG

The HP Envy x360 15’s Ryzen 7 CPU edges out a number of Intel machines in PCMark10’s productiveness check.

The Envy x360 15 made remarkably fast work of encoding a big video file utilizing the free HandBrake utility. It acquired the job carried out in 26 minutes and 15 seconds, greater than 10 minutes quicker than equally outfitted laptops with Intel Core i7 processors. Ryzen’s eight-core processor ought to make it well-suited for video encoding, and the bigger chassis offers it extra room to disperse warmth throughout heavy workloads in comparison with 13- or 14-inch laptops. Word that HP additionally contains air vents alongside the Envy x360 15’s again edge, which retains the laptop computer from blowing an excessive amount of sizzling air onto your lap.

hpenvyx36015handbrake Jared Newman / IDG

For video encoding, the eight cores of Ryzen 7 demolish quad-core Intel processors.

If HandBrake is a marathon, Cinebench is a dash, a burst of CPU exercise that we check in each single-threaded mode, which displays the wants of most mainstream functions, and multi-threaded mode, which resembles the calls for of extra intensive functions equivalent to video enhancing. To its credit score, the laptop computer’s multi-threaded rating was nicely past that of any Intel-powered laptop computer. Single-threaded efficiency fell again to the center of the pack.

hpenvyx36015cinebench Jared Newman / IDG

The HP Envy x360 15 shines in Cinebench’s multi-threaded check, although single-threaded efficiency is common.

For gaming, machines with Intel Xe graphics keep an edge over the Envy x360’s built-in Radeon, as you possibly can see in 3DMark’s Time Spy check. Even so, HP’s laptop computer can eke out some gaming in a pinch should you handle your expectations. Fortnite ran at a {smooth} 60 frames per second for me at 1080p with medium graphics settings. To my shock, Hideo Kojima’s post-apocalyptic head-trip Dying Stranding was simply barely playable at 720p on low settings.

hpenvyx36015timespy Jared Newman / IDG

Each Intel and AMD speak an enormous sport about their built-in graphics as of late, so we couldn’t resist throwing in a discrete GPU for comparability.

Simply don’t anticipate stellar battery life. The HP Envy x360 15 lasted for 10 hours and 5 minutes in our looping video rundown check. That’s not dangerous for a 15-inch laptop computer, however you possibly can see from our comparability chart how smaller laptops are likely to last more, even with comparable battery sizes. (Each the Envy x360 15 and the Envy 14 have design capacities of roughly 51Whr, but the smaller laptop computer lasted 5 hours longer.)

hpenvyx36015battery Jared Newman / IDG

Ten hours of looping video playback ought to equate to a having a piece of your workday on battery energy, however you’ll in all probability want a top-up towards the top.

All this provides as much as a stable worth for a 15-inch laptop computer, particularly while you issue within the 16GB of RAM and 512GB of stable state storage as reviewed. The HP Envy x360 15 performs nicely, has a pretty design, and contains each an amazing keyboard and a pleasant array of ports. The convertible touchscreen is simply icing, even when it provides a little bit of bulk.

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