HP Envy 13: Fairly good laptop if cost doesn’t bother you (Tech Review)

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Heating up the race of thin, lightweight and high-performance laptops, HP Inc’s latest offering – ultrabook Envy 13 – may take Indian consumers by surprise with its looks.

A notebook with comfortable keyboard, decent speakers and a fingerprint sensor, the Rs.70,000 (starting price) machine does have visual similarities with Apple’s MacBook range.

What works for it?

First of all, the look of Envy 13 with 13.3-inch display will win your heart. The all-silver look makes it stand out among other similar-range machines (even if you are a black machine lover, give it a try).

The connectivity options in aluminium-made Envy 13 comprise three USB ports, an HDMI port, a single audio jack and a 2-in-1 memory card reader on the sides.

The keyboard is small but the keys have a nice width, making it nice to work with. The centre-aligned trackpad did not bother to come in the way while I was typing.

HP also pulled off well in adjusting the keyboard, trackpad and two front-facing Bang and Olufsen speakers (on either side of the keyboard) and coming out clean with the placement of the fingerprint scanner — all on the front platform.

The machine is packed with Windows 10 Home edition with 8GB RAM and 250GB disk space (SSD) and runs on Intel CORE i7-6500U processor clocked at 2.5 Ghz.

The 1,366×768 display worked well for me. I could simply tell the difference between various videos and their qualities. Like for “Coldplay’s Hymn for the Weekend,” I could easily differentiate between the fireworks and the detail of patterns in the video played at different resolutions.

The 1.2 kg and nearly 12 mm thick unit worked well with 1080p video (“Redfoo’s New Thang”) with a better sound quality.

Moreover, the dark-themed scenes shot in low-light conditions come out quite well.

The battery was fully charged in an hour and 43 minutes and gave about four hours of backup; I watched all four episodes of “Game of Thrones season 6” in one go.

The Envy 13 notebook is a charm to work with while handling multiple windows and apps. With Intel’s HD 520 graphics, the machine delivers above average graphic performance.

We also played a couple of games of “FIFA 16” and playing the big game on a small display was a sheer pleasure.

What doesn’t work?

Although the machine delivered a surround sound with the ergonomic placement of the speakers, the level or volume was quite low. No thump and less base was a downer for me.

Another important point is the placement of heat vents. They are placed below the unit and will create discomfort if you work while keeping the machine on your lap. (I recommend not to keep the notebook on your lap for long)

Verdict: It was the love at the first sight. So if you can bear the cost, go for the machine as it beats Apple Macbook Air in aesthetics.

(Sourabh Kulesh can be contacted at sourabh.k@ians.in <mailto:sourabh.k@ians.in>)

–IANS

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