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HP Envy 13 Review: Beautiful design, decent hardware, great price

By Scorpus
Mar 25, 2016
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  1. Most of the 13-inch laptops I’ve reviewed over the past few years have been high-end options, typically starting at or above $1,000. Usually you’d get pretty decent hardware and features for this price, including metal bodies, gorgeous high-resolution displays, and powerful Intel Core i5 or i7 processors.

    But for many people, spending $1,000 on a laptop is not feasible, even if high-end hardware is important. This is where the HP Envy 13 comes in: it packs hardware that’s comparable to a $1,000 laptop in a MacBook Air-like package, complete with a price that starts at just $800. In some ways, the Envy is the budget high-end laptop that price-conscious shoppers may be after.

    For $800, you get a very respectable collection of hardware. On the processor side, it’s equipped with an Intel ‘Skylake’ Core i5-6200U, paired with 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB solid state drive. The display is a 13.3-inch 1080p IPS LCD, although for just $50 (a bargain in the PC space) you can upgrade that to a high-resolution QHD+ panel.

    In other markets, such as Australia, there’s an even cheaper model available with a Core i3-6100U and just 4 GB of RAM. That’s the model I have on hand for review, and it will be interesting to see how the weaker hardware on offer stacks up.

    Read the complete review.

     
  2. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    If only a Windows ultrabook would use Intel Iris. That's consistently been one of the areas where Apple has had a pretty significant advantage over Windows ultrabooks.
     
  3. darkzelda

    darkzelda TS Addict Posts: 251   +86

    You guys should review the newest version of the Asus Ux305. It seems to me like a better value overall.
     
  4. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Guru Posts: 368   +320

    But that would make too much sense, like putting a good trackpad on a laptop, or making a machine with no problems or major downsides.
     
  5. CortyDK

    CortyDK TS Booster Posts: 74   +36

    I think this review is right on par. The i3/4Gb variant is perfect for the everyday pc user for whom facebook games and youtube is the hardest job they will use the computer for. And they get a nicely designed laptop for a fair price. Nowadays, just about any hardware configuration is powerful enough for mail/surf and writing the occasional document. Even the most pitiful atom processor and 2 Gigs of Ram can handle that.

    Anybody who uses heavy video- or photoediting already knows their own baseline hardwarespecs, and I agree, you need more RAM and a i5 or i7 CPU.

    I bought a cheap plastic hp laptop in 2014 (About 400$). Core i5-4210u, 4 Gb Ram, onboard intel graphics, 13,3" 1366x768 screen, and a standard HDD which I immediately cloned and replaced with a 120Gb Samsung EVO840 SSD (30$). I juse this laptop for basic use, mail, webbank, writing documents and keeping budgets in spreadsheets, occasional light surfing, musicstreaming. The i5 has plenty power. 4Gb is adequate, as the small screen does not invite to multitask. The SSD gives ne ample storage as I store all data on an external USB3 drive. Batterylife is +9 hours. So it is a question of what you need it for that dictates the relevancy of powerful hardware.

    My recent mITX build that I use for videoediting is powered by a Core i7-6700 Skylake. H170 mobo, 32 Gigs of Ram, SSD+HDD, Bluray optical drive, Geforce GTX950Ti 2Gb (Windforce edition). Noctua coolers all around (CPU and case fans). This machine runs circles around my laptop, but would be overkill to turn on just to read or write an email.
     
    darkzelda likes this.

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