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Storage, Battery Life, Great Buy
Moving on from discussing Ryzen Mobile, let's look at storage performance. Inside the HP Envy x360 is a Samsung PM961 PCIe NVMe SSD, and it provides really solid performance across sequential and random transfer tests. It's not as fast as the very latest Samsung SSDs, but it still performs very well, certainly outperforming SATA SSDs you often see in mid-tier products.
Inside the Envy x360 is a 53 Wh battery, which is a typical size for a 13-inch ultraportable and delivers decent battery life. You aren't going to get blown away by what this system offers - systems with larger batteries like the LG Gram and Dell XPS 13 still outperform the Envy x360 in our tests - but for a laptop with a more powerful APU and a touchscreen, I'm happy with the battery results.
All up, the Envy x360 13 is a highly impressive device, particularly when you factor in the price. I'm actually a little amazed that for just $700 you can this great metal chassis with a 360-degree hinge, an acceptable 1080p touch display with a pen in the box, and most importantly, the power of the Ryzen 5 2500U complemented by 8GB of RAM and 256GB of fast SSD storage.
This device could genuinely be a flagship product, yet HP is perfectly content to sell it in the mid-range with a very attractive price. Those that are performance junkies in particular will love this device, as the Ryzen 5 2500U provides CPU performance around the mark of the Core i5-8250U in most benchmarks, yet it absolutely smashes the Intel offering in GPU performance with a much faster integrated Vega GPU. This makes it a great system for those that want to smash out some documents or photo editing, and then play a bit of Fortnite on the side.
This isn't to say the device is perfect, because no laptop is perfect. Battery life could be a bit better, though it's fine for most users; the fan does get quite loud under load; and there are still a few oddities with Ryzen Mobile like the lack of driver updates and the odd app that is incompatible or performs unusually poorly.
But we think when you can get what the Envy x360 13 inch provides for $700 (there's also a Ryzen 3 $599 configuration available on HP.com at the moment), you'll be hard pressed to find a more attractive system on the market. I'd easily recommend this for students, or really for anyone that wants a bang-for-your-buck ultraportable. It's a far better system than the 15-inch Envy x360 we looked at earlier in the year, too, which came as a pleasant surprise.
- HP Envy x360 13 on HP.com
Pros: Excellent performance from a 13-inch ultraportable laptop. Outstanding value for money. Metal build is on-par with flagship devices. Great keyboard and I/O options.
Cons: Battery life could be better. Runs a bit loud.