There have been a few notable hybrid working ready laptops released of late and we were eager to get our hands on one of these, namely HP’s Envy x360. Not only is it a highly capable and stylish device to use at work and whilst working from home, but it is also the first AMD-powered notebook PC that we’ve reviewed.
Ryzen to the CPU occasion
Under the stylish bonnet of this laptop, resides an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U which sports eight cores and 16 threads and is partnered with AMD Radeon Graphics (Vega 2), 8 GB DDR4 RAM (can also opt for 16 GB), plus 512 GB of SSD storage.
While the Vega 2 onboard graphics might make it a tad more capable gaming wise than Intel’s XE graphics, the working professional’s best tech friend will tap into this graphical power for demanding 3D programmes and processing boost on applications like video editors.
The HP ENVY x360 Convertible 13-ay1006ni laptop is not only very slick looks wise but highly portable, measuring in at 30.65 x 19.46 x 1.64 cm and tipping the laptop scales at 1.3kg. Our review unit was operating on Windows 10 but you do have the option to upgrade to Windows 11 upon first setup.
Beyond packing some capable processing hardware, this package also sports a great display. In this instance, it is a 13.3″ diagonal FHD (1920 x 1080) multitouch-enabled
IPS edge-to-edge glass that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. Moreover, it features a good degree of brightness (400 nits) as well as really good colour saturation levels for an IPS screen (100% sRGB).
As a convertible, it can be folded back on itself to operate as a tablet, put in a tent mode for enhanced viewing, or work in a conventional notebook PC mode for content creation. The sound too from the dual speakers with HP Audio Boost is good for media consumption thanks to the speakers being tuned by the renowned Bang & Olufsen.
Not everything is sunshine and roses though, HP provides a Wide Vision HD camera with camera (WFH-approved) shutter and integrated dual array digital microphone. The one gripe we have though is that it is just a 720p web-cam when other players including even Apple are moving to 1080p webcams in the Zoom/Microsoft Teams era for superior video call quality.
Other noteworthy features is a 3-cell, 51 Wh Li-ion polymer battery that in combination with AMD’s processor results in a full working day of battery life (up to 15 hours and 30 minutes according to HP).
We also enjoyed using the full-size, back-lit, nightfall black keyboard that boasts classy back-lighting. You don’t get the most ports in all of laptopdome but you are covered with the likes of a SuperSpeed USB Type-C 10Gbps signaling rate (USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge), 2 SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps ports, an AC smart pin, and a headphone/microphone combo slot.
All of this spec- and design bang comes at a pretty penny though, in this case, amounting to a recommended retail price of R22 000. This is one laptop we were quite sad to see be recollected :(.