HP Envy x360 15 (AMD) review: Creative performance for $1,000?


Fast performance can be very costly for content creation. This is especially true on laptops.

HP’s Envy x360 15, powered by AMD Ryzen, is the antidote to that problem. The overall design has been revamped, and HP now positions the 15-inch 2-in-1 – like other Envy machines, including the Envy 14 and Envy 15 – as a machine built specifically for creators.

I reviewed a $1,000 configuration equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD), and a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display in an increasingly obsolete 16:9 aspect ratio . Ratio. That’s an attractive price for a powerful laptop on paper. Does the Envy x360 15 really live up to its promise of being a manufacturer’s dream machine?

design

Mark Koppock/Nerdshala

Like other recent Envy machines, the Envy x360 15 was designed with a minimalist aesthetic. Most likely, it differs from HP’s Specter line, which uses a gem-cut chassis and colorful chrome edges to make a strong fashion statement. The Envy x360 15 is pretty simple, with a similar Nightfall Black color which, to my eyes, looks brown in some lighting, rounded edges, and no other accents on any chamfered edges. The only splash of color is the gold HP logo on the lid. Like the Envy 14, Envy 15, and Lenovo’s Yoga line, it’s an attractive laptop that won’t announce itself to the crowd.

Also, like the rest of the envy line, envy x360 15 Made of stamped aluminum, another distinguishing feature of the CNC machined aluminum used in Specters. Still, the Envy x360 15 feels sturdy, with no bend in the lid and just a little keyboard flex. It’s not quite as solid as the Specter x360 15 or the Dell XPS 15, but it still feels like a premium laptop. The lid is rather tight, requiring two hands to open, but it holds the display in place in clamshell, tent, media, and tablet modes.

In terms of its size, the Envy x360 15 benefits from an 88.7% screen-to-body ratio, which means its bezels are noticeably smaller around all the edges. The chin is a bit big, but that’s to be expected with the 360-degree convertible. It’s not quite as chiseled as the Specter x360 15, with a 90% screen-to-body ratio, but it’s close enough.

It’s only slightly wider and taller than its more premium sibling, and it’s 0.72 inches thick and weighs 4.11 pounds—significantly thinner and lighter than the Specter’s 0.76 inches and 4.81 pounds. Some of that weight difference is due to battery capacity, where the Envy x360 15 has just 51 watt-hours compared to the Specter’s 84 watt-hours. By comparison, the Dell XPS 15 is also 0.71 inches thick and weighs 4.5 pounds with its 97 watt-hour battery. The Envy x360 15 is a reasonably sized 15-inch 2-in-1, but it’ll still be cumbersome in tablet mode.

There’s plenty of connectivity, with a USB-A 3.1 port, a full-size HDMI 2.0 port, a USB-C 3.1 port, and audio jack on the left, and another USB-A 3.1 port and a full-size SD card. Reader on the right. Unfortunately, there’s no Thunderbolt 4 support given the AMD chipset, limiting flexibility and performance. Wireless connectivity is Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 via the Intel AX200 radio.

Display

Mark Koppock/Nerdshala

AMD’s Latest Ryzen CPUs have been top performers in CPU-intensive tasks, and I was eager to put the Ryzen 7 5700U through its paces. I expected solid CPU performance and GPU performance in line with Intel’s Iris XE, and that’s pretty much what I got. Note that HP’s Command Center utility providing different display settings didn’t have much effect on the Envy x360 15 (compared to the Specter x360 14, which was much faster in “Performance” mode), and so I’m not mentioning them. am settings in this review.

Starting with Geekbench 5, the Envy x360 15 scored the second highest in the multi-core test among our comparison group in the table below. Only the MacBook Pro 13 with Apple’s M1 ARM CPU was faster, and no Intel-based laptop was even close. As usual, things were a little different in the single-core test, where Intel’s chips outperformed everyone except the Ryzen 7 5800U and Apple M1.

In the PCMark 10 Complete benchmark, the Envy x360 15 came in second again, this time behind the Asus ZenBook 13 OLED running the Ryzen 7 5800U. That’s thanks to a higher score in the content creation portion of the test, where only the Intel 45-watt H-series CPUs scored better. The Ryzen 7 5700U beats the entire field of U-series Tiger Lake laptops.

In our more real-world Handbrake test, which converts 420MB of video to H.265, the Envy x360 15 was the fastest machine, surpassing even the ZenBook 13 OLED with its faster Ryzen 7 chip. It was twice as fast as the HP Specter x360 14 and about 80 seconds faster than the Dell XPS 13. And in Cinebench 23, the Envy x360 15 was the fastest laptop we’ve tested, period — including H-series laptops. Simply put, if you’re running CPU-dependent content creation applications, the Envy x360 15 is a great machine at your disposal.

The same can’t be said for the Pugetbench benchmarks that use Premiere Pro to run through a range of video editing tasks. Here, the Envy x360 15 only achieved a score of 185. The Samsung Galaxy Book Pro 360 with Core i7-1165G7 and Intel Iris Xe graphics scored 241, while the HP Envy 14 with Core i5-1135G7 and Nvidia GeForce 1650 Ti Max scored. -Q GPU scored a very high 432.

Clearly, Intel and Adobe have worked together to optimize Premiere Pro for Intel chips, and the test absolutely benefits from a faster GPU. The latter is probably true for any application that can use the GPU to speed up processes.

Geekbench (Single/Multi)Handbrake (sec)Sinbench R23 (Single/Multi)PCMark 103DMark Time Detective
hp envy x360 15
(Ryzen 7 5700U)
1198/67901161258/813154191471
Asus ZenBook 13 OLED
(Ryzen 7 5800U
1423/67581241171/782460341342
Lenovo Yoga 9i
(Core i7-10750H)
1285/55511441141/6400/651733487
hp specter x360 14
(Core i7-1165G7)
1214/4172361389 /394147281457
HP Envy 15 (Core i7-10750H)1274/5542139n/an/a5123
macbook pro 13 (M1)1707/7337n/a1487/7547n/an/a
Dell 13 XPs (Core i7-1185G7)1549/54312041399/4585n/a1380

The Ryzen CPUs are also limited in gaming, thanks to integrated Radeon graphics that are nearly as fast in 3DMark Time Spy benchmarks as the Intel Iris Xe. i ran too fortnite, where the Envy x360 15 managed 25 frames per second (fps) at 1080p and higher and 16 fps with epic graphics. That’s within a few fps of a Tiger Lake laptop with Intel Iris XE graphics, which means the Envy x360 15 isn’t really meant for gaming.

Display

Mark Koppock/Nerdshala

Along with performance, an excellent display with detailed and accurate colors will be on any content maker’s wish list. The Envy x360 15, therefore, should offer just that if it wants to target creative types.

Unfortunately, the 2-in-1’s IPS Full HD display — which I believe is a very low resolution for a 15-inch display — falls short. Such was the case with the Envy 14 (though that machine benefited from a 16:10 aspect ratio), which was an excellent manufacturer’s workstation in many other ways. Like that laptop, the Envy x360 15’s display suffered from colors that are pretty detailed at 71% of AdobeRGB and 95% of sRGB for a premium productivity laptop, but too much for anyone doing serious photo or video editing. are narrow.

The HP Envy 15 with its OLED display, another laptop that HP touts for Creative, hits 97% of AdobeRGB and 100% of sRGB, and Dell’s XPS 15 with its 4K display hits 100% of both gamuts . The Envy x360 did well in color accuracy at 1.06 (where 1.0 or less is considered excellent), compared to the Envy 15 at 0.73 and the XPS 15 at 0.65.

The Envy x360 15’s display also wasn’t very bright, falling just under our preferred range of 270 nits and 300 nits. The Envy 15 managed 404 nits and the XPS 15 came in at 442 nits. Contrast also wasn’t a force for the Envy x360 15, peaking at 900:1 (under our premium range of 1,000:1), where the Envy 15’s OLED panel clocked in at a ridiculous 404,410:1 and the XPS 15 was at 1480:1. (Excellent for IPS displays).

Mark Koppock/Nerdshala

The bottom line is that while the Envy x360 15’s display will be fine for productivity users, serious content creators will lament the lack of colors. I found the display to be fine as of writing this review, although the brightness was still pretty low, but I would have been disappointed if I was doing any serious work in Photoshop or Premiere Pro.

Audio was very loud with no distortion, and mids and highs were pleasant. There was minimal bass, however, and although it looks like there are speakers on each side of the keyboard, there are only two downward-firing speakers. You’ll want headphones or Bluetooth speakers for music or long Netflix binge sessions.

keyboard and touchpad

The Envy x360 15 inherits the excellent keyboard from its Specter sibling, offering great spacing, large and attractive keycaps, and plenty of travel. The switches provide a good bounce and a comfortable bottoming action, providing great accuracy for the fast typist.

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