I wanted a thin and light laptop, something i can carry around easily and can be stuffed into a backpack. There’s quite a big lot of options for thin and light laptops, so choosing one is really a huge undertaking. A few Rs 500 or 1000 up or down changes the configuration of the laptop completely.
In the end i picked the Hp Envy the 13.3 inch model. It cost me Rs 84,900 and i managed to snag a core i7 8550U, which is the 8th generation of Intel’s Kaby lake processor, which is actually a refresh of the 7th gen kaby lake processor.
There is no architecture change, the 7th gen processor had 2 cores, the 8th gen has 4, which helps in productivity apps which need the processing muscle. The GPU is the UHD Intel 620 which is Intel’s integrated graphics solution. A Core i5 model is also available, for around 20k less.
In the box we have first the instruction manual, a smaller box on the side contains the power supply, and in the center under a foam padding is the star of the show, the Hp Envy laptop itself.
I picked the gold color, which is more like champagne gold, so it’s not gaudy. A hint of gold color, just right, making it look premium and something you wouldn’t mind carrying around the office.
I just loved the design, the metal body just looks gorgeous, when it picks up the light. it’s really thin, at its highest is around 14mm.
It’s made of aluminium, and the bottom is magnesium alloy.
On the hinge we find the Envy branding, everything about this laptop screams premium. The way the lines on the laptop are completely straight, creating sharp angles. This is quite different from other laptops that mostly curve the edges. Even the earlier Envy model had more curved lines, this is a radical redesign from the HP team and i’m liking it. Even the new HP logo looks great. There’s not too much flex, on the keyboard, nor on the body.
The specs of this specific system are:
Intel Core i7 8550U
8GB of DDR3 RAM
256 GB SSD
A 1080p Display
And the weight is 1.32 Kg
Port options are a USB- type a on the left, a headset/microphone combo jack, usb -c port, thunderbolt 1 not 3 so no external GPU option, and a micro sd card, this is a slight disappointment, if it was a full size sd card slot, i wouldn’t need to carry around a SD card reader, but thanks to a USB-A port i can still use my existing one.
Now onto the right of the laptop, here we have a USB-c thunderbolt one port again, another USB-A and a barrel power in. Sadly no USB-c charging, it’s only for usb peripherals and display output for which you will need to purchase a USB-c to hdmi or displayport adapter.
The hinges on the laptop play a crucial role in keeping it cool. When completely open, it props up the back of the laptop, making it easier for the vents to pull in air. This also helps with the angling of the keyboard, making the typing experience better. Thin and light laptops are notorious in overheating, so this is a nifty little solution by HP.
The vents continue on and release the hot air, right under the screen. Not sure how safe it is for the screen to be heated from below, but there’s a big black bezel below the screen, maybe that’s what will keep it safe.
The screen opens up to 135 degrees, this is not the X360 model, so no tablet mode, tent mode etc. But i did review a HP elitebook earlier which has all those features, the link to the video can be found above.
The bezels on the left and right of the screen are quite thin, but there’s a slightly bigger bezel on the top, for good reason , the webcam is on top of the screen instead of below. So at least the webcam doesnt look up your nose like on some other thin and lights. But the quality of the webcam is nothing noteworthy, it’s 720p, and quality is so-so, I don’t understand why manufacturers don’t add a quality one, even in the premium laptops. If your work revolves around video calls, maybe purchase an external webcam.
The screen is 1080p, yeah,i know, in the age of 4k, a 1080p screen? Well for one it reduces the load on the battery, giving you more battery life, and this also brings down the price of the laptop considerably. Honestly a 4k screen on a 13.3 inch laptop, is not going to be that noticeable.
Oh and the screen is a touch screen, which supports all the standard gestures like pinch to zoom, scroll on screen etc. I tried using my surface pen with the laptop, it pairs via bluetooth, but we need a n-trig digitizer to write on the screen, so that didn’t work.
The display gets bright enough for use inside, but in the sunlight it can’t get bright enough, so you cant see the screen well. A non touchscreen version was around 5k less in price.
The keyboard is an island style keyboard, with backlighting. The key travel is pretty good ,and the keys are full size keys, which are very comfortable to type on.
The arrow keys are bunched together quite close. And the navigation keys are to the right.
The function keys have secondary actions like brightness up and down, backlight on off, audio mute, volume up down, aeroplane mode etc. These actions are enabled by default, in order to use the function key itself, you need to depress the fn(function) button, and tap the required function key.
The backlighting is only one level, either on or off , which is fine by me. The power is to the top left, which has a LED indicating on/off sleep status.
The trackpad is made of glass, and uses a synaptics driver. It’s pretty accurate, maybe change the sensitivity speed as per your liking, other than that the trackpad tracks well and is smooth. The physical clicks are a bit troublesome, especially the right click. But tapping anywhere on the trackpad, is a click so no issue, but right click is a bit troublesome, the trackpad being so wide. It supports multi touch gestures too.
There are quad speakers on the laptop, two on the top and two below and tuned by Bang and Olufsen, who are premium speaker manufacturers. The speakers are only tuned by B&O and only standard hp speakers are available.
Not much is upgradeable in the laptop, being a thin and light , the ram is soldered on. The SSD can be upgraded, but you can have only one. The inside is adequately cooled by the two fan setup.
Gaming on the laptop is possible, but at lower quality settings. The UHD 620 is more capable than the HD 620, but still not by much.
The laptop got quite warm at the top near the vent after some use, but the keyboard and touchpad area were still cool to the touch. When hot you can hear the fans spin up, they’re not that loud, but you will know when they spin up.
The battery lasts for around 7-8 hours with the screen at medium brightness, and if your not taxing the processor too much, like web browsing, word processing. Anything more you can expect the battery time to half.
So if you’re looking for slim,light and sleek laptop with enough muscle to power through your tasks, the HP Envy is your pick.