Gadget Reviews

HP Envy x360 13 review | Our first look at the Ryzen powered laptops

Last year, AMD launched their Ryzen APUs for notebooks and it’s basically the laptop version of their Raven Ridge APUs, a combination of both a Ryzen processor and Vega GPU built into a single chip. The AMD system that we have right now is the HP Envy x360 which equipped with an AMD Ryzen 2500U with a built-in Radeon RX Vega 8 GPU, 256GB of NVME solid state drive, 8GB of dual-channel memory.

Aesthetics

Aesthetically, the laptop has an attractive design: all aluminum body with a matte finish, thin bezels on it’s 1080p touch screen display, and an easy to carry 13” inch form factor. The construction quality of the laptop is very solid and there are minimal flexing on the chassis and the keyboard when pressure is applied.

Connectivity

For connectivity we have an ample amount of ports including an HDMI 2.0, USB 3.1, USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, a microSD Card reader. HP also included a pen stylus for this laptop which takes advantage of Microsoft’s implementation of touch and pen features with Microsoft Edge, OneNote, and other touch input compatible software.

 

 

Keyboard, Touchpad, Display

The keyboard of this laptop is backlit and the tactility of the keys are satisfying with shallow key-travel and light clatter. The touchpad is slightly smaller than what we would have preferred but it’s good to note that it has precision touch features and feels very smooth with excellent accuracy.

The 1080p IPS Panel of this laptop’s screen looks exquisite with its thin-bezels with no major backlight bleeding issues. The touch screen features are responsive with the included stylus pen and the images are crisp with good viewing angles. The only complaint we have with this screen is the glossy top causes glaring when used outdoors.

Performance

Thanks to its 256GB NVME solid state drive, the bootup time is respectably short and the desktop is snappy and responsive. The 8GB of dual-channel memory clocked at 2400Mhz is more than enough for running multiple applications and even gaming. The AMD Ryzen 2500U idles at 1.48GHz and is rated to boost up to 3.6GHz in multi-threaded and single-threaded applications respectively but when the laptop is unplugged, it doesn’t boost as much and the thermal limitations won’t allow the CPU clock that high at all times.

For gaming, the Vega 8 GPU is slightly more powerful than the GeForce 940MX which makes playing the latest games a little bit challenging in the native resolution of 1080p. Lowering the resolution to 720p and turning down the graphical features, we were able to run games like DoTA 2  and CS:GO with no problem. Games like PUBG however, is totally unplayable and will bring the laptop to its knees.

Conclusion

The HP Envy x360 is a very stylish laptop and we really like the matte aluminum body which gives it a very premium feel. The inclusion of the stylus pen is a welcomed addition as users who wants to utilize the touch and pen functionality won’t have to bring out an extra cost as it comes with the laptop out of the box.

As for the performance, the overall user experience is satisfactory because the Ryzen 5 2500U is a true quad core processor with very capable integrated graphics. The NVME SSD is also helping out with the overall snappy experience as the machine load and run programs rather well. We’re glad that AMD has improved upon their notebook processors with higher core counts and the inclusion of their Vega GPU. As of the moment, driver support for the Vega 8 GPU for laptops are still limited but we’re hoping to see further improvements with future updates.

Ira James
Editor-in-chief | Tech Journalist | AMD Ryzen and AOC Gaming influencer | PC Hardware Enthusiast |

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