“HP’s Envy 15 delivers top-notch efficiency at a blinding value.”
Extremely sturdy efficiency
Lovely and color-accurate AMOLED show
Strong construct high quality
Wonderful keyboard and touchpad
Show helps contact and pen
A bit heftier than rivals
No full-size SD card slot
Dell has seen numerous success with its XPS 15 — a modern, skilled laptop computer with a stunning quantity of efficiency. HP has by no means had its personal MacBook Professional 16-inch competitor — a minimum of not when it comes to efficiency.
The HP Envy 15 fills that gap, and does it at a reduction in comparison with each Dell and Apple. My overview unit prices $1,600 at HP.com as configured, with an Intel 10th-gen Core i7-10750H CPU, 16GB of RAM (32GB is an possibility), 512GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage, 4K AMOLED show, and RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU. A equally configured XPS 15 will value you nicely over $2,000 by comparability, and also you’ll want to leap as much as the much more costly XPS 17 if you wish to match the graphics.
There needs to be a catch, proper? In spite of everything, it takes extra than simply performance-per-dollar worth to compete with its high-end rivals. I searched laborious for compromises, and though the Envy 15 isn’t good, HP didn’t reduce any corners with the Envy 15.
In comparison with the gem-cut, tiny-bezeled HP Spectre x360 15, the Envy 15 is a fairly conservatively designed laptop computer. Taken by itself, although, the Envy 15 is sort of a sexy 15-inch laptop computer with its silver shade scheme adorning an all-aluminum chassis that’s very sturdy — no bending or flexing wherever. The Envy 15 has simply sufficient chiseled components to make it distinctive — just like the small indentation between the keyboard deck and the wrist relaxation. It provides some pizzazz, however not a lot that it outdoes the Spectre primarily based on appears alone. Let’s not neglect that the Envy 15 is technically a “midrange” laptop computer, making the construct high quality and dimension that rather more spectacular.
The Envy is not any dainty laptop computer. It’s a bit giant and heavy, as is to be anticipated with an all-metal 15-inch machine, at zero.73 inches thick (really not dangerous for a 15-inch laptop computer) and four.75 kilos. The Dell XPS 15 is available in at zero.71 inches thick and four.5 kilos, for comparability.
The Dell XPS 15 additionally has a sleeker profile, largely due to the smaller bezels. The Envy 15’s 82% screen-to-body ratio is sort of a bit decrease, partially on account of a chin that’s quite giant. As a result of the XPS 15 makes use of a show with a 16:10 facet ratio, the 2 laptops are equally sized. It’s simply that the XPS 15 well fills the house with show quite than bezel.
Whereas the Envy 15 has a few of its personal design methods up its sleeve, the main focus is extra on efficiency. It contains hidden rear vents which can be efficient at transferring air with out detracting from the look of the laptop computer’s bottom. The Envy 15 additionally has a big pair of ft on the underside, propping it up from the desk greater than opponents for added airflow.
Connectivity is a powerful level with the Envy 15. You get two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt three assist, together with a full-size HDMI 2.zero port (upgraded from the earlier mannequin’s HDMI 1.four), that means you’ll be able to plug three shows into the machine and not using a dock. You additionally get two USB-A three.1 ports and a microSD card reader. HP made a mistake by not together with a full-size reader, although. The target market for the Envy 15 contains those that need to rapidly transport information straight from their cameras.
Wi-fi connectivity is updated due to an Intel Wi-Fi 6 chipset and Bluetooth 5.zero.
HP additionally in-built a pleasant bonus within the type of a second SSD slot that permits for both a RAID configuration or further storage. Add a few two terabyte (2TB) SSDs, and also you abruptly have an uncommon quantity of cupboard space, which is especially worthwhile to artistic varieties.
The Envy 15’s 4K AMOLED 16:9 show is spectacular, based on my colorimeter — though it can save you some cash by dropping right down to a Full HD possibility. The AMOLED panel is vibrant at 404 nits (and the anti-glare function makes it appear even brighter), has unimaginable distinction at 404,410:1 (the very best IPS shows are available in at round 1500:1), and its gamma is spot-on at 2.2. That makes it a productiveness and multimedia watcher’s dream machine — activate HDR, and also you’ll have probably the greatest Netflix experiences round, and black textual content pops on a white background. As a author, I simply love that function. These outcomes rival the very best you’ll discover, together with the Dell XPS 15 and MacBook Professional 16-inch. Their IPS shows are equally vibrant however can’t come even shut when it comes to distinction.
The Envy 15’s show can be glorious for the creators that HP is concentrating on with all that efficiency. The colour gamut could be very broad at 100% of sRGB and 97% of AdobeRGB. The XPS 15 fares barely higher in shade gamut at precisely 100% of each shade areas. The Envy 15 has glorious shade accuracy as nicely at zero.73 (the human eye can’t discern something below 1.zero), once more solely marginally behind the XPS 17’s zero.37 and the XPS 15’s zero.65.
Most essential, although, is that HP, for the primary time, has a machine with each the facility and the show to compete with the very best artistic laptops round. There isn’t an HP Spectre laptop computer with 45-watt CPUs, highly effective GPUs, and color-calibrated shows. The Envy 15 is HP’s first client laptop computer that pulls every little thing collectively into a really aggressive package deal.
The show can be contact and pen succesful, which is an added bonus. It’s not straightforward to jot down on a clamshell laptop computer show, however the function is there in case you want it.
I’ll observe right here that the Envy 15’s HDR assist can be higher than on the 2019 Spectre x360 15 with AMOLED (I haven’t had an opportunity to check the 2020 model). You’ll get the very best HDR efficiency in Netflix in case you flip HDR on in show settings, and in contrast to with the Spectre, doing so doesn’t fully alter the show’s general qualities. There’s a small drop in shade saturation, nevertheless it’s not dramatic, and Netflix HDR appears nice with “actual” HDR turned on. That’s one advantage of HP’s present AMOLED — it helps VESA DisplayHDR, and Home windows 10 appears to deal with it higher than earlier than. It’s nonetheless inferior to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive’s Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR, which in my expertise is the very best HDR you’ll discover on a laptop computer.
Audio is supplied by two angled downward-firing audio system. Quantity wasn’t impressively loud, nevertheless it was very clear, with zero distortion. There was extra bass than you may anticipate, and mids and highs have been nice. You may watch Netflix on the Envy 15 and never yearn for a pair of headphones so long as it’s simply you listening. It nonetheless can’t match what Apple has achieved with its MacBooks, however the Envy 15’s audio system aren’t dangerous.
The Envy 15 is HP’s shot throughout the bows of laptops just like the XPS 15 and 17 that additionally purpose at artistic professionals. As such, the laptop computer must be quick.
The issue is that the Envy 15 makes use of a slower processor than the XPS 15 and XPS 17 — a minimum of, primarily based on the models we’ve reviewed. The Core i7-10750H has two fewer cores and 4 fewer threads than the Core i7-10875H within the Dells, placing the Envy 15 at a drawback in lots of functions used for content material creation.
That drawback is most clearly demonstrated in each Geekbench 5 and Cinebench R20, the place it examined as little as 27% behind the XPS 15 in multi-core efficiency. The XPS 17, in fact, is even sooner. The Envy 15 handles its chosen processor simply effective, in fact, proper in keeping with different Core i7-10750H laptops we’ve examined.
Actual-world efficiency is what counts, although, so I switched to the video encoding utility Handbrake. Restricted to simply the CPU, I transformed a 420MB video to H.265, and the Envy 15 completed in rather less than two and a half minutes. That compares to the XPS 15 at simply over two minutes and the XPS 17 at a bit below two minutes. The ROG Strix G15 with the i7-10750H took three seconds longer than the Envy 15.
Lastly, I ran our Premiere Professional video rendering take a look at that exports a two-minute 4K challenge to ProRes 422. This course of can use each the CPU and GPU in conjunction, which permits a graphics card just like the RTX 2060 Max-Q to flex. The Envy 15 took simply 5 minutes and one second to finish the take a look at in default mode. Evaluate that to the XPS 17 that took three minutes and 38 seconds — that’s a sooner rating than is recorded in our XPS 17 overview as a result of the newest, and far sooner, model of Premiere Professional was used for this take a look at. Given the value differential and the truth that the XPS 17 is utilizing a sooner processor, that is a powerful displaying for the Envy 15.
I additionally examined out HP’s Command Heart software program, which affords completely different efficiency modes. By default, the corporate tunes the Envy 15 to be comparatively quiet and to run comparatively cool, which is how I ran all of the assessments above. If you really want to squeeze essentially the most attainable efficiency out of the system, the Efficiency mode makes fairly a distinction. Different laptops have comparable utilities, however I’ve discovered HP’s to be notably aggressive. The setting didn’t have an effect on efficiency in artificial benchmarks, however bumped up Handbrake and Premiere efficiency to match the XPS 17. Provided that value distinction, that’s a powerful consequence.
HP isn’t promoting the Envy 15 as a gaming laptop computer, however when you’ve gotten an RTX 2060 Max-Q packed away inside, there’s no motive to not make use of it. And in our suite of gaming assessments, it rapidly turned obvious that the Envy 15 makes for a pleasant midrange gaming machine.
I ran our assessments at 1080p and 4K, as a result of 1440p wasn’t an possibility on this set of drivers. And that’s possible simply effective as a result of 1080p is probably going the place you’re going to need to do your gaming.
Beginning with the artificial 3DMark benchmark, the Envy 15 scored 5,123 in essentially the most demanding Time Spy take a look at, which is a bit behind the XPS 17’s 5,801 with its RTX 2060. As we’ll see, these two machines are fairly evenly matched relating to driving immediately’s fashionable titles, with the XPS 17 holding a slight edge.
In Civilization VI, the Envy 15 hit 121 frames per second (fps) at 1080p and medium graphics, in comparison with the XPS 17 at 143 fps and the XPS 15 with its GTX 1650 Ti at 114 fps. Curiously, at extremely graphics, the Envy 15 managed 100 fps in comparison with the XPS 17 at 90 fps and the XPS 15 at 64 fps. The Envy 15 additionally beat the XPS 17 and 15 at enjoying in 4K decision.
In Murderer’s Creed Odyssey, the Envy 15 hit the candy spot precisely at 60 fps at 1080p and excessive graphics, in comparison with the XPS 17 at 61 fps and the XPS 15 at 47 fps. Lastly, the Envy 15 was in a position to play Fortnite at 1080p and Epic settings at 84 fps, whereas the XPS 17 hit 82 fps. That makes each laptops in a position to keep a strong 60 fps in Fortnite except you leap as much as 4K, the place each dropped off to about 30 fps.
After all, none of these body charges increased than 60 fps will do you any good, because the Envy 15’s display is locked at a 60Hz refresh price. It additionally doesn’t embody any anti-screen-tearing know-how, akin to G-Sync or FreeSync. Like many of those productivity-minded machines, some informal gaming on the facet is appropriate, however a correct gaming laptop computer with the next refresh price will present a far smoother gaming expertise.
Keyboard and touchpad
Apple’s Magic Keyboard on its newest MacBooks is the very best laptop computer keyboard available on the market. That stated, HP’s keyboard that has made its approach from the Spectre to the Envy lineup is my second favourite. There’s loads of journey and simply the appropriate stability between a light-weight contact and a quick really feel, with a assured bottoming motion. The mechanism is ideal for me, permitting me to rise up to hurry instantly and to kind for hours with out fatigue.
I just like the keyboard on the XPS 15 and another laptops (Lenovo’s ThinkPad line involves thoughts), however I desire HP’s model over every other Home windows 10 laptop computer. I’m very completely happy to see that HP isn’t reserving the keyboard for the Spectre line, and I’ll observe that you may get the identical one on the HP Envy x360 13, which is nicely below $1,000.
Curiously, the Envy 15’s touchpad is best than the Spectre x360 15’s. It’s not the identical widescreen model, that means it’s bigger and takes up way more of the out there house on the wrist relaxation. It’s glass-covered and so very comfy for scrolling and swiping. It additionally helps Microsoft’s Precision touchpad drivers and the complete complement of Home windows 10 multitouch gestures. It’s pretty much as good a touchpad as you’ll discover on a Home windows 10 laptop computer.
As talked about earlier, the show is touch-enabled, and it’s as exact as at all times. And if you wish to use HP’s energetic pen with four,096 ranges of strain sensitivity, then you definitely’ll have that possibility as nicely. Home windows 10 Whats up password-less login is supplied by a fingerprint scanner nestled within the keyboard subsequent to the arrow keys — and it labored rapidly and with out error.
Pack this a lot energy right into a laptop computer and equip it with a power-sucking AMOLED show (which may be aided through the use of a darkish shade scheme, since AMOLED makes use of the least energy when the display has a lot of black), and also you’re not going to anticipate a lot longevity. That’s true even with 83 watt-hours of battery capability.
In line with our customary benchmark assessments, that’s precisely what we skilled. In our most demanding Basemark net benchmark take a look at, the Envy 15 lasted nearly precisely three hours. That’s not horrible for such a robust laptop computer, nevertheless it signifies that in case you’re actually pushing the CPU and GPU, then you definitely’re prone to run out of battery life nicely earlier than lunch. Curiously, the XPS 15 with its 86 watt-hours of battery and the XPS 17 with its 97 watt-hours didn’t do any higher. The XPS 17 lasted for six minutes much less, and the XPS 15 lasted for 16 minutes extra.
As a result of 4K display, you’ll have to hold the battery charger readily available.
Shifting on to our net shopping take a look at, which is the very best indication of productiveness life, the Envy 15 lasted for about 6.75 hours, which isn’t terribly lengthy. As soon as once more, although, the XPS 15 and 17 have been shut, with the XPS 17 lasting 19 minutes much less and the XPS 15 coincidentally lasting 19 minutes extra. Lastly, I looped the laptop computer by way of our Full HD Avengers take a look at trailer and it made it for roughly eight hours. And also you guessed it — the XPS 15 was shut once more, at 30 minutes much less. The XPS 17 made it greater than an hour longer.
The underside line is that these high-powered artistic laptops with power-sucking shows usually are not prone to final you thru a full day of actual work. You’ll need to carry your charger round with you, which is sort of the duty on condition that these are quite giant energy bricks. However that’s the value you pay for quick laptops with stunning shows.
The HP Envy 15 is the corporate’s quickest client laptop computer and the one which finest meets the wants of artistic professionals with demanding workloads. Actually, it’s not even shut — if you would like comparable or larger energy, you’ll have to step as much as HP’s industrial line, particularly its workstations. And the Envy 15 does its job nicely — it’s quick, may be configured with even sooner elements if you wish to spend more cash, and supplies the sort of show that can meet any artistic want.
The Spectre line is great for productiveness customers, artistic varieties with lesser calls for, and people who worth beauty and a smaller chassis. However it’s the Envy 15 that can make energy customers completely happy — and for lots of of lower than you’ll spend on aggressive laptops.
Are there any alternate options?
The Dell XPS 15 and 17 each provide equal or higher efficiency with superior shows, and can just do as nicely with artistic workflows. However you’ll spend much more cash, getting barely extra class and a extra helpful 16:10 show however not rather more.
In case you’re not a artistic skilled and also you desire a 15-inch laptop computer with extra flexibility and panache, then the HP Spectre x360 15 is an effective different. You’ll spend comparable cash and have an possibility for an equally nice AMOLED show, however you gained’t get practically the horsepower.
Lastly, don’t neglect the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Excessive and MacBook Professional 16-inch. These, too, may be configured with the identical highly effective elements, and each provide superior shows. As with the XPS choices, although, be ready to spend so much more cash.
How lengthy will it final?
The Envy 15 is constructed nicely and will final for years. We do want the guarantee was longer than a 12 months, although.
Do you have to purchase it?
Completely. In case you’re in search of a laptop computer that may deal with demanding artistic duties at a less expensive value, the Envy 15 does the trick.