The first impression
This is an Envy? They used to look like any other aluminium notebook!
It is pretty. I love the dark silver ash colour. It is not so much of a premium product, but it stacks up well beside the more upmarket Spectre.
My aim is to see if the AMD Ryzen/Vega graphics are as good as others say it is.
The Envy uses a new injection moulded and pressed metal process versus the milled alloy unibody of the Spectre and EliteBook series. While the process is lower cost, the result is great. A textured, anodised finish and minimal side-to-side flexing. The detail in the honeycomb speaker grill and on the back is excellent.
The base can be removed using a T5 hex driver. It allows the upgrade of SSD – nothing else.
I love the x360 hinge. It is not as solid as the Spectre leaving the screen a little vulnerable to shake.
Underneath everything is a standard Realtek High definition audio codec. B&O then tune the four speakers (two under the honeycomb grill and two under the base). We are amateur audiophiles, so we measure maximum volume and frequency response.
- Bass<100Hz – none
- Midbass 100Hz -400Hz – almost none
- Mids 400Hz-2kHz – good
- Highs 2-16kHz – declining dropping off a cliff at 10Khz
- Maximum volume <80dB
This is a bright vocal signature that is best for voice. The B&O EQ has a full EQ and presets for movie, voice or music. These make minimal adjustments.
It is Dolby Atmos capable if you want to buy the software update from Windows store for $22.45. While I object to what amounts to paying for a driver I am assured it is to cover licensing fees. Dolby Atmos only works with wired and Bluetooth headphones. It will output a 5.1.2 signal to an amplifier/soundbar via the 3.5mm wired and BT.
Bottom line – great through Bluetooth and wired headsets but the speakers lack any perceptible bass for movie use.
HP claims the 53.2Wh battery is good for 11 hours. We ran a 1080p video loop at it lasted just over seven hours. General office productivity and web surfing should extend that to 9-10 hours.
The 45W ‘pin’ adaptor will fast charge to 50% in 45 minutes and a full charge in 1.5 hours. It can also charge using a 45W USB-C Belkin charger. The separate power is a good idea if you don’t want to invest in a USB-C power pack.