After a small brake we are getting back in action and taking a look at HP’s refreshed ENVY 13 Ultrabook. For this review I will be looking at the HP ENVY 13-ab016nr that comes with the latest generation hardware and some interesting goodies. So let’s see what comes with the new and updated version.
When it comes to the ENVY lineup of products HP has always tried to make them have a premium look and feel. The new HP ENVY 13 is no exception in the line up. There are 3 color variations you can choose from, two silvers and one gold. For here we are only going to be talking about the bright silver version of the 13-ab016nr model.
The entire body and the display cover are built out of machined aluminum. This makes this laptop very sturdy and light. The build quality is top notch. The bottom of the top cover features a chromed plate with the ENVY name and 2 small rubber stoppers. At first I thought it was a bit weird to have the entire load of the laptop body be transferred through the hinge to rest on the back of the display. On further inspection I noticed that it lifts the keyboard up at an angle that is better for typing, so it’s actually a good design decision.
On the inside the FullHD 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixel) IPS screen gets a matte black plastic bezel. High DPI(dot per inch) screens are always a good sign on laptops. They make the image and text that much crisper than expected. The top border features the built in webcam and dual microphones for noise cancelation. Other than the new HP-logo on the middle of the bottom border there are no further design queues for the screen assembly.
The palmrest continues with the silver finish both for the chicklet style keyboard and touchpad. The touchpad on the HP ENVY 13 is more rectangular than you would normally find on other laptops. It is wider and thiner than normal. There are no visible click buttons on it, that being take care of with the bottom corners and gestures. The speakers are located on top, on both sides of the keyboard. This means it has very good sound compared to other models with the speakers underneath the body. As a final detail, the power button on the top left corner just above the keyboard.
The HP ENVY 13 is very well equipped in the connectivity department.
- the right side of the body features the power connector, one HDMI-out and 2 USB 3.1 Ports.
- the left side of the body features the Kensington-lock-port, a microSD-card reader (not full sized SD, careful), the new USB-Type C connector and the now standard headphones-microphone combo jack
- on the inside it features the latest wireless technology with WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth connectivity.
While the new HP ENVY 13 comes in different flavours and hardware combinations, we are looking at the 13-ab016nr model variant. This version comes with the newest 7th generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor running at 2.5Ghz, enough for pretty much anything a regular user can through at it while still maintaining very good battery life.
On the multitasking front, thanks to its 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM, it can handle running multiple productivity and multimedia applications at the same time. It is enough even for the most tab addicted Chrome user, you know who you are.
The storage is where we can see the first low point of the HP ENVY 13. In the 13-ab016nr configuration it only comes a 256 GB SSD. While it is on the small size, it is one of the new super fast NVMe kind making it super speedy. Any laptop equipped with these new SSDs boot up in seconds and are extremely responsive. This is one of those pro or con things.
Finally we get to the battery life. HP declares that the ENVY 13 can go for up to 14 hours on a single charge. The battery is a rather small 3-cell 57.8 WHr unit. I for one am usually very skeptical with battery life claims and I don’t see why this laptop should be an exception. A far more realistic number is in the 8 to 10 hour range if you don’t baby it and actually use it as intended.
For all intents and purposes the HP ENVY 13 in the 13-ab016nr configuration makes for a very good, high mobility, high performance laptop. If what you are looking for is getting some quick light work done on the go this is laptop is perfect. You can also get HP ENVY 13 with larger storage,better CPU and different color options.