Laptops that bend over backwards have found a niche in the market and those who love them, swear by them.
Others fail to see the point because of the bulk that comes with it. But the HP Envy X360 weighs just 1.3kgs and is light enough to be used as a tablet. Apart from the tablet mode, you can also place the X360 on the table in ‘Tent’ mode or ‘Stand’ mode, both proving useful for a long Netflix binge. But are all those positions worth the Rs. 78,000 you will be putting down for this beauty?
Design and build
The grey aluminium body shouts classy, feels really well made and the rounded front edges make it even more appealing to the eye. The well thought out edges don’t protrude into your wrist while typing for longer durations either. The new logo up front is a nice touch too and makes you think of the brand in a new light.
Talking about light, the Envy X360 weighs just 1.3Kgs as mentioned before and almost matches the size of a usual issue of Stuff India Magazine. It gets lost in your backpack and you don’t feel its presence while lugging it about the entire day.
The power button on the left edge might be a slight issue as it is fairly easy for something to accidentally bump into it (especially if you have a messy desk with loads of other things on it) but that’s not at all an issue if you’re organized. It is the same with the volume rocker key that rests on the right-hand side of the unit. The thing is that both the power and volume keys register on either side when you want to make the 360 stand vertically, but we don’t know why you would do that, unless you’re odd.
The hinges have just the right tension to them and it is really easy to get the X360 to bend for you. The lid is pretty sturdy although it has enough play to survive a bit of roughhousing. A nice touch is the addition of the word ‘Envy’ on the right hinge, which complements the pattern on the edges and the spine.
Place the Envy next to something like the new Asus Zenbook and sure that spiral design is a treat, but the HP isn’t too far behind either. In fact, it is a more subtle design and sort of reminds me of the Lenovo Carbon series which makes the HP look pricier than it is. Seems like HP has suited up for this one.
Display and Audio
The display is a Full HD Corning Gorilla Glass NB touch affair and is the best bit about the X360. It retains colours and integrity even when viewed from different angles and never falters in that regard. The colours pop out a bit but don’t cross over to the ugly side of over saturated.
However the IPS BrightView WLED display is quite reflective and isn’t thatgreat while going through long Excel sheets outdoors in a park or on a footpath, if that’s your thing. Although reflective, it gets sufficiently bright and is an absolute joy to binge watch your favourite shows on. We put on The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and the retro costume and sets were really brought to life on the Envy X360. It manages to handle flesh tones well too but they do appear a bit overdone at times, however I’m nitpicking now.
The audio side of things look or rather sound as invigorating. With Bang & Olufsen slapping its name on top, it is hardly a surprise the Envy sounds authoritative for its size. The B&O Audio Control software allows you to tweak basic bits like Bass, Treble and ‘Dialogue Clarity’ along with three presets that focus on Music, Movie or Voice. It isn’t afraid of going loud, but does lose a bit of finesse when pushed to max, no distortion though.
The speaker positioning at the front side edges makes the 360 live up to its name by firing audio loud and clear even in its other avatars like the tablet and tent mode.
Keyboard and trackpad
The keyboard is well spaced out for most users, but those with larger hands might find it a tad cumbersome, although the keys have nice travel and don’t feel soft and mushy like on some of the recent ZenBooks. There’s an additional row on the right hand side that holds some other basic functions too, which is cleverly done.
The edges line up perfectly well to support your wrists and you type in a slightly elevated wrist position which won’t cause arthritis or fatigue.
The trackpad is super responsive and surprisingly wide for the Envy 360 and its petite figure. The clicks are solid too and there’s none of the clunky feeling stuff here.
The Ryzen 5 APU is where we aren’t totally convinced. It is great for day-to-day tasks, but throw in something heavy like Photoshop and there are a few hiccups and a bit of sluggishness. But nothing that is cause for very serious concern. Once up and running, Adobe’s suite of software run without a hitch and the only time there’s a hiccup is when there are way too many windows open with quite a few tabs running in Chrome as well.
Even the bootup time is negligible and seriously quick all thanks to the 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD and the onboard 8GB RAM. However I wouldn’t want to be ambitious and game on it, no not because the integrated Vega 8 graphics is sub-par, it is pretty decent for mid-low level gaming, but since the 360 is tiny, it has a tiny fan that reminds you of the monster you are being or turning into because of it.
Apart from the fan noise the HP Envy X360 is quite a performer and excels at getting the regular day-to-day work out of the way in a blink of an eye. Now, the 256GB storage might be an issue for those who haven’t clouded up yet and there’s no clever hidden microSD card slot at the back or the surface, but HP does offer you some Dropbox space for a few months, subject to terms.
The Envy X360 isn’t the longest runner we’ve seen, but it can manage a medium workload for a cool 6-7 hours, but heavier stuff drains it out faster. But if you use it sparingly or for really light work, it can go on for more than 8 hours too, but not by too much.
The HP Pen included works like a charm and is pressure sensitive (all 1024 levels of it) also backed by Windows 10 Native Ink functionality. You can even navigate with it or recreate something like The Starry Night. Okay maybe not, but it is super-accurate so you might just succeed.
The HP Envy X360 is a great device for everyday use. It looks way grander than its price, weighs hardly anything and has enough grunt under the hood too. The touch display and the viewing angles coupled with the laptop’s ability to transform make it a serious entertainer as well and a convenient one at that too.