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HP Envy 13 Mini Review: Specter fans hit your budget option

  HP Envy 13 Minitest: Specter Fans Meet Their Budget

Valentina Palladino

We pay a lot of attention to flagship PC families – and with good reason. Devices such as the Dell XPS 13 and the HP Specter 13 often receive new technologies and design benefits before other devices in the OEM portfolio come onto the market. That remains true, but Dell, Lenovo, HP and others also show some love for their other PC lines. Now, it's not so strange to opt for an Inspiron or Envy notebook, even if you're usually on the lookout for the latest and greatest in equipment for advanced technology and processing power.

HP's newest Envy 1

3 notebook could make Specter fans take another look. With upgraded processors, optional Nvidia graphics, and a sleeker design, the Envy 13 can easily compete with devices like the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition and even its cousins ​​Specter 13 and Specter x360 13 An Affordable Laptop (This Starts at 799 US It will bring some downsides to keep costs down, but these can prove unimportant even to the most passionate Specter lovers.

Appearance and Haptics

Technical Data at a Glance: HP Envy 13 (In Review)
Screen 13.3-inch 4K IPS Touchscreen
Operating System Windows 10 [19659009] CPU Intel Core i7-8565U
Memory 512 GB PCIe SSD + 32 GB Optane Memory
GPU Nvidia GeForce MX250 [19659009] Network 802.11ac 2 × 2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Connections [19659xUSB-C31Gen1(1x1xDataTransfer1xHPSleepandChargeonly)2xUSB-A1xmicroSDCard1xHeadphone/MicrophoneJack1xPowerConnector
Size 12.08 × 8.32 × 0 , 57 inches
Weight 2,59 lbs
Battery 65Whr 4C
Starting Price $ 799,99
Price as reviewed [$79999

The Specter 13 and all its variants are not suitable for everyone, especially for those who do not want to make a statement with their laptops. Its metallic edges and accents make it striking and its angled corners are an allusion to jewelry design. The Envy 13 does without all that and instead looks like a professional yet elegant work machine. I've tested a silver model, but it's also available in gold, which can appeal to those who want their laptop to be just a little bit more personal than the rest.

While the Specter 13 and the x360 13 are proud of And that's not so bad on the Envy 13 – though you have a surprisingly compact laptop. I'm not sure why I expected it to feel bigger in my hands and in my backpack – maybe I was fooled by its blocky trailing edge – but the 12.08 × 8.32 × 0.57-inch laptop weighing in at 2.59 pounds was a handy portable device.

] The Envy 13 has its own premium design, it only wears this premium nature unlike the Specter 13. The first-class feel is based mainly on the all-metal case, the narrow bezels, the angled edges and the clever hinge, the Lift the laptop slightly when opening. HP took a similar approach to Dell when developing the Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition, which aimed to improve the laptop's materials and reduce some, but not all, of the high-end design features.

Like the Inspiron, the Envy 13 has a similar approach. A fingerprint reader that sits on the palm rest instead of being integrated into the splitter of a power button in the upper right corner of the keyboard area. On some computers, you can turn on and log in at the same time if fingerprint readers are integrated on the power switches. However, this feature is not available on the Dell device, and it is not possible on the HP device because the two pieces of hardware are disconnected. Nevertheless, the fingerprint reader works as promised and is the only form of Windows Hello authentication on the Envy 13.

The Envy 13's ports provide additional functionality: two USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 ports (one for data transfer only and one for the other one for HP Sleep and Charge), two USB-A ports with drop-back design, a microSD card slot, a headphone jack and a barrel charging port. The Envy 13 comes with a charging cable, but without a USB-C cable. This means you can charge the device through one of the two ports, but you need to bring your own USB-C cable. Do this if you prefer to charge from the left side.

I appreciate the drop-back design of the USB-A cables, which helped HP keep the device thin while still maintaining connectivity options. HP has also transferred the Specter Series webcam kill switch to the Envy 13, allowing users to electronically disable the webcam at any time.

Screen and Keyboard

The 13.3-inch display can be customized in several ways: You can get an FHD panel, an FHD touch panel, or a 4K touch panel. Our model had the 4K touchscreen and it was as nice as you would expect. Since the Envy 13 is a normal laptop, most users are well served by the basic FHD panel. Touchscreens are of limited use for standard laptops, but there are undoubtedly users who have become accustomed to using touch screens on all their devices and want to use one on this device as well.

The keyboard of the Envy 13 is quite good – it almost reaches out to the hinge on the side edges of the case, thanks to the speaker grille above it. The keys have a good travel, but are also quiet – it's like tapping on soft pillows. Some users like the clickthroughness of most keyboards, others value this style because it does not audibly affect the workspaces of users in your environment. The up and down arrow keys are a bit small, but HP has managed to insert a page navigation column on the right side of the keyboard.

The only drawback of the outstanding keyboard is that the Precision trackpad suffers somewhat from the keyboard size. It is narrower than most trackpads and measures about 5 inches in width. This can affect the comfortable movement of the cursor, the swipe and gestures.


Given the similar specifications, the performance of the HP Envy 13 was comparable to that of the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition. However, thanks to the optional MX250 GPU in our review unit, the HP device stood out in terms of graphics performance. We also ran a Grand Theft Auto V benchmark on this computer to see how it could handle the gameplay, and we quickly discovered that the Envy 13 did not do our test with most graphics could perform as we normally do exhausted options. So we maxed out as many attributes as possible before the video memory was exceeded and then ran the benchmark test. The device played GTAV with an average of 62.5fps.

If you do not rely on the Nvidia graphics card, you get the same integrated Intel GPU as the Black Edition Expect the graphics performance of the Envy to be similar. During our gaming test and some of our more intense benchmark tests, the fans of the Envy 13 turned so fast that I heard them whirl around. The lower middle part of the housing has warmed a bit, but is not enough to complicate the use in a round.

HP Command Center also lets you choose the heat profile that best suits your needs. By default, HP optimizes the system to balance performance and temperature. However, you can use the power mode to increase the fan speed, to cool the CPU more efficiently while providing as much energy as possible, or the comfort mode to cool the unit down when it starts up.

Battery life

The battery life of the Envy 13 is heavily dependent on the screen configuration selected. HP estimates battery life up to 18 hours with an FHD panel and up to 10 hours with a 4K panel. Our tests have shown this to be true for at least a 4K display: the Envy 13 took an average of 11 hours in our Wi-Fi test and just over 6.5 hours in our WebGL test. These are solid numbers similar to those of the Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition, but far from reaching the extraordinary battery life of the latest Specter x360 13. The Specter x360 13 has many things that the Envy 13 does not have, but the most useful feature is the incredibly long battery life, which allows it to work on a single charge for at least 24 hours.

Enough luxury to attract attention.

Even though I love the idea of ​​a convertible, I'm more of a standard laptop girl. My work does not require much sketching or something that would be easier if I used a pen or a device that turned into a tablet. Convertibles are very useful as multifunction devices, but not everyone needs or wants this versatility. The HP Envy 13 is a solid laptop alternative for users and users who do not want to put $ 1,000 on a new PC The same Core i7 CPU and 8GB of RAM and 256GB of PCIe SSD storage. To put things in perspective, these are the same specifications as in the HP Specter x360 13, currently the most popular Windows Ultrabook convertible, but the Specter costs $ 1,349. Of course, this price includes many things that are missing the Envy 13 – a convertible design, an IR camera, a supplied stylus, two Thunderbolt 3 ports and the crazy long battery life of the device.

If one of these features is important to you, it's probably worth considering the Specter x360 13 or another flagship Ultrabook. However, if you can do without these premium features, the Envy 13 is a solid laptop that's available at a price that will not hurt your budget, and also offers plenty of options that you can choose as you like.


  • Professional, lightweight design.
  • Two USB A ports with drop-back design.
  • Two USB C ports, one for charging.
  • Webcam kill switch.
  • Optional Nvidia graphics card and Optane memory.
  • Good battery life.

The bad

  • fingerprint reader is not integrated in the power button.
  • No IR camera.
  • No flash 3 ports.

The Ugly [19659070] wastes space with a barrel loading port.

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