HP Envy x360 15.6 2023 review: a really odd mix in 2023

HP Envy x360 15.6 2023 front view showing display and keyboard.

With a big OLED screen, but low resolution, this HP 2-in-1 is an odd duck

MSRP $900.00

“The HP Envy x360 15.6 is just fast enough, but it doesn’t stand out.”

Pros

  • Good productivity performance
  • Decent battery life
  • Good keyboard and touchpad
  • Solid build

Cons

  • Old-school 16:9 is too narrow
  • OLED image quality is good, but not sharp enough
  • No standout features

At one time, a number of manufacturers were releasing 15-inch, 360-degree, convertible 2-in-1 laptops. That trend seems to be waning, but HP remains a holdout with its latest Envy x360 15.6.

The thing is, HP is behind the times in other ways as well, particularly in equipping the Envy x360 15.6 with an old-school 16:9 display that doesn’t work as well for productivity or tablet use. Overall, the laptop is OK, but it doesn’t stand out in any significant way.

Specs and configurations

  HP Envy x360 15.6 2023
Dimensions 14.13 inches x 9.02 inches x 0.73 inches
Weight 4.04 pounds
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 7530U
AMD Ryzen 7 7730U
Graphics AMD Radeon graphics
RAM 8GB
16GB
Display 15.6-inch 16:9 Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS
15.6-inch 16:9 FHD OLED Imax Enhanced
Storage 256GB SSD
512GB SSD
1TB SSD
Touch Yes
Ports 1 x USB-A
2 x USB-C
1 x DisplayPort 1.4
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x full-size SD card reader
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3
Webcam 5MP with infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 51 watt-hour
Price $900+

HP makes the Envy x360 15.6 in both Intel and AMD versions. Our review unit was built around AMD, and so that’s what’s covered in the specifications table and this review.

There are a few configurations available, starting with the $900 model equipped with an AMD Ryzen 5 7530U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display. At the high end, which is what we reviewed, you’ll spend $1,200 (currently on sale for $850) for a Ryzen 7 7730U, 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and an FHD OLED panel that’s Imax Certified.

That places the Envy x360 15.6 at the top end of budget territory and the beginning of the midrange. As we’ll see, this laptop’s overall design may not represent the best value, unless you can grab the review unit on sale at $850.

A curiously old-school design

HP Envy x360 15.6 2023 front angled view showing display and keyboard.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Releasing a laptop based around an old-school 16:9 display seems like a dubious proposition for anything but a pure budget machine. With taller 16:10 and sometimes 3:2 aspect ratios being the new standard, it’s hard to justify sticking with the shorter form factor. It’s not as good for productivity, and in a 360-degree convertible 2-in-1 like the Envy x360 15.6, it makes for a portrait tablet mode that’s too long and skinny. That’s made even worse by the large chassis of a 15-inch laptop, which is already a little unwieldy in tablet mode.

HP Envy x360 15.6 2023 tent view.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Envy x360 15.6 has relatively large top and bottom display bezels as well, meaning it’s about as wide and deep as 16:10 laptops, with slightly larger 16-inch panels and much smaller bezels. It’s reasonably thin at 0.73 inches thick and light at 4.04 pounds, but not that far off from the Envy x360 15 that we reviewed in 2021, which was 0.72 inches thick and weighed 4.11 pounds. The other most recent large convertible 2-in-1 I reviewed, the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360, is incredibly thin at 0.49 inches and almost a pound lighter at 3.3 pounds. And it has a 16-inch 16:10 3K OLED display. That’s more where the industry is heading, to the extent that it’s making such large 2-in-1s at all.

In terms of its construction, the Envy x360 15.6 mixes plastic in the bottom chassis with aluminum in the keyboard deck and lid. But don’t let that plastic fool you. The laptop feels solid, with little flexing, bending, or twisting. It’s a a perfectly fine build, albeit not the best you’ll find in a laptop today at the same price. HP has also used quite a bit of sustainable and recyclable material in the design, which will please those concerned about the impact of e-waste on the environment.

Aesthetically, the Envy x360 15.6 is no different than most laptops today. It has simple lines and no bling, making it a minimalist design that’s attractive but doesn’t attract attention. You can get it in either Natural Silver or Nightfall Black (my review unit).

HP Envy x360 15.6 2023 top-down view showing keyboard and touchpad.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The keyboard is decent, with large, bold lettering on the nicely sized keycaps and plenty of key spacing. The switches aren’t as snappy as I like, but they provide plenty of travel with a comfortable bottoming action. HP’s Spectre keyboards are better, as are those on Dell’s XPS and Apple’s MacBook lines (with the latter being the best around). The touchpad is smaller than it could be given the available palm rest space, but it’s fine. It’s precise in swiping, and its buttons provide confident, quiet clicks. The display supports HP’s latest active pen, which wasn’t bundled with my review unit.

Connectivity is acceptable but limited by the AMD chipset. Namely, there’s no Thunderbolt 4 support; otherwise, you’re covered for newer and legacy devices. The full-size SD card reader is welcome, and wireless connectivity is up to date.

Finally, a 5MP webcam provides an excellent videoconferencing image with some nice optimizations. The infrared camera provides reliable facial recognition support for Windows 11 Hello passwordless login.

Enough performance for productivity, but that’s it

HP Envy x360 15.6 2023 rear view showing lid and logo.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

You can choose a Ryzen 5 7530U or a Ryzen 7 7730U with the AMD version of the Envy x360 15.6. The Ryzen 5 is a low-power 15-watt CPU with six cores and 12 threads running at up to 4.5GHz. The Ryzen 7 is also a 15-watt processor but has eight cores and 16 threads running at the same speed. Both come with just integrated Radeon graphics. Choose the Intel version, and you get either a Core i5-1335U or Core i7-1355U, both low-power versions. If you choose the Core i7-1355U, the entry-level and previous-generation Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 is an option.

HP Envy x360 15.6 2023 rear view showing vents.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

The Ryzen 7 CPU in our test unit performed well in CPU-intensive benchmarks compared to the Ryzen 5 and the Core i7-1355U. It even held up fairly well against the 28-watt Core i7-1360P in the Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360 and Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8. That makes it a solid productivity performer, but one that won’t do much for creators. And the integrated AMD Radeon graphics were slow even compared to Intel Iris Xe graphics, making the Envy x360 15.6 a poor gaming laptop.

Geekbench 5
(single/multi)
Handbrake
(seconds)
Cinebench R23
(single/multi)
PCMark 10
Complete
HP Envy x360 15.6 2023
(Ryzen 7 7730U)
Bal: 1,448 / 7,790
Perf: 1,469 / 8,163
Bal: 109
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,426 / 9,654
Perf: 1,427 / 10,690
6,278
Samsung Galaxy Book3 Pro 360
(Core i7-1360P)
Bal: 1,800 / 8,960
Perf: 1,781 / 9,071
Bal: 109
Perf: 99
Bal: 1,711 / 8,389
Perf: 1,750 / 9,182
5,857
Dell Inspiron 14 2-in-1 2023
(Ryzen 5 7530U)
Bal: 1,471 / 6,134
Perf: 1,474 / 6,427
Bal: 151
Perf: 131
Bal: 1,436 / 6,402
Perf: 1,451 / 7,680
5,689
Asus Zenbook 14 OLED
(Ryzen 5 7530U)
Bal: 1,457 / 7,527
Perf: 1,458 / 8,207
Bal: 123
Perf: 121
Bal: 1,457 / 7,527
Perf: 1,458 / 8,207
5,817
Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 8
(Core i7-1360P)
Bal: 1,843 / 8,814
Perf: 1,835 / 10,008
Bal: 122
Perf: 101
Bal: 1,846 / 8,779
Perf: 1,906 / 9,849
6,102
Apple MacBook Air M2
(M2)
Bal: 1,925 / 8,973
Perf: N/A
Bal: 151
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,600 / 7,938
Perf: N/A
N/A

AMD processors are noted for their efficiency, and the low-power U-series CPUs even more so. That should provide the Envy x360 15.6 with a leg up, even though it has an OLED display and  51 watt-hour battery that’s very small for a 15-inch laptop.

In our battery tests, the HP lasted about 10 hours in web browsing, 14 hours in video looping, and 12.5 hours in the PCMark 10 Applications battery benchmark. The web browsing score is average, while the video looping and PCMark 10 tests are slightly above average.

You’ll unlikely get an entire day’s work on a charge, at least with a meaningful productivity workflow, but those aren’t bad results. The low resolution of the OLED display and AMD’s efficiency help counterbalance the small battery.

An OLED display that’s behind the curve

HP Envy x360 15.6 2023 front view showing display.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

You can configure the Envy x360 15.6 with either an IPS or an OLED display. Both will be 16:9 15.6-inch panels running at a maximum of Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) and 60Hz. For OLED, that’s particularly disappointing on a 15-inch display, as it just isn’t terribly sharp. And again, the 16:9 aspect ratio is dated and limiting. The OLED display’s Imax Certification does provide enhanced colors and sound if you’re playing the right content, but that’s a small pool right now, mostly comprised of some Disney+ content.

According to my colorimeter, the Envy x360 15.6 enjoys a quality display despite its lack of sharpness. It was plenty bright at 380 nits, well above our 300-nit threshold, and its contrast was deep at 26,350:1. That’s a bit less than some OLED panels but well above the average IPS display. Color width was excellent, with sRGB coverage at 100%, AdobeRGB at 98%, and DCI-P3 at 100%. It also had very good accuracy at a DeltaE of 1.56 (less than 2.0 is great for productivity work and non-demanding creators).

Overall, while the aspect ratio and resolution are disappointing, this is otherwise a great display for productivity users and media consumers. Creators will also like the display; it’s just the performance that will hold them back.

HP Envy x360 15.6 2023 top down view showing speaker.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Audio from the two upward-firing speakers flanking the keyboard is fine. There’s enough volume without distortion to fill a home office, with clear mids and highs and little bass, as usual. Keep a pair of headphones handy for music and streaming action shows.

A laptop that stands out in no particular way

The Envy x360 15.6 is an odd mix, particularly for a laptop introduced in 2023. Where most machines have gone to taller 16:10 or 3:2 aspect ratios, the Envy remains rooted in 16:9. As a convertible 2-in-1, that’s an even odder choice. And while the OLED display performed well, it’s not sharp enough at Full HD and 15.6 inches.

Performance and battery life are both decent. It’s well-built and reasonably sized. Finally, it’s priced well if you can get it on sale, but its list prices aren’t anything special. The Envy x360 15.6 is one of those laptops that are just OK, with nothing that makes it stand out.

Editors’ Recommendations






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