HP Envy 13 review

A stylish, well-made laptop, but the price tag may well deter some consumers

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Our Verdict

A well performing and well built machine but we don't think it does enough to justify its very high price tag

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Good screen
  • Integrated and dedicated graphics
  • Good performance


  • Battery life
  • Too expensive
  • Connectivity

HP's Envy is the company's range topping brand, looking to take on Apple's MacBook Pro, Dell's Adamo and Sony's high-end VAIO models. The Envy 13 is its smallest model in the range and offers an impressive design and powerful graphics.

The 13.3-inch screen delivers incredible colour reproduction. It's also very sharp, with more than enough space to multitask. That said, the glossy coating is too reflective to use in direct sunlight.

You can switch between the integrated Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics chip and a dedicated ATi Mobility Radeon HD 4330 card, ideally offering the best compromise between power and battery life.

Using the ATi graphics card, there's a surprising amount of 3D power on offer for such a small machine, with older games and multimedia tasks dispatched with ease.

Poor battery life

Battery life is unimpressive, however – lasting for just 152 minutes and severely limiting portability. If you do need all-day usability, you can purchase an additional battery slice for £171, which gives 382 minutes use away from a power point.

The keyboard is excellent – each of the keys protrudes through an individual hole in the chassis, as they do on the latest Sony and Apple models, but they feature a longer travel here. As such, it's very comfortable for long periods of use.

The touchpad is one of the largest we have seen on a laptop and makes it very easy to navigate the operating system. We're not fans of the integrated mouse buttons though, as they require an overly firm press to register.

The quality of this laptop sets it apart from nearly every other Windows-based laptop currently on the market, and it has a lot more in common with Apple's high-end MacBook Pro range than just the curved design. It's very thin – at just 22mm in depth – and the aluminium chassis offers incredible strength for travel use.

The inclusion of just two USB ports will put off some users and there's also no built-in optical drive. An external DVD rewriter is included as standard though, which also features two extra USB ports. A memory card lets you easily transfer files between this and other digital devices, and Bluetooth is also built in for wireless connections.

802.11n Wi-Fi lets you join home and office wireless networks and a plug-in adapter also offers an Ethernet port for fixed network connections.

With amazing quality and a neat design, there's a lot to like about the Envy 13, but there's no getting away from the high price. The finish and design are eerily similar to Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro, so the fact that it costs over 50 per cent more is inexcusable.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 4330
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeBlu-ray Reader/DVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEnvy 13-1100
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelSL9600
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed2.13 GHz
Processor TypeCore 2 Duo
Screen Size33.3 cm (13.1")
Number of Cells4-cell, 6-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory3 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.70 kg
Cache6 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelGS45 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedBD-ROM/DVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 512 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Height20.5 mm
Width320 mm
Depth215 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series13-1100
Product Model13-1100ea
Product NameEnvy 13-1100ea Notebook
Pointing Device TypeClickPad
Product LineEnvy
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVX903EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

Designed for discerning users Immerse yourself in a superior computing experience. The HP Envy 13 Notebook PC is precision crafted for superb performance and an exceptional user experience. A subtle blend of form and function designed for you.

Maximum Memory5 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Envy 13-1100ea Notebook
  • 2 x Lithium Ion Batteries
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year
Bus Speed1066 MHz