HP Envy x360 13 (2019) review

HP gives its slimline 2-in-1 laptop an AMD upgrade

Image credit: TechRadar
Benchmarks

Here's how the HP Envy x360 13 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Fire Strike: 1078; Time Spy: 499
Cinebench CPU: 632 points; Graphics: 49 fps
GeekBench: 3,690 (single-core); 9,702 (multi-core)
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test):
9 hours and 19 minutes
Total War: Warhammer II (1080p, Ultra): 3.5 fps; (1080p, Low): 9 fps
Middle Earth: Shadow of War (1080p, Ultra): 7 fps; (1080p, Low): 11 fps

In terms of pure CPU performance, the new AMD Ryzen 5 3500U doesn’t really move the game on. Its performance doesn’t set new standards for a low-voltage quad-core processor. In fact, Intel’s latest 8th generation Core chips have the edge.

That’s probably because this new mobile chip from AMD - known as an APU because it includes integrated graphics - is actually based on the original Zen CPU architecture (Zen+ if you’re being really picky), not the second generation Zen design recently announced as part of the new AMD Ryzen 3000 series desktop family. That’s rather confusing given the 3000 series branding of this mobile processor.

Nor does the Ryzen 5 3500U shake things up from a graphics perspective. Despite AMD’s reputation for high quality graphics technology, it’s barely any quicker than Intel’s integrated graphics. So it can only cope with the lightest of 3D games.

Does the thin design lead to compromises on battery life?

Does the thin design lead to compromises on battery life?

(Image credit: Future)

Battery life

There’s better news when it comes to battery life, however. By racking up over nine hours in our movie playback test, this new AMD variant of the HP Envy x360 13 gets a lot closer to the Intel-powered competition. 

Admittedly, some 2-in-1s like the Lenovo Yoga C930 will do over 13 hours in the same test. But then they’re typically also more expensive. You pays your money and you takes your choice, in other words.

There's a decent collection of ports

There's a decent collection of ports

(Image credit: Future)

Final verdict

Thanks to a US price that’s currently pretty punchy, the HP Envy x360 13 is a compelling proposition. The chassis has a premium feel and the 2-in-1 element works well even if the screen’s large chin bezel ensures you never forget it’s not a true tablet.

The performance of the new AMD Ryzen APU may not be anything special. But it’s competitive with the Intel quad-core alternative, especially given the price point. The same goes for battery life. It’s not as good as more expensive Intel-powered systems. But then it costs less. And if 9 hours of video playback is good enough for you, why pay more?

Similarly, the HP Envy x360’s 13-inch 1080p screen is another element that falls into the ‘good enough given the price point’ column. Some might prefer a high resolution panel, but that’s not hugely realistic without paying considerably more.

All told, the HP Envy x360 13’s is all about offering a value proposition without making you feel like you cheaped out. If you fancy that premium feel but only want to pay mid-tier money, you should put the HP Envy x360 13 on your shortlist.