HP Envy 13 (2016) laptop review

An enviable proposition, pity about the average battery life

HP Envy Notebook 13-d002na

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We liked

HP's second-thinnest laptop lives up to the design hype – it's light, portable and also resilient. While it's not a complete aluminium build the non-metal parts don't feel flimsy. The wide touchpad is welcome and the keys themselves feel sturdy with few dropouts when typing.

The full HD screen has a wide viewing angle with a good colour space. The new i7 processor proved itself in the benchmarks and the price point of £800 is good value for one of the new higher performing Skylake CPUs.

We disliked

The faults I found were mainly physical. The placing of the hash key and shape of the Enter key are eccentric and take a little getting used to. In general use, the touchpad would occasionally zoom in instead of scroll, an infrequent but annoying glitch that could possibly be fixed in a software update.

The battery life wasn't quite up to scratch with some of its contemporaries. It couldn't make it up to 5 hours of looping video playback in Airplane Mode. And in daily use, the battery life didn't appear to give an old 2012 MacBook Pro much of a run for its money.

Final verdict

We wanted to love HP's delightfully slim laptop. It has all the hallmarks of greatness, almost MacBook Air physical specs, and a consistently well-performing new CPU. If you're looking for something that's light and portable with processor oomph coupled with an FHD screen then the Envy might just be for you.

However, if you're moving from office to office or study to study without the chance of a recharge you might find yourself short-changed power-wise.

You might also want to check out our HP Envy 15 (2020) review.