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HP Envy x360 13 2018 review

An updated 2-in-1 laptop powered by Ryzen

Benchmarks

Here’s how the HP Envy x360 13 2018 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Cinebench CPU: 611; Graphics: 32.50 fps
Geekbench 4 Single-Core: 3,746; Multi-Core: 10,012
PCMark 8 Home: 2,758
PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 29 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 5 hours and 34 minutes

As we mentioned earlier, the HP Envy x360 2018 we tested featured AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700U processor and Radeon RX Vega 10 graphics, so we were keen to see how AMD’s hardware coped compared to Intel and Nvidia’s.

For day-to-day computing there's little difference, with the HP Envy x360 doing a pretty good job of running Windows 10 and most applications. However, it did take its time over certain tasks – for example, unzipping a compressed 80MB folder took quite a few minutes, where with other laptops the process would usually complete in a matter of seconds.

Performance issues would also sometimes affect media playback, with the speakers crackling during busy scenes in movies. The Cinebench CPU benchmark returned 611 points, which is a decent upgrade over the Lenovo Yoga 920’s 564.

However, the GeekBench CPU test results indicated that the HP Envy x360 2018’s CPU was weaker than the Yoga 920's in both single and multi-core tests, scoring 3,746 and 10,012 respectively, compared to the Yoga’s 4,677 and 14,123.

So, on a core-by-core basis, the 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-855OU of the Yoga outperforms the HP Envy x360 2018’s Ryzen 7 2700U, in certain tasks at least.

Real-world performance is good, but not outstanding, so you may want to check your expectations when using the HP Envy x360 2018. It’s not powerful enough for gaming, or heavy-duty work such as video editing, but for most other tasks it does the job well, although without excelling.

It’s rather frustrating that a laptop with such a nice design is let down in the performance department, but there is a silver lining. As we mentioned in the price and availability section of this review, if you're based in the US the HP Envy x360 is available in a number of configurations. Getting a configuration with an 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM (compared to the 8GB of RAM our review sample came with) will ensure performance that’s worthy of the design.

However, if you’re on a budget and only want to use the HP Envy x360 for simple tasks, then the Ryzen version should be fine.

Battery life

The battery life of the HP Envy x360 is decent, but nothing exceptional. In the PCMark 8 Home Test, which replicates medium-to-high usage, the x360 lasted three hours and 29 minutes. This may seem quite disappointing, but it’s worth noting that this test involves video calls and other tasks that can drain the battery faster.

Meanwhile, in our TechRadar battery test, where we play a looped 1080p video with the screen at half brightness, the battery lasted 5 hours and 34 minutes. Not bad, if you just want to watch movies on long commutes, but far from the best battery life we've witnessed.

For more sedate day-to-day tasks, such as word processing and web browsing, you should see the HP Envy x360 last longer. In our real-world tests we found it to be a perfectly fine performer when it came to battery life, though you’ll want to bring the power adapter with you for top-ups throughout the day.

It’s also worth noting that the HP Envy x360 recharged its battery from empty to full in an impressively short time.

Final verdict

The HP Envy x360 is a gorgeously designed laptop that’s thin and light enough to comfortably carry around with you during the day. HP should be commended for making a very attractive 2-in-1 device.

It’s also good to see configurations with AMD hardware included, which gives potential buyers more choice. We did find that our HP Envy x360 with Ryzen 7 fell a little short of the performance we’ve come to expect from laptops in this price range; however, thanks to HP’s wide range of configurations for the Envy x360 – in the US at least – you can get an Intel-powered version that, while slightly more expensive, offers better performance.

Battery life isn’t the best we’ve seen, so if you’re looking for all-day computing you’ll want to look elsewhere, unless you want to carry a power cable with you.

Overall, the HP Envy x360 is a great 2-in-1 device that boasts a wonderful design, but is slightly underpowered in some configurations.