HP Envy x360 13 (2022) Review: Who Needs XPS 13?!

This is an excellent 2-in-1 laptop

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) Review 2-in-1 Laptop
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This is my review of the HP Envy x360 13 (2022) after using it as my daily driver for more than two weeks. So 2-in-1 laptops are useful for many things. It can be a collaborative canvas for creative professionals, a note-taking tool for students (and just about everyone), a cool multimedia device, or you can always use it as a boring old laptop as well. And perhaps the least discussed benefit of such convertible devices is how they prevent accidental breakage thanks to the flexible hinge.

I can’t tell you just how many times I’ve accidentally tried to adjust a laptop to 180° without realizing it can’t do so. Hope that habit doesn’t stick once I get back to my MacBook after this!

But the thing is, good 2-in-1 laptops don’t come cheap. While the ones that are relatively cheaper compromise on some critical aspects to bring down the price. But what if I told you that I’ve found a great 2-in-1 laptop that doesn’t cost you a fortune? What if I told you that you could have the best of both worlds? After using the new HP Envy x360 (2022) for the past couple of weeks, I truly believe this is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops in its price segment right now.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) - Design 2

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Seriously.

From a premium metallic build quality, a modern 16:10 display, Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, and more, this Envy takes a lot of charm off of HP’s high-end “Spectre” lineup, to be honest. And starting at just USD 699, INR 86,999 in India, or NPR 140,000 here in Nepal, it undercuts the competition like Dell’s XPS 13 (2-in-1) by a significant margin too.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) Review: Specifications

  • Design & Build: All-aluminum build material (recycled metal), 11.75 x 8.46 x 0.63-inches (W x D x H), 1.38 kg
  • Color Options: Natural Silver, Space Blue
  • Display: 13.3″ glossy IPS 360° touchscreen, 60Hz refresh rate, 100% sRGB color gamut, 400 nits brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass NBT
  • Stylus: HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen support
  • Resolution: WUXGA (1920 × 1200) resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, 170 PPI
  • Keyboard: Full-size island-style keyboard, Backlit
  • Trackpad: Plastic trackpad with Microsoft Precision drivers
  • Security: Windows Hello-certified IR webcam
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-1250U CPU (Alder Lake), 10C/12T, 4.7 GHz Max Turbo Frequency, 12MB Intel Smart Cache, 9W base power, Intel 7 process
  • Graphics: Intel Iris Xe (Integrated), 96 Execution Units (950 MHz)
  • RAM: 8/16GB LPDDR4x-4266 RAM (non-upgradable)
  • Storage: 512GB / 1TB SSD (M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 / PCIe 4.0)
  • Audio: Down-firing stereo speakers, Audio by Bang & Olufsen
  • Battery: 4-cell 66 Watt-hours Li-Ion battery
  • Power Supply: 65W HP Smart AC adapter (USB Type-C)
  • Webcam: HP True Vision 5MP infrared (IR) camera, Dual-array digital microphone (with temporal noise reduction)
  • Connectivity: WiFi 6E (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax), Bluetooth 5.2
  • I/O Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 4 with USB Type-C (DisplayPort 1.4, Power Delivery 3.0, HP Sleep and Charge support) 2x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A, 1x Micro SD card reader, 1x 3.5mm audio jack
  • Price in Nepal: Rs. 140,000 (8GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
  • What’s Inside The Box: Laptop, 65W HP Smart AC adapter (USB Type-C), User manual and other documents

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) Review:

Design and Build

  • 11.75 x 8.46 x 0.63-inches (W x D x H)
  • 1.38 kg, Recycled aluminum build material

Okay, except for a few small things, the Envy x360’s design is absolutely amazing. And it’s got all that you’d want from a portable 13” machine. Everything from the lid, and the keyboard deck, to the base of this laptop is made from aluminum. Actually recycled aluminum to be exact. Besides all the performance and experience upgrades, sustainable manufacturing is another key area that hardware makers should be focusing on, and I’m glad to see HP on this path.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) - Design 1

And the use of such recycled materials hasn’t made this laptop any less premium to hold either. I love how the sandblasted finish on both the cover and the keyboard deck feels super nice to lay your hands on, and also how it keeps fingerprint smudges in check. And weighing around 1.3 kg only, the Envy x360 is super comfortable to carry to your college or office as well.

So far so good

I also like how HP’s clean and premium design has been complemented with great durability here. It doesn’t have those military-grade certifications or anything but I can tell you that this laptop is quite sturdy—especially for a 2-in-1 device. There’s minimal flex on the lid or anywhere else, and neither does that 360° hinge show any signs of weakness.

Even the port selection is rather amazing on this thing. You get two Thunderbolt 4 connections on the right, both with up to 40 Gbps data rate, USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort support, and more. HP insisted on using a separate AC power pin on the last-gen Envy x360, and I’m really glad that has changed this time.

Then you have a couple of USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A ports on either side, a micro SD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. As you can see, HP has protected the USB-A ports here with a cover… thingy, which helps to maintain the laptop’s thin profile as well. But this also means I have to lift the laptop almost every time I need to plug in anything with a USB-A connection because doing so when you have it on a flat surface is just not as easy.

Display

  • 13.3″ glossy WUXGA IPS touchscreen
  • 60Hz refresh rate, 100% sRGB color gamut
  • 400 nits brightness, Corning Gorilla Glass NBT
  • Supports HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen

Moving on, HP lets you pick from three display options for this year’s Envy x360. I’ve been using the base variant with a 13.3” glossy IPS panel, a tall 16:10 aspect ratio, and a 1200p resolution, whereas you can also get it with a sharper 1600p screen. Other than this, there’s an OLED option as well, with an even sharper 2.8K resolution and a low blue light filter.

It goes without saying that the OLED display gives you the best visual experience out of all three choices, but don’t underestimate this IPS panel just yet.

HP promises 100% sRGB color coverage here and we found that to be perfectly accurate. Alongside 77% AdobeRGB and 78% DCI-P3 gamut.

So whether you’re browsing the web, streaming a video, or sketching your next art project, this screen is not going to disappoint. HP says it ships select models of the Envy x360 by color-calibrating the screen right out the gate. But it seems that the base variant doesn’t fall under that list; which is why our unit of the Envy x360 looked a little off by default.

Great display overall

Anyway, this screen gets bright enough for outdoor usage too, hitting 466 nits at 100%—which is actually quite higher than the official claim of 400 nits. I am especially impressed with its incredible 1,530:1 contrast ratio. As someone who prefers to use dark mode all day every day, I really appreciate the deeper blacks that this display manages.

One more thing, I’m also really glad HP decided to skip that “Sure View” privacy filter this time because even when keeping it off, the last-gen Envy x360 suffered from poor viewing angles. For a 2-in-1 laptop that’s meant to be used in all sorts of ways, such limiting viewing angles was pretty counterproductive, and yeah… I couldn’t be happier here.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) - Stylus

And as far as the touchscreen experience is concerned, it’s quite nice.

In most markets, HP also ships a compatible stylus for free so that you can get on with your work at once. And it’s great for taking notes or drawing up sketches and stuff. It feels comfortable to hold, the input latency here is minimal, and it just… glides through the display without much resistance. There are even a couple of customizable buttons to further simplify your workflow. It would’ve been nicer if HP had also given different pressure sensitivity levels on this stylus, but for casual users like myself, I can’t say that matters a lot.

Keyboard and Trackpad

  • Full-size backlit keyboard
  • Plastic trackpad with Precision drivers

For the most part, the Envy x360’s keyboard is fairly nice too. The keys don’t feel crammed in and they have a nice texture and travel distance for a reassuring typing experience. For me, its feedback itself feels a bit stuffy though, and I’m not a fan of how loud they sound either.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) - Keyboard

The engraving on the keycaps has gotten better on the 2022 edition of the Envy x360. But I will say that HP could’ve done an even better job with a more contrasting color than sea blue. The Envy x360’s plastic trackpad does its job fine enough. You may notice a bit of resistance—especially when using three or four-finger gestures—but I won’t say it’s a deal-breaker in any way.

Audio

  • Down-firing stereo speakers
  • Audio by Bang & Olufsen

Okay, so the audio quality of this laptop actually surprised me. HP has gone with a usual set of down-firing speakers here, tuned by Bang & Olufsen, that sound pretty decent with some tuning and tweaking. Its soundstage also feels wide and with rich details—except in terms of low frequencies—although that’s to be expected.

Webcam

  • HP True Vision 5MP IR camera
  • Dual-array digital microphone

The Envy x360 also has a fantastic camera.

In fact, its 5MP infrared webcam is easily the best I’ve seen on a Windows machine in a long, long time. And we have Intel to thank for it. You see, this is an “Intel Evo” laptop, which means it has to meet a bunch of strict standards set by Intel. One of those guidelines under the third-edition states that for a laptop to be “Intel Evo” certified, it must have a 1080p / 30 fps camera or higher.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) - Webcam

And believe it or not, this 5MP webcam far exceeds Intel’s requirements to deliver great picture quality with nice details and highlights. The audio pickup from its dual array microphones is pretty awesome. Because of its higher resolution, this camera even enables features like “Auto Frame” which keeps you at the center of the frame all the time. Just like “Center Stage” on Apple’s iPads. There’s even a built-in light adjustment tool to help in low-light conditions and such.

Performance

  • Intel Core i7-1250U CPU (9W TDP)
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics (Integrated)
  • 8GB LPDDR4x RAM, 512GB PCIe 3.0 SSD

On to performance, the 13” HP Envy x360 can be configured with an Intel Core i5-1230U or a Core i7-1250U processor. You don’t get an AMD option for the 13” model and neither is it available with a discrete GPU. Yet.

And their “U” suffix tells us that these Intel chips prioritize power efficiency over pure performance. They’re both 10-core processors with two performance and eight efficiency cores, sure. But with just 9W of base power (that can boost to up to 29W), these CPUs aren’t meant to handle any kind of demanding workloads.

Core i5-1230U Core i7-1250U
Cores / Threads 10 (2x P, 8x E) 10 (2x P, 8x E)
12 Threads 12 Threads
E-cores Max Frequency 3.30 GHz 3.50 GHz
P-cores Max Frequency 4.40 GHz 4.70 GHz
Intel Smart Cache 12MB 12MB
Graphics Iris Xe Iris Xe
Execution Units 80 (850 MHz) 96 (950 MHz)
Base Power 9W 9W
Max Turbo Power 29W 29W

Instead, you can expect snappy everyday performance here. Including web browsing, using Office Suite of applications and stuff; alongside the quietest, coolest thermals and the best battery life. And long story short, I don’t have any major issues with the performance of the Envy x360.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) - Stand Mode

I am using the Core i7 variant which has slightly higher clock speeds and more powerful Iris Xe integrated graphics. But the Core i5 model won’t be drastically underpowered at all. This laptop has passed through my everyday chores which consist of loading up a bunch of Chrome tabs, editing word processor and spreadsheet documents, listening to music on Spotify, and light image editing on Photoshop almost perfectly fine. Almost.

Reliable casual performance

As I said before, the Core i7-1250U is not that powerful of a processor. And when putting it against some relatively resource-heavy apps, I did notice some mild slowdowns. In Adobe Photoshop, for example, applying Content-Aware Fill or using the Object Selection tool takes just a tad bit longer than you’d expect.

And since the base configuration of the Envy x360 comes with just 8GB of RAM, I needed to reload a few Chrome tabs every now and then after keeping them idle for a while. Mind you that this is all without Google Chrome’s new “Memory Saver” feature turned on. So yeah, if you’re looking to buy this laptop, I’d highly recommend getting the one with 16GB RAM because, like most 2-in-1 notebooks in 2022, the Envy x360 also has a soldered memory.

I also tried playing some less demanding and some indie games on this thing and yeah… turns out you can have a decent gaming experience here. As long as you adjust the settings properly. And even with the fan settings maxed out, I could barely hear it spin. The right half of the keyboard deck does get slightly warm too, but it’s not a big deal.

Battery

  • 66 Watt-hour 4-cell battery
  • 65W HP Smart AC adapter (USB Type-C)

As for the battery life, HP has upgraded to a big 66Wh cell this time, which lasted me through around 6 – 7 hours of continuous usage almost every day. That’s actually a bit shorter than Intel Evo’s “at least 9 hours of battery life on FHD displays” claim, but this is an impressive result nonetheless.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) - Charger

And technically, the Envy x360’s 1200p resolution is higher than FHD. So I guess we can cut some slack in that regard as well. For juicing it up, HP gives you a sleek 65W USB Type-C power adapter that takes roughly 90 minutes for a full charge. And of course, if you have a 65W or higher USB Power Delivery (PD) 3.0 compatible charger, you can use that too.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) Review: Conclusion

Summing up this review, the HP Envy x360 13 (2022) is an awesome 2-in-1 laptop that brings the right balance between portability and versatility. It’s got a premium, reassuring design, great battery endurance, a nice display, decent performance, and a webcam like no other in its category.

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) - Display

All that at a pretty amazing price too; thereby seriously undercutting the most obvious choices in terms of 2-in-1 laptops. Like Dell’s XPS 13 (2-in-1). So if you’re an aspiring digital artist, a school/college student, or just someone searching for a reliable 2-in-1 laptop for their business or office work, I can definitely recommend this to you. HP frequently puts the Envy x360 on sale as well, so if you can nab it at lower prices, even better!

  • Our video review of the HP Envy x360 13 (2022) will be live pretty soon too

HP Envy x360 13 (2022) Review: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Premium metal build
  • Couple of Thunderbolt 4 ports
  • Great 360° touchscreen
  • Decent keyboard, trackpad
  • Best-in-class webcam
  • Reliable everyday performance
  • Excellent battery life

Cons:

  • Not the quietest keyboard
  • RAM isn’t upgradable
  • Noticeable slowdown sometimes
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design and Build
Display
Keyboard
Trackpad
Performance
Audio
Webcam
Battery
Value for Money
hp-envy-x360-13-2022-reviewHP Envy x360 13 (2022) could just be the breakout 2-in-1 laptop of this year. It impressively combines a great build quality alongside excellent battery life, display, and performance—all at a pretty amazing price as well.