In your hands, you have a powerful performance that is perfectly balanced
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Even if it isn’t the greatest pick for everyone, the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops of the year. It’s also one of the best laptops of 2022.
The HP Envy x360 15 (2021) is well-built, although the design isn’t very eye-catching. It is, after all, an HP laptop, but it appears to be in good condition.
The touchscreen, on the other hand, is excellent, even if it isn’t a fancy 4K OLED. The HP Envy x360 15 (2021) looks amazing indoors and out, with up to 400 nits of brightness, in a coffee shop or – we assume – on a job site.
In tablet mode, the Envy x360 15 isn’t the most natural experience you can have with a 2-in-1. Some hybrid laptops let you turn the screen to feel like you’re holding an iPad running Windows 10, but the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) isn’t one of them.
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It won’t let you forget what it is, and while Windows 10 tablet mode worked flawlessly, the laptop’s weight and visible thickness when used as a tablet may deter some users.
However, the HP Envy x360 15 truly shines in terms of performance, taking full advantage of its powerful Zen 3 Ryzen CPU and sweeping the 2-in-1 crown in practically all of our benchmark tests.
In several circumstances, the Radeon GPU-equipped Envy x360 15 surpasses its Intel Iris Xe-based competitors by a significant margin. Where things were tighter, the Envy x360 15 still won, and while its battery life isn’t the best we’ve seen recently, it’s certainly near the top of the list, if not on the podium.
So, the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) is already one of the greatest HP laptops we’ve seen this year, but when you consider the incredible price-to-performance ratio, you’ve got one of the best 2-in-1 laptop values on the market.
Price and availability
Both Intel Tiger Lake and AMD Zen 3 mobile processors are now available in the HP Envy x360 15 (2021). There are many configuration options on HP’s site to better tailor it to your needs, but the starting configuration for AMD models.
Which only have the option of a 15.6-inch, full HD (1080p) WLED display, some with only 250 nits of brightness – includes an AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor with Radeon graphics, 8GB RAM, and 256GB PCIe SSD storage for only $708.
The base version for the United Kingdom, which begins off evolved at £850, comes with a bigger 512GB PCIe SSD however a last-gen AMD Ryzen five 4500U processor, with a view to have poorer multicore overall performance than the 5500U improve when you have the choice and the money.
Starting at AU$1,999, the bottom version in Australia capabilities the identical Ryzen five 4500U CPU as the United Kingdom version, however with 16GB RAM in preference to 8GB and a smaller 256GB PCIe SSD.
Meanwhile, the configuration we tested here at TechRadar costs $999 in the US and isn’t available in the UK or Australia, however an Australian variant with very comparable specs to the one we tested, but with a Ryzen 7 4700U, costs AU$2,499 in Australia.
hp envy x360: Design
As previously stated, the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) is an HP laptop aimed at the more professional, enterprise market, so its design doesn’t take many risks.
Still, the design is well-made, with an aluminum alloy chassis that makes it seem strong, if weighty, and a darker metal tone than the Intel models on the HP Envy x360 15.
The HP Envy x360 15 (2021) is also a little more substantial than the other 2-in-1s. It’s 0.72 inches (18.28 millimeters) thick and weighs 4.11 pounds (1.86 kilograms), so it’s not the most portable 2-in-1 we’ve seen, but it’s also not the worst.
Because we are speaking approximately incorporated graphics, the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) lacks warmth vents, and the modest air consumption grill on the lowest failed to get in particular heat at some point during our check-out period.
The downward-firing audio system is a routine annoyance, however, they are not the most effective one here.
Although the Envy x360 15’s sound quality is improved by the addition of two additional top-firing speakers on either side of the keyboard, it’s still a 2-in-1 laptop speaker system.
While you clean up or take video conference meetings, it can easily fill a living room with The Sword’s “Used Future,” but it will be easily drowned out by a vacuum sweeper.
Although the two speakers push the keyboard a little, we found it to be comfortable to type on because 95 percent of the keys we use most frequently aren’t affected. The Home key, Page key, and other similar keys have to be shifted to the side to make room for the reduced space.
The keys themselves are comfortable to type on and have adequate travel, while the trackpad is adequate but not exceptional.
On the plus side, there are plenty of connectors, including an SD card reader, two USB Type-C ports, and an HDMI out port. However, there is no docked stylus, which is a disappointment. Because the laptop is thick enough for a 2-in-1, it could easily fit one in.
While our review unit didn’t include a stylus, other models available include an HP Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen with the purchase of even the most basic models, so while having one is preferable to not having one, you’ll still have to maintain track of the stylus.
hp envy x360: Performance
For the weeks we used it, the Ryzen 7 5500U exceeded our expectations, raking up great benchmark results and performing impressively smooth and fast.
It easily competes with more expensive 2-in-1s with Intel Core i7-1165G7 processors, such as the HP Spectre x360 15 and the Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga, outperforming them both in several areas, including multicore performance, while costing far less.
The Envy x360 15 fell short in single-core performance when compared to the Spectre and the ThinkBook 14s Yoga, scoring 300 to 400 points lower in Geekbench, PCMark 10, and other CPU single-core assessments.
Although Intel processors often outperform AMD’s Ryzen processors in single-core performance, AMD’s Ryzen processors routinely outperform Intel chips by 2,000 to 3,000 points when multi-core processing or integrated GPU performance is tested.
The HP Envy x360 15’s Radeon graphics performed admirably in both benchmarks and real-world use, which surprised us. No, you won’t be able to play the top PC games natively on the Envy x360 15, but we’ve certainly played Valheim on machines with lower hardware.
The Envy x360 15 also sped through our Blender benchmarks, chewing through both Fishy Cat and Classroom renders in less than half the time as the ThinkBook 14s Yoga, making it a solid choice for creatives on a small budget.
Webcam and microphone
The webcam of the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) is adequate, but at 720p, you won’t be receiving a particularly good picture. Shadows, highlights, and all the other issues that wreak havoc on image quality will be a problem, but it’s one that even the greatest laptops have to deal with.
A lever on the keyboard also triggers a real shutter over the webcam lens, allowing you to turn off your camera with the press of a key if you want to keep your privacy.
Another area where the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) excelled was battery life. With a 51WHr battery, we anticipated it to last at least a full workday on a single charge, but it fared a little better than that in our PCMark 10 battery test, lasting just over 13 hours.
This is around 20 minutes longer than the HP Spectre x360 and a little under five hours longer than the Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga.
It didn’t fare as well in our HD movie test, clocking in at just over eight hours and sixteen minutes, but that’s only about 20 minutes less than the ThinkBook 14s Yoga.
And eight hours of video is still a lot, more than enough to get you through a transatlantic journey now that they’re becoming more common.
Software and features
The HP Envy x360 15 (2021) does, unfortunately, come with a lot of bloatware. Most of the bloat is hardware-specific, such as the AMD Radeon Software Center and the Bang & Olufsen Audio Center, and goes beyond the typical Windows 10 programs like the Xbox Console Companion and the like.
HP also includes a number of its own tools, such as HP Quick Drop and HP PC Hardware Diagnostics, that can be useful depending on your needs.
When making video chats or streaming, the HP Enhanced Lighting app, for example, simulates a ring light on the screen. It’s enough for the purpose, but whether you truly need something like this is debatable.
Should you buy it?
The Ryzen 7 5500U processor inside the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) scored among the highest for a 2-in-1 in our benchmarks this year. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better value for a 2-in-1 than this one, which starts at $659/£850/AU$1,999.
If you have a lot of dongles, flash drives, and other accessories, you won’t have any trouble connecting them to this laptop.
Although the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) isn’t the heaviest laptop on the market, as a hybrid that must also work as a tablet when necessary, many people will likely choose a lighter 2-in-1 that isn’t as unwieldy to handle.
Thanks to top-firing speakers, the audio on the HP Envy x360 15 (2021) is very good for a laptop, but it’s still not amazing.