- Editor's Rating
- Rich sound quality
- Control Zone touchpad
- 360 degree flexible form factor
- Limited battery life
- Shallow viewing angels
The HP Envy x360 offers reliable performance and a durable 360 degree hinge design, but the convertible’s lackluster display and limited battery life ultimately weigh it down.
Convertibles such as Lenovo’s expansive Yoga line and the economical Asus Transfer Book have been big hits for manufactures. That’s why it comes as little surprise that laptop makers are searching for new ways to expand the market. In the case of HP that means a larger display.
The HP Envy x360 15t features a bright glossy 15.6” panel attached to a 360 degree display hinge. The mid-tier notebook can easily transform from laptop to tablet and everything in between. But at 5.2 lbs., is the device too unwieldy to provide the flexibility that consumers enjoy from smaller convertible laptops? Read the full review to find out.
Build and Design
The HP Envy x360 features full silver chassis design that provides a nice gleam when it catches the light. The smooth protective lid offers rounded corners and a shiny HP logo in the center. The device’s deck is composed of aluminum with a horizontal striation design. The metallic finish provides a comfortable typing surface as the palm rest is cool to the touch. The only part of the device that isn’t silver is the black protective bezel surrounding the display.
Anyone familiar with convertibles will understand that the HP Envy x360 15t sports a plastic bezel to offer additional grip while in tent mode (turned upside down sitting on the display). Similar the Yoga series, the HP Envy x360 features a 360 degree hinge to allow the display to bend a full 180 degrees. With a full range of motion, the laptop is capable of entering stand mode, tent mode, tablet mode, and of course the standard laptop mode.
The thick plastic display hinge feels sturdy, holding the display firmly in place even under pressure. The hinge provides slight resistance, making it easy to use the touch controls without inadvertently tilting the display. Similar to other convertibles, the device’s power button and volume controls are located on the left-hand side, granting easy access in the laptop’s various modes.
Measuring in at 15.11” x 10.18” x 0.93” and weighing in at 5.2 lbs. the HP Envy x360 is easy enough to travel with, but it can be awkward to use in tablet mode. However, that seems to be more of a shared issue among the current 15-inch convertible laptops on the market; as the HP Envy x360 falls in lines with its counterparts, matching the weight of the Asus Transformer Book Flip TP500LA and beating out the 5.6 lbs. Lenovo Flex 2 15.
The HP Envy x360 15t isn’t overloaded with ports, but the device does offer all of the basics. The left side houses a USB 2.0 port and a microphone/headphone combo jack. The right side features an Ethernet connector, an HDMI connector, two USB 3.0 ports, and a SD card reader.
Screen and Speakers
The HP Envy x360 15t features a 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit touchscreen. Like most glossy panels, the HP Envy x360 provides rich color detail making it great for surfing the web or watching media. Unfortunately, also like most glossy screens it’s highly reflective. Matched with the screen’s limited 215 nits brightness, the glossy display has limited viewing angles. Titling the display forwards or backwards washes out images. The same issues occur when the screen’s viewed from beyond 90 degrees. We found the shallow viewing angles most problematic in tablet mode, as even shifting the laptop slightly can completely distort the onscreen image.
The one saving grace for the display is its touch controls. The panel correctly reacts to each swipe and multi-finger gesture with consistent accuracy. The large surface area and responsive controls make the HP Envy x360 perfect for tablet games, we particularly enjoyed playing Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft on the 15-inch convertible.
The Beats Audio branded speakers are located on the bottom of the chassis. The device delivers rich boisterous sound capable of filling a modest sized room with ease. We were impressed by its ability to accurately depict an orchestral track. The device also comes preloaded with “Beats Audio” software, complete with a graphic equalizer for the audio.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Matching the rest of the laptop’s aesthetic, the HP Envy x360 houses a silver island-style keyboard complete with number pad. The travel distance of the raised squared keys is actually a bit on the short side, but the device’s consistent tactile feedback makes it easy to type at a brisk pace while remaining accurate.
The HP Envy x360 is the company’s second laptop to incorporate the Control Zone Trackpad design. The elongated pad is devoid of buttons and the sides of the pad feel braised to the touch. The textured portions of the touchpad (a.k.a. the control zones) basically mirror Windows 8.1 touch commands. Swiping your finger on the left side of the pad will switch between various applications, while dragging your finger across the right side will open the charm bar. It’s a nice little addition that makes navigating Windows 8.1 feel a bit more natural on a touchpad. Anyone who finds the Control Zone design cumbersome can disable the feature via the Windows Control Panel. In terms of general functionality the synaptic touchpad quickly responds to swipes and multi-finger gestures, and its smooth surface allows for easy travel.