HP Envy 13 mini-review: Spectre fans, meet your budget option

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We give a lot of attention to flagship PC families—and for good reason. Devices like the Dell XPS 13 and HP's Spectre 13 often get new technologies and design perks before other lineups in the OEM's portfolio. That remains true, but Dell, Lenovo, HP, and others are showing their other PC lines some love, too. Now, it's not so strange to consider an Inspiron or an Envy laptop even if you usually sought out the latest and greatest machines for their cutting-edge tech and processing power.
HP's newest Envy 13 laptop could cause Spectre diehards to take another look. With updated processors, optional Nvidia graphics, and a sleeker design, the Envy 13 looks like it can hold its own against devices like Dell's Inspiron 13 7000 Black Edition, and even its cousins the Spectre 13 and the Spectre x360 13. As with any more affordable laptop (this one starts at $799), it makes some sacrifices to keep costs down, but those may prove inconsequential even for the most staunch Spectre lovers.

Look and feel​

[TABLE="class: specifications right"]
[TR]
[TH="colspan: 2, align: left"]Specs at a glance: HP Envy 13 (as reviewed)[/TH]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]Screen[/TD]
[TD]13.3-inch 4K (3840×2160) IPS touchscreen[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]OS[/TD]
[TD]Windows 10[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]CPU[/TD]
[TD]Intel Core i7-8565U[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]RAM[/TD]
[TD]16GB LPDDR3[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]Storage[/TD]
[TD]512GB PCIe SSD + 32GB Optane Memory[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]GPU[/TD]
[TD]Nvidia GeForce MX250[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]Networking[/TD]
[TD]802.11ac 2×2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]Ports[/TD]
[TD]1 x USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 (data transfer only), 2 x USB-A (1 x data transfer only, 1 x HP Sleep and Charge), 1 x microSD card, 1 x headphone/mic jack, 1 x power port[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]Size[/TD]
[TD]12.08×8.32×0.57 inches[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]Weight[/TD]
[TD]2.59 pounds[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]Battery[/TD]
[TD]65Whr 4C[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]Starting price[/TD]
[TD]$799.99[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="align: left"]Price as reviewed[/TD]
[TD]$1,159.99[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

HP Envy 13​


Starts at: $799.99 at HP


Buy
The Spectre 13 and all of its variants are not for everyone, particularly those who don't like making a statement with their laptops. Its metallic edges and accents make it flashy, and its angled corners are a nod to jewelry design. The Envy 13 forgoes all of that and instead looks like a professional, yet sleek, work machine. I tested a silver model, but it's also available in a gold finish, which may appeal to those who want their laptop to have just a tad more personality than the rest.

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