HP revealed its 2018 Envy laptops, and they're even-more-true to their name than ever. Not only are these consumer notebooks offering slimmer bezels than ever, but they also feature clever design tricks, an optional privacy mode and performance-optimizing software.
HP Envy 13 and 17
One of the biggest changes coming to HP Envy 13 is the addition of Sure View privacy, an optional feature that HP debuted in its business-level EliteBook line. With a click of a dedicated button, the displays become harder to view unless you're looking directly at the screen.
Sure View is meant to stop peeping eyes at coffee shops and other public locations, but you could also use it to stop nosy coworkers from reading over your shoulder, or your mom from seeing what you wanted to buy her for Mother's Day.
And while HP's slimming the bezels on the Envy 13, its also come up with a new way to make the Envy 13's edges as thin as possible (the laptop measures 0.59 inches thick). HP's given its boxy USB 3.0 ports a drop-jaw design, similar to what you see with Ethernet ports in certain laptops, as well a Type-C port. Available in May, the Envy 13 starts at $1,000 and features an Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD.
The thicker (0.91-inch) Envy 17 features an Intel Core i7-8550U CPU with a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU, with 2GB of dedicated memory. It starts at $1,050, with 12GB of RAM and a 1TB 7200-rpm hard drive.
Both the Envy 13 and Envy 17 feature HP's side-mounted fingerprint readers.
HP Envy x360 13 and 15
The Envy x360 (as well as the non-convertible Envy laptops) feature off a new laser-etched Damascus Steel print design on their rear edges. It looks somewhat like a wood-grain or fingerprint, but it's actually inspired by a high-end kitchen knife. I just wish it were on the whole lid, and not just the rear end.
Another feature in all Envy laptops is HP Command Center, an application that optimizes performance based on your needs. So if you're watching a movie, you can set it to a quieter mode so your machine's fans don't distract, or set your laptop to be cooler for use in your lap.
The 13.3-inch Envy x360 13 starts at $760 with an AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor, 8GB of RAM, a Gorilla Glass 1920 x 1080-pixel display, and AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics. HP rates it for up to 11 hours of battery life.
The 15.6-inch Envy x360 15 is coming this month and will be sold with AMD (starting at $750) and Intel (starting at $870) processors. Intel laptops will be available in Core i5 and Core i7 configurations, and the AMD will be sold with Ryzen 5 2500U and Ryzen 7 2700U processors.
HP rates this model for up to 12 hours and 45 minutes of usage, which we look forward to testing with the Laptop Mag Battery Test. While the Envy x360 13 is only sold in black, the Envy x360 15 is sold in either black (AMD) and silver (Intel).
In terms of security, AMD-based models will feature Full HD IR webcams for biometric login, while Intel-based models feature the side-mounted fingerprint readers also seen in the Envy 13 and 17.
The Envy x360 laptops also feature Sure View mode. I tested it out at a media event last week, and was impressed by how well it worked. If you opt to buy an Envy laptop with Sure View, HP says you'll be getting a notebook with a brighter screen than you would otherwise.
Credit: Henry T. Casey/Laptop