The first thing about the HP Envy 13 that stands out is the narrow display bezel, affording you the maximum display real estate possible on this form factor.
The Bang & Olufsen speakers on this thing ensure a rich and clear sound quality; so, no real complaints on that front.
An entry level 13-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 7th-generation Corei5 CPU at 2.3GHz and has just 128GB of Solid State storage, 8GB of RAM and 13.3-inch LED IPS display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 plus Intel Iris GPU and just 2 Thunderbolt ports.
The HP Envy 13 is also equipped with a 7th-generation Core i5 CPU but the clock speed is 200MHz higher at 2.5GHz; and, it has three times the storage at 360 GB (SSD) with 8GB of RAM.
The only area the MacBook Pro has an advantage over the Envy is the screen resolution. The Envy has a standard IPS display at 1080p, but the screen is, at least, a full touchscreen.
Apple, as you may know, doesn’t do touchscreen for reasons best known to them. What the MacBook Pro has is a rather senseless and impractical touch panel that no one really needs; in fact, the entry-level MacBook Pro doesn’t even come with that touch panel. It’s only available on the premium editions.
So, the presence of a touchscreen is a huge benefit on the HP Envy. Also, the Envy offers a dedicated Nvidia GeForce graphics – the MX150, making it even more suitable for moderate gaming.
In terms of style, the Envy 13 is just as stylish, slim and premium in build quality as the MacBook Pro and occupies the same high-end segment of the market, as well.
Compared to the Envy, the MacBook Pro is a complete rip-off, what with less GPU horsepower, slower CPU, one-third the storage, no touchscreen and a higher price point.
Furthermore, the Envy offers much more IO options, including two full-size USB ports, two USB Type C ports for charging and video output, a memory card slot, a headphone jack as well as a standard charging port.
The battery life is decent enough, giving you an average of about 10 hours, give or take.
The full-size keyboard offers a great typing experience with keys that are nice and quiet with plenty of travel, and, of course, it’s a backlit keyboard, as you might expect.
HP has done well with the chassis, which is nice and rigid with not much flexing or bending going on.
The color saturation and accuracy in the IPS display is satisfactory, though some people may prefer a higher resolution.
There’s a cheaper base model of the Envy 13 available on the market but it is not equipped with the GeForce MX150.
So, if you can spare the extra cash, it would be in your interest to buy the mid-range edition and enjoy the benefits of the MX150 graphics, in addition to getting a nice storage upgrade to 360GB, which is somewhat unusual when you consider the fact that generally, the storage is 128 GB, 256GB, 512GB or 1TB; seldom do you find 360 GB onboard storage on laptops.
The Envy is a relatively silent machine when compared with some of the similar-priced laptops out there, which are so poorly constructed that the fans run loud even when the machine is not doing anything heavy.
While it’s almost completely silent when idling, the Envy fan noise does draw attention when you engage the machine in some heavy-duty, processor-intensive tasks; even then the noise level and heat generated are well within the admissible range.
HP has cut a few corners in so far as the trackpad is concerned; it’s just too small compared to the huge trackpads on the MacBook Pros these days
The Envy’s trackpad is almost Netbook-sized, but it’s wide enough and functions with an integrated multi-touch button inside.
Performance-wise, it excels at stock standard tasks like web surfing, playing videos and using productivity software as you might expect, and also holds up pretty well when you play moderate level games; but it’s not a hardcore gaming machine, by a long shot.
While the Envy does include the HP Orbit software, which is designed to help pair your PC and mobile devices for better integration, generally it’s a regular Windows 10 experience.
If only the display on this machine could be flipped all the way around for a full tablet experience, it would have made Envy 13 even more awesome.
The HP Envy promises quality and performance at a reasonable price point, which is actually better value for money than HP’s own Spectre laptops and it’s something Apple’s MacBook Pro simply cannot match.