HP Envy x360 (15-aq055na) review: A slight upgrade to last year’s model

Wonderfully flexible, the new HP Envy x360 falls short in portability

When it comes to buying a convertible laptop, big screen laptops have always had to work a lot harder to stand out from their smaller competitors. There's the added cost that comes with buying larger devices, along with the sacrifice in portability. This was the case with last year's HP Envy x360, where its performance was great but everything else was a little lacklustre.

Now we've got a new model of the Envy x360, but at first glance it doesn't seem like much has changed. The aluminium chassis is matte rather than brushed this time round, and the power button and volume rocker have moved position, but even at its new weight of 2.2kg, it's still a pretty monstrous convertible.

It is, however, a reassuringly rugged device and barely flexes at all when put under pressure. The shiny metal hinge also feels reasonably sturdy, which is crucial when the laptop can flip round up to 360 degrees.

Display

If you're getting a convertible laptop for the 15.6in 1,920 x1,080 resolution display, you'd hope you'd get a pretty fantastic screen to go along with it. Sadly, HP's Envy X360 fails to impress on almost every account, as its overall sRGB colour gamut coverage reaches just 59.6%. This is actually marginally worse than last year's HP Envy x360, and leads to a pretty dull and washed out display overall.

This is a shame, as its contrast ratio of 1,064:1 is actually much more impressive, and the wide viewing angles mean you won't have to adjust the screen all that often when you move or are working on the go in tight, cramped conditions. However, as is often the case with touchscreen laptops, the glossy finish makes fingerprints much more obvious to the eye, and, coupled with its rather low peak brightness of 221.36cd/m2, it becomes quite difficult to see clearly outside in the sun.

Keyboard and touchpad

It doesn't help that the keyboard isn't particularly comfortable to type on, either. There's very little travel to each key and their plastic casing also feels rather flimsy, which makes typing on it for long periods of time quite uncomfortable.

On the upside, each key is backlit, taking on the same colour as the silver chassis. I'd recommend only using the bright grey backlighting in low light, as it often makes the symbols blend into the keys themselves, getting lost in the rest of the keyboard tray.

The touchpad, thankfully, is just as responsive as you'd want, performing Windows 10 Multi-Touch gestures without any noticeable fuss. Reactions to inputs feel natural and it never lags behind, either. The touchscreen is similarly responsive, with commendable palm rejection making it a viable alternative to using the touchpad.

Featured Resources

The ultimate guide to business connectivity in field services

A roadmap to increased workplace efficiency

Free download

The definitive guide to migrating to the cloud

Migrate apps to the public cloud with multi-cloud infrastructure solutions

Free download

Transform your network with advanced load balancing from VMware

How to modernise load balancing to enable digital transformation

Free download

How to secure workloads in hybrid clouds

Cloud workload protection

Free download

Recommended

Over 90% of IT teams feel pressure to compromise security
Security

Over 90% of IT teams feel pressure to compromise security

9 Sep 2021
Microsoft Surface Pro review: Still worth buying?
Laptops

Microsoft Surface Pro review: Still worth buying?

1 Sep 2021
HP Q3 revenue misses analyst forecasts
Business operations

HP Q3 revenue misses analyst forecasts

27 Aug 2021
Inkjet vs Laser printers
Hardware

Inkjet vs Laser printers

27 Aug 2021

Most Popular

How to find RAM speed, size and type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

17 Sep 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

8 Sep 2021
Best MDM solutions 2020
mobile device management (MDM)

Best MDM solutions 2020

17 Sep 2021