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HP Envy x360 review: Is the world's first 'IMAX' laptop worth it?

HP built it from the ground up to get this badge.

Edited By: Manik Berry

Published: Sep 05, 2023, 04:27 PM IST

HP Envy x360 IMAX review featured
HP Envy x360 IMAX review featured

Story Highlights

  • It is the world's first laptop with IMAX-Enhanced display.
  • Being an Envy device, it is also a 360-degree 2-in-1 machine.
  • You can choose between Intel Evo and AMD Ryzen chips, and deck it up with an RTX3060 GPU.

When HP launched the HP Envy x360 IMAX Enhanced laptop, I was a bit skeptical about reviewing it. Then I received my unit right after watching Oppenheimer in the theater on IMAX. Initial impressions, I felt that maybe IMAX in a laptop won’t work that well. But admitting where I was wrong is just the starting point for this review. Maybe I was onto something. And maybe I finally figured it out by the time I was done writing my HP Envy x360 IMAX laptop review.

To kick things off, the Envy lineup comprises of HP’s premium yet affordable convertibles. These are two-in-one machines, so versatility is one of their strong suites, and the HP Envy x360 IMAX is no different. However, I suggest you read the full thing to make an informed decision. Or maybe, you can jump to the conclusion, quite literally in this case.

HP Envy x360 Specifications

Specifications HP Envy x360 IMAX
Processor(s) Intel Core i7-1355U
Intel Core i5-1335U
AMD Ryzen 7 7730UAMD Ryzen 5 7530U
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Laptop GPU
Intel Iris Xe GraphicsAMD Radeon Graphics
Display 15.6-inch FHD resolution, multitouch-enabled screen

OLED IMAX-Enhanced (500nits peak brightness)
IPS display with 400nits brightness
IPS display with 250nits brightness

Memory 8GB, 16GB
Storage 1 TB PCIe Gen4 NVMe TLC M.2 SSD
512 GB PCIe Gen4 NVMe TLC M.2 SSD
512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
Keyboard 1mm key travel with recycled plastic keycaps and scissors
Webcam HP Wide Vision 5MP IR camera with Windows Hello facial recognition
Connectivity Intel Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 wireless card
Realtek Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 wireless card
I/O 2x Thunderbolt 4 with USB Type-C
2x USB Type-A
1x HDMI 2.1
1x headphone/microphone combo
HP USB-C Rechargeable MPP2.0 Tilt Pen
Audio Audio by Bang & Olufsen
Battery 4-cell, 55 Wh Li-ion polymer battery
Power Adapter 90 W USB Type-C power adapter
65 W USB Type-C power adapter
Dimensions (inches) 14.07 (W) x 8.99 (D) x 0.72 (H)
Colours Natural Silver, Nightfall Black

HP Envy x360 review: Design and build

HP Envy x360 IMAX back

The HP Envy x360 IMAX has a premium, rounded, metallic finish

Right off the bat, the HP Envy x360 is premium machine with a smooth, rounded finish. There are no sharp corners, but a smooth curved chassis that encompasses this 15-inch laptop. Even the lip at the center where you’re supposed to lift the lid is completely rounded. This has advantages and disadvantages too.

The advantage is that it is a really lap-friendly laptop and feels good to use. The disadvantage being there’s no way you can open it with one hand. I think it is a new unit so the hinge feels really tight, but that’s a good thing as the hinge will have a longer lifespan this way.

The HP Envy x360 IMAX has a compact footprint for a 15.5-inch machine, but it still retains all the useful ports. You get 2x USB-A ports, 2x Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports, 1x HDMI port, a headphone jack, and an SD card slot. That SD card slot gives you the option to directly dump footage from professional cameras to this laptop for editing, because the specs make it a fairly powerful option for video editors. However, more on the performance part later in our HP Envy x360 IMAX review, let’s talk about the elephant in the room, IMAX.

HP Envy x360 IMAX review: Display and speakers

HP Envy x360 IMAX tent mode display

It is a decent screen for movie watching, but a better resolution display would’ve changed the game.

I had to do a fair share of reading to learn what it takes for a device to get the IMAX-Enhanced badge. HP had to build this from the ground-up, playing around with the aspect ratio, the colors, and overall picture clarity on this screen. It had to go really dim and really bright on demand, and it had to do all of this for cinema, while also being a usable, everyday laptop.

Hence the specifications. The 15.6-inch multitouch OLED panel, 500nits peak HDR brightness, DCI-P3 certification with IMAX-Enhanced badge give it the bells and whistles it needs. But then, it is only a Full HD (1920x1080p) display, with a standard 60Hz refresh rate. That’s one of the most confusing things about this machine. Something meant for movie watching with only FHD resolution and no high refresh rate screen is somewhat off-putting.

However, the usage experience makes up for where the specs fall short. Despite this resolution and refresh rate, it is a bright, clear, vibrant display which also has touchscreen capabilities. So as an overall deal, you’re not getting a super-high-resolution panel, but you are getting a decent deal for the price.

While the display has had the elephant’s share of this section, the speakers can be summed up in a jiffy. The Envy has good speakers as long as you place it on a flat surface like a table. Pick it up, put it on your lap, or use it in tent mode, and the sound loses its punch. That’s because it has two bottom-firing speakers that really come into their element when the laptop is resting on a table.

HP Envy x360 review: Keyboard and trackpad

HP Envy x360 IMAX tent mode and keyboard

A tactile keyboard, large trackpad, and a touchscreen display. The HP Envy x360 has multiple input methods to adapt to your usage

The smooth finish of laptop also continues on the keyboard and trackpad. Being a 15-inch machine, it has a short travel keyboard, but the keys are spaced really well, so you can type really fast on this laptop. The HP Envy x360 IMAX keyboard is also made from recycles plastic keycaps and scissor mechanism.

Overall, I like the tactility of the keyboard, and the trackpad is also pretty responsive. However, the key column on the right side slightly pushes the whole keyboard to the left, so it’ll take some time for you to get used to this layout.

HP Envy x360 review: Software and privacy features

Windows 11 makes for a decent touchscreen interface, and it remains true for the Envy x360.  It is optimized to cleverly rearrange the windows when you change orientations or flip the laptop into tent mode. Other than Windows 11, there are some HP apps to help you tweak the laptop a bit, but there’s nothing much you can do to customize the machine.

Coming to privacy features, there’s a keyboard button to mute the camera and mics, and a physical webcam shutter at your disposal too. The webcam itself is a 5MP infrared camera with Windows Hello facial recognition. So, the HP Envy x360 IMAX can be quickly unlocked with your face, and you can also physically shutter the webcam if you wish to do so.

HP Envy x360 IMAX review: Gaming, performance, and benchmarks

Benchmark Score
PC Mark 10 Extended 4478
3D Mark 1317
SSD Read and write test (Command prompt) Read: 3120.62
Write: 1585.84

The HP Envy x360 doesn’t get earth-shattering benchmark scores, because it isn’t supposed to. These are decent numbers because the Evo chip is meant to be balanced between performance and battery life. In my usage, I experienced that the HP Envy x360 doesn’t just give punchy performance and just settle. It can keep delivering consistent performance, which comes in handy, especially for long working hours.

HP Envy x360 IMAX gaming

Even with Intel Iris Xe graphics, the laptop can run games through sheer processing power. The RTX 3050 version would definitely be a better option to game on.

Our unit came with Iris XE graphics, and I’d like to try the RTX 3050 unit to see the difference. However, even without a dedicated GPU, the Envy managed to clock 3 hours of Farcry 6 at normal graphic settings. But if you want to game on this machine, I recommend you go with the RTX 3050 variant, or get one of the OMEN or Victus laptops, because the Iris XE simply can’t handle heavy graphic duties.

This is a good machine for basic video editing. There’s a big 15.5-inch screen, touchscreen input, and a decently powerful chip to handle editing duties. Overall, the HP Envy x360 IMAX can handle heavy tasks and deliver sustained performance with a decent 8-10 hours of battery life. We didn’t notice any abrupt heating, lag, or throttling during our tests.

HP Envy x360 review: Battery and charging

HP Envy x360 IMAX charger

The charger has a braided cable on the brick. It is premium but bulky, so if you don’t want to carry it, just use your phone’s charger to power up the laptop.

Again, this is a premium machine with an Intel Evo chip, which reflects in the battery as well as charging experience. However, your experience will vary depending on the variant you buy. All variants share the same 4-cell, 55watt-hour battery, but you get a 90-watt USB-C charger with the top-spec variant. The other variants get a 65-watt charger.

Our model had the 65-watt USB-C charger, which comes with a premium braided cable, but you can charge with any other USB-C charger which is lighter to carry.

HP Envy x360 review: Verdict

This may be a first-generation IMAX display, but it is certainly not the first time HP has released an Envy laptop. I’m saying this because it has certain traits of a first-gen laptops that can be hopefully improved in the next generation. For starters, this gets the IMAX badge, but only with an FHD-resolution display. There’s no high refresh rate option either, and the GPU is literally from last year.

However, at this price, you’re getting a good display for day-to-day work and movie watching. You can enjoy IMAX-enhanced movies on this screen, and also get a x360 convertible machine for more creative and productive use cases. So, all in all, I think I can wrap this HP Envy x360 IMAX review by saying that this laptop doesn’t really do justice to the IMAX badging, but is an otherwise good machine for the price.

Author Name | Manik Berry


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