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HP Envy x360 with ‘IMAX-enhanced’ notebook review: Have a good time at the movies

I vividly remember when I bought the HP Pavilion desktop back in 2004. Its multimedia features – especially the Harman/Kardon speakers – made me excited about the computer. Unlike now when every laptop offers a standardised experience, back in the day computers stood for certain features and you get them for unique experiences. The new HP Envy x360 brings back the good old days with a laptop that earns the title of the first IMAX-enhanced PC. Chances are you might have experienced a movie in the IMAX format and are familiar with the viewing quality. But does the HP Envy x360 really have a stunning screen, or is the IMAX certification just a gimmick? I tried to find the possible answer, and probably more in my review of the HP Envy x360.

HP Envy x360 15 price in India (as reviewed): Rs 99,999

Beautifully designed

I absolutely love the Envy x360’s aesthetic, and it is easily the most satisfying Windows laptop I have ever carried around in a long time. It looks sleek and modern with the lid and bottom bezel having an HP logo, while the chassis is made of recycled aluminium. My review unit came in a shade of black and while it does attract a lot of fingerprints, the device looks classy. If you like 2-in-1 laptops, the Envy’s solid hinges help you position the laptop in a tent or tablet mode. The port selection is good and so does the 5MP IR webcam. I travelled with the HP Envy x360 mainly, due to its portability. It is so light that you can tuck this notebook in your backpack, and forget it’s there.

HP Envy I travelled with the HP Envy x360 mainly, due to its portability.(Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

‘IMAX-enhanced’ display

Probably the most impressive aspect of the Envy x360 is its display. The 15.6-inch OLED screen is a multitouch display with a resolution of 1920x1080p. Being an OLED display, colours are vivid and sharp, translating to rich detail in photos and videos without over or under-saturation. This results in more true-to-life colour reproduction, with super deep blacks. But where the display shone was how you experience movies on a laptop screen. HP touts the Envy x360’s screen as “IMAX-enhanced.” Simply put, the expanded aspect ratio is tuned to experience movies in IMAX-shot content. IMAX enhanced is a new type of viewing mode that enhances movie watching experience at home. IMAX has been working with Marvel Studios, Paramount Pictures, and Sony Pictures to produce IMAX-enhanced content and while the selection is tiny at present, Disney+ is the best streaming platform to experience IMAX-enhanced movies. To be honest, IMAX-enhanced is no gimmick but as I said the selection of IMAX-shot movies is limited at present. Still, watching movies in an extended aspect ratio does make a difference. Admittedly, the Envy x360’s speakers aren’t of the same level as the MacBook Air.

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The keyboard is good for typing

The Envy’s keyboard is responsive and has large keys which are good enough for a long writing session. Typing on the keyboard is not as nice as typing on a MacBook Air keyboard, but I think HP’s keyboard offers a more acceptable middle ground. I have no problem adapting the Envy x360’s keyboard but individual preferences vary. The touchpad is respectable for a 15-inch laptop, and it worked well with the multitouch gestures built into Windows.

hp envy Being an OLED display, colours are vivid and sharp, translating to rich detail in photos and videos without over- or under-saturation. (Image credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Snappy enough for getting work done

The HP Envy x360’s 13th-Gen Intel Core i5 (1335U) processor (my review unit had 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD) may be a mid-range CPU but it gets the job done without sucking too much power. It’s as competent as I had hoped. It handles everything I throw at it, from browsing, Photoshop edits, streaming movies to writing and editing copies. While I liked the Envy x360 it is clearly not aimed at gamers. Even casual gamers will likely be disappointed by the integrated graphics performance. However, the battery life here is just fantastic. When I headed for work- and on most days, I had no battery anxiety. The battery lasted for roughly six hours each day, sometimes a little more. The Envy x360 was quiet the whole time.

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Should you buy the new HP Envy x360?

As a MacBook user, it took me some time to get used to the HP Envy x360 2-in-1 convertible notebook. Not that I am unfamiliar with Windows notebooks, it’s mostly because I live in the Apple ecosystem. That said, it’s always good to have the options one gets to choose from on the Windows side. Using the Envy x360 as my daily driver for a week offers a new perspective on the notebook market even if I am so accustomed to the Apple world. However, if you are in the market for a stylish, powerful laptop with a movie-friendly OLED display, the HP Envy x360 is a good choice.

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