HP Envy 13-aq – compact ultrabook 13″ test, ideal for students?

Positioned between pavilion and Spectre, the Envy range intends to offer models whose price remains affordable without neglecting the important points that are a nice design, a very good autonomy without forgetting a reassuring connectivity in order to seduce a wide audience.

HP Envy 13-aq Features

Slab 13.3″ Full IPS LED 700 nits 72% NTSC with SureView filter (1920×1080, brilliant)
Processor Intel Core i5-8265U Whiskey Lake (1.6 GHz, 4 hearts, TDP 15W)
Installed RAM (max) 8GB (welded) LPDDR3 2133 MHz
Storage space 512GB SSD M.2 (NVMe PCIe)
Graphic map Intel UHD 620 built into the processor
Optical drive
Audio system 4 Bang and Olufsen Audio Boost speakers
Webcam Yes, HP Wide Vision HD with microphone and Kill Switch feature
Network Wi-Fi ac (2×2, Intel Wireless-AC 9560)
Bluetooth Yes, Bluetooth 5
Card reader Yes, microSD
Video release
Fingerprint reader Yes, with TPM security chip
Entry /Exit Combo Helmet/Micro
Expresscard
Firewire
Usb 2 USB 3.1 (Gen1, including 1 Boost) – 1 USB 3.1 Type-C (Gen1)
Operating system Windows 10 64 bits
Battery Li-Ion 4 cells 53Whr (210gr)
Autonomy announced 7 a.m.
Dimensions (mm) 307 x 212 x 14.9
Weight 1.17 Kg
Warranty 2 years
Other Backlit chiclet keyboard, multi-touch touchpad
Software HP Apps

Chassis / Design of HP Envy 13-aq0007nf

Screen closed, difficult to distinguish the HP Envy 13-aq from its predecessors. With its grey colour, sobriety is the order of the day. The aluminium chassis offers good stiffness and is far less sensitive to fingerprints than a laptop with a darker color.

On the upgrade side, theoretically, the SSD can be replaced. However, the operation requires the rubber pads on the underside of the chassis to be removed. Unfortunately, if removing them remains possible, regluing them cleanly is difficult. Therefore, we do not advise you to attempt the operation.

Connective / HP Envy 13-aq Ports

Ultrabook 13-inch often rhymes with limited connectivity. On this point, the Envy 13 does not fare too badly with on the left side, a headphone input, a USB port Type A 3.1 (gen 1) and a USB-C port (gen 1, compatible with the charge). The latter will be the one to be used to connect the computer to an external screen or video projector. All you need to do is buy an adapter or an HDMI cable to USB-C.

On the right, an additional USB port, a micro-SD card reader and the button to disable the webcam.

HP Envy 13-aq audio system

The sound rendering of the two small speakers located under the chassis is typical of a compact ultrabook, rather disappointing. The Bang and Olufsen utility does, however, provide a welcome improvement.

HP Envy 13-aq Keyboard / Touchpad

Despite its compact size, the Envy 13 retains comfortable keys thanks to classic dimensions (15.7 x 15.4 mm, spaced 3.4 mm apart) and a soft touch (race of 1.2 mm) with hushed noise. Note the presence of two witnesses, one for locking capital letters (Caps Lock) and the other when the sound is muted.

HP Envy 13-aq test - the compact 13-inch ultrabook, perfect for students

Like some competitors, especially at Asus, the HP Envy sees its keyboard tilt a few degrees when the screen opens. A little extra for a more natural position when entering.

The keyboard’s backlight can be adjusted to two intensities. It goes out25s and reactivates by touching the touchpad or pressing a button. Its white colour is pleasant in the evening but during the day it is necessary to disable it otherwise it is difficult to distinguish the lettering.

A fingerprint reader is present, located at the bottom, on the right wrist rest. Integration and location are not the best thought out on the market but it is still an inconsequential detail for the user on a daily basis.

The touchpad’s “wide” format (110 x 55 mm) is not ideal for multi-touch gestures. Its matte surface penalizes somewhat the fluidity of the glide. Another complaint, on our model at least, the touchpad sounds “dry” when you tap on it to make a right click for example. Nothing embarrassing to use other than in terms of perception for the user.

HP Envy 13-aq screen

With 5.5mm side borders, the HP Envy 13’s screen can be described as borderless. The top amount is a little larger (11 mm) and receives the webcam. The quality of the images delivered is average, correct during the day but with too much noise and a lack of detail when the brightness declines.

Some versions of the HP Envy 13, like the tested model, are equipped with Sureview technology. The latter offers the possibility of activating a “filter” that prevents prying eyes. Practical for those who view sensitive data or, more simply, care about their privacy, on public transport or in meetings.

However, if it is an interesting technology on paper, it is a little less so in practice. Indeed, even when the filter is inactive, the viewing angles are affected, to the point of sometimes having the impression of being facing a TN slab. Another complaint is that the shiny slab has a fairly pronounced grainy surface, which also interferes with the comfort of use. Therefore, if you use your computer most of the time in safe environments, we advise you not to opt for a Sureview screen.

On the characteristic side, the IPS slab (InfoVision IVO341 – M133NVF3) has a very high maximum brightness (595 cd/m2) for a contrast rate of 1090:1. The sRGB space is 93% covered. After characterization, the average DeltaE stands at 0.22 (with a maximum of 1.19).

HP Envy 13-aq performance

The HP Envy 13-aq comes in many configurations. All are based on Low-consumption Core i5 or Core i7 (Whiskey Lake or Comet Lake). Most are content with the Intel graphics chip built into the processor. A few models carry a (small) dedicated graphics card, a Geforce MX150 or MX250. Good point, despite the fact that the RAM is welded on the memory card, the RAM works in Dual Channel.

In practice, the HP Envy 13 is therefore primarily for note-taking, browsing the Internet, watching streaming videos or, simply, with low-power processor tasks.

However, sorting and developing some photos under Lightroom is still possible, as are some video montages under Première Pro for example but this must remain punctual. Choose versions with 16GB of RAM in this case and a dedicated graphics card.

HP Envy 13-aq test - the compact 13-inch ultrabook, perfect for students

The NVMe SSD (TOSHIBA KBG30ZMV512G) offers average speeds. In practice, however, the differences are imperceptible to the user.

Noise / Noise / HP Envy Temperatures 13-aq

HP Envy 13-aq test - the compact 13-inch ultrabook, perfect for students

On a daily basis, the Envy 13 is mostly silent. The fan only activates during intensive stress phases. The noise is still bearable thanks to a frequency quite muffled (about 39 dBA at most). Note that we found no difference between the recommended profile and the PERFORMANCE option of hp Command Center, both in terms of noise and results.

A thin chassis often makes heat management complex. The Envy 13 ultrabook is also confronted with a processor that regularly climbs to 90 or even 95 degrees Celsius during the intensive calculation phases (for an average of 80 degrees Celsius – ambi temperature24oC). In practice, no particular impact since our tests do not show a phenomenon of throttle apart from a few peaks during 3/4s. On the surface, no worries either. Only the left underside becomes a little warmer to the touch after several minutes of intensive solicitation.

HP Envy 13-aq Battery

With a weight of only 1.2 kg, the Envy 13 is the companion of the nomads. Autonomy must therefore be up to date. In practice, expect an average range of 8h40 (active WiFi, 140 cd/m2 brightness).

By activating the airplane mode and with the screen brightness at its lowest, the battery life exceeds 22 hours! Conversely, with a 100% continuous processor, you can expect to hold about 2 hours and a half on battery.

HP Envy 13-aq test - the compact 13-inch ultrabook, perfect for students

The power supply is compact (98 x 54 x 21 mm). It weighs 300g and offers about 2.8m length of cable.

Our review of the HP Envy 13-aq

HP Envy 13-aq test - the compact 13-inch ultrabook, perfect for students

It’s hard to stand out in a segment as competitive as mid-range ultrabooks. However, the Envy 13 can count on a nice design with its aluminum chassis where the competition is sometimes content with a simple tackle. The HP ultraportable can also rely on a comfortable range capable of meeting the needs of most nomads and students. They will also appreciate well-positioned rates.

The keyboard is nice, the touchpad a little less but nothing prohibitive for all that. The varied connection allows you to connect a USB stick without the need for an adapter. Ultimately, our only complaint is about the SureView screen but if like us this technology leaves you with marble, just opt for one of the Envy 13 equipped with a more “classic” Brightview slab.

HP Envy 13-aq test

HP Envy 13-aq gets 4/5 rating

Compare HP Envy 13-aq configurations available online

Strengths
Autonomy
Look neat and goes everywhere
Varied connectivity
Fingerprint reader (Windows Hello)
What to see again
Narrow viewing angle with Sureview screen
Touchpad
Difficult Upgrade

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