HP's somewhat awkwardly trying to catch some reflected glamour for its summer 2017 laptop refreshes by launching them at the Cannes Film Festival, where it's an official sponsor. The updates come to key models in its oy-too-many consumer lines, mostly Envy, the not-quite-as-cheap-as-Pavilion and not-quite-as-expensive-as-Spectre series. Red-carpet wannabes include the clamshell Envy 13 and 17, the -inch convertible, the Envy x360 and its tear-off-keyboard Spectre ($1,399 at Amazon.com) x2.
The first thing you'll notice about the new Envy 13 is that it's a lot more premium-looking, with narrower screen bezels, enhanced speaker system with more attractive grille and positioning, updated keyboard design and layout and more of the other design changes we've seen for many of the 2017 models, including the new logo. In fact, it looks eerily like a Spectre.
HP integrated the fingerprint reader into the top left corner of the trackpad to move it out of the way of resting right hands. Other updates include an expanded selection of processor options as well as the ability to configure it with Nvidia graphics. You'll also be able to equip it with a 4K UHD display, a dubious advantage given the system's small 13.3-inch display size.
The 17-inch version, on the other hand, has a similar overall design compared to its predecessor, but the connectors and SD card slot have been moved to make room for a much-requested optical drive. There's also the option for dual storage on the inside. Those changes are in keeping with the laptop's primary function as a desktop replacement, as we used to call them in the olden days. No skinny bezels here, though.
HP made some similar cosmetic changes to the Envy x360 , including the Spectre-like narrow bezel on the display, but for the most part you just get more recent component choices, such as seventh-generation Intel processors.
In addition to eschewing the Core M processor in favor of a more powerful option for the Spectre x2 tear-off-keyboard model, HP brings similar design updates to the keyboard and display as the rest of the Spectre line. It also has a new higher-resolution 3,000x2,000-pixel 12.3-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio that can display more on screen for its size than now-predominant 16:9 models. The improvement to the keyboard and less video-streaming-optimized display aspect ratio gear it more toward productivity than previous versions. Still has the fat display bezels, though.
Pricing and availability
They'll all available by the end of June, priced as follows:
- HP Envy 13, starting at $1,000
- HP Envy 17, starting at $1,100
- HP Envy x360 15, starting at $700
- HP Spectre x2, starting at $1,000