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HP's Envy 13 is one of the thinnest laptops ever made (pictures)

The new HP Envy 13 measures just 12.9mm thick. What's the catch?

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Sean Hollister
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1 of 20 Josh Miller/CNET

HP Envy 13 (2016)

You can't tell it from this angle, but the new HP Envy 13 is one of the thinnest laptops ever made. It's just 12.9mm thick.

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That's better: now you can see just how thin this computer can be.

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It's not that much thinner than a MacBook Air, mind you, but the Envy does have a full-size HDMI port to connect it to a TV.

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Let's open the lid of the HP Envy 13 and show you what's underneath.

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Notice anything interesting about the shape of the lid? (If not, just click through to the next picture!)

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That's right: that J-shaped lip actually lifts up the entire laptop to a more comfortable typing angle when you open the screen.

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The lid has a round rubber foot that keeps you from scratching up the anodized aluminum surface when you open it.

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Here's the spacious, comfortable keyboard and touchpad you'll find underneath the screen.

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My favorite feature: a responsive fingerprint reader that can let you log into Windows 10 without typing a password. It's fast and accurate.

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The keys have a decent amount of travel when you press down. Also see: the Envy logo.

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Even the basic $800 Envy 13 comes with a crisp 1080p IPS screen. Bonus: a matte coating that cuts down on annoying reflections when you use it with light around.

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Minus: The screen loses a lot of brightness if you look at it off-center. Maybe not the best laptop for watching movies with friends.

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Another minor quibble: all the laptop's ports have these rough, strange little gaps around them. The ports are unusually tight around USB devices, to the point where I need to exert some force to remove my thumbdrive.

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Here's a closer look at the HDMI port, so you can see what those gaps are like.

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There's a weird thing going on with the Envy 13's charging, too. At some points during the charge cycle, the laptop's processor gets very slow -- enough that it takes several seconds just to switch between tabs in my Web browser. I've seen the issue on three different review units.

To be clear, the processor is fast when the laptop is unplugged, and fast when it's fully charged. The only time this shows up is when you're trying to charge it up from empty and use it at the same time.

It may have something to do with the computer's BIOS. When HP they sent me a third unit with an earlier version of the BIOS, it seemed to work OK...but as soon as I upgraded to a newer version, the issue reappeared. (HP is still investigating.)

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The Envy 13's fan is always running, but it's not annoyingly loud. I rarely notice it unless I'm in a quiet room.

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Another bright spot: the Bang & Olufsen-branded speakers have a wide, clear sound field. Great for dubstep. Not so great for high-pitched sounds, because they're pretty tinny.

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Here's the other side of the Envy 13, with one more full-size USB 3.0 port and a full-size SD card slot that won't leave your card hanging out the side.

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Insert Envy joke here.

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One last look at the HP Envy 13.

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