HP is updating its range of Envy laptops with new processors, a privacy switch for webcam and, in some cases, built-in support for Alexa. The Envy series is a bit below the best HP laptops, offering slightly lower specifications at prices that are typically a few hundred dollars lower.
This year, there are four models: the Envy 13 x 360 and the Envy 15 x 360, both of which can be turned into tablets, and the Envy 13 Laptop and Envy 17 Laptop, which cannot be returned.
The line is fragmented in a strange way. Laptop models can only be configured with Intel processors; The 13-inch x360 can only be configured with AMD processors, and only the 15-inch x360 can be configured with one or the other. Complete specifications are not yet available, but there appear to be options for the Intel Whiskey Lake i5 chips and Ryzen 5 and 7 AMD second generation chips.
This is important for another reason: only Intel models are compatible with Alexa. This feature has already touched several computers in the past year, including an all-in-one HP, and should be useful to anyone who is already stocked with Echo devices.
The other great feature of this year’s Envy models, in this case, is a privacy switch for the webcam. It is located on the side of the laptops and will disconnect the webcam from the machine. It’s a nice feature, and every laptop should include it.
The four models now have narrow bevels around the screen. The state of the ports is slightly different from one laptop to another (the 17-inch model even comes with a CD drive), but all come with multiple traditional USB ports and a single USB-C port. All laptops will be launched in April and will be shown at Best Buys from May. The Envy 13×360 will start at $ 700, and the Envy 15×360 at $ 800 for AMD and $ 870 for Intel. The Envy 13 laptop and the Envy 17 laptop start at £900.