Notebookcheck

HP Envy 15-ae020ng Notebook Review

Nino Ricchizzi, Tanja Hinum (translated by Martina Osztovits), 09/18/2015

Problem child. The Envy 15 is wrapped in an elegant case and equipped with an up-to-date Nvidia GTX 950M. While the specs of the Envy 15 are impressive, throttling has been a prominent problem of our test model.

For the original German review, see here.

The HP Envy 15 has already been known as a solid all-round device of the upper class for several generations. The good balance of performance, build quality, and case properties were decisive for this success. Now, the graphics unit and case were refreshed. Other than the model we reviewed in March, the test model uses an up-to-date GTX 950M. Beyond that, the inner components remained almost the same. These include an Intel Core i7-5500U, a slightly smaller 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB SSHD. In this test, we will cover the changes. Please refer to the already reviewed model for further details and tests. Our test configuration is available for about 1000 Euros (~$1130) in the HP Store. We will see, whether the new graphics unit has a positive effect. The MSI GP62 not only houses an Nvidia GTX 950M, too. Thanks to its faster Intel Core i7-5700HQ it is a strong, similarly priced comparison partner.

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HP Envy 15-ae020ng (Envy 15 Series)
Graphics adapter
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M - 4096 MB, Core: 1000 MHz, Memory: 900 MHz, 9.18.13.4752 WHQL (ForceWare 347.52), NVIDIA Optimus
Memory
8192 MB 
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, CMN15C4, TN, glossy: no
Mainboard
Intel Broadwell-U PCH-LP (Premium)
Storage
Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive, 1000 GB 
, 5400 rpm, 5400 RPM, 8 GB SSD cache
Soundcard
Intel Broadwell PCH-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: audio combo, Card Reader: SD, two mics
Networking
Realtek RTL8168/8111 Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000/2500/5000MBit/s), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7265 (a/b/g/h/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5), Bluetooth 4.0
Optical drive
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GUC0N
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 23 x 384 x 255 ( = 0.91 x 15.12 x 10.04 in)
Battery
56 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3 cells
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 720p
Additional features
Speakers: 4 speakers and 1 subwoofer, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, Bang & Olufsen, CyberLink MediaEspresso, CyberLink Media Suite, CyberLink PowerBackup, Evernote, Foxit PhantomPDF Express for HP, Mahjong, mysms, Netflix, Skype, TripAdvisor, 7-Zip, HP Connected Music, HP Connected Photo, HP CoolSense, HP ePrint, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
2.418 kg ( = 85.29 oz / 5.33 pounds), Power Supply: 375 g ( = 13.23 oz / 0.83 pounds)
Price
1000 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case & Connectivity

Lifted up
Lifted up

Mostly elegant looking aluminum is used for the case. Plastic is merely used for the underside and the display frame. The case, which looks simple and impressive alike, feels nice to the touch thanks to the chosen materials and rounded corners. But, flaws can also be detected: For example, the lid and the keyboard unit give way easily when pressure is applied. Otherwise, the case appears solid. HP implemented a special highlight for heat dissipation: When opening the display, the back part of the notebook is lifted. This also leads to a more comfortable angle for using the keyboard.

Next, we tested the performance of the SD-card reader with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II reference SD card. According to AS SSD the maximum read rate is 86.62 MB/s and the write rate is up to 63.32 MB/s. It takes about 15 seconds to copy 250 JPG files (about 5 MB per image).

There are no separate maintenance hatches for upgrades. But, the underside can be removed. The included service guide explains how to do that.

Rear
Rear
Right: Kensington lock, DVD drive, 1 x USB 3.0
Right: Kensington lock, DVD drive, 1 x USB 3.0
Front
Front
Left: power-in, Ethernet, HDMI-out, 3 x USB 3.0, audio combo, SD-card reader
Left: power-in, Ethernet, HDMI-out, 3 x USB 3.0, audio combo, SD-card reader

Input Devices

Solid input devices
Solid input devices

HP's 15-inch all-round device delivers a fully fledged keyboard with number block. In contrast to the predecessor models, the keys of our test model are silver alike the case. The key travel is short with a distinct pressure point, which gives a crispy typing experience. All keys are decently firm and do not yield too much at their edges. Touch typists can type quickly. Only the space bar appears to be a little spongy. Overall, the input device is well-made.

The big TouchPad appears to be high-end due to the hidden buttons and the thin chrome edges. Unfortunately, the case clatters during touch inputs. But, gesture control is mostly flawless. Scrolling stutters rarely but is sometimes not immediately recognized. The buttons have a medium travel, which gets shorter towards the center. As usual, input recognition is problematic in the corners. Inputs are only recognized once in a while there. The input device is certainly sufficient for everyday office tasks and web surfing.

Display

Outdoor use of the Envy 15
Outdoor use of the Envy 15
A shady place is recommended
A shady place is recommended

Our 15-inch test model uses a display with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The TN LED panel stems from Chi Mei, while HP still used a display from AU Optronics in the previous model. Many competitors also use a cheap TN panel instead of IPS displays with wide viewing angles. The average brightness is 226.4 cd/m² in mains operation. However, the brightness falls to 192 cd/m² on battery. The contrast of 500:1 is rather average. Several competitors and the predecessor do not perform better, but Acer shows that it can be better with its Nitro. The black value of 0.48 cd/m² is sufficient for a subjectively deep black.

232
cd/m²
230
cd/m²
231
cd/m²
222
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
226
cd/m²
211
cd/m²
227
cd/m²
219
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
CMN15C4
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 240 cd/m² Average: 226.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 197 cd/m²
Contrast: 500:1 (Black: 0.48 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 12.14 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 12.74 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
59% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 38% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.49
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Screen
-0%
1%
43%
Brightness middle
240
274.8
15%
297
24%
320
33%
Brightness
226
265
17%
286
27%
283
25%
Brightness Distribution
88
74
-16%
85
-3%
83
-6%
Black Level *
0.48
0.69
-44%
0.78
-63%
0.32
33%
Contrast
500
398
-20%
381
-24%
1000
100%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
12.14
11.78
3%
11.14
8%
5.31
56%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
12.74
13.81
-8%
12.16
5%
4.73
63%
Gamma
2.49 88%
2.19 100%
3.13 70%
2.36 93%
CCT
15295 42%
15314 42%
12217 53%
5980 109%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
38
47.8
26%
51.2
35%
52.9
39%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
59
73.5
25%

* ... smaller is better

A strong blue cast is already visible to the naked eye. This is confirmed by the CalMAN analysis. The deltaE shift of colors and gray levels of above 12 is very high. Several manufacturers include a profile out-of-the-box, which compensates for these deviations. But, this is not the case here. The laptop is not suitable for professional graphics editors. Among others this is because of a color coverage of 38% of AdobeRGB and 59% of sRGB.

HP uses a matte display, which withstands direct light sources, in its 15-inch model of the Envy series. Unfortunately, the meager brightness on battery is hardly sufficient for outdoor use in the sun. Thus a shady place is recommended.

Since the manufacturer uses a TN panel, the viewing angels are narrow. Colors and brightness are distorted especially when tilting the screen.

CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
AdobeRGB color coverage
AdobeRGB color coverage
sRGB color coverage
sRGB color coverage
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Underside
Underside
LatencyMon
LatencyMon

Alike in our previous test of the Envy 15, HP created a well-equipped notebook, which can cope with the usual requirements of everyday computing. Even several games run smoothly without problems. For 1000 Euros (~$1130), the all-rounder comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, a dedicated graphics card and 8 GB of RAM. Variants with other components are currently not listed on the manufacturer's website.

Processor

The processor remained the same as in the previous Envy 15. HP sticks to a Broadwell CPU. The Intel Core i7-5500U clocks at a base clock of 2400 MHz. With Turbo Boost clock rates of up to 3 GHz (2.9 GHz 2 cores) are possible. At first, the processor works at 2.9 GHz in Cinebench R15, but, the clock rate quickly falls to 2600 MHz. With about 250 points in the multi-core test, our model performs slightly worse than the already reviewed model. The MSI GP62 performs best in our comparison group with 688 points, but it uses a quad-core chip.

After executing Cinebench R15 multiple times, the CPU clocks constantly at 2.6 GHz. We could not observe a performance difference on battery. Our benchmark table of current notebook processors shows how our test model performs in comparison to other processors.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
108 Points ∼50%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
120 Points ∼55% +11%
Toshiba Satellite P50-C-10G
GeForce 930M, 5500U, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
121 Points ∼56% +12%
Acer Aspire E5-772G-70VP
GeForce 940M, 5500U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
121 Points ∼56% +12%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
143 Points ∼66% +32%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
250 Points ∼6%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
289 Points ∼7% +16%
Toshiba Satellite P50-C-10G
GeForce 930M, 5500U, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
287 Points ∼7% +15%
Acer Aspire E5-772G-70VP
GeForce 940M, 5500U, Kingston RBU-SNS8100S3128GD
293 Points ∼7% +17%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
682 Points ∼16% +173%
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
6179 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
10859 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
5883 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
5744
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
8369
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4470
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
50 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.74 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.28 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
69.72 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
250 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
108 Points
Help

System Performance

The subjective system performance was decent during our test. Even during multi-tasking, the test model had always sufficient free resources for starting further tasks. But, users who are used to an SSD will notice a difference to the SSHD used here. PCMark 7 confirms our subjective impressions. Since PCMark 7 favors SSDs, our test model achieved for example a 40% lower score than the MSI GP62. However, it is very strange that an actually weaker equipped Toshiba Satellite P50 performs slightly better than the HP Envy 15. This could be due to problems with the CPU clock rates. We will analyze this issue in detail in the coming sections.

PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3760 Points ∼41%
HP Envy 15-k010ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 4510U, Samsung SSD PM851 256 GB MZNTE256HMHP
5034 Points ∼55% +34%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
6411 Points ∼70% +71%
Toshiba Satellite P50-C-10G
GeForce 930M, 5500U, Toshiba MQ02ABD100H
3923 Points ∼43% +4%
PCMark 7 Score
3760 points
Help

Storage Devices

The 1 TB hard drive with 8 GB cache offers enough storage capacity. The 2.5-inch drive achieves good read and write rates of above 110 MB/s. Unfortunately, the manufacturer does not offer an SSD option. In comparison, the MSI GP62 uses a 512 GB SSD, which achieves almost five times higher read and write rates. SSDs especially bring much higher 4K values, which are particularly important.

HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
-42%
10024%
Write 4k QD32
0.733
0.506
-31%
345.7
47062%
Read 4k QD32
1.433
0.487
-66%
322
22370%
Write 4k
2.954
0.515
-83%
103.9
3417%
Read 4k
0.609
0.327
-46%
30.24
4866%
Write 512
70.09
30.52
-56%
481.6
587%
Read 512
34.17
28.95
-15%
451.9
1223%
Write Seq
116
88.72
-24%
494.1
326%
Read Seq
116
96.06
-17%
513
342%
Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Transfer Rate Minimum: 53.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 116.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 92.1 MB/s
Access Time: 18.4 ms
Burst Rate: 153.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 7.1 %

Graphics Card

The graphics hardware is probably the biggest difference to the Envy 15 from the first quarter of this year. HP incorporated an Nvidia GTX 950M in our test model. The dedicated graphics card ranks in the upper mid-range. Our model competes with 4 GB video RAM and a core clock of 1000 MHz. It achieves almost 3300 points in 3DMark 11. It is very strange that the MSI GP62 achieves 1500 points more, but also other devices with GTX 950M and 850M are clearly ahead. We tred to understand the problem by looking at the sensors with HWInfo. It turns out that the processor does not use its full potential. On average, the CPU only clocked at 1360 MHz during the test. At the end of the test, the CPU frequency only fluctuated between 800 MHz and 1.2 GHz and the CPU temperature was only 58 °C. We recorded a maximum temperature of 78 °C. We cannot say whether our test model is defective. In any case, the actually more powerful GTX 950M model performs worse than the already reviewed GTX 850M model. HP CoolSense was always disabled during our tests. This programs controls performance and fan speed depending on the settings. The situation also did not improve with active CoolSense software.

Further comparisons to each graphics unit are available in our technology section.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3276 Points ∼9%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
4488 Points ∼13% +37%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
4892 Points ∼14% +49%
Asus N751JX-T4056H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
4575 Points ∼13% +40%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
3961 Points ∼11% +21%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
3912 Points ∼11% +19%
3DMark 11 Performance
3276 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
30956 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5196 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2304 points
Help

Gaming Performance

A lower result in 3DMark is not a problem. The performance in real-world gaming tests is more important. Unfortunately, the Envy 15 test model remains more or less clearly below the expected performance in all tested games. In addition, we could observe that the performance gets worse the longer the test, for example, in Watch Dogs.

Watch Dogs
1920x1080 Ultra Overall Quality, Ultra Textures AA:4x MS (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
9.2 fps ∼12%
MSI GP72-2QEi781
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
12.7 fps ∼17% +38%
Schenker M505
GeForce GTX 950M, 4210M, Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA 250GB
10.5 fps ∼14% +14%
Acer Aspire V3-772G-747a8G1.12TWakk
GeForce GTX 850M, 4702MQ, Kingston RBU-SMS10053128GA
16.8 fps ∼23% +83%
1920x1080 High Overall Quality, High Textures AA:2x MS (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
16 fps ∼19%
MSI GP72-2QEi781
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
20.8 fps ∼25% +30%
Schenker M504
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
20.7 (min: 18) fps ∼24% +29%
Schenker M505
GeForce GTX 950M, 4210M, Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA 250GB
19.4 fps ∼23% +21%
Acer Aspire V3-772G-747a8G1.12TWakk
GeForce GTX 850M, 4702MQ, Kingston RBU-SMS10053128GA
24.3 fps ∼29% +52%
1366x768 Medium Overall Quality, Medium Textures (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
33.7 fps ∼30%
MSI GP72-2QEi781
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
53.1 fps ∼47% +58%
Schenker M504
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
51.8 (min: 41) fps ∼46% +54%
Schenker M505
GeForce GTX 950M, 4210M, Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA 250GB
42.2 fps ∼38% +25%
Acer Aspire V3-772G-747a8G1.12TWakk
GeForce GTX 850M, 4702MQ, Kingston RBU-SMS10053128GA
55.1 fps ∼49% +64%
Mad Max
1920x1080 High Preset AF:6x (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
28.2 fps ∼11%
MSI GP72-2QEi781
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
38 fps ∼14% +35%
Schenker M504
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
38.7 (min: 34) fps ∼15% +37%
1366x768 Normal Preset AF:2x (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
54.8 fps ∼17%
MSI GP72-2QEi781
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
75.4 fps ∼23% +38%
Schenker M504
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
78.2 (min: 68) fps ∼24% +43%
Alien: Isolation
1920x1080 Ultra, On, Shadow Map 2048, HDAO AA:2x SM AF:16x (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
31.1 fps ∼13%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
32 fps ∼14% +3%
Schenker M504
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
33.7 fps ∼14% +8%
Schenker M505
GeForce GTX 950M, 4210M, Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA 250GB
34 fps ∼15% +9%
Nexoc M514
GeForce GTX 850M, 4210M, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB mSATA
30.1 fps ∼13% -3%
1920x1080 High, On, Shadow Map 1536, Standard SSAO AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
41.8 fps ∼14%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
44.8 fps ∼15% +7%
Schenker M504
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
47 fps ∼16% +12%
Schenker M505
GeForce GTX 950M, 4210M, Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA 250GB
47.6 fps ∼16% +14%
Nexoc M514
GeForce GTX 850M, 4210M, Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250GB mSATA
43.5 fps ∼15% +4%
Tomb Raider
1920x1080 Ultra Preset AA:FX AF:16x (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
31 fps ∼11%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
31.4 fps ∼11% +1%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
34.1 fps ∼12% +10%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
31.1 fps ∼11% 0%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
32.4 fps ∼12% +5%
Schenker M505
GeForce GTX 950M, 4210M, Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA 250GB
33.7 fps ∼12% +9%
Acer Aspire V3-772G-747a8G1.12TWakk
GeForce GTX 850M, 4702MQ, Kingston RBU-SMS10053128GA
40 fps ∼14% +29%
1366x768 High Preset AA:FX AF:8x (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
GeForce GTX 950M, 5500U, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
63.9 fps ∼13%
Asus GL552JX-CN154H
GeForce GTX 950M, 4720HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV128MBF
64.4 fps ∼13% +1%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
GeForce GTX 950M, 5700HQ, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
71.6 fps ∼14% +12%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
GeForce GTX 850M, 5500U, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
65 fps ∼13% +2%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
GeForce GTX 850M, 5200U, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
67.5 fps ∼13% +6%
Schenker M505
GeForce GTX 950M, 4210M, Samsung SSD 850 EVO mSATA 250GB
71.9 fps ∼14% +13%
Acer Aspire V3-772G-747a8G1.12TWakk
GeForce GTX 850M, 4702MQ, Kingston RBU-SMS10053128GA
87.1 fps ∼17% +36%
low med. high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 164 110 63.9 31 fps
Watch Dogs (2014) 40.1 33.7 16 9.2 fps
Alien: Isolation (2014) 102.2 77.8 41.8 31.1 fps
GTA V (2015) 63.7 55.6 25.5 10.7 fps
Mad Max (2015) 54.8 28.2 26.8 fps

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

As can be seen in the analysis diagram below, our test model remains constantly at a comfortable noise level. With enabled HP CoolSense, the device is almost silent while idle. Fan noises are only audible while idle when we force using the dedicated graphics card in the energy settings. Under load, the system noise increases to up to 42 dB(A), while the average noise level is 37.2 dB(A). The frequency range of the fan is not disturbing. The noise is rather dull and only gets slightly high frequent under full load.

Noise Level

Idle
32.9 / 32.9 / 36.7 dB(A)
HDD
32.9 dB(A)
Load
37.2 / 42 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test
Stress test

The manufacturer influences the heating in two ways. The first is the design of the case. Thanks to the sophisticated display hinge, there is more space for air under the base unit compared to other devices. Furthermore, the included HP SenseCare program ensures that the device does not heat that much on a soft surface. The heat dissipation is convincing while idle. The notebook does not get especially warm with a hot spot of 32.6 °C. First under load high temperatures of up to 52 °C are possible. The maximum temperature is reached on the underside. These temperatures develop during permanent full load. However, we could also observe high temperatures in the keyboard part during our gaming and graphics benchmarks. But, it was still possible to work with the notebook and type. The included power adapter reached temperatures between 36.6 °C (idle) and 47.8 °C (load). Thus, you should not cover it with blankets or pillows.

We check the core temperatures under extreme conditions with our stress test. For this purpose we run FurMark and Prime95. The processor already reaches a temperature of 96 °C after a few minutes and has to work at its base clock afterwards. Thus, it only clocks at 800 MHz almost from the beginning. We rerun 3DMark 11 after about an hour stress test. The score is almost identical to the cold start's. It should be noted again that throttling also occurred during 3DMark 11 without stress influence.

Max. Load
 49 °C
120 F
47.9 °C
118 F
38 °C
100 F
 
 45.2 °C
113 F
46.9 °C
116 F
32.7 °C
91 F
 
 35.3 °C
96 F
31.5 °C
89 F
33.2 °C
92 F
 
Maximum: 49 °C = 120 F
Average: 40 °C = 104 F
29.8 °C
86 F
51.9 °C
125 F
45 °C
113 F
30.9 °C
88 F
41.2 °C
106 F
40.1 °C
104 F
32.8 °C
91 F
32 °C
90 F
31.5 °C
89 F
Maximum: 51.9 °C = 125 F
Average: 37.2 °C = 99 F
Power Supply (max.)  47.8 °C = 118 F | Room Temperature 25 °C = 77 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 40 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 31 °C / 88 F for the devices in the class Multimedia.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 49 °C / 120 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F, ranging from 21.1 to 71 °C for the class Multimedia.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 51.9 °C / 125 F, compared to the average of 38.8 °C / 102 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.9 °C / 86 F, compared to the device average of 31 °C / 88 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (35.3 °C / 95.5 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.1 °C / 84.4 F (-6.2 °C / -11.1 F).

Speakers

Our test model houses four speakers and a subwoofer. Bang & Olufsen offers several base settings for software sided sound configuration. After several manual adjustments, the sound is quite decent. Unfortunately, it still lacks volume. In addition, we expected more from the basses. Overall, the integrated speakers are sufficient for film evenings and YouTube videos. But, you should use external devices to really enjoy music and sound.

Power Consumption

The 15-inch all-rounder is not especially power hungry. With a power consumption between 4.1 W and 9.2 W it even requires less energy than the Envy 15 with weaker components. Under load, the power consumption increases to up to 42 W. The low energy requirements once again hint on the previously detected throttling. The Envy 15 with Nvidia GTX 850M already required a maximum of a high 67.3 W. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.3 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.1 / 6.9 / 9.2 Watt
Load midlight 45.3 / 47.7 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Our test model uses a battery with a capacity of 55.5 Wh. The 3-cell battery has to prove its performance in a realistic scenario. Thus, we simulate web surfing with a brightness of about 150 cd/m². The HP Envy 15 shuts down after slightly more than 5 hours. Hence, the battery life is not sufficient for a whole day, but longer film evenings or surf sessions should be possible without problems. The MSI GP62 is a negative example. It just lasts about 1.5 h without power connection.

Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing 1.3 (sort by value)
HP Envy 15-ae020ng
308 min ∼12%
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD
96 min ∼4% -69%
HP Envy 15-k203ng
289 min ∼11% -6%
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H
448 min ∼17% +45%

Legend

 
HP Envy 15-ae020ng Intel Core i7-5500U, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, Seagate ST1000LM014 Solid State Hybrid Drive
 
MSI GP62-2QEi781FD Intel Core i7-5700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, Micron M600 MTFDDAV512MBF M.2
 
HP Envy 15-k203ng Intel Core i7-5500U, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, Seagate Momentus SpinPoint M8 ST1000LM024 HN-M101MBB
 
Acer Aspire V15 Nitro VN7-571G-574H Intel Core i5-5200U, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, Seagate ST500LM000 Solid State Hybrid Drive
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
12h 33min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 08min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 28min

Pros

+ good design
+ high-end aluminum elements
+ good keyboard
+ good battery life

Cons

- (gaming) performance is lower than expected
- limited viewing angles

Verdict

In review: HP Envy 15-ae020ng. Test model provided by HP Store.
In review: HP Envy 15-ae020ng. Test model provided by HP Store.

The HP Envy 15 appeals with its high-end design. Despite good materials, we could find flaws in build quality in some spots. The all-rounder aims to balance office and multimedia capability. For this, the input devices are an important criterion. These are generally convincing. The keyboard is even apt for longer office work.

Regarding inner components, mainly the graphics unit changed compared to the predecessor. Unfortunately, the CPU throttles in our test model, which gets especially apparent during games, where the Envy 15 falls significantly behind the expectations in comparable equipment. Currently, we cannot say whether the problems are limited to our test model.

Unfortunately, the inner values of the Envy 15 do not meet the promising look.

Apart form this big point of critique, the 15-inch notebook delivers a good battery life of above 5 h. Users who consider performance more important than mobility could, for example, consider the MSI GP62. Acer's Aspire Nitro V15 scores points with a significantly better display.

HP Envy 15-ae020ng - 09/16/2015 v4(old)
Nino Ricchizzi

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
77%
Connectivity
68 / 81 → 84%
Weight
60 / 20-67 → 85%
Battery
88%
Display
78%
Games Performance
75 / 85 → 88%
Application Performance
81 / 92 → 88%
Temperature
82%
Noise
82 / 95 → 86%
Audio
63%
Camera
58 / 85 → 68%
Average
75%
80%
Multimedia - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > HP Envy 15-ae020ng Notebook Review
Nino Ricchizzi, 2015-09-18 (Update: 2015-09-19)