Notebookcheck

HP Envy x360 15 (Ryzen 5 2500U, Radeon Vega 8) Laptop Review

A very rough gem. The performance-per-Dollar is easily the highlight of HP's first notebook centered around AMD's Raven Ridge platform. It's too bad that the software is still a buggy mess.

When AMD formally introduced the Raven Ridge platform in October, major manufacturers like HP, Acer, and Lenovo were listed as key backers of the Ryzen Mobile platform. Only one, however, has managed to launch a notebook equipped with AMD's latest APU in time for the 2017 Holiday season. The HP Envy x350 15 is one of the first commercially available notebooks with the Ryzen 5 2500U APU to directly challenge Intel's Kaby Lake-R platform in the thin-and-light category. The chassis is not entirely new as HP has been offering this same design with the Core i7-8550U CPU for months, but it is nonetheless a significant chassis update to last year's Envy x360 15.

Available SKUs of the AMD-based Envy x360 15 are understandably very limited. Options that are normally configurable, such as the CPU and display, are instead fixed at the Ryzen 5 2500U APU and 1080p IPS touchscreen. In comparison, this exact same Envy X360 15 system with Intel Kaby Lake-R has multiple CPU and display options that may be more desirable for potential buyers.

The AMD system we have today is the entry-level SKU retailing for about $700 USD. Direct competitors in this 15-inch convertible category are becoming increasingly common with models such as the Asus VivoBook Flip 15, Dell Inspiron 15 5578, Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB, and HP's own Spectre x360 15 series as notable examples.

HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx (Envy x360 15 Series)
Graphics adapter
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 - 256 MB, Core: 300 MHz, Memory: 400 MHz, DDR4, 22.19.655.0
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR4, 17-17-17-39, 1167 MHz, Dual-Channel
Display
15.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 141 PPI, 10-Punkt kapazitiv, ID: BOE06F9, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
AMD CZ FCH
Storage
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, 1000 GB 
, 7200 rpm
Soundcard
AMD Raven - Audio Processor - HD Audio Controller
Connections
3 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm Klinkenstecker, Card Reader: SD-Leser, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Beschleunigungssensor
Networking
RealTek Semiconductor, Device ID: B822 (b/g/h/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 20 x 360 x 249 ( = 0.79 x 14.17 x 9.8 in)
Battery
55.8 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 3 Zellen
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: FHD
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: yes, HP CoolSense, McAfee, HP 3D DriveGuard, , 12 Months Warranty
Weight
2.18 kg ( = 76.9 oz / 4.81 pounds), Power Supply: 341 g ( = 12.03 oz / 0.75 pounds)
Price
630 USD
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Similar to the jump from the Spectre 13 2016 to the Spectre 13 2017, the jump from the Envy x360 15 2016 to the Envy x360 15 2017 is defined by HP's "micro-edge" narrow bezel design to offer an immense boost in the screen-to-body ratio of the display. The system is consequently smaller in footprint, more attractive in design, and potentially lighter in weight because of its 8 mm-thin bezels compared to thick-bezel convertibles that have yet to make the transition. Its all-aluminum materials return from last year's model sans the brushed surfaces to look more like HP's higher-end matte Spectre series instead. We don't mind the change as rigidity is still excellent around the base with just minimal side-to-side flexing and warping down the center of the keyboard. Visually, the notebook fits its role as the midway point between the cheaper Pavilion x360 15 and the pricier Spectre x350 15.

Perhaps the worst physical aspect of the new design is its dual hinges. They feel weaker than the hinges of the Yoga 720 series and are more susceptible to movement when lifting and transporting the notebook. Stiffness is not distributed evenly throughout; the display tends to "fall" once it passes an angle of about 140 degrees or so. The hinges are just barely enough to prevent teetering whilst typing on a flat table and not much more. Otherwise, the lid itself is strong with minimal side-to-side twisting and light-moderate warping when applying pressure down its outer center. The Spectre x360 family is still the more unyielding system overall and the one to beat in the larger convertible space.

Construction quality is perfect on our particular unit as we can notice no unintended gaps or defects between materials or around the hinges. Its sharper back corners and edges are nonetheless more vulnerable to nicks and bruises compared to the rounder corners of the Pavilion and Spectre equivalents.

Despite the noticeably smaller footprint from the narrow bezel design and thinner profile, the new Envy X360 15 still weighs almost as much as last year's Envy x360 15 for a very dense impression. Alternatives like the XPS 15 and Spectre x360 15 are thinner and lighter and even the Yoga 720 and new Acer Spin 5 convertibles have managed to incorporate GTX 1050 graphics without being any heavier or thicker. From this perspective, it's somewhat disappointing to not see more customizable options available.

Matte aluminum surfaces and chrome edges have been lifted from the pricier Spectre series
Matte aluminum surfaces and chrome edges have been lifted from the pricier Spectre series
While the rest of the design is closer in rigidity and quality to the Spectre series than the Pavilion series, the hinges here are relatively weak
While the rest of the design is closer in rigidity and quality to the Spectre series than the Pavilion series, the hinges here are relatively weak

Connectivity

Available ports are unfortunately closer to the Pavilion x360 than to the Spectre x360. In fact, there are now fewer options compared to last year's model as HP has dropped both the Ethernet port and one USB Type-A port in favor of a single USB Type-C Gen. 1 port. Users who want to output to a native 4K60 external monitor can still do so via the HDMI 2.0b port, but users who wish for Thunderbolt 3 may want to consider the Yoga 720 or Spectre x360 15 instead.

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Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Left: HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.1, Power button, 3.5 mm combo audio
Left: HDMI 2.0b, USB 3.1, Power button, 3.5 mm combo audio
Rear: No connectivity
Rear: No connectivity
Right: SD reader, USB Type-C Gen. 1, Volume rocker, USB 3.1, AC adapter
Right: SD reader, USB Type-C Gen. 1, Volume rocker, USB 3.1, AC adapter

SD Card Reader

Average read rate from the spring-loaded card reader is typical for a mainstream notebook at just under 80 MB/s with our Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC UHS-II test card. Transferring 1 GB worth of images to desktop takes about 15 seconds compared to almost half the time on the XPS 15 or Spectre x360 15.

A fully inserted SD card will protrude just 1 mm from the edge of the notebook for safe transporting.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
 
126.3 MB/s ∼100% +86%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
 
120.5 MB/s ∼95% +78%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
 
67.8 MB/s ∼54%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
 
23.59 MB/s ∼19% -65%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
 
252.6 MB/s ∼100% +219%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
 
250.6 MB/s ∼99% +217%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
 
79.17 MB/s ∼31%
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
 
20.96 MB/s ∼8% -74%

Communication

HP has surreptitiously swapped out the Intel 8265 module found on the Intel variant of the Envy x360 15 for the slower RealTek B822 WLAN module for the AMD variant. Real-world transfer rates when standing one meter from our Linksys EA8500 test router is only about 473 Mbps compared to 600+ Mbps from the more common Intel 8265 or Killer 1535 alternatives. Furthermore, our unit exhibits frequent dropouts when connected to an 802.11n network but is otherwise steady when connected to an 802.11ac network. We can understand the desire for a non-Intel WLAN module on an AMD notebook, but to switch it for an inferior alternative is not acceptable.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
662 MBit/s ∼100% +40%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
648 MBit/s ∼98% +37%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
625 MBit/s ∼94% +32%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
RealTek Semiconductor, Device ID: B822
473 MBit/s ∼71%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
MSI GS63VR 7RF-228US
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
594 MBit/s ∼100% +36%
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
Killer Wireless-n/a/ac 1535 Wireless Network Adapter
529 MBit/s ∼89% +21%
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
503 MBit/s ∼85% +15%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
RealTek Semiconductor, Device ID: B822
438 MBit/s ∼74%

Accessories

There are no included extras outside of the AC adapter and Quick Start guide. In contrast, the pricier Spectre notebooks will typically have velvet wipes and USB Type-C adapters at no extra charge. The lack of a proper Thunderbolt 3 port also means that the Envy x360 15 will not be fully compatible with most newer docking stations.

Maintenance

The bottom panel is secured by a set of T5 hex screws as well as a set of Philips screws hidden underneath the rubber footing. Servicing the notebook is made very difficult not only by the multiple screw types but also by the tightly latched edges and corners that even our flat edge was unable to safely remove without damaging the chassis. The HP Pavilion and Envy families have always been more difficult to service when compared to equivalent systems from the Lenovo Yoga or Dell Inspiron series and this latest Envy redesign does nothing to buck that trend.

Warranty

The standard one-year limited warranty applies with options to extend up to three years to cover accidental damages and remote services.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Visually, the backlit keyboard keys (~34.3 x 10.0 cm) are sharper around the corners but are otherwise identical in layout and even tactility to last year's Envy x360 15. Feedback is still light with shallow travel and light-moderate clatter. Users accustomed to the keyboards of ThinkPad notebooks or most large gaming notebooks will find feedback to be slightly spongier and lighter than they are used to. The all-important Space key in particular could have benefited from being firmer when pressed.

A small but notable annoyance is the lack of any indicators for when toggling the Num Lock key. There is usually an LED indicator similar for Caps Lock keys or at least an onscreen software indicator, but no pre-installed features serve this purpose on our unit.

Touchpad

The wide trackpad (12.0 x 6.0 cm) is slightly smaller than it appears on the Spectre x360 15 (14.0 x 6.5 cm) likely to save on costs and to further promote the benefits of the pricier Spectre family. In practice, the 2:1 aspect ratio takes some getting used to because its height feels cramped relative to its width and vertical cursor movement may feel awkward as a result. The surface is otherwise smooth with excellent gliding and accuracy for slower movements.

The integrated mouse keys suffer from spongy feedback and shallow travel. The center of the trackpad flexes when applying moderate pressure and its keys feel soft as a result. The clickpads on the ThinkPad X1 Carbon and HP's own EliteBook series are firmer and with louder audible clicks when pressed.

Backlit keys are standard Ultrabook fare with no major complaints aside from the half-sized Arrow keys
Backlit keys are standard Ultrabook fare with no major complaints aside from the half-sized Arrow keys
The chrome-lined trackpad is smooth to the touch, but key feedback is weak along the bottom edge
The chrome-lined trackpad is smooth to the touch, but key feedback is weak along the bottom edge

Display

The Ryzen-based Envy x360 15 is limited to a 1080p IPS touchscreen whereas the Intel variants have 1080p and 4K UHD options. HP has once again sourced BOE Technology for its touchscreen but with a slightly different panel ID than last year's model. Consequently, display quality and colors are very similar between the two generations. This unfortunately means that the backlight is still relatively dim for a convertible and that the screen suffers from the exact same pulse-width modulation frequency as the older model. Users who may be sensitive to onscreen flickering may want to continue to avoid the Envy x360 15 series for this reason.

Contrast ratio is also similar to last year's model at around 1100:1. Interestingly, we recorded a much lower value of about 600:1 out of the box, but our calibration efforts have created a smoother grayscale for lower black levels and this is the number we've recorded for the table below. Texts and images appear crisp with a very slight tinge of graininess whereas most glossy panels exhibit no graininess at all. Backlight bleeding is present around the edges and corners but it is very minor and essentially unnoticeable when gaming or during video playback.

No major backlight bleeding issues
No major backlight bleeding issues
RGB subpixel array (141 PPI)
RGB subpixel array (141 PPI)
225.5
cd/m²
215.5
cd/m²
233.3
cd/m²
213.7
cd/m²
230.2
cd/m²
226.7
cd/m²
204.8
cd/m²
229.1
cd/m²
218.3
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Basic Pro 2
Maximum: 233.3 cd/m² Average: 221.9 cd/m² Minimum: 11.96 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 230.2 cd/m²
Contrast: 1151:1 (Black: 0.2 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.7 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 2.6 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
57.9% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 37.5% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.2
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
ID: BOE06F9, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
UHD UWVA eDP BrightView WLED-backlit , IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
HP Envy x360 15t-w200
BOE0679 , IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
IGZO IPS, 15.6, 3840x2160
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
Chi Mei CMN N156HCE-EN1, IPS, 15.6, 1920x1080
Response Times
113%
-23%
91%
4193%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
30.8 (14, 16.8)
44 (20.4, 23.6)
-43%
56 (22.8, 33.2)
-82%
57.2 (27.2, 30)
-86%
29.6 (15.6, 14)
4%
Response Time Black / White *
33.6 (18, 15.6)
38.8 (6.4, 32.4)
-15%
28.8 (6, 22.8)
14%
39.2 (23.6, 15.6)
-17%
26.4 (15.6, 10.8)
21%
PWM Frequency
201.6 (99)
1000 (99)
396%
201.6
0%
961.5
377%
25510 (69)
12554%
Screen
36%
0%
21%
6%
Brightness middle
230.2
351.5
53%
204.9
-11%
370.1
61%
300.9
31%
Brightness
222
336
51%
190
-14%
356
60%
285
28%
Brightness Distribution
88
83
-6%
82
-7%
87
-1%
92
5%
Black Level *
0.2
0.24
-20%
0.203
-2%
0.37
-85%
0.24
-20%
Contrast
1151
1465
27%
1009
-12%
1000
-13%
1254
9%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.7
3.3
42%
4.7
18%
5.3
7%
5
12%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
20.8
7.3
65%
9.03
57%
9.9
52%
10.2
51%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.6
1.9
27%
3.86
-48%
4.6
-77%
7
-169%
Gamma
2.2 100%
2.09 105%
2.36 93%
2.31 95%
2.34 94%
CCT
6109 106%
6784 96%
6834 95%
6284 103%
6578 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
37.5
64.4
72%
41
9%
88.3
135%
59
57%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
57.9
88.2
52%
64
11%
100
73%
90
55%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
75% / 54%
-12% / -5%
56% / 37%
2100% / 972%

* ... smaller is better

Color space is narrow at just 58 percent and 38 percent of the sRGB and AdobeRGB standards, respectively. This is very disappointing considering that most multimedia notebooks like the Yoga 720 and HP's own Spectre x360 15 have wider gamuts and are capable of deeper and more accurate colors as a result. Digital artists may want to invest in an Ultrabook or Surface Book instead for more accurate colors.

vs. sRGB
vs. sRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. AdobeRGB
vs. Envy x360 15 2016
vs. Envy x360 15 2016

Further measurements with a X-Rite spectrophotometer reveal an accurate grayscale out of the box. A color temperature of 6109K can be recorded which is warmer than the preset 6500K setting offered by the Radeon settings. Our calibration efforts improve grayscale, color balance, and color temperature across the board to be closer to sRGB standards as shown by our CALMAN results below. Unfortunately, colors become increasingly inaccurate at higher saturation levels due to the narrow color gamut of the panel. Blue and Magenta colors in particular seem to be more inaccurate than the other primary and secondary colors.

Grayscale before calibration
Grayscale before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
Saturation Sweeps before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
ColorChecker before calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Grayscale after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
Saturation Sweeps after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration
ColorChecker after calibration

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
33.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 15.6 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 87 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
30.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 16.8 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 16 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 201.6 Hz ≤ 99 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 201.6 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 99 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 201.6 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8929 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is below average because of the dim backlight. At an average of just 222 nits, this would have been acceptable on a budget 15-inch notebook that costs half the price, but it is otherwise disappointing to see on a convertible notebook that is supposed to be more versatile than a vanilla laptop. The wide IPS viewing angles can only do so much to reduce the inevitable glare. Users who intend to use the notebook outdoors frequently may want to consider the brighter Spectre x360 15 or Yoga 720 instead. 

Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Overcast
Overcast
Wide IPS viewing angles
Wide IPS viewing angles

Performance

The main attraction for this particular system is indubitably the 15 W - 25 W Ryzen 5 2500U APU with integrated Radeon RX Vega 8 graphics. Configurations with the Ryzen 7 2700U are not yet available but should be coming soon likely during the first or second quarter of 2018. AMD has finally dropped its controversial "module" core concept for the more traditional Simultaneous MultiThreading (SMT) technique that is comparable to Intel's Hyper-Threading technology. It's a "true" quad-core APU capable of 8 simultaneous threads not unlike the Kaby Lake-R series. Processor clock rate idles at 1.48 GHz when on Power Saver mode and can run up to 2.6 GHz and 3.6 GHz in multi-threaded and single-threaded operations, respectively, according to Task Manager.

The integrated RX Vega 8 GPU is notable for being based off of AMD's latest Vega architecture to supplant the Polaris generation. It is particularly interesting because of its performance; the Ryzen 5 2500U APU itself is targeting Kaby Lake-R, but the integrated Vega GPU is closer to Intel's Iris Pro series rather than the UHD Graphics series.

We recommend checking out our dedicated preview page on the Raven Ridge platform for more information on AMD's mobile Zen series.

Processor

CPU performance is nearly identical to the Core i5-8250U from Intel's latest generation of Kaby Lake-R processors. Before the advent of Ryzen Mobile, AMD was generations behind Intel in raw CPU power with even the FX-9830P falling short of the very old Haswell Core i5-4200U. The Ryzen 5 2500U finally gives the red chipmaker a competent alternative to Intel's mainstream CPU lineup for Ultrabooks. Multi-thread performance is ahead of the dual-core i7-7500U by at least 50 percent according to CineBench R15 with comparable single-thread results. The 2500U also edges out the more demanding quad-core i5-7300HQ since this particular Intel CPU is lacking Hyper-Threading. Intel's answer to the aging i5-7300HQ will be the hexa-core Coffee Lake-H series coming early next year and it'll be interesting to see how much of a performance benefit it will have over the AMD 2500U.

Running CineBench R15 Multi-Thread in a loop results in steady scores over time as shown by the graph below. The 3 percent dip from the first run to the second run is minor compared to the 7 percent dip from the i7-8550U in the Spectre x360 15. CPU throttling is always a concern for low TDP designs in ultra-thin form factors, so we're glad to see it at a relative minimum here on AMD's premier Ryzen 5 notebook.

See our dedicated page on the Ryzen 5 2500U for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R10 32-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R11.5 64-bit
CineBench R15
CineBench R15
0102030405060708090100110120130140150160170180190200210220230240250260270280290300310320330340350360370380390400410420430440450460470480490500510520530540550560570580Tooltip
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
154 Points ∼71% +12%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
154 Points ∼71% +12%
1300X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE Asus Prime B350-PLUS
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
152 Points ∼70% +11%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
146 Points ∼67% +7%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
145 (min: 144.66, max: 144.78) Points ∼67% +6%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
144 Points ∼66% +5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
141 Points ∼65% +3%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
137 Points ∼63%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
131 Points ∼60% -4%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
93 Points ∼43% -32%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
734 Points ∼17% +28%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Intel Core i5-8250U
576 (min: 544.28, max: 575.47) Points ∼13% 0%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
574 Points ∼13%
1300X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE Asus Prime B350-PLUS
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
558 (min: 546.34, max: 558) Points ∼13% -3%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
519 Points ∼12% -10%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
514 Points ∼12% -10%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
397 (min: 337, max: 397) Points ∼9% -31%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
383 (min: 377, max: 385) Points ∼9% -33%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
367 Points ∼8% -36%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
301 Points ∼7% -48%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
1.84 Points ∼75% +20%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
1.77 Points ∼73% +16%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
1.73 Points ∼71% +13%
1300X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE Asus Prime B350-PLUS
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
1.72 Points ∼70% +12%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
1.61 Points ∼66% +5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
1.54 Points ∼63% +1%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
1.53 Points ∼63%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
1.52 Points ∼62% -1%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
1.1 Points ∼45% -28%
CPU Multi 64Bit
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
8.08 Points ∼30% +25%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
6.46 Points ∼24%
1300X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE Asus Prime B350-PLUS
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
6.37 Points ∼24% -1%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
5.92 Points ∼22% -8%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
5.76 Points ∼21% -11%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
4.39 Points ∼16% -32%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
4.09 Points ∼15% -37%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
3.64 Points ∼13% -44%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
3.4 Points ∼13% -47%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
6501 Points ∼60% +58%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
6126 Points ∼57% +49%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
5595 Points ∼52% +36%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
5528 Points ∼51% +35%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
5433 Points ∼50% +32%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
5010 Points ∼46% +22%
1300X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE Asus Prime B350-PLUS
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
4676 Points ∼43% +14%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
4103 Points ∼38%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
3033 Points ∼28% -26%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
21839 Points ∼44% +52%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
17971 Points ∼36% +25%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
16329 Points ∼33% +13%
1300X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE Asus Prime B350-PLUS
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
16094 Points ∼32% +12%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
14400 Points ∼29%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
13779 Points ∼28% -4%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
12799 Points ∼26% -11%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
11403 Points ∼23% -21%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
9822 Points ∼20% -32%
wPrime 2.0x - 1024m
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
492 s * ∼6% -96%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
473.575 s * ∼6% -89%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
433 s * ∼5% -72%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
402.56 s * ∼5% -60%
1300X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE Asus Prime B350-PLUS
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
334.8 s * ∼4% -33%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
331.085 s * ∼4% -32%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
315.907 s * ∼4% -26%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
251.078 s * ∼3%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
212.96 s * ∼3% +15%
Super Pi Mod 1.5 XS 32M - ---
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD FX-9830P
870.396 Seconds * ∼4% -27%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Ryzen 5 2500U
684.933 Seconds * ∼3%
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 7577
Intel Core i5-7300HQ
654.006 Seconds * ∼3% +5%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Core i5-7267U
626 Seconds * ∼3% +9%
1300X Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FE Asus Prime B350-PLUS
AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
619 Seconds * ∼3% +10%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
Intel Core i7-7500U
594.092 Seconds * ∼3% +13%
MSI GF62VR 7RF-877
Intel Core i7-7700HQ
550.75 Seconds * ∼2% +20%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
Intel Core i7-8550U
509.5 Seconds * ∼2% +26%

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
8957
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
14400
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
4103
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
35.55 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
6.46 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.53 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
51.36 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
137 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
574 Points
Help

System Performance

PCMark benchmarks are very disappointing with scores far below those of Kaby Lake-R notebooks. Even subjectively, system navigation and applications are sluggish and slow to launch almost as if the notebook was powered by an Atom SoC. Part of the reason is the primary HDD on our configuration whereas Kaby Lake-R notebooks are more often equipped with SSDs. We highly recommend investing in the SSD option to dramatically decrease boot up and load times.

Our HP system is also fatally buggy in addition to being very slow. We experienced multiple freezes and "white out" screens seemingly at random intervals throughout the entirety of our testing despite having updated both Windows and AMD's graphical drivers to the latest at the time of writing. Most of the crashes would occur during benchmarks involving FurMark or system monitors not unlike on the desktop Ryzen CPUs, but some would even occur whilst browsing or word processing.

PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated
PCMark 10
PCMark 10
PCMark 10 - Score
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4861 Points ∼63% +73%
HP 15-bs103ng
Radeon 520, 8250U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
3925 Points ∼51% +39%
HP Pavilion Power 15t-cb2000
Radeon RX 550 (Laptop), 7700HQ, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
3802 Points ∼49% +35%
Acer Swift 3 SF315-51G-57E5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Hynix HFS128G39TND
3802 Points ∼49% +35%
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
GeForce MX150, 8250U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3686 Points ∼47% +31%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
3673 Points ∼47% +31%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
2814 Points ∼36%
HP Pavilion 15z-bw000
Radeon R5 (Carrizo), A10-9620P, Avolusion MD1TBLSSHD
2080 Points ∼27% -26%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3385 points
Help

Storage Devices

A total of two internal storage bays are available in the form of a 2.5-inch SATA III bay and a M.2 2280 slot. Our base configuration ships with a 1 TB Hitachi HDD while options exist for up to a 1 TB M.2 NVMe SSD.

A primary SSD is the keystone to a fast and responsive system. Unfortunately, this primary HDD contributes to the sluggish performance of the Envy even if average transfer rates are decent at about 106 MB/s. It's strange that HP offers no middle-ground for those who want something faster than a primary 7200 RPM HDD but slower than a NVMe SSD. A standard 256 GB SATA III SSD SKU in place of our base 1 TB HDD SKU, for example, would have made for a much smoother user experience. It's absolutely ridiculous that a cold boot can take upwards of 40 seconds or more on a modern mainstream convertible such as this.

See our table of HDDs and SSDs for more benchmark comparisons.

HD Tune
HD Tune
CDM 5
CDM 5
PCMark 8 Storage
PCMark 8 Storage
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
Avolusion MD1TBLSSHD
HP Pavilion 15z-bw000
Avolusion MD1TBLSSHD
CrystalDiskMark 5.2 / 6
14653%
11981%
-5%
-8%
Write 4K
1.168
156
13256%
150
12742%
1.322
13%
1.171
0%
Read 4K
0.536
47.14
8695%
36
6616%
0.545
2%
0.422
-21%
Write Seq
114.1
1266
1010%
1057
826%
89.13
-22%
108.6
-5%
Read Seq
114.9
1419
1135%
1074
835%
91.44
-20%
106.3
-7%
Write 4K Q32T1
1.212
486
39999%
429
35296%
1.239
2%
1.145
-6%
Read 4K Q32T1
1.189
586.4
49219%
441
36990%
1.548
30%
1.104
-7%
Write Seq Q32T1
113.2
1246
1001%
1283
1033%
90.29
-20%
107.4
-5%
Read Seq Q32T1
114.1
3431
2907%
1838
1511%
88.34
-23%
104.1
-9%
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
Transfer Rate Minimum: 63.5 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 140 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 105.6 MB/s
Access Time: 16.9 ms
Burst Rate: 260.5 MB/s
CPU Usage: 2.2 %

GPU Performance

AMD's integrated graphics solutions are generally more developed than Intel's equivalent as exemplified by the current generation of AMD APU-based gaming consoles and the surprising Intel-AMD partnership. The Vega 8 is further proof of this with 3DMark scores just 13 percent behind Nvidia's GeForce MX150 and nearly 30 percent ahead of the Iris Pro Graphics 580 in the Fire Strike benchmark. The fact that AMD can come so close to the discrete MX150 while beating out one of Intel's best Iris Pro solutions under similar power envelopes shows AMD's commitment to iGPUs for the mainstream market.

See our dedicated page on the RX Vega 8 for more technical information and benchmark comparisons.

3DMark 11
3DMark 11
Ice Storm Unlimited
Ice Storm Unlimited
Cloud Gate
Cloud Gate
Fire Strike
Fire Strike
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Extreme
Fire Strike Ultra
Fire Strike Ultra
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD Radeon RX 460 (Laptop), FX-9830P
5062 Points ∼12% +106%
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U
4133 Points ∼10% +68%
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U
3574 Points ∼9% +45%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 7500U
2841 Points ∼7% +15%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
2460 Points ∼6%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2340 Points ∼6% -5%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
1903 Points ∼5% -23%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650, 7267U
1698 Points ∼4% -31%
HP 17-bs103ng
AMD Radeon 530, 8250U
1365 Points ∼3% -45%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1315 Points ∼3% -47%
Acer Switch 5 SW512-52-5819
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1030 Points ∼3% -58%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P
750 Points ∼2% -70%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD Radeon RX 460 (Laptop), FX-9830P
31294 Points ∼17% +92%
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U
25986 Points ∼14% +60%
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U
22439 Points ∼12% +38%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 7500U
17750 Points ∼10% +9%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
16285 Points ∼9%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
14594 Points ∼8% -10%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
13362 Points ∼7% -18%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650, 7267U
13153 Points ∼7% -19%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
10486 Points ∼6% -36%
Acer Switch 5 SW512-52-5819
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
8599 Points ∼5% -47%
HP 17-bs103ng
AMD Radeon 530, 8250U
6266 Points ∼3% -62%
HP 15-bw075ax
AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge), A12-9720P
3477 Points ∼2% -79%
3DMark 11
1280x720 Performance Combined
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U
4466 Points ∼25% +53%
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U
4113 Points ∼23% +41%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 7500U
3575 Points ∼20% +23%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2975 Points ∼16% +2%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
2918 Points ∼16%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
2784 Points ∼15% -5%
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD Radeon RX 460 (Laptop), FX-9830P
2742 Points ∼15% -6%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650, 7267U
2517 (min: 2509, max: 2525) Points ∼14% -14%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1968 Points ∼11% -33%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1800 Points ∼10% -38%
HP 17-bs103ng
AMD Radeon 530, 8250U
1869 Points ∼10% -36%
Acer Switch 5 SW512-52-5819
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1567 Points ∼9% -46%
1280x720 Performance GPU
Asus FX550IU-WSFX
AMD Radeon RX 460 (Laptop), FX-9830P
7794 Points ∼15% +116%
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U
4826 Points ∼9% +34%
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U
4251 Points ∼8% +18%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
AMD Radeon RX Vega 8, 2500U
3602 Points ∼7%
HP Envy 13-ad006ng
NVIDIA GeForce MX150, 7500U
3459 Points ∼7% -4%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ
3220 Points ∼6% -11%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 7500U
2849 Points ∼6% -21%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017 Touchbar i5
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650, 7267U
2761.5 (min: 2743, max: 2780) Points ∼5% -23%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
2401 Points ∼5% -33%
Microsoft Surface Laptop i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U
1980 Points ∼4% -45%
HP 17-bs103ng
AMD Radeon 530, 8250U
2320 Points ∼5% -36%
Acer Switch 5 SW512-52-5819
Intel HD Graphics 620, 7500U
1613 Points ∼3% -55%
3DMark 11 Performance
3759 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
10601 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
2262 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme Score
1091 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The impressive raw performance scores in 3DMark do not translate well into real-world gaming conditions. Whereas the Vega 8 is consistently ahead of the GeForce 940MX in the above 3DMark examples, the opposite is true during gameplay on most titles. Furthermore, the AMD GPU appears to be suffering from many of the same issues that plagued previous mobile Radeon mobile GPUs. A few titles would consistently fail to launch (Ashes of the Singularity, LOTR: Shadow of War) while native support for 768p output is not available. Frame rates are still ahead of the Skull Canyon NUC that Intel had boasted during its IDF 2016 keynote but still significantly slower than the GeForce MX150.

Gaming at native 1080p is not practical given the horsepower available from the integrated Vega 8 GPU and its poor driver support at the time of writing. Overwatch, for example, is not graphically demanding but still hovers around 40 to 50 FPS when at 1080p and with all graphical settings set to low. In comparison, the MX150 is more capable of offering a console-like 1080p30 experience whereas the Vega 8 still has an uphill battle against its own set of drivers.

BioShock Infinite - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset, DX11 (DDOF)
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
35 fps ∼100% +75%
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
34.8 fps ∼99% +74%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
23.9 fps ∼68% +20%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
20 fps ∼57%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
14.9 fps ∼43% -25%
Apple MacBook Pro 13 2017
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7360U, Apple SSD AP0128
12.5 fps ∼36% -37%
HP Pavilion 17z 1EX13AV
Radeon R7 M340, A12-9720P, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
11.8 fps ∼34% -41%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
10 fps ∼29% -50%
Samsung Notebook 9 NP900X3N-K01US
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung CM871a MZNTY256HDHP
7.6 fps ∼22% -62%
Rise of the Tomb Raider - 1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX AF:4x
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
GeForce MX150, 8550U, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP
23.1 fps ∼100% +50%
Acer Aspire E5-575G-549D
GeForce GTX 950M, 7200U, Toshiba MQ01ABD100
18.8 fps ∼81% +22%
Lenovo ThinkPad 25
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Samsung SM961 MZVKW512HMJP m.2 PCI-e
16.4 fps ∼71% +6%
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
15.4 fps ∼67%
Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK
Iris Pro Graphics 580, 6770HQ, Samsung SSD 850 EVO m.2 120GB
12.2 fps ∼53% -21%
Dell XPS 13 i7-8550U
UHD Graphics 620, 8550U, Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV256G
7.4 fps ∼32% -52%
low med. high ultra
Guild Wars 2 (2012) 72.312.9fps
BioShock Infinite (2013) 114.420fps
Metro: Last Light (2013) 6014.2fps
Thief (2014) 45.914fps
The Witcher 3 (2015) 42.314fps
Batman: Arkham Knight (2015) 4216fps
Metal Gear Solid V (2015) 603120fps
Fallout 4 (2015) 43.914.9fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 49.315.4fps
Ashes of the Singularity (2016) 12.9fps
Overwatch (2016) 94.240fps
Mafia 3 (2016) 13fps
Prey (2017) 63.221.7fps
Dirt 4 (2017) 90.435.620.9fps
F1 2017 (2017) 602722fps

Stress Test

We stress the notebook to identify for any potential throttling or stability issues. For this AMD notebook, however, monitoring tools such as GPU-Z, HWiNFO64, and AIDA64 are unable to report reliable numbers at the time or writing likely because they have not been updated to properly support the Raven Ridge platform. HWMonitor is used in their place for monitoring CPU clock rates, but GPU readings remain at 0 MHz until future patches address the issue. We will revisit stress test performance on future Ryzen laptops when proper software support will have matured.

Prime95 load will cause all four cores to run at 2.6 GHz for the first few seconds before dropping slightly to the 2.4 to 2.6 GHz range. Interestingly, one of the four cores will stabilize at a much slower 1.5 GHz which is uncommon behavior on Intel U-class notebooks. Core temperature appears to plateau at about 74 C or a few degrees warmer than the i7-8550U CPU in the Spectre x360 15 under similar conditions. Running both Prime95 and FurMark simultaneously to stress the APU will throttle CPU clock rates to the 1.5 to 1.8 GHz range with a stable core temperature in the low 70 C range. CPU utilization maxes out at 86 percent according to Task Manager to suggest insufficient power for running both the CPU and iGPU at 100 percent loads each.

We cannot reliably record GPU clock rates at this time, but a Witcher 3 stress test reveals steady frame rates over an hour long period with occasional dips to the mid 30 FPS range. The dips are likely due to background activity and are not directly related to a throttling GPU clock rate.

Running on battery power will throttle both CPU and GPU clock rates. A 3DMark Fire Strike run on batteries returns Physics and Graphics scores of 5837 and 2063 points, respectively, compared to 8768 and 2460 points when on mains.

Prime95 stress
Prime95 stress
FurMark stress
FurMark stress
Prime95 + FurMark stress
Prime95 + FurMark stress
Witcher 3 stress
Witcher 3 stress
012345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728293031323334353637383940414243444546Tooltip
The Witcher 3 low
CPU Clock (GHz) GPU Clock (MHz) Average CPU Temperature (°C)
Prime95 Stress 1. 5 - 1.8, 2.4 - 2.6 -- 74
Prime95 + FurMark Stress 1.5 - 1.8 -- 71
Witcher 3 Stress (if applicable) 1.2 - 2.1 -- 64

Emissions

System Noise

The internal fan is always active no matter the onscreen load. It wouldn't have been so bad if the fan was quiet at its lowest speed, but 32 dB(A) is noticeable in a classroom or office setting. The noise becomes especially more noticeable when in tablet mode since users are likely to hold the display closer to the ears. Furthermore, light loads like browsing will cause the fan to occasionally pulsate between 32 dB(A) and 34 dB(A) to make fan noise even more of a nuisance. To AMD's credit, however, the HP Envy and Spectre convertibles are generally louder than the Lenovo Yoga series regardless of CPU. We recommend setting the notebook to Power Saver mode for more steady fan behavior.

Aside from the disappointing fan noise when idling or during low loads, the AMD notebook is not significantly louder or softer than its Intel peers when under higher loads. Gaming will induce a fan noise of about 43 dB(A), which is a common threshold for many gaming notebooks. Considering that there is no dedicated GPU in this Envy offering, however, a quieter result would have been appreciated.

Otherwise, we can notice no coil whine or electronic noise on our test unit.

Envy x360 15m-bq1xx (White: background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Envy x360 15m-bq1xx (White: background, Red: System idle, Blue: 3DMark06, Orange: Witcher 3, Green: Prime95+FurMark)
Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Dell XPS 15 9560 7700HQ
Dell XPS 15 9560 7700HQ

Noise Level

Idle
32.3 / 32.4 / 34.2 dB(A)
Load
36.2 / 45.3 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   BK Precision 732A (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 28.5 dB(A)
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
Vega 8, 2500U, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630
HP Omen 15-ce002ng
GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q, 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 7700HQ, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
GeForce 940MX, 7500U, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK)
HP Envy x360 15t-w200
GeForce 930MX, 7500U, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1
Asus Zenbook UX510UW-CN044T
GeForce GTX 960M, 6500U, SanDisk SD8SNAT256G1002
Noise
-4%
6%
1%
-2%
-3%
off / environment *
28.5
30
-5%
28.2
1%
28.5
-0%
30.2
-6%
31.6
-11%
Idle Minimum *
32.3
30
7%
28.2
13%
28.5
12%
33.8
-5%
31.6
2%
Idle Average *
32.4
33
-2%
28.2
13%
28.5
12%
33.9
-5%
31.6
2%
Idle Maximum *
34.2
37
-8%
28.2
18%
36.3
-6%
34.2
-0%
33.4
2%
Load Average *
36.2
41
-13%
39
-8%
42.7
-18%
36
1%
41.7
-15%
Witcher 3 ultra *
42.8
42
2%
Load Maximum *
45.3
50
-10%
46.3
-2%
42.7
6%
44
3%
44.8
1%

* ... smaller is better

Temperature

Exhaust heat exits through the rear
Exhaust heat exits through the rear

Surface temperatures are flat on both sides of the notebook when idling. The right side of the notebook appears to always be warmer than the left including the palm rests, but the delta is minor enough to not have any impact on comfort. When on maximum load (Prime95+FurMark), a hot spot of 40 C can be observed above the first row of keyboard keys where users are less likely to touch during use. Keyboard keys will be warmer but not by an alarming degree.

Temperature characteristics are similar to the Intel-powered Yoga 720 and Inspiron 15 5578 convertibles in that they each have hot spots in the low 40 C range. The new Envy x360 15 actually runs warmer and with a steeper temperature gradient than on the older Envy x360 15 because of the redesigned cooling system. In turn, HP has moved the hot spot away from the center of the keyboard to be more like the Spectre series of convertibles.

Note that it is not recommended to sit the system on ones lap in tablet mode with the rear ventlation grilles facing downward. Instead, be sure to rotate the notebook in such a way that the grilles face upwards or sideways instead for optimal cooling.

Idling load (top)
Idling load (top)
Idling load (bottom)
Idling load (bottom)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (top)
Maximum load (bottom)
Maximum load (bottom)
Max. Load
 27.6 °C
82 F
40 °C
104 F
33 °C
91 F
 
 25.8 °C
78 F
33.4 °C
92 F
31.4 °C
89 F
 
 24 °C
75 F
25 °C
77 F
27.6 °C
82 F
 
Maximum: 40 °C = 104 F
Average: 29.8 °C = 86 F
38.8 °C
102 F
44 °C
111 F
31.2 °C
88 F
37.2 °C
99 F
34.2 °C
94 F
29.6 °C
85 F
32 °C
90 F
30 °C
86 F
27.6 °C
82 F
Maximum: 44 °C = 111 F
Average: 33.8 °C = 93 F
Power Supply (max.)  47.2 °C = 117 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 29.8 °C / 86 F, compared to the average of 30.4 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 44 °C / 111 F, compared to the average of 36.6 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 22.4 °C / 72 F, compared to the device average of 30.4 °C / 87 F.
(+) Playing The Witcher 3, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.9 °C / 89 F, compared to the device average of 30.4 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are cooler than skin temperature with a maximum of 30.2 °C / 86.4 F and are therefore cool to the touch.
(±) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29.2 °C / 84.6 F (-1 °C / -1.8 F).

Speakers

Sound quality from the B&O stereo speakers is quite close to the speakers of the Spectre x360 15 as shown by our microphone measurements below. Bass reproduction is fair and maximum volume is sufficiently loud. There is no rattling, static, or major imbalances when on higher volume settings.

Envy x360 15m-bq1xx (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
Envy x360 15m-bq1xx (Red: System idle, Pink: Pink noise)
Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
MSI GT72VR 6RD
MSI GT72VR 6RD
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2036.737.12535.134.73134.732.74031.932.65032.133.46332.231.3803131.810029.730.312528.829.516029.334.620028.845.525026.951.231526.656.940025.756.950024.759.563024.560.480025.563.9100023.763.212502465.5160023.863200023.956.2250023.556.9315023.755.4400023.955.9500023.960.6630023.658.7800023.654.81000023.550.21250023.549.31600023.738.4SPL36.272.3N2.729.8median 23.9median 56.2Delta1.36.535.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseHP Envy x360 15m-bq121dxApple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (65.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 15.1% lower than median
(-) | bass is not linear (15.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.3% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 59% of all tested devices in this class were better, 6% similar, 35% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 60% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 33% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 96% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency Comparison (Checkbox selectable!)
Graph 1: Pink Noise 100% Vol.; Graph 2: Audio off

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Ryzen-based HP is roughly comparable to notebooks powered by ULV Intel CPUs and entry-level Nvidia GPUs. The Xiaomi Mi Pro is perhaps the best example of this as it carries the i5-8350U CPU, MX150 GPU, and the same size 1080p IPS display as our Ryzen HP. When subjected to average (3DMark06) and Witcher 3 loads, both systems are nearly identical at 46 W to 51 W each. The performance-per-Watt is still very slightly in Nvidia's favor as the MX150 is about 15 percent faster than the integrated Vega 8 as shown by our 3DMark scores without drawing much more from the outlet. The higher-end Spectre x360 15 (i7-8550U, MX150, 4K UHD) SKU is measurably more power-hungry than our Ryzen Envy x360 15 by almost 15 W when running Witcher 3. Despite this, the systems are actually very close in performance-per-Watt when taking into account both the more demanding NVMe SSD and brighter and denser display of the Spectre.

Running Witcher 3 on an external monitor demands 41.3 W compared to 45.8 W if on the internal display.

Notebooks with Intel U-class processors and integrated HD Graphics are still more power efficient than our Ryzen system. The 15.6-inch Dell Latitude 5580 with an i5-7300U, for example, draws about 30 W when under medium loads or higher compared to 45+ W on the AMD Envy notebook. Power consumption is only a few Watts less than the 15.6-inch Acer Aspire E5-574 with the Iris Graphics 550 when under demanding loads.

Maximum load with both Prime95 and FurMark running simultaneously will draw about 50 W from a small (7.5 x 7.5 x 3.0 cm) 65 W AC adapter compared to 77 W on the Intel- and Nvidia-powered Spectre x360 15. The discrepancy can be contributed to the 15 W i7-8550U CPU + 25 W MX150 GPU alongside the more demanding components of the Spectre compared to the single 25 W cTDP Ryzen 5 APU and dimmer FHD screen of our Envy.

It's interesting to mention that the 65 W adapter appears to be a special case for the AMD model. The equivalent Intel Envy x360 15 alternative, for example, ships with either a 45 W or 90 W adapter depending on the configuration.

3DMark 06 Return to Proxycon external monitor output. Note the average power consumption at the bottom line over the course of the benchmark
3DMark 06 Return to Proxycon external monitor output. Note the average power consumption at the bottom line over the course of the benchmark
CineBench R15 Multi-Thread external monitor output. Power consumption is constant throughout the entirety of a single run
CineBench R15 Multi-Thread external monitor output. Power consumption is constant throughout the entirety of a single run
Witcher 3 external monitor output
Witcher 3 external monitor output
Prime95+FurMark external monitor output
Prime95+FurMark external monitor output
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.3 / 0.47 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 5.9 / 8.7 / 10.5 Watt
Load midlight 45.7 / 49.4 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
2500U, Vega 8, HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HTS721010A9E630, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Xiaomi Mi Notebook Pro i5
8250U, GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS LED, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
7500U, GeForce 940MX, Toshiba XG4 NVMe (THNSN5512GPUK), IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
HP Envy x360 15t-w200
7500U, GeForce 930MX, WDC Slim WD10SPCX-24HWST1, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
8550U, GeForce MX150, Samsung PM961 NVMe MZVLW512HMJP, IPS, 3840x2160, 15.6
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 1920x1080, 15.6
Power Consumption
8%
-26%
16%
-54%
-59%
Idle Minimum *
5.9
3.7
37%
8.14
-38%
5
15%
11.6
-97%
8.3
-41%
Idle Average *
8.7
7.5
14%
10.91
-25%
8.3
5%
13.8
-59%
10.2
-17%
Idle Maximum *
10.5
8
24%
12.26
-17%
7.8
26%
14.2
-35%
10.4
1%
Load Average *
45.7
49
-7%
45.67
-0%
28.8
37%
67.9
-49%
67.5
-48%
Load Maximum *
49.4
55.2
-12%
74.94
-52%
49.7
-1%
76.9
-56%
117.2
-137%
Witcher 3 ultra *
45.8
50.6
-10%
59.04
-29%
96.5
-111%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

HP has upped the internal battery capacity from 48 Wh on last year's Envy x360 15 to 55.8 Wh on this latest iteration. Capacity is still rather small compared to the the 70+ Wh batteries found in the 15.6-inch Spectre x360 and Yoga 720 series and the relatively short battery life of the AMD-powered system reflects this. At about 6.5 hours of real-world WLAN use before automatic shutdown, this is about 2 hours shorter than on the aforementioned Lenovo or higher-end Spectre equivalent. On the bright side, WLAN runtimes are slightly longer than on last year's Envy x360 with its now-outdated GeForce 940MX GPU.

Charging from near empty to full capacity takes just 1.5 hours compared to 2 hours on most other notebooks.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 55min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
6h 38min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 17min
HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx
2500U, Vega 8, 55.8 Wh
Lenovo Yoga 720-15IKB-80X7
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 72 Wh
HP Spectre x360 15-bl002xx
7500U, GeForce 940MX, 79.2 Wh
HP Envy x360 15t-w200
7500U, GeForce 930MX, 48 Wh
HP Spectre x360 15t-bl100
8550U, GeForce MX150, 79.2 Wh
Dell XPS 15 9560 (i7-7700HQ, UHD)
7700HQ, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 97 Wh
Battery Runtime
37%
53%
-2%
49%
23%
Reader / Idle
655
1066
63%
866
32%
635
-3%
934
43%
831
27%
WiFi v1.3
398
484
22%
535
34%
320
-20%
511
28%
434
9%
Load
77
96
25%
148
92%
89
16%
136
77%
103
34%

Pros

+ CPU performance is similar to i5-8250U, i7-8550U
+ cheaper than an Intel Kaby Lake-R alternative
+ faster GPU performance than Iris Pro Graphics
+ steady CPU performance; no throttling
+ larger battery than 2016 model
+ attractive narrow bezel design
+ strong base; relatively rigid lid
+ strong performance-per-Watt
+ USB Type-C Gen. 1

Cons

- dropped RJ-45 port and one less USB Type-A port than 2016 model
- poorer-than-expected graphics performance when gaming
- pulse-width modulation if not on maximum brightness
- slight creaking; not as strong as the Spectre x360 15
- slower 2x2 WLAN performance than Intel equivalent
- poor outdoor visibility; display could be brighter
- frequent system crashes; poor display drivers
- system fan always active; frequent pulsing
- slow system performance; primary HDD
- narrow color gamut; inaccurate colors
- no Thunderbolt 3 or DisplayPort
- trackpad could be firmer
- difficult serviceability

Verdict

In review: HP Envy x360 15m-bq1xx
In review: HP Envy x360 15m-bq1xx

Since this is the first commercially available notebook equipped with Raven Ridge, our verdict can be split into two parts. The first part relates to the AMD hardware itself. On paper, the 25 W cTDP Ryzen 5 2500U APU and RX Vega 8 GPU are able to stand neck-to-neck with current 15 W Kaby Lake-R options (i5-8250, i7-8550U) while outperforming even the Iris Pro Graphics 580 in synthetic benchmarks. Combine this with the generally lower price tag and there is seemingly no reason to choose Intel over AMD with all else being equal.

Unfortunately for AMD, all else is not equal and Raven Ridge is simply not yet ready for prime time. Our test unit is extraordinarily slow and suffers from random crashes. In particular, the system would crash more frequently when stressing the GPU or running gaming loads similar to the previous generation of AMD Dual Graphics notebooks like on the Asus FX550IU. Synthetic benchmarks may reveal the Vega 8 to be faster than the aging GeForce 940MX, but the opposite is true when running most modern games. This is classic AMD for better or worse - excellent performance-per-Dollar that's ultimately dragged down by inferior drivers and developer support.

Potential buyers who are drawn in by the impressive processor performance will find the lower price attractive over an Intel Kaby Lake-R equivalent. On the other hand, gamers will find nothing but disappointment in the RX Vega 8 until its drivers are up to speed. It may be over twice as powerful as the UHD Graphics 620 in synthetic tests, but the MX150 is still the better investment for reliable 1080p gaming on a budget.

The second part of our verdict is on the HP notebook as a whole. The manufacturer has successfully incorporated Spectre-class narrow bezels onto its mainstream Envy lineup that's sleeker and just as tough as the outgoing generation. Beyond the chassis redesign, however, not much else has improved. This was HP's chance to boost all aspects of the Envy x360 15 series but we instead have the same dim 1080p touchscreen, limited color space, and PWM characteristics as last year's model. The speakers, SD reader, keyboard, trackpad, hinges, overall weight, and pulsing fan noise aren't tangibly improved over the 2016 model, either. The biggest draw, then, is the slimmer looks and perhaps the slightly longer battery life and USB Type-C Gen. 1 port on this latest redesign.

AMD's new Raven Ridge platform is a commendable achievement, but it's too bad that it suffers from the same poor software and driver issues that have been plaguing the chipmaker for years. We cannot recommend this HDD-based AMD HP system at least until the GPU glitches have been patched.

HP Envy x360 15m-bq121dx - 11/30/2017 v6
Allen Ngo

Chassis
72 / 98 → 73%
Keyboard
73%
Pointing Device
69%
Connectivity
46 / 80 → 57%
Weight
62 / 35-78 → 62%
Battery
89%
Display
77%
Games Performance
69 / 68 → 100%
Application Performance
86 / 87 → 99%
Temperature
91%
Noise
80%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
71 / 85 → 84%
Average
73%
77%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > HP Envy x360 15 (Ryzen 5 2500U, Radeon Vega 8) Laptop Review
Allen Ngo, 2017-12- 1 (Update: 2017-12- 4)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.