There are plenty of reasons to be envious of this model HP Envy, which well and truly puts the ‘ultra’ into ‘ultrabook’.

The term ‘ultrabook’ is a not-so-newfangled ten-buck word that’s intended as a sub-species of the more common ‘notebook’. While it may read like jargon, it actually has value. Slap ‘ultrabook’ on a laptop and it translates to certain safe expectations that are well worth a double-take.

We’re talking a mythical mix of high-end under-the-hood power and a slim form factor that still somehow manages battery life that sometimes puts the average smartphone on notice. This is exactly the kind of foundation you can safely expect from the perk-packed HP Envy 13-AQ1057TU.

What this ultrabook lacks in a model name that’s easy to commit to memory, it more than makes up for in bang for buck. Raise the screen – which is buttressed by a hinge tested for up to 25,000 openings and closings – power this bad boy on, and your eyes will be ready to thank you. The HP Envy 13 will boot into Windows 10 at a sneeze-and-you’ll-miss-it speed care of a 512GB SSD that’s of the kind of future-proofed variety you can safely expect to quench that need for boot speed for years to come.

Then it’s all about the eye candy of the screen. It’s 4K with 8.2 million pixels. It has a micro-edge bezel. It’s bright. It has a 178-degree viewing angle. Oh, and it’s a touchscreen for when keyboard and trackpad navigation is too much effort and you don’t mind using your digits for navigating widgets. All of this is parked inside a 13.3-inch screen, which sets the form factor standard for a very portable ultrabook, helped along by a very manageable weight just over one cagey kg. HP also slaps on an HD wide-vision webcam (up to 88 degrees), which has us coloured suitably screen impressed.

“…it packs a punch when it comes to everyday computing at home or on the go.”

If you’re a movie and/or music lover, your ears are in for a treat, too. Despite its purposely portable size, which may lead expectations towards tinny-sounding speakers, the HP Envy 13 boasts four speakers that have been tuned in collaboration with Bang & Olufsen experts for a surprisingly rich soundscape from such a comparatively tiny package. While headphone playback may be more practical, the HP Envy 13 has what it takes to play on loudspeaker.

Powering it all is a latest-generation four-core Intel i5-1035G1 CPU. The ‘i5’ part equates to a potent mix of workload grunt and battery life. This Intel CPU can intuitively spin up from 1.0GHz to 3.6GHz to match your computing needs, while 8GB of RAM leads to respectable multitasking.
Connectivity options are a great mix of expected and latest-gen, too. There are two USB 3.1 ports for backwards-compatible transfers, a single USB-C 3.1 port for compatible smartphone charging and speedy data transfers. Then there’s the wireless combo of long-in-the-tooth-but-latest Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 6 for speedy and reliable sans-wires connectivity.

Throw all of these powerful perks into a slimline package and you might reasonably expect to pay many thousands of dollars, but this model HP Envy 13 is very reasonably priced at comfortably under $2K. A high-end gaming rig it may not be, but this ultrabook is as easy on the eyes as it is on the back, and it packs a punch when it comes to everyday computing at home or on the go.

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HP Envy