HP Envy 16: Two minute review
More of a side-step than a full on refresh or downgrade, the HP Envy 16 carries many standout features from its previous iteration.
When we reviewed the HP Envy 15 (2022), we praised the laptop for its ability to near-perfectly blend bang-for-buck performance with a phenomenal audio/visual package and sleek design.
The beautiful grey alluminum chassis returns with a sleek minimalist design that’s also enviromentally friendly. Weighing a little over five pounds, the HP Envy 16 balances a weighty feel with portability. Packed into all of that are performance specs that go a long way into catering toward creatives who probably like to game a little bit.
It’s powerful hardware is more than enough for creatives looking to edit high resolution photos or edit 4K video content. Meanwhile, the gaming performance is respectable as well if expectations are kept in order.
Just be mindful that pushing the HP Envy 16 to the limits will bring some loud fan noise and slightly uncomfortable heat on the lap. Also, the power at hand means it’ll have to be plugged in continuously for more strenuous tasks. Though battery life isn’t class-leading, it’ll last for a bi-coastal trip across the U.S.
Making all the difference is an outstanding audio/video package starting with the drop dead gorgious 16-inch 16:10 4K display with touch capabilities. This update from the Envy 15’s 16:9 display provides an 11% increase in screen space. Digital creatives will see accurate colors that won’t strain the eyes after long term use due to 100 percent sRGB gamut, 100 percent Adobe gamut, amazing color calibration with Delta E and Eyesafe certification.
Speakers from Bang & Olufsen return with the same audio quality that makes mixing video audio, listening to music, watching movies, or gaming without headphones a pleasure. This definitely comes in handy during video conferencing that’s enhanced through HP’s 5MP True Vision IR web cam and duel microphones. Despite how remarkable the webcam functions, it isn’t good enough to completely replace the Envy 15’s fingerprint scanner which is missing this time around.
Serious content creatives who participate in multiple daily video conferencing calls and pack a controller for games of Elden Ring every so often are in for a treat with the HP Envy 16.
HP Envy 16: Price and availability
- The lowest U.S. configuration is $1,049 and the highest being around $2,599
- Both UK and Australia have customizable configurations.
HP Envy 16 Key Specs
Here is the HP Envy 16 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core i9-12900H
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
RAM: 32GB DDR5
Screen: 16-inch 16:10 UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400) OLED touch
Storage: 2TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
Ports: 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 | 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2 | 1 x HDMI 2.1 | 1 x 3.5mm audio jack | 1 x microSD card reader
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Camera: HP True Vision 5MP IR camera with camera shutter, temporal noise reduction and integrated dual array digital microphones
Dimensions: 14.07 x 9.91 x 0.78 in | 357.38 x 251.71 x 19.81 mm
Weight: 5.12 lb | 2.32 kg
Starting at $1,049, the lowest HP Envy 16 configuration comes with a 12th Gen i5, integrated Intel Arc A370M GPU with 4GB dedicated GDDR6 memory, 512 GB SSD and WQXGA 2560 X 1600 display offering a 120Hz refresh rate.
The highest configuration which is pretty much what was provided for the review minus the 4K OLED comes in around $2,599. As of run-time, it’s not known when this particular set up will be released and for how much. However, Micro Center does offer a configuration featuring an Intel i7, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060, 16GB DDR5, 1TB SSD and the UHD touch screen for $1,699.
Citizens living in the UK there have two configurations available. They both come with a 2.5K screen and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 only. For £1,649.99, the lowest spec price comes with an Intel i7, 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD. Those who can afford the highest £2,299 configuration will get an Intel i9, 32 GB RAM and 2TB SSD.
Australia’s two HP Envy 16 spec options are different enough though they both come with the 120Hz WQXGA display, Intel i7 and 16GB of DDR5 RAM. The lowest AU$2,639 configuration comes with an Intel Arc A370M GPU and 512 SSD storage. Meanwhile, the highest AU$3,519 pricepoint comes with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 and 1TB of SSD.
HP Envy 16: Design
- Lovely minimalists design that looks great at all angles
- Wonderful audio/visual package
- Comfortable and efficient inputs
Made up of recycled alluminum, the HP Envy 16’s design matchs incredibly polished looks with a solid build. All around, this laptop has a premium feel. That doesn’t mean functionality is placed on the backburner.
Port placement is well done. On the left side is a USB-A with a latch that has to be pulled down to insert anything, 3.5mm audio jack and microSD card reader. The power jack, single USB-A, HDMI 2.1 port and two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports hang on the right. This is more than enough for photo and video editors or those who want to get some gaming done in a hotel room.
As mentioned previously, the 16-inch 16:10 4K OLED touch display may be one of the best displays this year. It’s just simply gorgeous to look at. Though the brightness is a bit on the lower side, the color depth and accuracy here is near perfect while the blacks get deep. Considering it can handle 100 percent of the Adobe color gamut, it’s definitely something Adobe Suite loyalists should definitely appreciate.
HDR capabilities are also well implemented. This means that watching Netflix or 4K YouTube videos become a visually lush experience. The same goes for games like Rollerdrome and Dirt 5 that can handle 4K resolutions with some graphic settings tweaks. Users looking to tweak their visual presentation can also utilize HP’s small yet effective HP Display app that’s included.
The internal Bang & Olufsen speakers sound vivid, clear and can get pretty loud, volume-wise. There’s also an included app for customizing the audio experience from EQ settings to noise cancellation for both input and output devices.
Laptop input takes a few steps forward and backward on the HP Envy 16. First thing, it’s just as comfortable to use as its predecessor from keystrokes to sliding fingers across the touchpad. Keyboard layout still remains best-in-class with a few additions like a dedicated emoji key. Unfortunately, HP removed the fingerprint reader so the only secure login options are pin, password and webcam.
HP Envy 16: Performance
- Excellent video and photo editing performance
- Gaming performance is commendable
- Fans get loud and it can hot under pressure
Here is how the HP Envy 16 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 12,599
3DMark Time Spy: 6,871 Fire Strike: 17,336 Night Raid: 24,737
GeekBench 5: 1,887 (single-core) 11,045 (multi-core)
PC Mark 10: 7,322
PC Mark 10 Battery: 8 Hours and 20 minutes
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 6 hours and 24 minutes
Total War: Warhammer 3: 59 (Ultra 1080p); 170 (Low 1080p)
Dirt 5: 65 (Ultra 1080p); 112 (Low 1080p)
Cyberpunk 2077: 53 (Ultra 1080p); 65 (Low 1080p)
Handbrake (4K to 1080p, fast): 84 fps
Blender Monster: 1,135 Junkshop: 699 Classroom: 606
PugetBench for Photoshop: 1,036 points
PugetBench for Premier Pro: 746 points
The HP Envy 16 caters toward members of the creative economy who need to be able to edit photos and videos on the go or other tasks like creating a small indie game. When it comes to the Adobe Suite crowd, the laptop should definitely be in consideration.
Photoshop runs well under heavy layer load in addition to high resolution photos. The same goes for Premiere Pro. Multiple video and sound layers for 10 minute 4K videos exported fairly quickly. Having 100 percent of the Adobe color gambut really does allow creators to see every single detail in an image and the added performance power makes those task a breeze.
Gaming may not be as performance-ready as the creative front but the HP Envy 16 more than holds its own. Considering the integrated RTX 3060 GPU has around 6GB of dedicated video RAM, the laptop probably won’t make the best use of its 4K screen for games with higher visual fidelity. This is most notable with Cyberpunk 2077 where frames per second were a little over 60 on average at 1080p. Hitting ultra settings pumped out around 53fps and tweeking a few settings lower could lock in a solid 60. One thing’s for sure, it was best to stay away from ray tracing.
General computing task worked well from web browsing to watching video content. A highlight of the Envy 16 is its video conferencing capabilities. Even in less than idea lighting settings, the webcam was more than up to task. Part of that is due to the HP’s Enhanced Lighting app which can provide a white screen effect similar to selfies on a mobile phone among other functions like color temperature control. It doesn’t replace the need of a lighting source such as a ringlight but does the job.
HP Envy 16: Battery life
- Battery life for our video test lasted around six and a half hours
- Takes a few hours to charge and works through USB-C ports
Considering the sleek and portable frame in addition to performance specs, a lot of power runs through the HP Envy 16. This means that battery life isn’t ideal. General usage of the laptop with middle level volume and screen brightness can have the Envy 16 last for about 8 or so hours. Through our video loop test, we were able to get 6 and a half hours out of the laptop while the PC Mark 10 Battery test provided 8 hours and 20 minutes.
Besides Windows 11 settings, HP also has its Command Center app to help tweek battery life. The Envy 16 should work fine for bi-coastal flights. Charging takes a little under two hours and has a few ways of charging. Besides the charging port, the two USB-C ports can be used to charge the Envy 16 as well.
Should you buy an HP Envy 16?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
HP Envy 16: Report card
|Value||From the laptop design to performance and audio/visual package, there’s a lot to respect about the Envy 16. Even with some of the less-than-stellar trade-offs, the laptop comes recommended.||4.5 / 5|
|Design||Everything about the Envy 16 looks and feels amazing to use. Just too bad the fingerprint scanner had to go.||5 / 5|
|Performance||Performance is great but not the absolute best. When it comes from content creation to gaming, it can handle anything with expectations.||4 / 5|
|Battery Life||Battery life is probably the biggest disappointment with the Envy 16 but most users will probably use this plugged up anyway.||3.5 / 5|
|Total||Despite its mediocre battery life, the HP Envy 16’s gorgeous design and powerful performance makes this laptop an outstanding device that is easy to recommend.||4.25 / 5|
- First reviewed September 2022
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