HP Envy x360 15-aq055na review


A larger hybrid

We’ve often voiced our scepticism of large laptop-table t hybrids (aka convertibles). A full-size laptop with a fold-back touchscreen, we regularly point out, is only a good idea until you try to pick it up . One of the models that led us to such a jaded view was the previous version of HP’s biggest hybrid (see our review, Issue 459). So can this year’s upgrade convert us to convertibles?

The new Envy x360 is a few ounces lighter than Dell’s roughly similar Inspiron 15 5000 2-in-1 ( from Dell), but is still over 2kg (as heavy as two Microsoft Surface Pro 4s). Its 15in screen is, of course, significantly larger than the 12in Surface, which – with a comparable i7 processor and keyboard – costs £500 more. So in a way, HP is offering you more for less. And the Envy x360 comes in an attractive package: while Dell makes do with silvery plastic, the x360’s case is genuine aluminium.

It looks good and performs well, but its screen and keyboard are disappointing

Sadly – like Dell’s – the x360’s screen covers less than 60 per cent of the sRGB color range. It does have better contrast, but its lo w brightness levels and reflective finish make it hard to use in bright conditions. If you can live with that, the 1920×1080-pixel resolution gives you a full Windows desktop and is ideal for HD movies, especially with its impressive built-in speakers.


HP makes excellent keyboards, but this isn’t one of them. The keys barely moved when we typed, and this was the one part of the machine that felt flimsy . At least there’s optional backlighting, which makes it easier to type in the kind of low light where the screen is visible. The touchpad, on the other hand, was great, responding instantly to swipes, scrolls and Windows 10 gestures. We also found the touchscreen very usable, with effective palm-rejection technology, which ignores accidental contact.

Although the Skylakei7 processor is near the top of Intel’s ultra-low-voltage mobile range, it ’s only the equivalent of a desktop i5. In our tests, it did very well on image-editing tasks but, with only two cores, struggled when multitasking. Still, it was faster than the Inspiron 15, and the barely audible fans ensured it didn’t get noticeably hot. However, the battery only lasted six-and-a-half hours of video playback, which is not ideal.

The Ethernet port awkwardly shoehorned into last year’s model has disappeared, but otherwise the x360 has a full set of connections and feels well equipped. It ’s just not portable enough to break the curse of the cumbersome convertible.

2.2GHz Intel Core i7-6560U processor • 8GB memory • 128GB SSD • 1TB hard drive • 15.6in 1920×1080-pixel touchscreen • Webcam • 802.11ac Wi-Fi • 2x USB 3.0 ports • USB Type-C port • HDMI port • Windows 10 • 18.8x380x250mm (HxWxD) • 2.17kg • One-year warranty


It looks good, but a poor screen and av erage keyboard make this two-in-one feel more like a one-out-of-two


Dell Inspiron 15 5000 2-in-1

With 16GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, but no hard drive, this costs less but isn’t as well built

6 Total Score
HP Envy x360 15-aq055na review

It looks good, but a poor screen and av erage keyboard make this two-in-one feel more like a one-out-of-two

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