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I've tested dozens of 2-in-1 laptops. This one hits all the right marks

HP's new Envy x360 2-in-1 (2024) stands apart from the crowd as a device that's well-optimized for performance, with a gorgeous display to boot.
Written by Kyle Kucharski, Editor
HP Envy x360
Kyle Kucharski/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The HP Envy x360 2-in-1 (2024) is available from HP for $1,299.
  • It has one of the most gorgeous displays I've seen on a 2-in-1, with a suite of solid hardware.  
  • Configuration swapping can be buggy, and it's on the heavier side. 

A host of new 2-in-1 laptops have already launched in 2024, as the form factor's popularity continues to grow. More and more laptop diehards (myself included) who have previously been unwilling to commit to a tablet are getting on board with convertibles, which give you the best of both worlds.

Also: The best lightweight laptop for work that I've tested is not made by Apple or Lenovo

The HP Envy x360 16" 2-in-1 shows up to the party with all the features that consumers actually want in a convertible: a gorgeous display, beefy speakers, and a suite of hardware to back it up, resulting in solid performance and a satisfying media experience at a mid-range price point.

View at HP

Yes, a 16-inch screen is large when used as a tablet. A little unwieldy, even. The OLED display on this laptop is so good that it doesn't matter to me. In fact, it could be bigger, and I would still happily tote it around.

The Envy x360 features a 2.8K (2880 x 1800) resolution OLED touchscreen with a variable 120Hz refresh rate and edge-to-edge glass that results in a smooth-as-silk visual experience. The 500-nit brightness is more than enough for normal use, and the glossy finish looks gorgeous (but may not be for everyone, because fingerprints are a thing).

Also: One of the best laptops you can buy for less than $700 is not what you'd expect

Video playback is vibrant, smooth, and sharp, with a realistic depth of color and contrast. HP also advertises the Envy x360 as an "IMAX certified" laptop, one of the first of its kind. It earned this certification for its ability to display IMAX-formatted content in its original 1.43:1 or 1.90:1 aspect ratio. While a flashy designation, this is a laptop we're talking about here; it's still a 16-inch screen. It does look good, though -- I'll give it that. 

The audio is also decent. While it may seem that the two vents on either side of the keyboard are speakers, audio actually originates from the dual DTS:X ultra bar-shaped speakers on the back of the device. There isn't a lot of bass, but mid-frequency audio and dialogue sound crisp and clear and held their own when I played Netflix in a noisy kitchen.

HP Envy x360 2-in-1
Kyle Kucharski/ZDNET

The previously mentioned vents on either side of the keyboard are actually for expelling heat, something my colleague Cesar Cadenas will appreciate, as this is a laptop you can actually work with in your lap without getting first-degree burns on your legs.

Regarding the hardware, the Envy x360 is positioned just below HP's Spectre line of laptops to provide great performance that serves most users' needs. We reviewed the 2024 Spectre x360 earlier this year and found it has truly next-gen hardware with the cutting-edge "Meteor Lake" AI processor, but it will run you hundreds of dollars more.

The Envy x360, however, comes with an integrated AMD Radeon GPU that, coupled with the AMD Ryzen 7 8840HS processor, can run both CPU-intensive and graphics tasks well. This aligns with its targeted creator/freelancer consumer demographic, allowing visual apps like DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Photoshop to run smoothly, with an eye toward generative AI capabilities. 

I found that the battery life was better than average -- especially for an OLED-equipped laptop -- thanks to the efficiency gains of the Ryzen 7 8840HS processor. With only intermittent use, the laptop lasted me several days, while sustained activity resulted in over 10 hours of battery life, more or less equivalent to what is advertised. Even better is the fast charging feature, which I found even faster than HP's 50% in 45-minute claims.

Also: Lenovo's new 2-in-1 ThinkPad improves on one crucial feature that pro users will love

The 2-in-1 form factor requires a certain degree of physical fortitude, and its hinge-style design (which is almost identical to the Lenovo 7i 2-in-1) supports a sturdy build that's up to the task. It has minimal screen wobble, yet enough resistance to stay in place as a touchscreen. 

That said, this is not a particularly light laptop, weighing in at around four pounds, with most of that weight coming from the 16-inch OLED. Despite the weight, it's very thin -- only 0.72 inches -- which results in a laptop that still feels sufficiently portable. 

HP Envy x360 2-in-1
Kyle Kucharski/ZDNET

Port selection on the 2024 Envy x360 will also be sufficient for most users, with two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an HDMI port. The keyboard is particularly unique: the keys are big and chunky, in a matte gray color, with oversized letters in a distinct sans serif font. It looks good but lacks a right-side number pad, which I prefer to have on a laptop -- especially one of this size.

Also: How we test laptops at ZDNET in 2024

If you can't tell already, I'm a big fan of the Envy x360, and out of all the 2-in-1 laptops I've tested, I prefer this one. My main critique of this laptop is the bugginess that can occur when swapping between the different orientations. Going from tablet to laptop can result in delayed or buggy keyboard response, and the screen orientation can stick in one position or another, requiring a deliberate re-positioning of the laptop to reset the internal gyroscope. 

These issues are prevalent across all 2-in-1 laptops I've tested and are (usually) intermittent enough to not be problems -- but in certain moments, facing non-functioning hardware can be frustrating, and you should keep that in mind.

ZDNET's buying advice

The HP Envy x360 16 (2024) is priced well for an upper-mid-tier device with a gorgeous display and solid performance. Creators will love this laptop's flexible form factor and impressive battery life. After using it for a few weeks, I can say that it's hands-down my favorite big-screen 2-in-1, despite its quirks. This is a laptop for work as much as it is for entertainment, and if you're looking for a 2-in-1 laptop, you have to consider the Envy x360.

If you're looking for a smaller option, consider HP's 2024 Spectre x360, which has a 14-inch display. For something more adventurous, check out the Lenovo Yoga Book 9i, which has two displays.

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