AMD powered convertible is not really a sight that you get to witness every day. If you are one of those AMD lovers then it’s your lucky day ’cause today we are gonna check out HP Envy X360 15M-BQ121DX, a 15-inch convertible that comes with the latest Ryzen microprocessor. Let’s head towards the review then.
- CPU – AMD Ryzen 5 2500U Quad-Core, 2.0 GHz
- GPU – AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
- Memory – 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4
- Screen – 15.6-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) with 10 point touch screen
- Storage – 1 TB SATA
- OS – Windows 10 Home edition
- Performance – It’s one of the first budget notebooks touting the new AMD Ryzen processors. It comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 APU combined with a Vega 8 integrated GPU, 8 gigs of single-channel RAM and a mediocre 1 TB 7200 rpm hard disk drive which is pretty common nowadays in the budget utility laptops. The Ryzen 5 processor is pretty powerful; almost as powerful as the latest 8th generation Intel Core i5 processors. Some benchmarks even suggested that it was more capable than the older i7 processors in some way. These results imply that this machine is not only powerful enough for the regular user who would use it for internet surfing, video streaming or word processing but for rather power hungry jobs like photo editing or light gaming. And the slight delay that you may face is mostly due to the slightly slow 7200 rpm HDD with an average sequential transfer rate of 110 MBps. If you want a faster interaction then you should opt for an SSD.
- GPU – It houses an AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 GPU. One great thing about the AMD has always been that their integrated graphics units are way powerful than what Intel provides (like the Intel HD Graphics or the Iris Pro Graphics GPUs). Graphical benchmarking tests like the 3DMark showed that the Vega is much powerful and capable than the Intel’s Iris Pro Graphics 580 and Intel HD Graphics 620 (almost twice as powerful as Iris and almost 1.3x faster than the HD Graphics). It, in fact, surpassed NVIDIA’s 940MX by a hair and falls slightly short (nearly 15-20% shorter) of the relatively newer NVIDIA GeForce 150MX which is a good candidate for the low budget gaming notebooks. The real-time gaming performance though suggests differently. The 940MX almost always got the upper hand over Vega. That being said, some of the slightly less demanding titles like BioShock Infinite (~110 fps in 1080p Low, >45 fps in 1080p Medium), Overwatch (90 fps in 1080p Low, ~40 fps in 1080p Medium) and Dirt 4 (>85 fps in 1080p Low, >30 fps in 1080p Medium) ran smoothly in 1080p at low preset. To make them run in the medium preset some of the graphics settings like the shadows and AA had to either set to low or off.
- Display – This 2-in-1 comes with a 15.6-inch FHD IPS display with touchscreen. The panel is just so-so. The colour coverage is simply poor at only 58% (sRGB) as it trails way too much behind the category average of mid-range budget hybrids of 80%. Competing machines like HP Spectre x360 15 (90%) and Lenovo Yoga 720 (100%) offered a panel that supported wider colour gamut. The panel is not very bright as well at only 220 nits. Dell XPS 15 9560 (355 nits) and HP Spectre x360 15 (330 nits) were much brighter than HP Envy making them much superior. Low brightness also indicates that you’d be having trouble if you decide to take it outside in the sunlight. It might be workable in a shady area but it would be almost impossible under direct sunlight due to the dim screen and the glare. But everything about the display is not bad at all. The contrast ratio was pretty high, around 1100:1 after some calibration. And it supports the Windows Ink means you can use the stylus to use it for light drawing stuff and taking notes.
- Ports – It comes with a plethora of useful ports like the USB 3.0 Type A ports and the 3.1 Type C port; there’s no doubt about that. But at the same time, it lacks some very common ones. First of all, it lacks an Ethernet port- that means no wired LAN connection. Secondly, they omitted a separate Display port. It does come with an HDMI port, but no Display port. And thirdly (and most importantly), it doesn’t support the new Thunderbolt 3 technology. It’s not really future proof I would say.
Okay, I won’t lie. I usually don’t really like the AMD hardwired machines due to their performance issues in the long run. But this one was something different in the bunch. The GPU showed a promising performance overall (other than the lacklustre showing sometimes). I would say it’s a steal considering the price and the fact that it came so close to a dedicated GPU. It’s got all the potential to be your everyday laptop. Recommended.