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HP’s powerful Envy laptops take on the MacBook Pro with reckless abandon

Everyone wants a piece of the MacBook Pro, but HP’s new laptops throw caution to the wind to undercut Apple. The new Envy 15 sets its sights on content creators, sporting features like an eight-core 10th-gen Intel processor and a 4K OLED screen.

It’s a complete redesign of the 15-inch laptop, now featuring a silver all-aluminum chassis and smaller borders around then screen. HP says it now has an 83% screen-to-body ratio, but it still features a larger bottom bezel. On the keyboard deck, you’ll notice the expansive touchpad, upward-facing speakers, and a fingerprint reader located next to the left arrow key.

Envy 15

The base Envy 15 model has a 1080p screen, but HP was much more excited about its new 4K options. One is an OLED touchscreen and the other is a 4K HDR-400 panel. Both are color-calibrated to ensure that they can compete with the MacBook Pro in color gamut and color accuracy.

These are similar options to what companies like Dell and Razer offer.

In terms of performance, the Envy 15 comes with Intel’s new 10th-gen H-series processors, up to the eight-core Core i9. This chip should make the Envy 15 a powerful mobile video-editing machine. The Envy 15 also features up to an RTX 2060 graphics card, up to 32GB of RAM, and a terabyte of SSD storage. HP even includes an empty storage slot configured in RAID 0.

HP has redesigned the cooling system to allow for higher performance. Like many companies, the Envy 15 has moved to a vapor chamber system rather than a traditional heat-pipe design. HP says the result is 33% more processing power for the Envy 15.

On the laptop’s sides, HP has chosen to keep legacy ports around. This includes two USB-A ports, HDMI, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Again, this matches what is offered on laptops like the Dell XPS 15. Unfortunately, the Envy 15 features only a MicroSD card slot rather than a full-sized one.

The Envy 15 weighs 4.7 pounds and measures at 0.73 inches thick.

The new laptop starts at $1,350, but you’ll need to pay extra from the more powerful, 4K configurations. The base model starts with the Core i7-10750H, 16GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a GTX 1650 Ti.

The Envy 15 will be available starting in June at, but is also expected to be sold by retailers such as Costco, Amazon, Office Depot, and others.

HP brings AMD to the rest of the Envy lineup

HP has also updated the rest of the Envy lineup, including the Envy 13, Envy x360 13, and Envy x360 15. These other Envy laptops feature many of the same design upgrades, including the redesigned keyboard, larger touchpad, and thinner bezels.

Interestingly, there’s a solid mix of Intel and AMD throughout, which spells good things for AMD’s Ryzen 4000 processors.

The Envy 13 is Intel-only, while the Envy x360 13 2-in-1 is AMD-only. The Envy x360 13 is a bit heavier, has a 360-degree hinge, and comes in a slick black finish. Despite its Ryzen 7 4700U eight-core processor, it starts at just $700. The Envy 13, meanwhile, starts at $1,000 with Intel’s quad-core Ice Lake processors. Other than that, the two laptops are similar in look and features.

The Envy x360 15 includes options for either 10th-gen Intel H-series processors or Ryzen 4000H. Again, despite having more cores, HP will sell the AMD model at a $150 discount below the Intel variant. The AMD-powered Envy x360 15 starts at $700, while the Intel model starts at $850.

ZBook Studio and Create

HP also announced two new additions to its ZBook workstation lineup. The ZBook Studio and ZBook Create have been designed to more adequately compete with the 16-inch MacBook Pro. HP calls the ZBook the most powerful laptop per cubic centimeter, as well as the world’s smallest VR-ready 15-inch laptop.

The most drastic changes are to the chassis, which now weighs less than 4 pounds and is just 0.69 inches thick. That makes these powerful workstations even smaller than the Envy 15 and the MacBook Pro 16-inch. It looks eerily similar to the MacBook, featuring a unibody aluminum design and black keys.

The difference between the ZBook Create and ZBook Studio comes down to graphics. The Studio supports Quadro 5000 graphics with up to 16GB of VRAM, while the Create uses GeForce RTX graphics (up to RTX 2080 Super) with up to 8GB of VRAM. HP says the two graphics options are similar in performance on content creation tasks, while the Quadro graphics does better in CAD or engineering applications thanks to the extra VRAM. The GeForce RTX graphics, though, will be a bit better for gaming.

The result is a ton of performance. HP says the ZBook is seven times faster than the MacBook Pro 16-inch, boasting twice the rendering speeds in DaVinci Resolve.

Like previous ZBooks, these new workstations include options for other either Intel Core i9 or Intel Xeon processors.

To match the great speakers of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the ZBook also features new upward-facing speakers located above the keyboard. HP says it has a new 150Hz bass roll-off for more realistic sound in movies and games. HP didn’t provide details about pricing or configurations, but the company did mention of use of its 4K DreamColor displays for top-notch color accuracy.

Both the ZBook Studio and Create will be available in August 2020.

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Luke Larsen
Senior Editor, Computing
Luke Larsen is the Computing Editor at Digital Trends and manages all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, and…
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