There’s no doubt that Apple’s MacBook Pro 16 is one of the best laptops you can buy today. It’s incredibly well built, offers plenty of power to go with the best efficiency, and its display, keyboard, and touchpad are superior.
But, it’s also incredibly expensive. That’s where a laptop like HP’s Envy 16 2023 comes in. It’s also quite fast and well-built, with a gorgeous display option. And it’s a lot less expensive. Can it topple Apple’s mighty MacBook Pro?
|HP Envy 16 2023||Apple MacBook Pro 16|
|Dimensions||14.07 inches by 9.91 inches by 0.78 inches||14.01 inches x 9.77 inches x 0.66 inches|
|Weight||5.12 pounds||4.8 pounds|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-13500H
Intel Core i7-13700H
Intel Core i9-13900H
|Apple M1 Pro
Apple M1 Max
|Graphics||Intel Arc A370M
Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060
|Integrated Apple GPU|
64GB (M1 Max)
|Display||16-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS, 120Hz
16-inch 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED touch, 120Hz
|16.2-inch 16:10 Liquid Retina XDR (3456 x 2234), 120Hz|
|Storage||512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD
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
|3 x USB-C 4 with Thunderbolt 4
1 x HDMI 2.0
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x SD Card reader
|Wireless||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2||Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3|
|Webcam||5MP with infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello||1080p|
|Operating system||Windows 11||MacOS Monterey|
|Battery||83 watt-hour||100 watt-hour|
|Rating||3.5 out of 5 stars||5 out of 5 stars|
When I reviewed the Envy 16, there were a few configurations available. The entry-level model was priced at $1,350 for a Core i5-13500H, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, an Intel Arc A370M GPU, and a 16-inch WQXGA IPS display at 120Hz. At the high end, you spend $2,685 for a Core i9-13900H, 32GB of
The MacBook Pro 16 is a much more expensive laptop. It starts at $2,500 for an M2 Pro CPU with 12 CPU cores and 19 GPU cores, 16GB of
The Envy 16 is a much less expensive laptop, and as we’ll see it provides similar performance. Of course, performance isn’t everything.
The MacBook Pro 16 is carved out of chunks of aluminum, and it feels solid as a rock. Its aesthetic is simple and elegant, exuding quality and finesse. You can’t fault the Envy 16’s built quality or aesthetic, and compared to most other
The Envy 16’s keyboard is fine, with plenty of travel, large keycaps, nice key spacing, and switches that are light and snappy. Its touchpad is a little small given the available space on the palm rest, but it works well enough with quiet, confident clicks. However, while both input devices are competitive with most other Windows
Connectivity favors the Envy 16 for users who need legacy ports. But the MacBook Pro has an additional Thunderbolt 4 port and a full-size SD card reader to go with an HDMI port. It doesn’t support USB-A, but otherwise, its connectivity is solid. Both
The Envy 16 has a 5MP webcam while the MacBook Pro 16 has 1080p, and both offer quality images for videoconferencing. The Envy 16 has an infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello facial recognition, while the MacBook Pro 16 has a Touch ID fingerprint reader. Both methods of logging in without a password worked well.
The Envy 16 is available with a variety of Intel’s 13th-gen 45-watt CPUs, and we reviewed it with the highest-end Core i9-13900H. That’s a 14-core (six Performance and eight Efficient), 20-thread CPU that has provided excellent performance in the
The MacBook Pro 16 offers a choice of Apple’s M2 Pro or M2 Max CPU, with a variety of core counts ranging from the 12-core CPU/19-core GPU M2 Pro up to the 12-core CPU/38-core GPU M2 Max. We haven’t reviewed the latest 16-inch model, so we’ve used the MacBook Pro 14 with the M2 Max as a proxy. The larger machine is likely to get slightly better performance given better thermals, but these results should be close enough for comparison purposes.
In our CPU-intensive benchmarks, the Envy 16 was faster than both the previous model MacBook Pro 16 and the latest MacBook Pro 14. That’s a significant achievement and cut across both single-core and multi-core scores. In the Pugetbench Premiere Pro benchmark that runs in a live version of Adobe’s Premiere Pro and uses the GPU to speed up various processes, the Envy 16 again took the lead.
It’s possible that the MacBook Pro 16 will provide better performance in apps that are the most optimized for the M2 processor. But for typical applications used by creators, the Envy 16 holds its own. Given the price differential, that’s quite the accomplishment.
|HP Envy 16 2023
(Core i9-13900H / RTX 4060)
|Bal: 1,997 / 12,742
Perf: 1,992 / 12,645
|Bal: 1944 / 15,596
Perf: 1,954 / 15,422
|MacBook Pro 16
(M1 Pro 10/16)
|Bal: 1707/ 12605
|Bal: 1531 / 12343
|MacBook Pro 14 M2
(M2 Max 10/38)
|Bal: 1668 / 14422
|Bal: 1608 / 14789
We reviewed the Envy 16 with the 16-inch IPS display running at 2560 x 1800. It’s not as sharp as the 16.2-inch Mini-LED panel on the MacBook Pro 16 that runs at 3456 x 2234. Nor does it provide even close to the same brightness, color width, or contrast that Apple’s Mini-LED can muster.
Note that the Envy 16 is also available with a 16-inch OLED panel at 2880 x 1800, which still isn’t as sharp but is likely to offer even better colors and equivalent contrast. It won’t be as bright, though, nor will it do as good of a job with high dynamic range (HDR) content as the MacBook Pro 16. But then again, the latest MacBook Pros are the best
If you’re a creator, you’ll want the Envy 16’s OLED display, while the IPS panel is fine for productivity work. But overall, the MacBook Pro 16 still offers a superior display.
|HP Envy 16 2023
|Apple MacBook Pro 16
(DeltaE, lower is better)
In terms of audio quality, the MacBook Pro 16 wins by a country mile. Its six-speaker setup offers the best audio you can get on a laptop, with surprising depth, incredibly clear mids and highs, and a ton of bass. The Envy 16 does okay with its quad speakers, but the MacBook Pro 16 is simply in a different class entirely.
The MacBook Pro 16 is thinner and lighter than the Envy 16, but they’re both large
When it comes to battery life, though, the MacBook Pro 16 is once again in a different class. It offers some of the best battery life you can get, and about double what the Envy 16 can achieve. If you need a laptop that can last all day and into another day, then the MacBook Pro 16 is the better choice.
|Lenovo Slim Pro 9i
|Apple MacBook Pro 16
|Web browsing||4 hours, 59 minutes||9 hours 18 minutes|
|Video||7 hours, 47 minutes||23 hours 11 minutes|
Yes, the MacBook Pro 16 is incredibly expensive, and the Envy 16 manages to provide equivalent performance at a much lower price. For anyone who needs a fast machine with a great display and has less money to spend, the Envy 16 is a great choice.
But overall, the MacBook Pro 16 remains a vastly more refined experience. Its display is better, its build feels exquisite in hand, and its battery life is better than anything else around. Toss in the best audio in a laptop, and the MacBook Pro 16 is worth every penny.
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