HP Envy 13 vs Asus Zenbook 13: Which One is Better for Portability?

HP Envy 13 vs Asus Zenbook 13

In this comparison of HP Envy 13 and Asus Zenbook 13, we will see which one performs better as per their price range. We’ll see which one is better to buy for the given price and for what works and for whom these laptops will be better.

HP ENVY 13.3asus zenbook 13
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HP Envy 13Asus Zenbook 13
PROSPROS
Attractive, lightweight all-metal chassis.
Good battery life.
Fast performance.
Sleek and ultra-slim design.
Great external speakers.
Good battery life.
CONSCONS
No Thunderbolt 3.
AMD’s run even faster.
No built-in headphone jack.

SPECIFICATIONS

DISPLAYHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
Type13.3″ diagonal FHD, IPS, BrightView, micro-edge, WLED-backlit, multitouch-enabled, edge-to-edge glass, 400 nits, 100% sRGB display13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS
Resolution1920 x 10801680 x 1050, 1440 x 900, 1024 x 640
LCD Backlight TechnologyWLED
Monitor Features400 nits, 100% sRGB2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch, 400 nits brightness, Wide color (P3), True Tone technology
PROCESSORHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
CPUIntel Core i7-10510UIntel Core i7-1065G7 Processor,
Intel Core i5-1035G1 Processor
Clock Speed4.9 GHz3.9 GHz, 3.6 GHz
Cache8 MB L3 Cache8M Cache, 6M Cache
MEMORYHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
Speed2666 MHz
TechnologyDDR4 SDRAMLPDDR4X
Size16GB Memory OnboardUp to 16 GB
HARD DRIVEHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
Storage256 GB, 512 GB256GB, 512GB
Spindle SpeedPCIe NVMe M.2 SSDM.2 PCIe 3.0 SSD
AUDIO & VIDEOHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
Graphic ProcessorIntegrated: Intel UHD Graphics,
Discrete: NVIDIA GeForce MX350 (2 GB DDR5 dedicated)
Intel Iris Plus Graphics, Intel UHD Graphics
SoundAudio by Bang & Olufsen, Dual speakersSmart Amp Technology, Built-in array microphone, Harman / Kardon (Premium) with Cortana and Alexa voice-recognition support
CameraHP Wide Vision HD camera with camera shutter and integrated dual array digital microphoneHD camera with IR function to support Windows Hello without privacy shutter
OPERATING SYSTEMHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
TypeWindows 10 HomeWindows 10 Home
CONNECTIONSHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
Ports1 SuperSpeed USB Type-C 10Gbps signaling rate (USB Power Delivery, DisplayPort 1.2, HP Sleep and Charge);
1 SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate (HP Sleep and Charge);
1 SuperSpeed USB Type-A 5Gbps signaling rate;
1 AC smart pin;
1 headphone / microphone combo
1 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A,
2 Thunderbolt 3 supports display / power delivery,
1 HDMI 2.0b
Memory cardMicro SD card readerMicro SD card reader
COMMUNICATIONSHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
Wireless ProtocolIntel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2×2) and Bluetooth 5 Combo (Supporting Gigabit file transfer speeds)Wi-Fi 5(802.11ac)+Bluetooth 5.0 (Dual band) 2×2
Wired Protocol
BATTERYHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
Capacity51 WHr 67 WHr
Cells3-Cell 4-Cell
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHTHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
Width12.07 in11.97 in
Depth7.66 in7.99 in
Height0.67 in0.55 in
Weight2.88 lbs2.36-2.45 lbs
MISCELLANEOUSHP ENVY 13ASUS ZENBOOK 13
ColorNatural silver aluminiumPine Grey, Lilac Mist
KeyboardFull-size, island-style, backlit, natural silver keyboardBacklit Chiclet Keyboard
AVAILABLE OPTIONSOption-1
Option-1
Option-2
Option-3

INTRODUCTION:

This is the comparison review of HP Envy 13 versus the Asus Zenbook 13. Both the laptops are Intel versions. HP Envy 13 is a great budget laptop with decent performance for almost all types of works. Asus Zenbook is available in two screen sizes; 13.3 and 14 inches and the model we have for comparison is the UX325 13-inch laptop. This is the lightest and thinnest laptop in this period of time, so it will be great as a portable laptop with a good performance. Let’s see a detailed review for a clear idea about these laptops.

HP Envy 13

DESIGN & BUILD:

HP Envy 13

To the build quality and the design of the laptop itself, the 2020 refresh of the Envy 13 is a compact little thing that definitely has a beautiful modern look and at just 1.3 kilograms is a great option for people looking for a lightweight portable laptop for work or study. The Envy 13 has been a beautiful laptop for the last few years since its first big design change in 2017 which is when it got rid of some hideously thick bezels and around a design that just didn’t feel very elegant, whereas now it’s a much more refined design and that design refresh in 2017.

The body is very similar to previous models whereas got the same anodized aluminium body, same silver finish, same full-size keyboard and it’s got a slightly taller trackpad has gone from what I believe was an 18 by 9 or 1 to 2 aspect ratio to a 16 by 9 aspect ratio which it means it is the exact same size as a display which is at least a benefit because I do believe that the trackpad was too thin. Although unfortunately, the trackpad is not coated in the glass, it does still have Windows precision drivers which is much better than the synaptic drivers. Although the left and right-click only works on the bottom of the trackpad and I’ve noticed that when scrolling slowly with two fingers, the laptop will sometimes take a moment to respond although I’m not sure if this is just an issue with Windows precision drivers or the fact that it’s a plastic trackpad.

One of the more notable design changes of the laptop other than bezels and the speakers is the fingerprint scanner has now been moved from the palm rest to into the keyboard which aesthetically looks nice but in terms of practicality, I do find it frustrating. It’s a little bit annoying for people who do use the Ctrl key on the right side of the keyboard.

The keyboard is a whole pleasure to use. The keys are full-size and very slightly shifted to the left due to the addition of the home, page up, page down, and end keys. Anyone who gets this laptop should be able to deal with it. The keyboard has almost no flex which is great to see and also features a two-stage packed light as well. The microphone and camera kill switches are both integrated into the function keys and feature a small orange indicator light to show if they’re on or off which is a nice touch to see, whereas the privacy screen is also integrated into the function keys but it doesn’t have an indicator light that’s just because of privacy screens so clearly on or off when you were using it, so you don’t need an indicator.

For the main negatives I have with the keyboard, there are some compromises when it comes to typing due to some of the choices HP has made. The addition of the home, page up, page down, and end keys means that if you want to type a backslash, for instance, you have to do an awkward I believe it’s Ctrl + Shift + L because the L key has both the pipe symbol and the backslash. So, if you’re typing either the pipe or the backslash, you have to do function L or function shift L which is something that with time you can get used to. You’re gonna see plenty of the ultrabooks, so it’s not like this is an HP’s issue.

Asus Zenbook 13

Zenbook UX325 is a premium-looking machine. The design and the build quality is top of the line. You have the aluminum body all around and the quality is really good. This laptop is lightweight and weighs just a little over 1 kilogram and the thickness of this laptop is only 14mm. The chamfered edges and the shiny Asus logo at the back really give this laptop a premium and classy look. Overall, in terms of the design and build quality, I really like it and I find this color which is the lilac mist.

The first thing you will notice that you can easily open the lid with one hand. We have an edge-to-edge full-size backlit keyboard. I like the build quality of the keyboard. You get the perfect key travel which is at 1.4 mm and the spacing between the keys is also pretty good. About the backlit functionality, you can toggle between three brightness modes from the function 7 key. Looking at the top row of the keyboard, you also have some additional function keys such as screen capture, turn off the webcam, and the f12 key to open my Asus application. In the Asus application, you can see the details about your laptop such as warranty, or go through the battery modes as well as fan modes.

The interesting part of this laptop is the touchpad. The touchpad comes with few different functions. First of all the size is perfect and there is a glass layer on the top which offers smooth working. On the corners of the touchpad, you will notice two icons here and if you press and hold on the right one, it will enable the number pad, this is the Asus number pad 2.0 which is an LED illuminated numeric keypad that is integrated within the touchpad. You can enable or disable it easily from this top right icon and on the left side, you have the brightness option. You can also swipe on this brightness button to bring up the calculator and during our testing, I really like this num keypad and the touch response is amazing. It detects when you’re typing the numbers or using the touchpad.

DISPLAY QUALITY:

HP Envy 13

In previous models, the Envy 13 display used to be a little bit wobbly when you use the touchscreen or shake the frame of it but now with this shorter height, a much larger hinge on the bottom hold connecting the display to the body, the display of the laptop is much more rigid than it used to be. So, if you are an avid user of the touchscreen despite and not being a convertible, this is good news. The model we have for comparison has beautiful that need to be displayed like it’s very bright and while it is claimed around a 1000 nits. Compared to other laptop displays I’ve seen, it definitely gets brighter than I have seen in the past on average. While the display is stunning when you look at it face on but when you’re not looking at it within about 45 degrees of normal, the display just drops off in quality quite drastically and when you’re outside of that kind of 90-degree face on of the laptop, brightness and color accuracy fall off dramatically and even within that range is noticeably better when facing front on then facing a slight angle. It is a side effect of HP’s newer generation privacy filters which now use a passive filter instead of an active filter which affects the laptop display quality even when the filter is turned off.

For creative elements like video editing and photo editing, this display is perfect. The color accuracy is astounding and also the contrast. The main downside is looking at it from a different perspective. This is even more noticeable when you tilt the screen the wrong way, if it’s tilted too far up or down, you can notice that a display quality just changes in a sort of gradient from where you’re looking commit.

Asus Zenbook 13

The display of this laptop is a 13.3 inches full HD display with almost no bezels. You get the 90% screen to body ratio and the quality of the display is really good. The viewing angles are also pretty decent and the max brightness is at 300 nits and about the sRGB color gamut coverage, it stands at 100%.

Asus Zenbook 13

FEATURES:

HP Envy 13

The model I have is the top-end model which has a dedicated graphics card the MX 350 and a 10th gen i7 the 10510U and this model costs $1150 now which is already a great price for what we are getting. There are also cheaper models as well, they go as low as 850 pounds, and whilst these models without dedicated graphics but they do have Thunderbolt 3 support and the mid-range model which is about $1000 does have Intel’s Iris Pro graphics as well. While it doesn’t have dedicated graphics, it has much-improved graphics as well as Thunderbolt 3 support.

Although one thing is redesigned does sacrifice is the top firing speakers that the Envy 13 used to have which is something to keep in mind if you’re someone who loved the speaker’s before because I’m not sure that they’re the same quality and only down-firing is going to be a noticeable difference. The camera is actually pretty decent for a laptop. This is definitely better than what I’ve seen on a lot of laptops.

It’s got a dedicated camera kill switch which disconnects the camera physically and covers it. So, you can see when it is on or off and it’s also got a microphone kill switch that doesn’t physically disconnect the microphone but does mute every microphone that is connected to the laptop. So, whether it’s the inbuilt microphone or an external one, it will mute it. With the camera kill switch, the microphone mute switch, and the privacy screen, they’re definitely trying to market this as a very privacy-focused as well as with the fingerprint scanner, there’s a lot of privacy features which a lot of people appreciate very much with this laptop.

On the right side a laptop, you’ll find that there’s a USB 3.1 gen 1 Type-A port with dropped jaw mechanism which helps the laptop have the thin design and the USB A port and as well as you’ll find a barrel charging port, and the micro SD card slot. On the left side, you will find the same USB 3.1 gen 1 on Type-A port with the same drop draw mechanism and as well as that, you’ll also find a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack and a USB 3.1 gen 2 Type-C port. Although if you have the lower-end models without the MX 350, you will also have Thunderbolt 3 support.

Asus Zenbook 13

In terms of the technical specifications, these notebooks come with the Intel 10th generation Ice Lake processors and it’s available in i7 and i5. The one we have here is the i7 variant, it’s a quad-core processor with eight threads and you get the 8MB cache in it along with the Intel Iris Plus graphics. We get the LPDDR4x 16GB onboard memory which is clocking at 3200 megahertz and about the storage, you get the M.2 solid-state drive in this laptop with a max 1TB option. In terms of the connectivity option, you get Wi-Fi 6.0 on this laptop along with Bluetooth 5.0.

Asus claims that this is the world’s thinnest laptops with full I/O ports. This laptop is only 13.9 millimeters thick and weighs only 1.07 grams. Asus also claims that you get 22 hours of battery life, Full I/O ports, and face login with a 3D IR camera. In the box with the laptop, we do get a power adapter, it’s a Type-C charger and the output of this adapter is 65 watts and then you have the power cable. You also get these two dongles, first is the Type-C to 3.5-millimeter headphone jack adapter and then we have the Type-C to RJ45 for the LAN connection.

In terms of the ports and connectors, on the left side, we have the full-size HDMI port, two Type-C ports which you can use for charging as well as for data transfer, and then next to it, we have the charging LED light. On the right side, we have the USB 3.0 port, Micro SD card reader, and status light. At the bottom of the laptop, we have the rubber feet here and on the side, we have the speaker grilles and in the middle, you have the air vent. You also have these two rubber bumpers on the top and when you open the lid, it raises the laptop from the front by few centimeters allowing the air to go through which keeps the laptop cool and also this ergo-lift design of these Zenbooks tilts the keyboard a bit giving you a more comfortable feel while typing.

Above the display, we have the 3D IR camera for video calling and also for Windows Hello login. So, when you open the lid, you will see this IR scanner looking for your face and it’s quite accurate and secure as well.

The audio system on this laptop is powered by Harman Kardon providing you loud and clear sound. The touchpad and the Asus number pad 2.0 are some of my favorite features of this laptop and apart from giving you quick access to the num keys, it also looks pretty cool with the LED light.

PERFORMANCE:

HP Envy 13

The model I have is the top-end model. It has a quad-core Comet Lake i7 10510U as well as Nvidia’s latest and greatest low-power mobile GPU being the MX 350 which has 2 gigabytes of GDDR5 VRAM. It also sports 16 gigabytes of dual-channel DDR2 RAM clocked at 2667 megahertz as well as the Intel ax201 Wi-Fi card which supports both Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. So, you should see some fast wireless speeds.  This model has storage of one terabyte Intel NVMe SSD which gives some pretty good scores on crystal disk mark. If you’re a light user, then getting this model off the laptop is probably a bit overkill unless you’re someone who enjoys having plenty of tabs open without any noticeable drops and performance but even then I’m sure you’d be fine on lower-end models with the Ice Lake CPUs.

With the Envy 13, you can easily work with 1080p 30fps video. A 1080p 60fps video is also generally fine in Vegas Pro 15. They probably also managed 4K 30fps as well. Playback in timeline is likely to lag even with very few effects and animated elements present. 4k 60 may be a bit of a struggle but you’ve managed as long as you keep a project simple and are regularly saving in the off chance it does crash. Photo editing and vector work are breezes on the Envy and I imagine only the most intensive projects and several background tasks could slow it down as I personally had a great experience with both. This is not too good at 3D modeling. For professional 3D modeling, you’re likely to be looking at a dedicated PC. So, this laptop will be fine for some general 3D modeling as long as it’s not too intensive.

I only tested a couple of games that are known to be intensive. The games are tested were GTA 5 and Metal Gear Solid 5 and both performed very well. They both played at 1080p although GTA 5 was set to medium settings and a Metal Gear Solid 5 was at high settings. The GTA 5 maintained a good frame rate in the high 30s to 40s in less crowded areas but in more busy environments suffered a drop to the mid 20s and 30s, a drop here is quite significant. In Metal Gear Solid 5, the MX 350 performs much better. Even at high settings are actually a fairly consistent average frame rate of around 42.5 frames per second with a frame rate peaking at around 60 frames per second and a 1% low of about 25 frames per second. The game itself felt very smooth enjoyable and only a more busy scene does a framerate drop, although it’s still very playable frame rate.

Asus Zenbook 13

In terms of performance, the 10th generation i7 processor in this laptop is blazingly fast. I’ve been using this laptop for my daily tasks such as going through social media, emails, watching videos on youtube, and I have also used Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint occasionally and this laptop didn’t disappoint me. I didn’t see any performance issue in this laptop which is kind of expected with this hardware configuration. The solid-state drive performs pretty well and the boot time is very less. Overall, in terms of the performance, the display is pretty good and you get a good experience while watching videos and working on this machine.

Asus Zenbook 13

BATTERY:

HP Envy 13

Genuinely in my experience, the battery life tends to last upwards of around 7 hours on a recommended profile and sometimes higher if all you’re doing is browsing, typing out documents, and watching films. I definitely say this laptop is capable of lasting a whole working day. Although the laptop only takes around an hour to an hour and a half to fully charge and even both quick charging to ensure you can get some good usage out of it. The charging brick itself is very small and lightweight.

Asus Zenbook 13

Asus claims that this Zenbook Ux325 will give around 22 hours of battery life. In real-world use, it gives around a maximum of 14-15 hours of battery life at normal usage. In the extreme level of heavy usage, it can give you around 9 hours. The battery life in this laptop is really great.

WHICH TO BUY?

Considering its price range, the Envy 13 is a great premium lightweight and capable laptop with a small footprint, perfect for students or anyone heading into a boardroom. The privacy features are great to see even if the privacy screen does affect the screen quality and each model features a fast SSD with a high capacity starting at half a terabyte further line model which is great to see as well as this every model features Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 which is great for connectivity. The keyboard is great and the display is stunning. I find that a high-end model is more than capable for most people and will allow people with a passion for creative work that is looking for a good mix of practicality, affordability, and performance and exactly what they’re looking for. The Asus Zenbook is a premium product which is targeting working professionals and college students. It’s lightweight and the quality of this product is amazing and because of its compact size and less weight, you can easily carry this laptop with you in your backpack. If you’re looking for a compact, get a powerful machine for your daily usage then I highly recommend you to check out this laptop.

In my opinion, both laptops are good for daily usage and work on the go. If you want better performance, then you should choose the Envy 13. If you want the lightest and thinnest laptop comparing to Envy 13 with some compromise in performance, then you can choose Zenbook 13.

Expert reviews of HP Envy 13:

By Techradar
Not only that, but the HP Envy 13 also looks good and has a quality metal chassis while undercutting some of the most obvious…

By Trusted reviews
The HP Envy 13 (2020) is one of the best value laptops currently available, pinching fantastic features from rivals that cost…

By Creative Bloq
The HP Envy 13 strikes the perfect balance between design, power, and affordability. Don’t have the cash…

Expert reviews of Asus Zenbook 13:

By Techradar
Weighing under three pounds, the ASUS ZenBook stands out with great portability, MIL-STD-810G grade durability…

By BGR
The Asus ZenBook 13 is frankly one of the better business laptops I have used. This despite the fact that the keyboard backlight and touchpad kind of became an inconvenience. The laptop becomes a clear winner…