HP Envy 14 (EB0021TX) Review: A Balancing Act Done Right – Gadgets 360
HP refreshed its Envy line of premium Windows Ultrabooks back in August and the Envy 14, which we have with us today, is one of the fully loaded variants. Available in both 14-inch and 15-inch screen sizes, the new Envy series promises powerful performance in premium and highly portable bodies. The 2021 refresh gets Intel’s 11th gen Core CPUs and a tweaked design, making it a good contender against rivals such as Dell’s XPS series. The pricing of the HP Envy 14 also puts it in Apple’s MacBook Pro (M1) territory.
It’s time to find out if this ultrabook should be on your radar this shopping season.
HP Envy 14 (EB0021TX) design
The industrial design of the HP Envy 14 has grown on me in the time I’ve been testing it. This laptop is only available in a single silver finish, which covers most parts of the body, except for the bezel around the display. The sharp angles throughout the laptop, including on the rubber feet underneath, lend it a distinctive look. The aluminium chassis is sturdy which makes the lid and base feel rugged.
For a 14-inch laptop, the HP Envy 14 offers a decent selection of physical ports. You get two USB 3 (Gen1) Type-A ports with ‘HP Sleep and Charge’ functionality on both, HDMI 2.0, a Thunderbolt 4 ( Type-C) port, a microSD card slot, a DC charging port, and a headphone jack. You can power and charge the laptop via the Type-C port too, if you don’t have the supplied charger with you. The single hinge for the display offers good torsion and the lid can be pushed back comfortably. Opening the lid when closed can be a little tricky though since the provided groove isn’t deep enough to easily grip it with your thumb or finger.
The chiclet keyboard keys are well spaced and comfortable to type on. You get three levels of white backlighting, which illuminates the keys pretty evenly. There’s a fingerprint sensor in place of the right Ctrl key. The palmrest area is spacious and you even get a generously sized glass trackpad in the middle.
The display is a bright 14-inch IPS panel with a full-HD+ resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio. The design looks modern too, thanks to slim borders on three of its four sides. The perforated vent above the keyboard is for airflow, and the stereo speakers are placed on the bottom of the laptop, one on each side. There’s a much larger vent there too.
HP Envy 14 (EB0021TX) specifications and software
The HP Envy 14 is built around Intel’s Evo platform which is a set of guidelines for features, performance and efficiency. The variant that I’m testing features an Intel Core i7-1165G7 CPU with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, 16GB of soldered DDR4 RAM, a 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD, and a discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU with Max-Q optimisation. It’s a fully-loaded machine with powerful components across the board. The stereo speakers in the Envy 14 are from Bang & Olufsen. There’s a 720p webcam with a software-based camera disable feature for privacy, which can be toggled with one press of a dedicated button on the keyboard. Wireless connectivity includes Wi-Fi 6 and …….