As content creation continues to occupy more of the professional landscape today, OEMs are finally beginning to see the segment as a distinct business opportunity. Apple had this clarity as long as the MacBook Pro lineup existed, but the PC side of things is only beginning to realize that manufacturers have very specific needs, not all of which are met by gaming machines. Asus has teamed up with Bandwagon to have “Pantone Certified” displays on many of their gaming machines, and Dell has identified their XPS 15 as a creator laptop rather than a gaming machine. Now HP is expanding its game with the NV15, designed to meet the needs of those who make content for a living. NV likes a few that set it apart from gaming laptops, but at the end of the day, is it the right laptop for content creators or should they look elsewhere?
HP Envy 15 Specification
Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H
RAM: 16GB DDR4
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660Ti (6GB VRAM)
Storage: 1TB Samsung NVMe
Display resolution: 1920×1080
Display refresh rate: 60Hz
HP Envy 15 Creative Performance
Our standard testing for creative work pressure involves Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Premiere. Also, we tested jealousy using DaVinci Resolve, Blender, Apophysis Fractal Rendering Program, and Photoshop to see how the laptop copes with this particular workload. We exported a batch of 50, 100 and 500 RAW files using Nikon Z7 through Adobe Lightroom Classic. This test is for all of our gaming and manufacturer-centric laptops. In this test, Jealousy surprisingly recorded some very slow render times. The HP Omen 15 (review) that we recently reviewed has the same CPU and a lower-end GPU but still managed to get the export work done faster.
After switching to Premier Pro, we see a completely different behavior. Now Premier Pro intelligently relies on the subject to render loads between CPU and GPU. Here, fast renders are also supported by Intel’s QuickSync technology Here, we noticed that HP Envy works pretty well, recording the fastest rendering time across all 10M gen gaming laptops and even the Ryzen 4000 that we tested ৷ You can see the render time in the chart below.
HP Jealous Thermals
Of particular interest is the fact that HP Jealousy trades the traditional copper pipe-based cooling system for a steam chamber. While running our standard 4K 20-minute timeline export, the Intel Core i7-10750H did well for the most part in the 80s, spitting for a while in the early 90s. The steam chambers manage to keep the CPU-GPU well within their respective operating temperatures. We didn’t even see the fans being too loud when working at the highest level. Although the interior maintains a good temperate zone, the surface temperature is a different story. The use of aluminum for the keyboard island also allows it to act as a heat emitter, so, you will feel the heat from the inside. You can feel the heat in the center of the keyboard, which is 47-48 degrees and the WASD key clock is 40 degrees Celsius. Perhaps the most amazing discovery was the palm-rest, which we measured at 41.5 degrees Celsius. Suffice it to say, if you are gaming on this thing or running a durable render load, this thing will definitely feel hot.
HP Envy 15 Gaming Performance
The HP does not position the NV15 as a gaming laptop, but it would be ridiculous not to consider it as one. We run the standard suite of games over our jealousy and see that it actually manages 60fps mark across most games setting their graphics setting high or medium preset. NV Sports only has a 60Hz display, so we’re more than happy to see games hit that mark. It is smooth and free from any kind of tearing and this is what you can expect. Where jealousy fails as a gaming system is due to the fact that after a few hours of sustainable gaming, the surface temperature gets really hot. The good thing is that HP is not targeting gamers with this machine.
Keyboard, trackpad and I / O
The HP Envy 15 has a nice white backlit chocolate-style keyboard. White backlighting is becoming more common these days, especially on laptops with silver keycaps. It is best to turn off the backlight during the day and turn it on when using the laptop in a dark environment. The keyboard itself was a treat to use, with generously sized keycaps and decent distances between keys, making it very easy to use. Where the keyboard is a little weird is that it removes the correct CTRL key and puts a fingerprint sensor in there. It’s a weird place to have a fingerprint sensor, but it fits the scheme of things, at least aesthetically.
The trackpad of this machine is definitely smaller than the Dell XPS 15 and 16-inch MacBook Pro (Review). Like a lot smaller. However, you will get a better trackpad, with a unified click and also using the Windows Precision driver. The trackpad is useful for basic things like navigating Windows and even simple photo and video editing.
I / O on jealousy is rather impressive. You’ll find two Thunderbolt 3.0 ports, a full-size HDMI port and two USB 3.0 ports. For any creator, that should be enough. While the Thunderbolt 3 ports are great for further expansion, it’s sad to see that they don’t support power delivery.
The HP Envy 15 packs a full HD IPS panel with rated brightness of 300 nits and 100 percent sRGB coverage. We measured the panel brightness numbers to be very close to what HP claims, and for color accuracy, the display seems to be calibrated just outside the box. The white dot is set for sRGB colorspace, which is nice. However, if you are going to use it for color sensitive work, it is absolutely necessary to calibrate the display using Spider or Xrite. This is because while the panel may be set to reproduce colors in the most appropriate way, the light in our work environment affects the way we perceive color. The professional color calibration of the display harmonizes the colors of the display considering the light of the environment which allows for better color accuracy in color-sensitive work. The NV15 can easily be used for professional photo editing, video editing and even color grading purposes.
HP Envy 15 is trying to embrace the brands that have virtually ruled the kingdom. At the same time, however, the MacBook Pro and the new Dell XPS 15 are quite expensive, so the HP Envy 15 fills the huge gap in existing prices. The review unit we received retailed at Rs 1,49,999, currently the cheapest of the manufacturer’s laptops, including the Intel 10.M Generation processor. You can bump up the glasses on the RTX 2060 and an OLED display if you want and still don’t hit the price point of the Dell or MacBook Pro. NV manages to deliver on its promise of good performance under the pressure of creative work, and it can easily hold its own when it comes to gaming. For the price, it offers really hard value for money and can be a tough recommendation for those who play the role of content creators and gamers.