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HP Envy 15 4k OLED Review - addressing common concerns

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HP Envy 15 4k OLED Review - addressing common concerns

So I should preface this short review by saying I recently purchased the Envy 15 after about a month of researching laptops every day to find what I was looking for to replace my 10-year old laptop. For me, I wanted a laptop that was sleek-looking, has a glossy screen, and has enough power for casual gaming. In the end my decision came down to either the Envy 15 4k OLED or the Razer Blade 15 Base 2020 model with the 4k OLED. Considering the Razer was going to be about $500-$600 more to only step up the 2060 Max Q to a 2070 Max Q GPU, it didn't seem to be worth it to me. So I decided on the Envy 15, and I could not be happier with my decision.

In short, this is a great, well-built (very well-built) and powerful laptop that has the most beautiful display of any laptop I have ever seen. I have had no issues whatsoever in testing all of my casual PC uses (web browsing, youtube, netflix, microsoft office, etc.) and gaming performance has been even better than expected. I've only run the new Microsoft Flight Simulator on it so far, but it is an extremely graphically demanding game and I've still been getting smooth frame rates at 1440p on high settings. No other game I play is that demanding, so for me performance could only go up from there. The keyboard is great, and the metal keys are such a nice change from the old plastic keys on my 2010 laptop. I've been looking for reasons to type stuff just so I can use this keyboard lol

Since the reviews for this laptop were few in numbers, I wanted to make this review to specifically address the common concerns that the few reviews that do exist point out.

  • Dented Keyboard - I read in a couple of reviews that these units were being shipped with keyboards that were dented-in in the middle and suggested bad quality control. I can only speak for my unit, but I checked every row of the keyboard with a ruler and it was perfect. No spacing or denting at all.

  • Display "fuzziness" or "meshy" layer - Some of the reviews have also mentioned that this display has somewhat of a fuzzy or meshy look to it, possibly due to the AMOLED technology in the panel. One recent review suggests it's to do with the arrangement of the pixels in the display panel. After using the laptop for a few days, all I can say is that maybe if you look hard enough very close on a solid white screen or very light color you might can see a little something. But I have 20/20 vision and **bleep** near strained my eye balls trying to convince myself I was seeing this meshy layer or whatever lol. This could just be from me being used to a 10 year old LED display, but I've been using this one for days and haven't noticed anything other than the best laptop display I've ever seen. The colors are so vivid and the blacks/darks are super dark. The best way I can describe the display is almost like a photo after it's been enhanced and brought to life in Lightroom. I have a 4k TV and have preferred watching Netflix on this the past few days just because it looks so nice. The reflection of the glossy screen really isn't as bad as some make it out to be, although I prefer a glossy screen so that could just be my preference. The only thing with the display is that one might need to use the Intel Graphics Command Center to brighten up the colors a smidge right out of the box. Other than that, it's perfect in my opinion.

  • Sound not that loud - I agree that right out of the box, the laptop isn't that great on sound. But that's because of the flat default preset in the Bang & Olufsen Audio Control panel. All you need to do is raise the treble equalizers near the top and slightly raise the bass levels and you will have some pretty great sound. I couldn't imagine needing it any louder without wanting to connect to an external speaker at that level. I do most browsing and watch netflix on around 60-70% volume and it is plenty loud.

  • Fan Whine - I have seen where some people have said that their fans have a terrible whine to them when spinning fast. Again, I can only speak from my experience but I haven't had this issue at all. People have said the fans get loud, and they do I guess. Again, maybe it's from me being used to a 10 year old laptop that didn't have this kind of performance, but even on high I don't find the fans to be annoyingly loud or anything. Sure, you can hear them well. But if you're playing a game, the PC speakers pretty much drown out the sound of the fans, or at least they do for me.

  • Temperature - Some reviews have suggested this laptop gets too hot. I'll agree that it does get hot, but I've had it on performance mode for a few hours at a time while gaming and I never found the unit (top or bottom) to be uncomfortably hot. Certainly never to hot to put my hands on the keyboard or anything like I've heard happens with the 2020 Razer 15.

  • Hamstrung GPU - I read one review from Micro Center that suggested the 2060 Max-Q GPU was "hamstrung" by the Intel Graphics which effectively limited the ability of the 2060 to be used by standard applications, like a web browser. The user said they couldn't fix it for anything, so they sent it back. Perhaps the first thing I did was change the Nvidia control panel to prefer the high-end graphics in the global settings menu and have had no issue. I can watch beautiful 4k video online with no issue or lost FPS, and gaming has been no issue either like I mentioned previously.

As of now these were the main issues people seemed to list as potential defects that I could remember and checked against my unit. If anyone else has anything they would like for me to check just comment and I'll be glad to do it. These were the main concerns I had before purchasing but still decided to take a chance as Micro Center has a decent return policy and I like to believe reviews tend to come more from unhappy customers. Hopefully if someone is on the fence with this laptop this review may clear up some of their concerns.

I really only have great things to say about this laptop and would recommend it to anyone who isn't solely focused on competitive gaming. If you're a casual gamer like me that doesn't always need something crazy like 150FPS, this computer can easily handle that on good settings as well as any of your standard PC applications all while showing it on a great display. I'm not really into 4k photo or video rendering, but the benchmark scores for my unit suggest it can pretty easily handle that stuff as well. In a nutshell, I'd have to say this is probably the best "all-around" laptop for $1500. For my purposes, I'd give a 10/10.

Community Manager

Re: HP Envy 15 4k OLED Review - addressing common concerns

Hi @Linakesh ,

You have reached the wrong company for HP products (Laptops, Desktops, Printers).

For HP products, you may have to register and post in the HP Support Forums: 

I work for HPE
[Any personal opinions expressed are mine, and not official statements on behalf of Hewlett Packard Enterprise]