Offering a slim, sturdy design and fast performance at a relatively affordable price, HP's Envy 13t is a nice alternative to Dell's XPS 13 for work. It's not quite as compact as Dell's machine, but at $850 the Envy 13t does cost about $150 less for a model with comparable specifications. HP's laptop is held back by really short battery life, though. Still, that might be a fair tradeoff for workers who want to save a bit of money.
The 13-inch Envy 13t is one stylish laptop, with a sleek aluminum lid and a thin profile that measures just a half-inch. The bezel around the notebook’s screen is surprisingly thick, though, particularly compared to the XPS 13, which sports a striking edge-to-edge display.
The fingerprint reader located just below the keyboard’s right edge is a big bonus for workers, letting you keep your work notebook locked down without fussing with a password screen. The XPS 13 doesn’t have a fingerprint reader at all. Other hardware highlights include a sixth-generation Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM, which provides fast performance, as well as 128GB of SSD storage.
Unfortunately, short battery life makes the Envy 13t’s portable design less practical. The machine died after a paltry 5 hours and 48 minutes on our battery life test, which simulates continuous Web browsing over Wi-Fi. That’s enough to last through a short business flight, but rival laptops have more than double the staying power; the XPS 13 lasted 11 hours and 54 minutes on the same test, while the MacBook Air ran for an epic 14 hours.
Check back for a full review of the HP Envy 13t very soon, or check out our picks for the best work laptops currently on the market.
[For more information on how we test mobile devices, visit our testing methodology page.]