HP Envy 16 review: creative performance for less

HP Envy 16

MSRP $1,150.00

“The HP Envy 16 is gorgeous, powerful, and surprisingly reasonably priced laptop for content creators.”


  • Excellent overall performance
  • Spectacular 4K+ OLED display
  • Solid and attractive construct
  • Good keyboard and touch display
  • Webcam is crisp and clear


  • Touchpad is simply too small
  • Gaming performance is erratic

HP’s Envy line lands in a singular space. These are premium laptops through and thru, and sometimes have the performance to back that up for content creators.

Nevertheless, they aren’t as expensive as machines just like the MSI Creator Z16P or the 16-inch MacBook Pro. A working example is the brand new HP Envy 16, the alternative for the Envy 15, a laptop that’s been on our list of best 15-inch laptops and best video-editing laptops. Given its strong performance and solid construct quality, the Envy 16 is an excellent more compelling entry than its predecessor.

HP Envy 16 specs

  HP Envy 16
Dimensions 14.07 inches by 9.91 inches by 0.78 inches
Weight 5.12 kilos
Processor Intel Core i5-12500H
Intel Core i7-12700H
Intel Core i9-12900H
Graphics Intel Arc A370M
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060
Display 16-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) IPS 120Hz
16-inch 16:10 UHD+ (3,840 x 2,400) OLED touch
Storage 512GB PCIe Gen4 SSD
Touch Optional
Ports 2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1 x HDMI 2.1
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 x microSD card reader
Wireless Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
Webcam 5MP with infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello
Operating system Windows 11
Battery 83 watt-hour
Price $1,180+

Fastest when it matters

HP Envy 16 side view showing ports and vents.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Performance is the secret with the Envy 16. The keyboard, display, and clean design could have been for nothing if the Envy 16 didn’t live as much as its promise of wonderful performance. Fortunately, it does.

My loaded $2,600 review unit got here with the 45-watt 14-core/20-thread Core i9-12900H CPU, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, fast 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD (with two 1TB SSDs running in RAID 0 as an excellent faster option), and an RTX 3060 GPU.

On paper, the Envy 16 is a speedy mainstream laptop, especially given a thicker chassis and an upgraded thermal design with dual fans and a liquid vapor chamber. Note that the $1,180 entry-level configuration includes an Intel Arc A370M GPU reasonably than the RTX 3060, so select correctly if GPU performance is vital.

Interestingly, in our benchmarks, the Envy 16 was much faster at single-core tasks than at multi-core tasks. This prolonged to each Geekbench 5 and Cinebench R23, where the Envy 16 led the pack in single-core results while falling behind in multi-core. The HP Command Center utility, used to modify thermal profiles, had little impact. I’ve reported balanced and performance mode scores, but only minor differences exist with the Envy 16.

The screen and keyboard of the HP Envy 16.

Creative applications are inclined to be heavily multi-threaded, meaning creators won’t profit as much from the Envy 16’s fast single-core performance. Our Handbrake test that encodes a 420MB video as H.265 is a major example, with the Envy 16 being slower than all however the MacBook Pro 16. And that features laptops running the lesser Core i7-12700H.

At the identical time, the Envy 16 performed well within the PugetBench Premiere Pro benchmark, which runs a live version of Adobe Premiere Pro and makes copious use of each the CPU and the GPU. It was the fastest Windows laptop in our comparison group in balanced mode. While it fell behind laptops just like the Asus ZenBook Pro 16X and MSI Creator Z16P in performance mode, it was inside spitting distance of the way more expensive Apple MacBook Pro 16 with its Apple M1 Pro CPU.

Synthetic benchmarks aside, the Envy 16 appears to be a powerful performer within the sort of real-world applications that matter most to creators. It may possibly also handle probably the most demanding productivity workflows with ease.

(single / multi)
Cinebench R23
(single / multi)
Premiere Pro
HP Envy 16
(Core i9-12900H)
Bal: 1,839 / 11,187
Perf: 1,811 / 11,387
Bal: 83
Perf: 84
Bal: 1,919 / 12,538
Perf: 1922 / 12,525
Bal: 814
Perf: 932
Asus ZenBook Pro 16X
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,628 / 12,227
Perf: 1,629 / 12,526
Bal: 78
Perf: 70
Bal: 1,655 / 11,983
Perf: 1,657 / 15,621
Bal: 771
Perf: 1034
MSI Creator Z16P
(Core i9-12900H)
Bal: 1,769 / 14,034
Perf: 1,835 / 14,051
Bal: 71
Perf: 69
Bal: 1,844 / 15,047
Perf: 1,837 / 16,084
Bal: 717
Perf: 1,042
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
Bal: 1,470 / 9,952
Perf: 1,714 / 11,053
Bal: 100
Perf: 77
Bal: 1,509 / 11,578
Perf: 1,806 / 13,313
Bal: 760
Perf: 729
Apple MacBook Pro 16
(Apple M1 Pro)
Bal: 1,773 / 12,605
Perf: N/A
Bal: 95
Perf: N/A
Bal: 1,531 / 12,343
Perf: N/A
Bal: 977
Perf: N/A

With a quick CPU and an RTX 3060, it’s natural to play some games on the Envy 16. I expected solid gaming performance given the high single-core performance, however the Env7 16 had mixed results. Its 3DMark Time Spy rating was strong for an RTX 3060, but that didn’t translate across all our gaming tests.

Specifically, the Envy 16 was fast in Civilization VI and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, however it fell behind in Cyberpunk 2077 and Fortnite. It’s probably safest to assume that you would be able to run modern titles at 1080p and high graphics after which be completely happy while you find games that may run well at 1440p.

Assassin’s Creed
Ultra High)
Civilization VI
(1080p Ultra)
1200p Epic)
Time Spy
HP Envy 16
(RTX 3060)
70 fps 40 fps 125 fps 45 fps Bal: 7,645
Perf: 8,040
Asus ZenBook Pro 16X
(RTX 3060)
24 fps 51 fps N/A 65 fps Bal: 7,047
Perf: 8,221
MSI Creator Z16P
(RTX 3080 Ti)
55 fps 30 fps 60 fps 60 fps Bal: 9,251
Perf: 10,054
MSI Creator Z16
(RTX 3060)
50 fps N/A 92 fps 56 fps Bal: 6,322
Perf: N/A
Dell XPS 17 9720
(RTX 3060)
23 fps 45 fps 111 fps 77 fps Bal: 6,757
Perf: 6,958

Large and in charge

The Envy 16 focuses on performance and display size, not on the scale of its chassis. Actually, HP deliberately prolonged the chassis to permit room for higher airflow, and the migration to a 16:10 display adds some depth. In comparison with its competition, though, it’s not overly large — for instance, it’s barely smaller than the MSI Creator Z16P.

It’s quite a bit larger than the Dell XPS 15, however the Dell has a rather smaller display and tiny display bezels. At 0.78 inches thick and 5.12 kilos, the Envy 16 is thicker than the Creator Z16P and a bit lighter, and it’s thicker and heavier than the XPS 15. Overall, it’s not huge, however it’s still not a laptop you’ll need to haul around to the coffee shop.

Some extra weight comes from the all-aluminum chassis, which is kind of sturdy and resists most bending, flexing, and twisting. Only a bit keyboard flex differentiates the Envy 16 from the perfect, resembling the MacBook Pro 16 and the Dell XPS 15. Aesthetically, the Envy 16 is conservatively designed, with just the appropriate angles in the appropriate place and no bling to distract from its minimalist beauty.

In fact, the first appeal of a 16-inch laptop is its large display, which provides loads of room to work. HP offers two displays for the Envy 16 at 16-inches and 16:10. I reviewed the 4K+ OLED panel, which is sharp and stunning.

By every metric but brightness, the display is ideal for the creators HP is targeting. Regardless that the brightness is a bit low, the colours are wide and accurate, and the contrast provides the standard inky blacks we expect from the perfect OLED laptops. Productivity users and media consumers may also love this display.

Contrast sRGB gamut AdobeRGB gamut Accuracy DeltaE
(lower is healthier)
HP Envy 16
348 24,3010:1 100% 97% 0.74
Asus ZenBook Pro 16X
365 26,090:1 100% 98% 0.84
MSI Creator Z16P
461 990:1 100% 89% 0.89
Dell XPS 17 9720
543 1,870:1 100% 100% 0.58
Dell XPS 15 9520
391 28,130:1 100% 96% 0.42
Apple MacBook Pro 16
475 475,200:1 100% 90% 1.04

Quad speakers provide great-sounding audio, with clear mids and highs and more bass than usual. The one problem is volume — the Envy 16 doesn’t get very loud. It’s great sound for watching Netflix by yourself, but when you should entertain a bunch, then you definitely’ll want some Bluetooth speakers. Music sounds good, but again the amount gets in the way in which. In case you wish to crank your tunes, you’ll want a superb pair of headphones. The Dell XPS 15 provides equally good audio that gets lots louder.

The big chassis offers one other advantage, specifically a spacious keyboard with large keycaps despite the fact that it’s flanked on both sides by a speaker grille. That’s also a results of HP excluding a numeric keypad, which most buyers likely won’t miss. The keyboard switch mechanism wasn’t quite as precise as on the Spectre lineup, with loads of travel and a light-weight touch but not as snappy a bottoming motion. It’s a snug keyboard that’s only one step behind the perfect.

HP Envy 16 top down view showing keyboard and touchpad.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

The touchpad is disappointing in that it looks as if there would have been room for a bigger version. It was reliable in supporting Windows 11’s multitouch gestures and its click was confident and quiet, but HP could have squeezed in a considerably larger touchpad. The OLED display comes with multitouch support, and that was welcome.

Finally, the Envy 16 supports all of the connectivity that almost all people need. I might have preferred to see a full-size SD card reader reasonably than microSD, and a few people would profit from an Ethernet port. Besides, connectivity is a strength, because of Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 support.

HP Envy 16 left side showing ports.

HP Envy 16 right side showing ports.

The small touches

It might sound unsuitable to call battery life an “incidental” aspect, but a machine meant to churn through demanding creative and productivity workflows is more likely to be plugged in more often than not. And no fast performer will last long on a charge when the CPU and GPU are fully engaged.

HP Envy 16 side view showing lid, ports, and vent.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Even so, the Envy 16 did reasonably well in our battery tests. Its 83 watt-hour battery, which isn’t lots for this class of machine, managed to maintain it running for nearly 8.5 hours on our web-browsing test and nearly 13 hours in our video test.

It fell behind within the PCMark 10 Applications battery test at just 7.5 hours, but these are decent numbers for a quick laptop with a high-res OLED display.

You won’t find many 16-inch class laptops that last for much longer, although the Dell XPS 15 was stronger and the MacBook Pro 16 was in one other universe entirely. But when you’re doing less demanding work, you would possibly get most of a day trip of the Envy 16.

Web browsing Video PCMark 10
HP Envy 16
(Core i9-12900H)
8 hours, 24 minutes 12 hours, 45 minutes 7 hours, 38 minutes
Asus ZenBook Pro 16X
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 54 minutes 7 hours, 58 minutes 5 hours, 28 minutes
MSI Creator Z16P
(Core i9-12900H)
4 hours, 42 minutes 5 hours, 24 minutes 5 hours, 37 minutes
Dell XPS 15 9520
(Core i7-12700H)
9 hours, 38 minutes 12 hours, 40 minutes 11 hours, 14 minutes
MSI Creator Z17
(Core i7-12700H)
4 hours, 23 minutes 4 hours, 32 minutes N/A
Apple MacBook Pro 16
(Apple M1 Pro)
18 hours, 35 minutes 23 hours, 11 minutes N/A

With such a big, high-res display, you’d expect the Envy 16 to be a wonderful machine for videoconferencing. And also you’d be right, because of the 5MP webcam with Auto Frame capabilities. The image quality was excellent during my testing.

There’s also an infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello passwordless login support and a physical webcam shutter for privacy controlled by a function key. HP omitted any user presence detection functionality that’s been showing up on newer laptops, so there aren’t any automatic sleep and wake capabilities.

HP Envy 16 front view showing webcam.Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

A solid addition to the 16-inch class

We liked the performance and construct quality of the Envy 15, and the Envy 16 improves on each. While it’s actually a premium laptop, it’s cheaper than competitors just like the MSI Creator Z16P and MacBook Pro 16 and faster than similarly priced laptops just like the Dell XPS 15.

In case you’re on the lookout for a strong creative workstation that won’t break the bank, then the Envy 16 is a solid option.

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