HP Envy x360 13 vs. Apple MacBook Air M2

HP’s Envy x360 13 is a great convertible 2-in-1 that costs less. It’s extremely flexible, well built, and offers solid productivity performance, all at a price that beats most of the competition. This includes the Apple MacBook Air M2, an excellent laptop that is one of the cheapest MacBooks.

If you’re looking at a 13-inch computer, these two laptops should be on your shortlist. However, they are quite different, so choosing between them is not easy. We’ll try to make it a little bit easier.

Specification

HP Envy x360 13 Apple MacBook Air M2
size 11.75 in x 8.46 in x 0.63 in 11.97 inches x 8.46 inches x 0.44 inches
weight 2.95 pounds 2.7 pounds
processor Intel Core i5-1230U
Intel Core i5-1250U
Apple M2 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU
Apple Me 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU
graphics Intel Iris Xe Apple M2
lamb 8GB LPDDR4x
16GB LPDDR4x
8GB
16 gigabytes
24 GB
Denote 13.3-inch 16:10 WUXGA (1920 x 1200) IPS
13.3-inch 16:10 WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS
13.3-inch 16:10 2.8K (2880 x 1800) OLED
13.6 inch 16:10 2560 x 1664 Liquid Retina IPS
save 512 GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
256 GB PCIe SSD
512 GB PCIe SSD
1TB PCIe SSD
2TB PCIe SSDs
contact Yes no
port 2x USB-C4 with Thunderbolt 4
2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 2
1 x 3.5mm audio jack
1 microSD card reader
2 x USB-C with Thunderbolt 4
3.5mm audio jack
wireless telephone Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0
webcam 5MP with infrared camera for Windows 11 Hello 1080p
operating system windows 11 macOS Monterey
battery 66 watt hours 52.6 watt-hour
price $900+ $1,200+
evaluation 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars

Pricing and configuration

The Envy x360 13 costs $900 with an Intel Core i5-1230U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 512GB solid-state drive (SSD), and a 13.3-inch 16:10 WUXGA IPS display. For a Core i7-1250U, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, and a 13.3-inch 16:10 2.8K OLED panel, the maximum cost is $1,300.

The MacBook Air M2 is a more expensive laptop starting at $1,200 for an 8-core CPU/8-core GPU M2 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The high-end laptop costs $2,500 for an 8-core CPU/10-core GPU M2, 24GB RAM, and a 2TB SSD.

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MacBooks cost more across the board, and HP often sells laptops. For example, when we reviewed the Envy x360 13, the entry-level configuration was just $700, which was really affordable.

design

It’s hard to beat Apple’s build quality, and the MacBook Air M2 is no exception. The unibody construction is excellent, although the lid exhibits a slight unique flex due to the laptop’s extreme thinness. At just 0.44 inches thick, it’s one of the thinnest laptops you can buy. The Envy x360 13 has an all-aluminum construction and is a solid machine too. Arguably more rigid than the MacBook. Apple’s hinges are sleek and the lid can be opened with one hand. HP’s hinge is also doable without the same improvements. The hinges on the Envy x360 13 are more complex and heavier as they have to support the cover in all four directions including clamshell, media, tent and tablet.

Both are attractive machines with a minimalist design. The MacBook Air M2 uses the same block design as the more expensive MacBook Pro models and no longer sports the model’s iconic wedge design. It comes in four colors: Midnight, Starlight, Space Grey, and Silver and comes with a matching MagSafe 3.0 charger cable. The Envy x360 13 has simple lines with slight angles to give it a bit of pomp, and it comes in Natural Silver and Nightfall Black color schemes. The MacBook’s display bezel is slightly smaller, giving it a more modern look than the Envy’s, which has a larger bottom chin to accommodate the 2-in-1 hinge.

When it comes to entering information, the MacBook Air M2 is a more comfortable laptop. The Magic Keyboard is one of the best laptops available today, with shallow but crisp switches and perfect keycap size and spacing. It’s a real pleasure to use. The Force Touch haptic touchpad is also the best around, being accurate and responsive across its entire surface with virtual clicks that feel better than real life. The Envy x360 13’s keyboard is also great. Stepping back a bit from Apple has deeper switches that feel slightly less precise. The mechanical touchpad is a great example of what a Windows laptop can offer, but it’s not as nice to use as a MacBook.

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The Envy x360 13 benefits from a touch display that also supports an active pen for Windows inking. Thanks to the larger 16:10 display, the Envy provides a great digital drawing and note-taking platform that the MacBook can’t match.

Another area where the Envy wins is connectivity thanks to the same number of Thunderbolt 4 ports that offer better legacy support thanks to USB-A, and it has a microSD card reader. It also boasts the latest faster wireless connectivity.

Finally, both laptops have high-resolution webcams, and HP adds an infrared camera for Windows 11 password-free login via facial recognition. The MacBook Air M2 supports a Touch ID fingerprint reader built into the keyboard.

Performance

The cover and keyboard of the MacBook Air.

Apple’s M2 ARM-based processor builds on the outstanding performance and efficiency of the M1. It features 8 CPU cores and 8 or 10 GPU cores, the latter including optimizations for the creative process in applications such as Adobe’s Creative Suite. The Envy x360 13 we reviewed is equipped with a 15-watt Intel Core i7-1250U, a 10-core/12-thread CPU that aims to deliver great productivity performance. Envy’s integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics aren’t very powerful in creative apps, leaving the MacBook behind in creative workflows.

Both laptops are highly productive machines and are closely matched in CPU-intensive tasks. But when it comes to photo and video editing, the MacBook Air M2 stands out.

HP Envy x360 13
(Core i7-1250U)
Apple MacBook Air M2
(Apple M2)
Geekbench 5
(single/multi)
Balance: 1,435 / 7,285
Performance: 1,460 / 7,288
Balance: 1,925 / 8,973
Performance: N/A
handbrake
(candle)
Feet: 136
Performance: 138
Feet: 151
Performance: N/A
Cinebench R23
(single/multi)
Balance: 1,504 / 7,436
Performance: 1,504 / 7,441
Balance: 1,600 / 7,938
Performance: N/A

display and audio

Front view of the HP Envy x360 13 2022 showing the display.

The MacBook Air M2 has a great 13.6-inch Liquid Retina IPS display running at 16:10 and 2560 x 1664. It’s crisp and bright, delivers great colors, and enjoys deep contrast. All but the most demanding creators will love the display. However, the Envy x360 13 offers a 13.3-inch 16:10 2880 x 1800 OLED panel. This panel is sharper, has better colors, and has a surprisingly deep contrast with the blacks, and is sure to please any user. The only weakness compared to the MacBook’s display is the low brightness. But it’s still bright enough.

The Envy x360 13 has two bottom speakers that are good for YouTube and system sound, but the MacBook Air M2’s quad speakers sound much better and play much louder without distortion. MacBooks are also fanless. That means it’s completely silent, so there’s no fan noise competing with the speakers for your attention.

HP Envy x360 13
(OLED)
Apple MacBook Air M2
(IPS)
brightness
(neat)
391 486
AdobeRGB range 100% 90%
sRGB area 98% 100%
accuracy
(DeltaE, lower is better)
0.72 1.08
contrast ratio 29,420:1 1,310:1

portability

The side of a MacBook Air showing the ports.

As mentioned earlier, the MacBook Air M2 is surprisingly thin at 0.44 inches. The Envy x360 13 is 0.63 inches. The laptops are about the same width and depth, a feat for the MacBook with a larger display, and the Envy is a few ounces heavier. Nonetheless, both are highly portable laptops that easily fit in a backpack.

A more significant difference is battery life. Apple’s M2 processor is very efficient thanks to its ARM architecture and has shown up in battery benchmarks. The Envy x360 13 performed well on Windows systems with power-hungry OLED displays, but the MacBook lasted much longer.

HP Envy x360 13
(Core i7-1250U)
Apple MacBook Air M2
(Apple M2)
web browsing 9 hours 30 minutes 17 hours 59 minutes
video 15 hours 31 minutes 21 hours 9 minutes

Two great laptops, but one much cheaper.

The HP Envy x360 13 is a more affordable laptop, especially when you stretch configurations. It’s ruggedly built, delivers great productivity performance and solid battery life, and enjoys the flexibility of a convertible 2-in-1. The MacBook Air M2, on the other hand, is the epitome of today’s thin-and-light laptops, offering equally superior build quality, outstanding performance, significantly longer battery life and Apple’s all-around excellence.

After all, given its low price, we have to give the Envy x360 13 a nod. You can simply get more laptops for your money.

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