Last fall, Apple confirmed that it’s sending the MacBook Air to the server farm upstate. Although it still sells the Air, the form factor hasn’t been updated since 2013, and the screen is equally antique. Apple suggests the non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro as the entry-level laptop for people who want a fully-featured laptop, but $1,500 is one hell of an entry-level price.
So, it falls to other companies to fill the void that Apple’s left. Some of the premium Chromebooks are fantastic options for half the price of a MacBook Air, but Chrome OS is still lacking in features for some users. Luckily, HP has a new laptop you might want to take a look at.
At an event today, HP announced a bunch of new premium Windows laptops. There’s three different sizes, but the one I’m most interested in is the smallest, the Envy 13. It’s a 13.3-inch laptop with 1080p or 4K display, all-metal body, Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, and four USB ports of various kinds. There’s also an option to equip discrete Nvidia graphics of some kind.
The best thing is the price: $1,049 for the base option. If that comes with Intel’s latest Core i3 processor and 8GB of RAM, it’s a decently low price for a great-looking laptop. HP’s build and battery life has been stellar on the laptop range for the last few years; now that details like USB-C ports and thin bezels are being added, it means HP’s starting to challenge Microsoft and Apple in the premium laptop world.
The Envy 13 should also fill the niche that the MacBook Air left behind quite neatly. It has enough power to handle any reasonable everyday computing task, (theoretically) a long enough battery to last a day, and a premium thin-and-light design that is easy enough to carry around. We’ll have to wait and see if the details like a good keyboard are also good, but things are looking promising.
The entire new lineup of laptops goes on sale in June.