HP Envy x360 with Ryzen 3500U Review – Much better without a ‘privacy screen’

The Envy x360 is a relatively cheap convertible with AMD Ryzen 5 processor. Compared to convertibles with an Intel processor, the GPU is a lot smoother. The battery life of this variant is also very good with eleven hours during browsing and about five hours with a heavier load. The housing is poorly protected when you flip the screen in presentation mode. Given the price and battery life, this ar0150nd is preferable to the more expensive ar0350nd, which has a privacy screen that makes the screen unreadable for snoopers, but offers poorer battery life and viewing angles, even when the privacy screen is turned off.


  • Excellent battery life
  • Sturdy housing
  • Well calibrated screen


  • Poorly protected housing as a convertible

In October 2019 we looked at an interesting laptop from HP: the Envy x360 ar0350nd. The laptop was interesting because it is equipped with an AMD processor and in the price range of that laptop, a thousand euros, it is generally Intel that beats the clock. The conclusion of the review was that the laptop is quite smooth thanks to the Ryzen 7 processor and the sturdy housing is also a plus. We had mixed feelings about the ‘privacy screen’, a feature that makes the screen hard to read at an angle at the touch of a button to keep out prying eyes. That function is nice if sensitive information is on your screen, but also leads to moderate viewing angles when the function is switched off. We therefore suggested in the review that for most people the cheaper version with Ryzen 5 processor, the ar0150nd, without a privacy screen was probably the better choice.

The Envy x360 ar0150nd is, just like the more expensive ar0350nd, a convertible with a metal housing. We won’t go into too much detail about the case, keyboard and touchpad; for that you can consult the article of the previously reviewed model . In short, the Envy has a housing that is made of metal and therefore feels nice and sturdy. If you put the laptop in presentation mode, where it leans on the keyboard part, you risk damage, because the rubber pads around the keyboard are very thin.

The outside is the same as with the ar0350 and the difference between the two convertibles is in the inside: the processor. The ar0150nd features a Ryzen 5 3500U processor. That is a CPU with four cores, eight threads and a maximum clock speed of 3.7 GHz, compared to the 4.0 GHz of the Ryzen 3700U in the ar0350. The Ryzen 3500U also contains a slightly slower GPU: a Vega 8 instead of a Vega 10.

The benchmarks we run clearly show what the strong point of the AMD processors is: the GPU. In benchmarks that rely mainly on the CPU cores, such as Cinebench and Lightroom, the AMD CPU can keep up very well, but the fastest ultrabooks in those benchmarks have an Intel processor on board. The 3DMark benchmark, and especially the Graphics test, shows that the built-in Vega GPU is a lot faster than the well-known Intel UHD620 GPUs. In terms of performance, the Vega GPUs are around the level of Nvidia’s MX150, which means that you can play games at low settings to some extent. The Vega 8 GPU is only eight percent slower in 3DMark than the Vega 10 GPU in the ar0350. Intel is catching up, by the way, with its latest generation of Ice Lake processors. The fastest variants are equipped with an Iris Plus GPU,


The Envy ar0150 that we discuss in this review has a ‘regular’ display, with a glossy finish and a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. The ar0350nd we reviewed earlier was equipped with HP’s privacy screen, which ensures that the viewing angles are reduced at the touch of a button. As a result, the screen is hardly readable if you are not sitting directly in front of it, which is useful if you are working on sensitive information in public, for example. A disadvantage is in the viewing angles when the privacy screen is switched off. They are not as good as with a normal IPS screen, such as on the AR0150. If you don’t necessarily need such a privacy screen, we wouldn’t opt ​​for that and go for this ar0150, which does have excellent viewing angles.

The laptop with privacy screen has a kind of double backlight, part of which lights up when the privacy screen is on and both parts are on in normal state. This leads to high brightness and contrast, as shown by the measurements with our SpectraCal C6 colorimeter and CalMAN 5 software. The ar0150 without a privacy screen has a ‘normal’ brightness and contrast, for an IPS screen.

The ar0150nd we tested also has an excellently calibrated screen, with a ΔE of 1.1 for the grayscale measurement, and even less than 1 for the primary and secondary color measurement. That is slightly better than with the ar0350nd, although the question is whether that difference is noticeable, because the ar0350 is also well calibrated.

Battery life

Finally, we look at the battery life, which is generally not the strongest point of AMD laptops. The ar0350nd, the one with a privacy screen, had a battery life of seven and a half hours during browsing, which is not bad for a laptop with an AMD processor. On the other hand, there are plenty of laptops that can achieve a much longer battery life and are equipped with an Intel processor.

Given the hardware, we had not expected a particularly long battery life from the ar0150nd, but that turns out differently. Apparently, the dual backlight in the ar0350nd’s privacy screen leads to a significant increase in power consumption, as the ar0150nd’s regular screen performs significantly better in all of our battery tests, outperforming Intel-based laptops as well. In addition, the AMD CPU is more efficient when browsing and under heavier load, as simulated in the PCMark test. When playing 1080p video with the h264 codec, the ar0150 also performs significantly better than the ar0350, but there are also many Intel laptops in that test that do better.


More and more high-end laptops with AMD processors are appearing and the Envy ar0150nd could be the best we’ve tested so far. It’s not the fastest, as laptops with Ryzen 7 are even faster, but the difference isn’t huge. In the specific case of the Envy x360, you can choose the variant with Ryzen 5 processor reviewed here: the ar0150, or the slightly faster version with Ryzen 7 processor: the ar0250.

We would only choose the ar0350, which we reviewed earlier, if the privacy screen is important to you. The ‘private screen’ comes with a price; the viewing angles are narrower, even when privacy mode isn’t enabled, and it slurps more power than a conventional screen. This is clear from the battery tests, in which the ar0150nd performs well. Especially during browsing and under PCMark load, it scores well and leaves many Intel laptops behind. The Vega GPU is also nice and fast and the CPU can also compete well in benchmarks. Perhaps the best part is that the Envy x360 is relatively cheap, because there are hardly any 13.3″ convertibles with a Ryzen 5 or Core i5 processor for this money and certainly not with this long battery life.