HP leads the industry in laptop design, employing new materials, features and form factors in its latest models. The latest risk? Adding genuine wood to the deck of the Envy 13 (reviewed at $1,099). Visually, the laptop is a success, beautifully blending a natural walnut surface with dark-toned aluminum. Along with its head-turning chassis, the Envy 13 delivers a bright and vivid 13.3-inch, 4K display and a comfortable keyboard.
I just wish HP hadn't extended the wood inlay across the touchpad, because the coarse surface isn't comfortable to use over long periods. Moreover, the 4K Envy 13 did poorly on our battery test, which compromises the laptop's portability. I'm also annoyed by all the bloatware HP installed on such a premium notebook. For these reasons, the Envy 13 Wood Edition falls just short of being HP's latest success story.