Convertibles are all over the place and whilst the most popular models still seem to be those who deliver a modest performance, some models still stand out thanks to its high end components coupled with a convenient price. Such is the case of the model we're gonna tackle today as we dive head first onto our review of the HP ENVY m6-w103dx, an affordable high end convertible. Wanna come along for the ride?
Pros; Full HD display, Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, ethernet port available, convertible.
Cons: no dvd reader, no dedicated graphics chip for heavy duty graphic intensive tasks (gaming).
The ultimate review of the HP ENVY m6-w103dx
High quality construction and a very convenient display
As part of HP's convertible ENVY lineup, the HP ENVY m6-w103dx arrives with a great build quality that is as sturdy as it is compact. This particular model feels very ergonomic to handle and while the 15 inch form factor isn't the most convenient for a convertible, somehow HP still manages to pull it off.
The screen at hand has a 15.6 inch diagonal with a 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution (Full HD), IPS technology (for wide viewing angles) and a WLED-Backlit touchscreen. Being of a bigger form factor than many of its competitors also means that the touch sensitive screen is even more precise, delivering a great experience both in laptop as well as tablet mode.
It's not an ultralight laptop but it's not particularly heavy either, sitting at a little over 5 pounds and measuring under 1 inch of thickness. That's the current standard for most laptops (be it convertible or not) so we're not all that surprised at these numbers.
The keyboard has two added bonuses: for one things it's a fully fledged keyboard with its dedicated numeric pad and for another thing it's also backlit, making your late night typing sessions all the more easier.
What's performance like?
This is an excellent convertible, not just from a design standpoint but also from a performance point of view. Inside the HP ENVY m6-w103dx we come across an Intel Core i5-6200U processor.
That's a 6th generation processor, part of the Skylake lineup of CPU's, the last one to hit the market. It's a pretty good CPU with a base frequency of 2.3GHz that can speed things up to a maximum 2.8GHz when pressed for more demanding tasks. With 3MB of cache and four threads working simultaneously, this processor is up and ready to handle just about anything you wanna throw at it.
It's not as powerful as an i7 but in terms of brut performance (10% less powerful), this is only something you'd come to notice if you use seriously power hungry apps. For stuff like video editing, browsing the web, watching Full HD movies, editing and compiling code on Eclipse and so forth you're more than covered.
Obviously we can't really measure performance without taking a look at the system memory. Case and point, we've got an 8GB DDR3L module which is more than enough to cover both light multitasking as well as hardcore intensive usage.
Personally I always say that power users should get 8GB of RAM and light users as well since power users will notice it immediately while light users will notice it down the line as software gets more and more demanding.
Is it built for gaming?
So far I have yet to see a single convertible that packs a dedicated graphics chip that would be suited for intensive gaming sessions, the HP ENVY m6-w103dx in review is no exception to this.
Specifically, we've got an integrated Intel HD 520 graphics card which will deliver a good framerate on games that aren't too graphically demanding such as Fifa, Rainbow Six Siege, Overwatch and so forth, assuming you play them at low settings obviously. In short; this is not a gaming laptop and we wouldn't recommend it for anyone who's serious about gaming.
What's battery life like? How much storage capacity do I have?
Battery life on this convertible is comprised of a 3 cell battery and while HP has been mum about overall battery performance, with this set of specs one should conclude that battery life won't go beyond the 5 hour mark.
Anything less than that seems unlikely given the mostly positive reviews towards this laptop but anything more would seem a bit far fetched considering the specs this notebook has to manage.
In terms of storage, HP opted to deliver maximum storage capacity and went with a 1TB mechanical hard drive that spins at a speed of 5400rpm. Surely many would've liked an SSD but consider that if this notebook had placed an SSD it would be of the 128-256GB variety at best and for many users that's a deal breaker right there.
However, considering this laptop is inherently fast, having an SSD wouldn't have made all that much of a difference so we believe that ultimately HP made the right call.
Random stuff you should know...
Connectivity on this model is surprisingly good since it implements an ethernet port for a wired internet connectivity, something that's not mainstream within convertibles. We've also got USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI output, a dedicated SD card reader as well as your standard high end WiFi ac ultrafast WiFi antenna and Bluetooth support in case you wanted to use a bluetooth speaker, for example.
Speaking of audio quality, we've got B&O speakers to deliver a solid audio experience when watching movies and listening to music and there's also an HD webcam which we still wonder why manufacturers don't just go ahead and place a Full HD webcam once and for all.
There's no DVD drive, as with all convertibles and as far as the OS is concerned, this model is running on the latest installment of Windows; Windows 10.
Bottom line: Should I buy this laptop/convertible?
With virtually no drawbacks to be seen on this review of the HP ENVY m6-w103dx, we've concluded that this is an excellent convertible for all intents and purposes.
It's screen delivers a sharp image that's great for a wide variety of tasks, you've got a top notch processor and respectable RAM capable of handling just about anything your throw at it and storage space is more than enough to carry around your media library without having to constantly check the amount of available storage.
As a student laptop it's an excellent choice but all around its an excellent option for just about anyone looking to buy a high powered laptop that can also double as a tablet when need be. Very conveniently priced, it's no surprise that this model has been a major hit amongst consumers.