A Natural Progression: HP Brings Wood Panels to its Latest Envy Portables

If you’ve ever yearned for a laptop or convertible that matches the aesthetics of your grandparent’s station wagon, you might want to start saving now for HP’s latest Envy Wood Series lineup, which the company says should be available sometime this fall. HP is expanding its Envy lineup of laptops and convertibles to include Wood Series options with “authentic wood” inlaid on the wrist rest and over the Microsoft Precision touchpad.

HP Envy Wood Series Laptop ( (Image credit: Tom's Hardware))

The inlays will come in two designs--or species--of wood: the darker walnut, or a lighter birch (wood-free variants will also be available). The color of the rest of the laptops will match, with the walnut models getting a “nightfall black” chassis, while the birch models will be decked out in “ceramic white.”

Photo (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Those opting for the Envy 13 will be able to pick up either a traditional laptop or a convertible (x360) model with wood below the keyboard, but wood options will only be offered on the convertible x360 model of the Envy 15. And the wood-inlaid Envy 17 will only be offered in traditional clamshell form.

Those less interested in what the company calls the “elevated craftsmanship” and a “seamless, warm experience” (hey HP, we can clearly see the seams) may be interested to know that all but the largest 17-inch Envy will be offered in both AMD and Intel variants, with full specs (and pricing) arriving as we push through the summer months and into the fall.

Photo (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

This isn’t, of course, the company’s first foray into incorporating natural materials into its functional designs. Last year, the company launched the leather-wrapped Spectre Folio 13. And honestly, the wood inlays both looked and felt good in our brief hands-on time with the laptops at a recent press event. Because real wood is used here, some of the texture comes through, even on the touchpad, which we suppose could result in a more pleasant experience pounding away for hours on an otherwise metal, plastic and glass machine.

Photo (Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Of course, durability is a question that’s tough to answer at this point. But unless you plan on handing down your laptop to your child--like maybe your grandfather did with that station wagon--chances are the wood will last for the few years you’re likely to be using your Envy on a regular basis. And hey, wood is arguably a better, more durable fabric than the Alcantara suede-like cloth that Microsoft wraps the inside of its Surface Book 2 in. At least the Envy has a modern USB-C port to go along with its retro wood paneling.

Matt Safford

After a rough start with the Mattel Aquarius as a child, Matt built his first PC in the late 1990s and ventured into mild PC modding in the early 2000s. He’s spent the last 15 years covering emerging technology for Smithsonian, Popular Science, and Consumer Reports, while testing components and PCs for Computer Shopper, PCMag and Digital Trends.