HP’s new laptop is IMAX Certified — and yes, that does sound pointless

HP Envy x360 15 and Envy 17
(Image credit: HP)

HP has just announced a new batch of laptops in its Envy line, and hoo-boy does one model in particular have quite the claim to fame. 

Launching at $949 later this month, the HP Envy x360 15.6-inch 2-in-1 will be the first laptop to be IMAX Enhanced Certified. 

Considering your average IMAX cinema screen is normally at least 52 feet high, we’re struggling to see the appeal of the first ‘IMAX Enhanced certified PC’. Unless you’re the size of an ant, the idea of a 15-inch laptop boasting about its cinematic credentials seems a little silly. 

While IMAX certification has been kicking around in the home theater space for a few years, this is the first time it’s made it to the laptop market. One of the main reasons this certificate is granted to a device is its ability to display IMAX-shot content in its original aspect ratio; which normally measures in at either 1.43:1 or 1.90:1.

Considering the HP Envy x360 has a 16:10 screen, you can look forward to some big ol’ black bars when watching IMAX Enhanced Certified movies on the 2-in-1 laptop. 


HP Envy x360 15 and Envy 17

Last year's 'non IMAX' Envy.  (Image credit: HP)

Don’t expect much laptop-compatible, IMAX-ready content in the near future. Currently, only Disney Plus is planning to support expanded aspect ratio content for ‘select movies and sequences’. 

Considering your average IMAX cinema screen is normally at least 52 feet high, we’re struggling to see the appeal of the first 'IMAX Enhanced certified PC.'

The HP Envy x360 will also be treated to ‘IMAX theatrical sound mix’ for supported content, but unless the x360’s speakers really deliver, that’s probably not going to be much of a selling point. 

What’s more relevant to the vast majority of potential buyers is that the HP Envy x360 gets a 5-megapixel webcam, alongside an IR camera. HP has also announced 14- and 17.3-inch versions of the Envy x360, though the former misses out on the IR snapper. 

If you’re still into the whole ‘IMAX in laptop form’ gimmick, the 15-inch x360 comes in both Intel Core and AMD Ryzen CPU flavors. 

The Intel version can additionally be upgraded with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 GPU. So if you’d like to play games on the Envy while entertaining dreams of watching Chris Nolan’s upcoming Oppenheimer at some point in the future, you’re in luck. 

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal.