The HP Envy 14 aims to compete with the Apple MacBook, so the 14-inch model has a slick metal chassis and backlit keyboard. Our test rig was configured with a 14.5-inch ‘edge to edge’ 720p 1366 x 768 resolution display. The Envy 14 is driven by an Intel Core i5-2410M 2.3GHz dual-core processor. There is a whopping 6GB 1333Mhz DDR3 RAM and a hefty AMD Radeon HD 6330M 1GB graphics card. The max RAM capacity stretches to 8GB. Storage is a 750GB 7200rpm WD hard drive. There’s WiFi-n and Bluetooth 3, and a Skype-certified 720p HD webcam. The OS is Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium. The price is a quite reasonable $1079.
The current HP Envy 14 looks very much like its arch-rival the Apple MacBook, and it feels extremely solid. Laser-etched patterns on the palm rest and lid give added finesse. The Envy 14 measures 14 x 9.3 x 1.2 inches and weighs 5.69 pounds. The robust build quality and all that metal make the Envy 14 quite heavy for a mid-range laptop, but also far more durable. Let’s take a look at some HP Envy 14 pictures:
The low-res screen is a negative point – the last HP Envy 14 was available with a stunning 1600 X 900 screen. The display is the notebook’s weakest feature – brightness and contrast are no better than on budget laptops, and that 1366 x 768 isn’t much fun for browsing with all the scrolling it entails. The super-reflectiveness of the edge-to-edge glossy display means outdoor use is difficult.
The Beats Audio speakers are satisfyingly loud and clear.
The array of sockets on the HP Envy 14 is similarly impressive for a 14-incher, including eSATA, HDMI, and mini DisplayPort. Yet the lack of USB 3 stands out. The sockets include a media card reader, 3 USB 2.0 sockets, a mic/headphone combo jack, headphone, and HDMI mini-DisplayPort.
The HP Envy 14 – Performance
Typing is very quiet on the white-backlit keyboard with its island-style keys. High word-per-minute counts are easily possible as key travel and resistance are both good. The HP Envy 14 has a Synaptics clickpad, so the surface of the touchpad is clickable, although for our money clicking the surface requires more effort than usual dedicated touchpad buttons. At least the matte surface makes for fine-tuned cursor movement.
Apart from very demanding graphical applications or hardcore gaming the HP Envy 14 handles most tasks with ease – automatic switching between the discrete and integrated graphics helps preserve battery life whilst ensuring optimal graphics performance. Now if you’re really keen on a fast machine, you could boost boot time and disk performance with a 160GB SSD (+$300) though this is not a cheap option.
The HP Envy 14′s fans are almost always on, which can be a nuisance if you don’t have music playing.
Adjusted to balanced power profile the HP Envy 14 musters four-and-a-half hours, not enough to justify the extra weight of its 8-cell battery. The slim-fit extended-life battery add-on adds two hours to that, but also adds more weight and expense.
Enjoy this HP Envy 14 review video courtesy of PC world:
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