Earlier this summer, HP expanded its popular line of portable Envy by introducing models Envy Envy 14 and 17. These machines are based on the success that the original Envy had last year, increasing number of equipment options and priced lower. Today we will review the smaller version of 14 inches.
The Envy 14 starts at $ 999.99 which includes a Core i3 but also have the option of climbing to a Core i5 or i7 CPU. The configuration of our test system is priced at $ 1390, features an Intel Core i5 450M 2.4 GHz 2.66 GHz with up to Turbo Boost, 4GB DDR3 RAM (two modules), a Seagate Momentus hard drive 500GB 7200RPM with speed, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 1GB, HP Radiance display 14.5 inch 1600×900, DVD SuperMulti 8X DVD + / -R/RW with two layers, a wireless card Intel Wireless-N with Bluetooth and a Lithium-Ion 8-cell.
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system is preinstalled. Among its features worth highlighting are an island-style keyboard with full-size backlit audio subsystem developed by Beats.
The Envy 14 arrived in an elegant black box with silver lettering and Beats Audio logo on the front. The computer is stored in a sleeve with power cord and adapter, a SD card 2 GB Envy, a quick guide and warranty information. As is usual nowadays, HP includes a backup partition instead of physical disks.
At first glance, the Envy 14 impressed when we lift the cover. The keyboard design, construction, aluminum and glossy screen from one end to remind us much to industrial design that characterizes Apple products. It is difficult not to make this comparison, but it should be emphasized that in the case of Envy 14 we mean something eminently positive.
The Envy 14 has a luxury presentation deck and aluminum base. The top has a black finish and style revolver has a micro-etch pattern across its surface with an HP logo that reflects light. The front bezel of the computer has two speakers and a SD / MMC.
The right side has LED indicators for power and HDD activity, eSATA and USB ports, a Kensington lock, Ethernet, gusts and plug the power cord. VGA output has been replaced by a more modern HDMI port / Mini DisplayPort, which is worth to consider if you plan to connect this to an external display Envy.
The back of the system has an exhaust port for focused but this is partially blocked when the cover is open. On the left side of the notebook is the slot for disks, two USB 2.0 ports, and headphone and microphone.
The display with glossy finish looks great even when off. The framework follows the screen in harmony and not look or feel of poor quality. HP has placed its TrueVision HD webcam above the screen with two microphones and a small LED light.
The keyboard has a full size island-style keys and have them have a backlight. The general layout of the keyboard makes sense, something not always seen in a notebook. The keyboard is not too soft or flexible and feels pretty solid, like the rest of the system. No shortcut keys or buttons on the keyboard distraction, only a power button with a small LED indicator.
The touchpad and mouse buttons are integrated into one unit, which is not yet convinced us really. The touchpad is wide and is located conveniently near the break. Later go into details about the touchpad.
At the bottom of the Envy are four anti-slip pads actually lacking some traction. Unlike most notebooks, the battery of Envy is hidden behind a plastic panel that also cover the drive and the sticker with the activation code for Windows. The battery is quite easy to remove just that it takes a little more work to get there.
The 8-cell battery has a rating of 3750 mAh. For $ 200 more, HP offers a 6-cell external battery that plugs into the center of the Envy. This auxiliary battery supplements the internal drive for those who need more life from your laptop. To find the memory slots you have to dig a little deeper. Our test unit comes with two 2GB modules but can be configured to carry the Envy up to 8GB of memory.
Pre-installed Software and Performance
Our evaluation system came equipped with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, the best choice for a computer with 4 GB or more of memory. Being the first notebook HP analyzed in a while, we were not sure what to expect in terms of factory software.
What we found was a wealth of applications that HP MediaSmart not hesitate to remove. Other applications include questionable Stardock MyColors, Stardock LogonStudio, Norton Internet Security, Hulu MSN Toolbar and Desktop. Fortunately it has several very useful as complete applications Corel Paint Shop Photo Pro X3, Corel VideoStudio Pro X3, Cyberlink DVD Suite and a copy of Microsoft 2010 Starter.
HP has also included Stardock Fences , a program that we reviewed some time ago and to organize the icons on your desktop or even hide them when you double click the desktop screen for a completely clean. Probably the most likely want to return to Windows Aero theme as the HP is horrible. The color scheme is unattractive and the game is difficult to decipher icons (the icons for file and folder are almost identical) but otherwise we like the inclusion of this particular software.
The Envy 14 features Intel Turbo Boost technology that are built into the Core i5 and i7 and is designed to better manage workloads to dynamically adjust individually the speed of each core when it requires more processing power.
Intel says emphatically that this is not a processor overclock as it stays within specifications. Our Core i5 processor running at 2.40 GHz, but can be scaled to 2.66 GHz with Turbo Boost – an increase of 266MHz. Although the difference is not so large, this type of jump can be helpful with applications that do not effectively use multi-core processor. The Turbo Boost is applied to the processor but is regulated by the operating system so the changes are imperceptible to the end user.
We conducted a series of tests to show how the processor, hard drive and memory Envy perform under load. The Turbo Boost was enabled for all tests and results are below.
System Specifications HP Envy 14
- HP Radiance display of 14.5 inches with resolution 1600 x 900
- Intel Core i5 450M (2.4 – 2.66GHz, 3MB L3 cache)
- Two modules 2GB of DDR3 memory (4GB total)
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 with 1GB of memory
- Hard Drive 500GB Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM
- SuperMulti 8X DVD + / -R/RW with Double Layer Support
- Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
by Jay Thadeshwar, My Profile