Showing posts with label HP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label HP. Show all posts

HP's unreleased white TouchPad and Pre 3 for AT&T (hands-on video)

What's this? Some of HP's unreleased WebOS devices? Well yes! Say hello to the white European TouchPad, the black TouchPad 4G for AT&T, the Pre 3 4G for AT&T, and our very own Veer 4G review unit, all gathered on a fine specimen of new century modern upholstery. We were able to unbox these devices and handle the hardware, but the software was off limits. The owner of the Pre 3 did activate it for us, but that's as far as we were able to go. While still heavier and thicker than the competition, the white TouchPad -- a 64GB model with the faster 1.5GHz CPU -- is significantly more attractive than its black sibling, and less of a fingerprint magnet to boot. AT&T's TouchPad 4G -- with 32GB of storage and the same 1.5GHz processor -- features a working SIM slot for the carrier's faux-G network (HSPA+), but is otherwise cosmetically identical to the existing WiFi version. The Pre 3 is the same phone we handledduring HP's announcement last February, save for the AT&T logo on the back. Check out our gallery below, and hit the break for our hands-on video.

See more video at our hub!

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HP Envy 14 review (2011)

The last time we reviewed the Envy 14, we concluded, by and large, that HP got it right. The company succeeded in delivering good performance and graphics punch, all while correcting a teensy overheating problem and adding an optical drive and backlit keyboard. Then there was that rock-solid, engraved metal chassis that made it one of the most attractive notebooks on the market -- a distinction it still holds to this day. So as you can imagine, when HP refreshed the Envy 14 this summer, there wasn't exactly a lot to improve. What we have here is a nearly identical machine, with the same stunning design -- not to mention, $1,000 starting price. Now, though, HP is selling it with Sandy Bridge processors and USB 3.0 -- the kind of tweaks laptop makers have been rolling out for the better part of this year.

Normally, that kind of speed bump wouldn't warrant us re-reviewing a laptop. In fact, we probably wouldn't be revisiting the Envy 14 if it weren't for two things. For starters, we've received an unusual number of emails, tweets and comments from readers, imploring us to weigh in on the Sandy Bridge version before they pull the trigger. Secondly, in addition to that processor swap, HP has fine-tuned the touchpad drivers, and assures us the trackpad isn't the flaky mess it was the last two times around. So how much better is the Envy 14 in the year two thousand and eleven? Let's find out.

Look and feel

With the exception of screen size, the 14's design has barely changed since the first generation of Envy laptops arrived on the scene two years ago. As always, its tough metal body, black chiclet keyboard and giant clickable trackpad make it near-impossible to avoid comparisons with the MacBook Pro -- a machine HP is surely going after here anyway. Still, the Envy retains its own personality, thanks to a copper-colored body covered in divets arranged in a sort of paisley pattern. Like any MacBook Pro, it has a glowing logo on the lid and a sparse keyboard deck with almost no buttons, though the Envy does have a band of silver-colored metal encircling the chassis -- a touch that keeps it from looking too much like Apple's unibody wares.

A year after the Envy 14 went on sale, we're still seriously impressed by its build quality. Everything -- the lid, the palm rest -- feels rigid, and you've got the added benefit of metal surfaces that both repel fingerprints and aren't likely to get scratched. Over the past year, though, we've seen more 15-inchers like the Dell XPS 15z15-inch VAIO S and Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830 that measure less than an inch thin, making the Envy 14's 1.16-inch-thick body seem a tad plump by comparison. Still, at 5.69 pounds, it's on par with the 5.6-pound MacBook Pro and the 5.54-pound 15z.

HP's kept pace when it comes to port selection, though. This go 'round, a USB 3.0 port takes the place of a UBS / eSATA combo port. In addition, you'll still find two USB 2.0 sockets, Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, a Kensington lock slot and dual headphone jacks, one of which doubles as a mic port. As you can imagine, with each year that passes HP is that much less likely to add a VGA port to its Envys, so it shouldn't surprise you that this generation lacks one, too. That's a bummer for the PowerPoint crowd, though if you're dead-set on an Envy, that's a problem you can easily remedy with an HDMI to VGA adapter (we're seeing some for less than ten bucks on Amazon).

Keyboard and trackpad

There's really a lot to like about HP's keyboard, but since we have to start somewhere, let's talk about the sound. Yes, the sound. The panel feels as sturdy as the chassis itself, and typing produces a deep, quiet noise that inspires confidence in the machine's build quality -- an improvement over the bendy keyboards and high-pitched clacks you'll find on lots of cheaper systems. But more than that, the keys' soft finish and balanced spacing make them a joy to type on. And while you wouldn't necessarily look at this keyboard and deem the keys cushier than what you'd find on a Sony VAIO, they do, indeed, have more travel -- a kind of tactility that allowed our hands to fly across the keyboard as we typed. In the end, we chose to write large swaths of our review on this machine, not so much because we felt obligated to, but because we felt comfortable where we were.

The trackpad is, to our delight, much improved, though it's still imperfect. For the most part, it did what we wanted it to, though at times we noticed a little more friction than we would have liked. The buttons, too, generally felt tactile -- ever-so slightly stiff, perhaps, but on the whole, easy to press. Multi-touch gestures -- everything from two-fingered scrolling to pinching and zooming -- work smoothly... most of the time. Our main gripe is that to pull off the scrolling bit, we often found ourselves applying extra pressure with our fingers. We also wish we had a little more vertical room to stretch our fingers, particularly when pinching and zooming.

Like the Envy 14 we reviewed last year, the refreshed model has a sensor tucked in the upper left corner of the trackpad that allows you to disable it entirely. That works as promised, responding promptly even to light taps. That's not to say it's too sensitive, though -- we never once activated it by accident.

Display and sound

Regardless of how much money you sink into it, the Envy 14 has a 1366 x 786 display -- a clear let-down from the 1600 x 900 screen we were treated to last year (those sold out and weren't replaced, tragically). If this were a $700 system we wouldn't be complaining, but on a system that costs northward of a thousand bucks, we'd expect more. 1366 x 768 is the mark of a budget machine, not a premium one.

Given the glossy finish, we were pleasantly surprised by the viewing angles. Which is to say, they weren't terrible. We had the best luck watching head-on, either with the display sitting at a right angle, or dipped forward. When we watched from oblique side angles, though, the contrast became too severe, and a lot of color and detail dropped out.

The Envy 14, like its predecessor and pretty much every other PC that HP makes, it comes loaded with Beats Audio, promising lower lows and deeper bass notes. That's the promise, but the reality is that the sound likely only provides a marginal boost over what you're used to. Even when listening to "Rapper's Delight" we could hear some tinniness creeping through. And when we sampled tracks with a higher-pitched quality ("Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," for example), instrumental music took on a faintly metallic quality. The sound is loud, but somehow not enveloping. No worse than what you'll find on most laptops, mind you; just not worlds better.

Performance and graphics

Our Envy 14 ($1,080 as configured) came loaded with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M CPU, 6GB of RAM, a 750GB 7,200RPM hard drive and dual graphics cards, including Intel's integrated HD option and AMD's Radeon HD 6630M with 1GB of video memory on the discrete side. Starting with benchmarks, it delivered a score of 6,735 in PCMark Vantage, which is on par with the score we got from HP's Pavilion dv6t with the same processor and 6GB of RAM. And while its 3DMark06 score of 7,214 falls about a hundred points short of the Dell XPS 15z (admittedly, a $1,534 machine with a Core i7 CPU), it's still a healthy improvement over the pricier Sony VAIO S we recently tested (see the chart below).

Even more than raw numbers, though, we continue to be impressed with how HP's managed to keep the heat under control. Even after extended active use, the machine -- meaning, the chassis, the keyboard, the bottom side -- all felt cool to the touch. If you bothered to put your finger on the vent on the right side, you'd notice it gets warm, but even then, it's hardly pants-scorching.

As for anecdotal usage, we were quickly able to settle into a typical routine of juggling YouTube and Grooveshark streaming, and bouncing among myriad open tabs in Chrome, including ones for email and GChat, various news outlets and the service we Engadget editors use to compose stories. The machine also boots in 40 seconds -- a fast time for any Windows machine with an HDD, but especially this one, which comes with a decent amount of software pre-installed.

PCMarkVantage3DMark06Battery Life
2011 HP Envy 14 (2.3GHz Core i5-2410M, Intel HD Graphics 3000 / AMD Radeon HD 6630M)6,7357,2143:55
15-inch Sony VAIO S series (2.40GHz Core i5-2430M, AMD Radeon HD 6630M)5,6326,898
3:59 (stamina mode) / 8:58 (stamina mode, slice battery)
Acer TimelineX AS5830TG-6402 (2.3GHz Core i5-2410M, NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M)6,4755,3306:25
Dell XPS M15z (2.7GHz Core i7-2620M, NVIDIA GeForce GT525M)8,0237,3173:41 (Optimus disabled) / 4:26 (Optimus enabled)
HP Pavilion dv6t (2.3GHz Core i5-2410M, Intel HD Graphics 3000)6,5636,5632:42
Notes: the higher the score the better. For 3DMark06, the first number reflects score with GPU off, the second with it on.

Battery life

Quite average, really. In our standard battery test, which involves playing a movie on repeat with WiFi on and the brightness fixed at 65 percent, the Envy 14's eight-cell lasted three hours and 55 minutes. That's squarely mediocre when you consider the 15-inch VAIO S series lasted a near-identical three hours and 59 minutes with its integrated graphics card enabled, while the Dell XPS 15z made it three hours and 41 minutes with Optimus turned on. The one major exception we've seen lately in this category is the Acer Aspire TimelineX AS5830T, a 15-inch laptop that squeezed out almost six and a half hours of juice. The point is, the Envy 14 should be fine for working on your couch for a few hours, but remember the charger if you're planning on staying out of the house all day.


Now, as with the last generation of Envys, you're going to stumble across more pre-installed software than perhaps you're used to seeing on consumer laptops (and that's saying a lot). The list includes: Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements 9, Bing Bar, CyberLink PowerDVD 10, Microsoft Office 2010, Power2Go and RoxioNow Player. There's also a spate of motley HP-branded programs -- everything from Quick Launch to MovieStore to Power Manager. To be fair, though, HP's utilities interrupted us less than they have on past systems we've tested, though we still had to postpone a reboot of the computer (and shoo away a pop-up dialog box in the system tray) more than once.

Configuration options

The Envy 14 starts at $999.99 with that Core i5-2410M CPU, along with 6GB of RAM, a 500GB 7,200RPM drive, an eight-cell battery and the same switchable graphics we tested. If you're so inclined, you can step up to a 2.0GHz Core i7-2630QM or 2.3GHZ Core i7-2828QM processor ($100 / $500), up to 16GB of RAM ($560). When it comes to storage, you could opt for larger 640GB or 750GB 7,200RPM HDDs ($40 and $80, respectively), but HP's also offering a 128GB SSD ($350) as well as drives combining solid-state storage with an HDD. These have combined capacities ranging from 580GB to 878GB and add between $175 and $330 to the total cost.

Some things, such as the eight-cell battery and backlit keyboard come standard. However, US customers, at least, are locked into the glossy 1366 x 768 display and Radeon HD 6630 graphics card we told you about. Blu-ray still isn't an option either (you'll have to step up to the 7.3-pound Envy 17 for that amenity). And yeah, we know, Apple has made it crystal clear it won't be adding Blu-ray drives, but we still have hope for Windows machines. After all, when we see systems like Sony's 15-inch VAIO S, it's easy to cling to this expectation that if you're paying enough money for a Windows machine (one with a not-that-small 15-inch screen, at that), you can opt for Blu-ray if you darn well please.

The competition

To keep things simple, if you're considering the Envy 14, we're going to assume you're in the market for something in the 14- to 15-inch range -- preferably something with a built-in optical drive. If you're willing to forfeit that, you could easily find something thinner and lighter. Not just the MacBook Air (an obvious choice in that category), but any of the emerging Ultrabooks about to hit the market.

So let's say you do want that optical drive. You're probably also considering the MacBook Pro -- a machine that looks like this, sure, but is also trying to lure the same performance-minded user. The real problem is that price. The 15-inch MBP starts at $1,799, and even the smaller 13-incher costs northward of $1,199. For the money (we're talking about the 15-inch version here), you get a 2.0GHz quad-core Core i7 CPU, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB 5,400RPM hard drive (c'mon, Apple!) and dual Intel HD / AMD Radeon HD 6490M graphics, along with two USB 2.0 ports, a Thunderbolt socket and an SDXC slot. The difference in price should give you pause, and we suggest you think hard about how much you need that quad-core CPU for whatever it is you'll be doing. (We'd also suggest considering the MBP's rated seven-hour battery life, and how much that kind of performance-longevity combo floats your boat.) We're just saying, depending on your routine, the Envy 14's base specs could be enough, and for all we know, the battery life will be acceptable, too. And you know what? Even for those of you dead-set on Macs, we'll say yet again: think twice whether you need that built-in optical drive. After all, the Air excels at the everyday stuff at a more palatable starting price of $1,199 (for the 13-inch model, that is).

Stepping back into the world of Windows, there are more premium 14- and 15-inchers to choose from than you can shake a stick at. Starting with Dell, there's that XPS 15z we told you about, which also starts at $999.99. At that base price, it matches what the $1,000 Envy 14 has to offer with a 2.3GHz Core i5-2410M CPU, 6GB of RAM, eight-cell battery and a 500GB 7,200RPM hard drive. At that price, the graphics option isn't switchable cards but rather, NVIDIA's GeForce GT 525M with a gigabyte of video memory. All things considered, you'll get comparable battery life, too, though we can't speak for the difference in performance since the machines we tested weren't well matched in price or specs. And, finally, both look like Macs in their way, except the Envy 14 reminds us of he current model, while the 15z takes after a years-old MacBook Pro or even PowerBook.

We'd also throw Toshiba's Satellite P750-BT4G22 ($899 and up) in the ring, even though some of you are bound to dismiss its design as safe, and its 1.4-inch-thick chassis as chunky. Even at that starting price, you get a quad-core 2.0GHz Core i7-2630QM processor, 6GB of RAM, a 640GB hard drive (albeit, a 5,400RPM one), NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M graphics with 1GB of video memory, a USB 3.0 port and a USB 2.0 socket with Toshiba's sleep-and-charge technology. From there, you can upgrade to a 500GB 7,200RPM HDD, Blu-ray player or burner, a 12-cell battery or a 5,600mAH six-cell (the default battery is 4,400mAh). A promising option for people who couldn't care less about forfeiting the Envy 14's engraved aluminum.

Finally, there's the Acer TimelineX AS5830TG-6402, which undercuts 'em all at $800. For the money, it offers the same processor and 6GB of RAM as our HP Envy 14, though its 640GB has a slower speed of 5,400RPM. In our tests, we found it kept pace with the Envy 14 in the benchmark PCMark Vantage, though its NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M lagged by almost 2,000 points in 3DMark06. The big draw here, as we said, is the battery life. Although its six-cell would appear to pale against the Envy 14's eight-cell, it lasted two and a half hours longer in the same rundown test, and steamrolled pretty much every other 14- and 15-incher we've handled recently. In short, we'd recommend this for the battery life or that aggressive price. For design panache and overall performance, the Envy 14 still wins.

If you wait until next month, you'll also have Sony's 15-inch S series to think about. Suffice to say, when we tested a $1,230 system we dug its performance, which comes courtesy of a 2.4GHz Core i5-2430M processor, 6GB of RAM and a 640GB 5,400RPM hard drive. We can also get behind its bright 1080p display, though depending on whether you opt for the $150 battery slice, you might find its longevity to be disappointing -- to say nothing of its ho-hum design. It's not without merits, but its price might be a tough pill to swallow when the Envy 14 and XPS 15z offer similar specs for hundreds of dollars less and -- in the case of the Envy, at least -- are arguably better-looking.


It's been thirteen months since we first reviewed the Envy 14 and while that's dog years in the gadget world, we're still pretty pleased with the thing, though we'd be exaggerating at this point if we said we were smitten. On the one hand, its well built, beautiful design hasn't changed and frankly, most competitors haven't delivered anything as memorable in this size / price class. The performance remains more than adequate for everyday use and while the battery life isn't anything to write home about, it at least keeps pace with the competition. This time around, too, the trackpad is actually usable, even though it's not without its quirks.

And yet, one of the things we loved most the first time around -- that stunning display -- just ain't what it used to be. Its resolution is lower, for one, and the entire screen simply isn't as eye-popping now that HP has discontinued its 14.5-inch Radiance panels. Also, it's worth repeating that 2011 has turned out to be the year of the skinny, surprisingly capable laptop, so if you can do without that built-in optical drive, you might find the Envy 14 a bit clunky -- not to mention, lackluster in the battery life department. But who are we to tell you what you need or don't need in a laptop? If what you want is a well designed, strong performer with all the screen real estate of a 15-incher, it's still tough to argue against the Envy 14.
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HP Pre 3 Unboxing (Video)

While not slated for official release in the US, the HP Pre 3 is still on sale (and prices are getting lower each day), even after HP's announcementthat they'd no longer be selling webOS hardware. That said, the Pre 3 represents the best in terms of webOS hardware, which is an exciting prospect. It packs a WVGA 3.6" display, a single-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU, 512MB of RAM, and a rear-facing 5MP camera with flash. It's running on webOS 2.2, and HP promises future updates to keep Pre 3 owners happy. This particular model, which you can buy from Clove for £269 or $445, has quadband GSM 850/900/1800/1900 and triband UMTS 900/1900/2100, meaning in some places, you'll get 3G connectivity over AT&T. 

The design of the Pre 3 is (perhaps too much) reminiscent of the Pre 2, Pre Plus, and Pre. It's taller to accommodate the higher-resolution screen, plus the keyboard is larger. Besides that, it's a Pre all the way.

How is using webOS with a WVGA screen? We'll have more in an upcoming video!

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HP ENVY 14 Review (2011 Update)

Review Summary:
The HP ENVY 14 is a powerful 14.5-inch gaming notebook powered by an ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics card and Intel Core i5 processor.
  • Excellent Performance, optional quad-core CPU
  • Very good looks
  • Superb build quality
  • Gets hot under pressure
  • Twitchy touchpad

HP ENVY 14 Full Review (2011 Update)

The ENVY is HP's answer to the Apple MacBook. Our 14-inch model features a beautiful metal chassis and a backlit keyboard. Is it the perfect Apple alternative? Read our review to find out.
Our HP ENVY 14 review unit is configured with the following specifications:
  • 14.5-inch "edge to edge" glass 720p display (1366x768 resolution)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Intel Core i5-2410M dual-core processor (2.3GHz, up to 2.9GHz Turbo Boost, 3MB cache, 35W TDP)
  • Intel HM65 chipset
  • AMD Radeon HD 6330M graphics card w/ 1GB DDR3 dedicated video memory
  • Graphics automatically switchable to integrated Intel graphics
  • 6GB DDR3-1333 RAM (1x4GB + 1x 2GB; supports up to 8GB - 2x 4GB)
  • 750GB 7200RPM Western Digital hard drive (WD7500BPKT)
  • Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 wireless network adapter
  • Internal Bluetooth 3.0
  • Integrated Skype-certified 720p HD webcam
  • Built-in slot-load DVD burner (hp DVD RAM UJ897)
  • 2-year limited warranty
  • 8-cell Li-ion battery (14.8V, 3800mAh)
  • Weight: 5.69 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 14.01 x 9.33 x 1.16~1.18 inches
  • Starting price: $999
  • Price as configured: $1,079.99
The ENVY 14 is well-equipped and includes the above standard save for the fast 750GB 7200RPM hard drive, which is an $80 option over the standard 500GB drive. These are robust if not enthusiast-level specifications. As configured, the ENVY 14 can handle nearly any task including gaming thanks to its dedicated AMD Radeon graphics card. The one disappointment is the low-resolution 14.5-inch screen; the previous-generation ENVY 14 was available with an excellent high-gamut 1600x900 screen, which provided far more space to work with.
Build and Design
HP ENVY notebooks are all about design. The ENVY 14 bears a close resemblance to the Apple MacBook, which isn't a bad thing though does not leave a whole lot of room for originality. Unlike traditional notebooks with an internal frame, the ENVY 14 relies on the metal that makes up its outer chassis like an exoskeleton for strength. The build quality is top notch overall and feels remarkably solid. All that metal has a downside, of course: a weight of nearly six pounds. A standard 14-inch notebook weighs about a pound less. Even the bottom of the chassis is made of a metal alloy.
The lid is affixed to the chassis via two strong hinges; the lid's metal backing provides superb protection against bumps. The lid can be opened with one hand, which is convenient. Fit and finish is excellent; there are no rough or misaligned edges. I like the laser-etched pattern in the palm rest and lid; it looks great and makes it more visually interesting than a MacBook.
The ENVY 14 is eager to impress and certainly does; it is one of the most solid non-business notebooks to pass through our lab in some time.
Ports and Features
The ENVY 14 has an above-average amount of input/output ports for a 14-inch consumer notebook, including eSATA, HDMI, and mini DisplayPort. It lacks USB 3.0 and an ExpressCard slot. All picture descriptions are are listed from left to right.

Front: Speakers, media card reader

Rear: Cooling exhaust vent

Left: Slot-load optical drive, 2x USB 2.0, microphone/headphone combo jack, headphone jack

Right: USB 2.0, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, Kensington Lock slot, Ethernet, cooling exhust vent, AC power
Screen and Speakers
The 14.5-inch display is a strange size; HP is the only notebook maker using it. The display is sadly unimpressive and the biggest disappointment of the notebook. The brightness, contrast, and color accuracy are no different than what is found on notebooks half the price. Moreover the 720p (1366x768) screen resolution is poor and results in a lot of unnecessary scrolling online and in most programs since there are not enough pixels to display content. Lastly, the edge-to-edge glassy covering is super reflective and therefore impractical; it should have a matte surface for readability.
The Beats Audio speakers are located under the palm rest. Despite the badging they are not noticeably better than most notebook speakers; bass is sorely lacking and their placement under the palm rest means muffled sound while typing. The speakers get loud enough for general but aren’t impressive in terms of loudness either. Perhaps HP over-marketed the audio capabilities of this notebook.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The ENVY 14 features a white backlit keyboard. This island/Chiclet-style model is unique to the ENVY 14 and not shared with other HP notebooks. The keys have a smooth anti-glare surface and are some of the quietest I've heard (or almost not heard, that is). There are some minor flex issues on the right side; however the flexing does not affect the typing experience. The keyboard has an engaging feel and provides enough feedback to make quick typing possible.
The ENVY 14 has a Synaptics 'clickpad' - that is, the touchpad has a clickable surface. I am still not sold on clickpads and the ENVY 14's version did not change my mind. Clicking the surface takes more effort than pressing a typical dedicated touchpad button; furthermore, resting a second finger on the touchpad can cause stuttering and unwanted movement. Aside from the functionality, the touchpad has an excellent matte surface that is easy to track on.

Performance and Benchmarks
Thanks to its new Intel second-generation Core i5 processor, a fast 750GB 7200RPM hard drive, and dedicated AMD graphics card, the ENVY 14 provides ample performance for everyday tasks including moderate gaming.
In order to provide the best possible balance of performance and battery life the display driver automatically switches between the AMD Radeon HD 6330M discrete graphics for visually intense tasks and the integrated Intel graphics for general use.
The ENVY 14 is available with a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor which is far faster than the dual-core processor in our test unit. The ENVY 14 is additionally available with a Solid State Drive (SSD) which drastically improves disk performance (boot up and program loading times, to name a few).
Although the ENVY 14 is not technically a gaming notebook, we took the liberty of benchmarking it against a 15-inch ASUS G53-series gaming notebook since both systems can be found online for similar prices. Just keep in mind that the relatively thin ENVY 14 is more travel friendly than a 15-inch gaming machine.
wPrime processor comparison results (lower scores mean better performance):
PCMark Vantage measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark 7 is a newer benchmark which measures overall system performance (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark06 measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
3DMark Vantage measures overall graphics performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
Heat and Noise
The ENVY 14 remains impressively cool under normal load. While gaming and performing other demanding tasks, the notebook's surface gets slightly warmer but not hot. The bottom of the chassis under the cooling exhaust vents gets warmer, so it's probably not a good idea to use it on your lap while gaming.
Noise is the ENVY 14's second downfall next to the lackluster screen. Even while just surfing the Internet the fans rarely turn off and make an annoying whine; it only gets louder while gaming.
Battery Life
During our standard battery rundown test (Windows 7 Balanced power profile, 70% screen brightness, wireless active and refreshing a web page every 60 seconds), the ENVY 14 achieved 4.5 hours of life on its large 8-cell battery which is less than expected. The previous-generation ENVY 14 lasted just over five hours.
The ENVY 14 is available with a "Slim Fit" extended life polymer battery which attaches seamlessly to the bottom of the notebook. Our test unit did not come with one however we expect it to add at least two hours to the run time. Naturally, it increases the weight and thickness of the notebook.
Battery life test results (higher scores mean better battery life):
The HP ENVY 14 impresses in a number of areas including build quality, design, and performance but underwhelms in two key areas. The first is the screen; given the premium price we expected a better quality screen but instead were greeted with a low-detail panel no different than ones found on budget notebooks. Second is the fan noise; it's unacceptable. Even at idle the fan rarely shuts off and has an audible whine. A more minor complaint is the 4.5-hour battery life, which is decent but less than what we expected from the large eight-cell battery. Two other nuances worth mentioning are the so-so speakers despite the Beats Audio badging and the finicky clickpad, which does not work as well as a traditional touchpad.
At the end of the day the ENVY 14 is certainly recommendable - its design and quality are unparalleled amongst immediate competitors; additionally its performance is above average, especially for gaming. Its backlit keyboard is excellent and it comes with a two-year warranty standard. We think the pros outweigh the cons but as always, weigh them for yourself.
  • Great looking design
  • Solid build quality
  • Excellent backlit keyboard
  • Lackluster screen
  • Finicky touchpad
  • Loud fans
Individual Ratings: *
Software & Support 
Upgrade Capabilities 
Price/Value Rating 
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