HP have extended their Envy range with the Envy 14, a 14.5 inch laptop with a range of Intel Core processors and switchable ATI graphics. Much like the other Envy notebooks, this device sports a classy Macbook-esque design. The 14.5 inch screen supports high resolutions up to 1600 x 900, and we were extremely impressed by the image quality when watching video.
HP have certainly not thrown away their design book with the Envy 14, as it shares most of its looks and build quality with other Envy models. It features an aluminium body with an etched pattern and a nice backlit HP logo, adding a touch of bling to what is otherwise a standard yet elegant design.
With up to an Intel Core i7 processor, up to 8GB of RAM, and switchable graphics capabilities, the Envy 14 is certainly no slug when it comes to performance. The ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 is paired with an Intel GMA HD, but unlike Nvidia’s Optimus – it requires manual switching which is frankly a pain in the rear end. It performs really well though, and has even been tested as faster than its Envy 15 brother.
Although it’s classified as a 14-inch laptop, the Envy 14 has a 14.5-inch widescreen. More compelling than the larger screen is its resolution and brightness levels. While every one of its rivals settled on a 1,366 by 768 (WXGA) resolution, the HP Envy 14 has a 1,600 by 900 resolution. Plus, its 350-nit screen is brighter than any other laptop in its class. Photos, movies, and HD content, it look absolutely stunning.
The HP Envy 14 comes with a standard island keyboard and has a nice uniform feel, and the new backlit keyboard is a very welcome new feature. The touchpad is also pretty cool, with integrated mouse buttons and multitouch gesture support. The new optical drive is a DVD-RW, and can be found on the left side of the laptop next to the usual USB and media ports.
The Envy 14 is a solid machine that can be configured in a number of ways. While the starting price is only $999(Check out new prices and buy it from Amazon) for the basic specs, it is important to note that this only includes an Intel Core i3 processor and a smaller resolution.