Here is one of HP’s next generation ultrabooks. If you have read our previous reviews, we absolutely LOVED the HP Envy 14 Spectre. HP’s newest offering, the Envy 4 has some really big shoes to fill as far as we are concerned.
The Envy 4 is offered in four variants, two of which have Intel’s i3 1.4GHz processor and the other two which have the i5 1.7GHz processor. 4GB DD3 RAM is standard on all models but you can bump it up to a maximum of 16GB. You also get a 14″ diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit display on them at a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. What this laptop makes up for in lack of resolution it makes up for in its fantastic 2GB AMD Radeon HD 7670M video card. It really makes a world of a difference if you compare it to the base Envy 4 version that comes with the built in Intel HD Graphics 3000 card. Gaming and movies look absolutely great on the Envy 4 and the experience is further amplified with the Beats Audio speakers. A 500GB hard drive is also standard on all machines but we wish the option to replace it with a SSD was available. You do get the choice of Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional for your operating system.
One of the nice features of the HP ultrabooks is the CoolSense technology. If you are one of those people who like to keep your machine on your lap while working this will come in real handy. We wouldn’t recommend doing it for extended periods of time but for a short duration, the CoolSense works. The built in HD webcam is nothing out of the blue and gets the job done. Battery life is very very good and you should be able to pull about 8 hours on a single charge. And you get all this in a very sleek brushed metal (and affordable) package that weighs a shade under 4lbs. Performance is definitely a lot better with the Envy 4 beating the Spectre in cold starts, restarts and waking up from sleep mode.
So, does the Envy 4 beat the Envy 14 Spectre? Honestly, we wanted to stick with the Spectre, but from a performance stand point the Envy 4 beats it in every way. The Envy 14 Spectre wasn’t just a loaded machine, it had a cool factor going on with simple touches like the big volume knob and the Radiance backlit keyboard which senses your approach and gradually lights up every row. The only gripes we had with the Spectre were the lack of a dedicated graphics card and the price. HP has definitely addressed those two issues with the Envy 4. We are pretty certain sales figures for the new generation Envy will be stronger than before.
The HP Envy 4 is currently on sale in India at a starting price (depending on the spec) of around Rs. 43,000 (~$800) which by the way is a lot lower than the HP Envy Spectre.