The HP Envy 13 is a premium notebook with a premium price tag. It has a 13.3 inch display, power efficient processors and switchable graphics. But does the machine offer everything you ever want in a laptop?
Our HP Envy 13 Specifications:
* Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
* Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SL9600 (2.13GHz, 6M Cache)
* Memory: 3GB DDR3 SDRAM (1066MHz)
* Storage: 250GB 5400RPM SATA hard drive
* Display: 13.3-inch LED HP Radiance Widescreen Display with 1366×768 pixels
* Graphics: ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 Graphics (512MB) with Intel X4500M integrated switchable graphics
Price as configured: $1,924.99
Build and Design
The HP Envy 13 sports a simple magnesium lid with no attention grabbing graphics. Build quality is good. The notebook looks and feels solid in your hand.
The Envy 13 isn’t very upgrade friendly. There are no easy access panels on the bottom of the notebook which means that you will be better off getting the necessary upgrades when you purchase the notebook rather than trying to do it on your own.
Screen and Speakers
The HP Envy 13 has a 13.3 inch “HP Radiance” display which is remarkably bright. The display is glossy but its brightness compensates for it. In fact you can use the Envy 13 in direct sunlight and you will still find that the display is quite readable. Viewing angles are average.
The speakers produce clear, loud sound. But the overall audio quality isn’t very impressive. Audiophiles should definitely consider investing in a pair of headphones. Alternatively they can use the HDMI output to stream digital audio to a home stereo.”hp envy 13″
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Envy 13 keyboard is one of the best you would find on a 13 inch notebook. The chiclet style keyboard is full sized with a decent amount of space between each key. the keyboard doesn’t show any flex at all. Individual key action is smooth and quiet.
The touchpad is a Synaptics model. It is large and spacious and comes with integrated touchpad buttons.
Ports and Features
Port selection is average. There is an SD card slot, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out and a combo audio jack. This is quite disappointing because most 10 inch and 11 inch laptops offer more. In fact given the cost of the notebook HP could have added at least one more USB port as well as FireWire and eSATA.
Performance is satisfactory, but it is nothing remarkable considering the price of the notebook. The dual core SL9600 processor has enough power to handle day to day computing jobs. Multitasking is also quite possible.
The Envy 13 has both integrated and discrete graphics solutions which means that you can watch HD video and play games without having to compromise on battery life. When the power adapter is plugged in, the ATI graphics solution will automatically get enabled. And when the notebook is running on battery power only integrated graphics are used.
Heat and Noise
Heat levels are normal. The hard drive cavity does get warm, but there is nothing to worry about. The noise levels are above average. If you need absolute silence at your workspace, the Envy 13 is probably not the laptop to buy.
The notebook has a 4-cell battery rated at 41Wh. It gets around 7 hours of runtime which is very bad for a 13 inch notebook.
The HP Envy 13 is no ‘MacBook alternative’. It was probably built to be one but unfortunately it missed the mark completely. That said, the Envy 13 is one of the most innovative consumer notebooks that HP has ever produced. It has a number of plus points including a great keyboard, impressive build quality, good battery life and an attractive design. On the flip side it lacks a number of ports and is more expensive than the 13 inch MacBook Pro.