The new HP Envy 13 is a lightweight, user-friendly laptop, with bright display, excellent graphics and energy-efficient processors. Here’s a detailed review to find out whether a superb performance that’s worth it’s price.
1> Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
2> Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SL9600 (2.13GHz, 6M Cache, 1066 MHz FSB)
3> 3GB DDR3 SDRAM (1066MHz)
4> 250GB 5400RPM SATA hard drive
5> 13.3-inch diagonal High Definition LED HP Radiance Infinity Widescreen Display (1366×768)
6> ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 Graphics (512MB) with Intel X4500M integrated switchable graphics
7> External Slot Blu-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD+/-R/RW Double Layer with 2 USB Ports
8> Intel Wireless-N Card with Bluetooth
9> Dimensions: 12.59″(W) x 8.46″(D) x 0.8″(H)
10> Weight: 3.75 pounds (not including weight of AC adapter).
11> 4-cell 41Wh battery
Build and Design
The Envy 13 doesn’t sport the glossy finish that was so trademark HP Pavilion. Aluminum and magnesium alloy have replaced plastic. The magnesium lid doesn’t have any eye-catching design, and more stress has been given on function over form. The lid is one of the most durable lids amongst all, easily withstanding much wear and tear.
Build quality is excellent with solid chassis and durable components. The etched-metal palmrest seamless combines a subtle dash of style and strength. They don’t flex like plastic palmrests. The recessed etching can gather dust and dirt with usage, but is shallow enough to be cleaned with a microfiber cloth.
Screen and Speakers
The 13.3-inch “HP Radiance” display is much brighter than other notebook screens of comparable sizes compensating for the glossy surface covering the screen. The screen can also be seen distinctly even under direct sunlight. The LED-backlit display offers 82 percent color gamut, with more intense color saturation for photos. The colors can be toned down too. Viewing angles are average.
The built-in stereo speakers sport the “Beats Audio by Dr. Dre” brand name suggesting an excellent audio quality but experts have tested them and found that they produce distinct sound with loud volume but bass is lacking and the sound quality is rather tinny. Headphones should be used to enjoy music or the HDMI-out can be used.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The full-size island-style keyboard provides excellent key gaps. Smooth key action with a mild click when key is fully press, reduced key wiggle and perfect key depth are some important features. We didn’t notice any keyboard flex on the underlying support struicture even when we pressed forcefully on the keys. In short, the Envy 13 keyboard is among the best we’ve used on a 13-inch notebook.
The generously-sized Synaptics touchpad with integrated touchpad buttons is a bit sensitive for two fingers. It requires some special adjustments as the cursor will tend to switch from one finger to another when the thumb is resting on it since the whole surface is in use.
Ports and Features
Experts are also not happy with the available ports. A SD card slot, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI out and a combo audio jack are all that it has to offer.