HP Envy 14 Spectre review

An Ultrabook bigger, bulkier and Beats-ier than its rivals

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HP envy 14 spectre review

TechRadar Labs

TechRadar labs

Cinebench 10: 7, 336
3D Mark '06: 3, 377
Battery Eater '05: 206 minutes

Ultrabooks are all members of the Sandy Bridge family, and the HP Envy 14 Spectre is built around an Intel Core i5-2467M CPU operating at 1.60GHz and 4GB RAM.

It's not the fastest or highest-spec chip we've seen in an Ultrabook, and rivals will triumph on raw power. This is reflected in the Cinebench scores we recorded, in which the Spectre posted less than rivals including the Acer Aspire S3.

But general day-to-day use is unaffected, and the HP Envy 14 Spectre kept up with our multitasking needs. In part a justification for the higher price tag is that both Adobe's Premier Elements and Photoshop Elements editing suites come preinstalled, and ran perfectly when we tried a spot of on-the-fly photo editing.

Unfortunately, though, we had a lot of problems with the trackpad. It was responsive enough when moving the cursor, but the integrated mouse buttons were a pain to use. We appreciate the nicer look of integrated buttons, but the irritation of repeated clicks to select and execute slightly tarnishes the overall experience.

HP envy 14 spectre review

Although the HP Envy 14 Spectre can cope with the demanding graphical performance of video editing, or running several intensive websites at once, don't buy this expecting a gaming platform.

The integrated GPU is powerful enough, thanks to the Sandy Bridge heritage, but it won't be boasting the latest Assassin's Creed title.

We don't know what the thought process was behind naming this laptop the Spectre, but it could be to do with the almost silent way in which it goes about its business, thanks to the SSD drive and its lack of moving parts.

The Spectre remained cool to the touch during operation and, like other Ultrabooks, is available with either a 256GB or 128GB SSD internal hard drive.

According to HP, the Envy 14 Spectre will offer you a reasonable nine hours of battery life. We ran our high-stress benchmarking tests and recorded an impressive score of 206 minutes.

Avoid our brute force attack on the battery and you should have no trouble getting through a day without the company of the AC adaptor. Just keep the volume down.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time9 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity128 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEnvy Spectre 14-3000
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli5-2467M
ColourNatural Silver
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size35.6 cm (14")
Number of Cells4-cell
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.80 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, EPEAT Silver
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM65 Express
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyBrightView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11 a/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Height20 mm
Width327 mm
Depth221 mm
Screen ModeHD+
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series14-3000
Product Model14-3000ea
Product NameEnvy Spectre 14-3000ea Notebook
Pointing Device TypeImagePad
Product LineEnvy Spectre
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberB1J91EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

When we crafted the new HP ENVY 14 SPECTRE we pushed the boundaries of design and engineering. The seamless integration of an incredible tough and lightweight glass brings a cool and sophisticated look. Designed for those who expect the extraordinary.

Unique design

Thin, lightweight, made of both metal and strong, scratch resistant glass - doesn't weigh you down.

Live life in HD

Watching videos on the HD radiance display, or talking to friends via the HP TrueVision HD webcam: there's high definition everywhere.

Maximum Memory4 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Envy Spectre 14-3000ea Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Notebook Protective Sleeve
  • Limited Warranty1 Year