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HP Envy Beats Edition review

HP employs the help of Dr Dre for this special edition

As the Envy 14 Beats Edition is a jazzed up version of the standard Envy 14, let's take a look at what you get for the extra £400.

The notebook is built for those looking for a premium sound from their machine, and the Envy 14 Beats Edition delivers nicely. Two front-mounted premium speakers provide excellent sound quality, and are controlled by an intuitive piece of Beats software that helps you tweak the audio to your exact specification.

Once you've got the settings just right, it's simply a case of hitting the [Shift] and [b] key to activate the Beats software and effect. Without Beats, sound quality is good enough, but when it's activated, music tracks take on a fullness and depth we've rarely heard from notebook speakers.

The effect is even more pronounced when using headphones. The HP Envy 14 Beats Edition comes with a pair of Beats Solo travel headphones that retail for about £150. They're very comfortable to wear, and fold at the hinges, which make them great for tucking into a bag or pocket.

As mentioned above, HP has located the notebook's sound card right next to the headphone jack, and this reduces the amount of audio degradation you experience compared to if, say, the card was located on the other side of the chassis.

HP envy beats edition review

The combination of headphones and Beats software is excellent, and especially suits bass heavy tunes – as you might expect with the Dr Dre heritage. We were especially impressed by how loud the laptop goes while showing next to no bass distortion, which is a real achievement.

The Envy 14 Beats Edition features a black rubber finish to the chassis, which looks and feels great. Not only is it easy to grip, but the material is nigh on impossible to scratch, and so easy to keep clean.

The Envy 14 Beats Edition's chiclet-style keyboard is large and spacious. The travel is decent, the action relatively firm, and those after a notebook for regular typing will find a lot to like here. There's no dedicated numberpad, however, which might put off those who regularly input data.

The keyboard is backlit, and the subdued red light that shines up through the board both enhances usability in low light conditions and looks great, giving the laptop a pleasingly sinister appearance.

HP envy beats edition review

A spacious touchpad is included below the keypad, but proves a frustrating affair. It's irritatingly easy to brush while typing, which means that when you're writing your text will often jump all over the shop.

Along the right side of the Envy 14 Beats Edition's chassis sit a USB/eSATA port, an HDMI interface, Gigabit Ethernet and Firewire mini. Down the left side you'll find a further two USB ports and the slot-loading optical drive.

It's worth noting that there's no VGA out, which might put off those looking to hook up TVs or monitors that don't feature an HDMI port.

The black screen lid doesn't feature the rubber finish of the chassis, but has got the large Beats logo spread up the back. Some might light this, but we think that it would be overkill, ruining the understated design of the notebook.

HP envy beats edition review

The 14.5-inch display within features a 1366 x 768 pixel resolution. It's sharp and detailed enough to enjoy films and photos on, but a shiny screen coating makes the Envy 14 Beats edition an irritating laptop to use in very bright light.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerATI
Graphics Controller ModelMobility Radeon HD 5650
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityDedicated
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
eSATA/USB ComboYes
DisplayPortYes
Product FamilyEnvy 14-1100
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli7-720QM
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i7
Screen Size36.8 cm (14.5")
Number of Cells8-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.58 kg
Cache6 MB
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, EPEAT Silver
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM55 Express
Number of Total Memory Slots2
Optical Media SupportedDVD-RAM/±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 1 GB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyBrightView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height28.2 mm
Width356 mm
Depth237 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series14-1100
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product Model14-1195ea
Product NameEnvy 14-1195ea Notebook
Pointing Device TypeClickPad
Product LineEnvy
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberXE665EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

Because you know what you want. Do you want a brilliant view and sound that's straight from the recording studio? And VIP treatment, any time you need it? Make sure you stand out from the crowd, with the ENVY14 Beats Edition.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Envy 14-1195ea Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Beats Solo High Definition On-Ear Headphones
  • Limited Warranty1 Year