HP Envy 14 review

  • £999

There is no denying the style, power and features of the Envy 14

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Our Verdict

If you can live with the awkward quirks of its touchpad, there is no denying the style, power and features of the Envy 14.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Incredible graphics performance
  • Responsive, well laid out keyboard

Against

  • Very poor trackpad design
  • Screen can't do the graphics card justice

Although HP primarily sells consumer laptops through its Pavilion range, its Envy line offers a high-end alternative for those with a bigger budget.

Unfortunately, while the Envy 14 (£999 inc. VAT) is a stylish, powerful and compact machine, it is a little flawed by awkward usability.

Initial impressions are good. The sleek chassis and textured, metallic finish create an elegant look that makes it arguably the best-looking laptop in this group test. Its smooth clamshell design is comfortable to hold and it slips smoothly into a carry case.

At 2.6kg the chassis is not as light as the 13.3-inch Toshiba in this group, but is still suitably portable for use at home or on the move. While the 215-minute battery life is bettered by both the Asus and Toshiba here, you can work for nearly four hours while away from mains power.

HP envy 14 build quality

Full-sized keyboard

With the lid open, the clamshell chassis reveals a full-sized, isolation-style keyboard. Fully backlit, the board moves with a smooth and responsive action when typing. We did notice some minor flex on the right-hand side of the board, however.

Unfortunately, the large touchpad is not nearly so well designed. With the mouse buttons built into the touchpad itself, it is far too easy to misjudge where you are pressing and to send your cursor flying across the screen at any time.

Where the Envy 14 fares far better is in the surprisingly high-powered performance it provides for such a portable machine. Built around a cutting-edge Intel Core i5 processor, there is a stunning amount of power on offer, matching all but the smaller Toshiba in this group test.

Graphics are even better and double the power of all rivals in this group. One of three laptops here to be powered by a dedicated graphics card, performance is staggering for such a slim laptop.

The 14.5-inch screen doesn't quite match up to the high standard set by its graphics card, but image quality is certainly acceptable. The bright panel and sharp resolution show photos off to good effect, but we did find the screen uneven at times, with images a little washed out.

High-quality audio gets things back on track, with HP's Beats technology delivering a powerful and warm sound ideal for games, music and movies. The sound is even better when played through a set of headphones, making this certainly the best multimedia machine in this group.

If you can live with the awkward quirks of its touchpad, there is no denying the style, power and features of the Envy 14. Unfortunately, we found usability too flawed to want to use this as our main machine, however, reducing the impact of what is an otherwise fantastic multimedia laptop.

Tags

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
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEnvy 14-1000
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor Modeli5-450M
ColourCarbon Relic
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed2.40 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size36.8 cm (14.5")
Number of Cells8-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.36 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, EPEAT Silver, WEEE, REACH
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
Height28.2 mm
Width356 mm
Depth237 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series14-1000
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product Model14-1050ea
Product NameEnvy 14-1050ea Notebook
Pointing Device TypeClickPad
Product LineEnvy
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberWN967EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

Ultimate high-performance mobility. With its sleek design and powerful processing technology, the HP Envy14 is the perfect choice for elegant yet high-powered performance. Its slim chassis is packed with features and software and with the optional slice battery you can go all night.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Envy 14-1050ea Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Limited Warranty1 Year