HP Envy Sleekbook 6-1126sa review

Getting the balance almost right, AMD shows it's still a contender

HP Envy Sleekbook 6-1126sa review
The HP Envy Sleekbook 6-1126sa is a budget laptop

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3DMark06: 3634
3DMark11: P561
Heaven 3.0: 11.7fps

Sleeping Dogs (high): 7.7fps
Sleeping Dogs (medium): 15.1fps
Sleeping Dogs (low): 18.6fps

Max Payne (high): 5.55fps
Max Payne (low): 10.33fps

Cinebench 10 (1 CPU): 2601
Cinebench 10 (x CPU): 3558
Cinebench 10 OpenGL: 3632

Battery Eater: 4 hours and 16 minutes

HP Envy Sleekbook 6-1126sa review

If this all sounds like the HP Envy Sleekbook 6-1126sa is shaping up to be the best machine ever built, then there is a small problem, and that is in the performance stakes. The finger of blame can be squarely pointed at AMD on this front, since while its A6-4455M APU may offer up a smorgasbord of features and capabilities, it doesn't quite pack the punch that it needs to.

This is most clearly demonstrated in raw CPU performance tests, and here Cinebench 10 shows that AMD's chip can't compete with Intel's Core i3.

The figures we garnered from this chip were a third of that from Intel's CPU in the multi-threaded test, and while it's a slightly unfair comparison because Intel's Core i3 can handle four threads concurrently and the A6-4455M can only manage two, the single-threaded performance was just as uninspiring.

HP Envy Sleekbook 6-1126sa review

The raw processing power on offer isn't great then, but it's actually the gaming prowess of the machine that is the biggest hit for HP. Despite the promise of great things, there simply isn't enough silicon on offer in the GPU core to handle the demands of modern games.

The synthetic benchmark, 3DMark06, had a result of 3,634. This indicates that it's capable if you aren't looking for anything too exacting, but when we turned to two recently released games, the HP Envy Sleekbook 6-1126sa really showed its colours.

Both Max Payne 3 and Sleeping Dogs can only be deemed unplayable, even when we dropped the settings to their lowest settings. Max Payne 3 in particular barely crept above 10fps, even with everything set as low as possible. This isn't a gaming machine, regardless of how it's pitched.

HP Envy Sleekbook 6-1126sa review

It's not all bad, though. Actually using the machine for day-to-day tasks and enjoying movies is a positive experience, thanks in part to the roomy, responsive keyboard and large touchpad. HP has left off the number pad to accentuate this feeling of space still further, but it's a cost that seems reasonable to pay.

The final matter of performance worth noting is the battery life, and unlike the Samsung Series 5 NP535U3C-A02UK, this PC doesn't suffer from poor stamina.

Indeed it's fairly impressive for a 15.6-inch laptop, racking up a decent 4 hours and 26 minutes of use when playing back video. You can expect even better battery life in less demanding tasks.

HP Envy Sleekbook 6-1126sa review