Review Price £1,199.00
HP Envy 14 Spectre – Extra, updated information
We’ve had an extended hands-on session with the Spectre since we first checked it out at CES, so here’s the additional info gathered on one page for your convenience and reading pleasure.
First regarding the build, all that glass is actually of the Corning Gorilla variety, which means it’s toughened and hardened to prevent scratches and shattering - suddenly that all-glass lid seems a whole lot more secure. We also learned that in between the two layers of glass that make up the lid (much like a glass sandwich), there’s a pocket of gas that’s supposed to prevent shards and splinters in the unlikely case the glass were to kick the bucket (or be kicked by one).
As well as keeping you well-framed when video chatting and dimming the screen when you move away, the proximity sensor also turns off the keyboard’s backlighting.
The 14in display marks the return of HP’s popular ‘Radiance’ panels, which offer a high brightness of 300nits (hence the name). While this pales compared to the eye-searing 600nits offered by the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, and doesn’t match the previous-gen Samsung Series 9, it’s still on the bright side for a laptop. Unfortunately the panel used remains TN, rather than IPS as seen on the Lenovo Yoga.
Getting to audio, we’re told the headphone jack has been re-engineered with partially rubber sheathing to “eliminate ground noise”. The Spectre’s speakers were far more impressive now that they were resting on a glass surface by the way, almost up there with Toshiba’s Harman/kardon efforts.
On the topic of sound, we found the laptop to be perfectly quiet while running, though we didn’t get a chance to stress-test it with some intensive benchmarks.
Regarding usability, the Spectre’s touchpad uses ‘Image Sensor Technology’, which ups the simultaneous finger count from two to four and improves responsiveness over previous HP efforts (and many rivals). The pad still has the company’s signature ‘double-tap in top right corner to de-activate’ with its own LED indicator too, which remains a welcome feature, and it all contributes to one of the nicest touchpads we’ve used.
Then there’s HP’s proprietary CoolSense tech. The laptop can tell whether it’s on a stationary or moving surface (i.e. a table/couch/etc or your lap) and adjusts cooling accordingly. According to HP, this virtually guarantees you’ll never get hot legs – hurrah!
Still not enough? How about built-in NFC? Oh, and a full version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 plus two years of Norton protection? That’s it on the new info from us. Check back soon for our definitive verdict in the full review.
Scores In Detail
- Battery Life
- Screen Quality
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