HP Envy 15-1060ea - 15.6in Laptop - HP Envy 15-1060ea

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

Looking across the rest of the spec sheet, HP hasn't skimped on the sundries. Bluetooth, Wireless-N Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet are all present and correct, while HP makes a small song and dance about its 'Night Vision' webcam that features an infra-red LED for illumination. We gave it a try and it does work, but we can't see it being that useful.

Of greater concern is the 15.6in display. Unlike US versions, where you get a bright, Full HD resolution effort, UK models are stuck with a distinctly mundane 1,366 x 768 resolution affair. This resolution is helpful in games, since it doesn't tax the hardware as heavily, but we found the quality of the panel is little better than many cheap, £500 to £700 laptops. Viewing angles are shallow, colour production uninspiring and black levels merely okay - all of which is distinctly disappointing for a supposedly premium laptop.

Some compromise has been made with the connectivity as well, though it's not as drastic as the display. As such you still get three USB ports (one of which offers up eSATA), HDMI for video, an Ethernet port and (on the front) a memory card reader. In true Apple style, though, a single audio jack combines both headphone and microphone duties. There's no FireWire port either, which will disappoint anyone of thinking of using this system as a mobile video editing machine - a task to which it's surely well suited.

One thoughtful touch, however, is that all three USB ports are sleep-and-charge enabled, so you can charge mobile phones (iPhone excluded), MP3 players and extricate discs from the external DVD drive even when the laptop is turned off. This is sensible thinking on HP's part, though we reckon the lack of FireWire is a real mistake given its potential competition.

What really hampers the Envy 15, however, are its keyboard and touchpad. For starters the keyboard isn't backlit, which is a necessary prerequisite for any premium laptop these days. More irritating, however, is the addition of a column of shortcut keys on the left-side of the keyboard. Since these look just like any other key, they create the illusion of being part of the normal keyboard. This is very disorientating and led us to hit the key to left of the one we intended - i.e. hitting Caps Lock instead of 'A'.

Actually, if you can get your head around this, the keyboard is pretty good. Its keys have a nice crisp action and extra shortcut keys aside, the layout is very good. Unfortunately such leeway can't be given to the touchpad, which is a bit of a disaster.

Like Apple, HP has chosen to integrate the touchpad buttons into the touchpad itself - though you still get two of them! Unlike Apple, however, HP's execution is atrocious. Using either buttons constantly results in inadvertently jogging the cursor, often leading to clicking on something entirely different. This is a fundamental failing that overshadows the otherwise neat implementation of multi-touch which, among other things, allows for two finger scrolling.

Steve

December 1, 2009, 1:09 pm

The HP Envy machines are a disaster. As you state, it's clearly work in progress but would the likes of Apple release a machine that's half baked?





I know two people that ordered the Envy and they returned them. I think you were very kind with the review, I think anyone that had paid out of their own pocket for this machine would be hard pushed to score it anything above a 3!





The keyboard itself isn't too bad, but it's the touchpad that's the real issue. Bearing in mind this is how the user interacts with the machine, I can't see how something that has been so badly implemented ever made it to market.

phat-ant

December 1, 2009, 5:57 pm

Interesting review, I had been considering one of these however the lack of the 1080p screen compared with the USA version for pretty much the same price points just seems an insult. Coupled with your review and others I have seen they really did drop the ball with this machine. Too bad.

CRTC

December 1, 2009, 6:23 pm

I'm considering a new i7 based laptop for purchase next year. Interested in the Envy models and Elitebook range from HP as it's definately time to upgrade from my HP n610c! This model looks quite promising, but then the keyboard looks quite poor and the screen resolution is poor beyond belief. I mean, even my 6-7 year old n610c has a 14.1" screen with 1440 x 1050 resolution! It's such a shame that high spec notebook is let down with a few below par features. Is trustedreviews going to get the Elitebook 8540w or 8740w models in for review? From what I've heard they have all the right specifications including proper keyboard and full HD resolution screen in a 15.4" and 17" size.

Peter 9

December 1, 2009, 6:42 pm

As a cheaper alternative it's worth looking at the new HP DV6-2060ea. it has a lot of the same features as the Envy, but can be had for around £850.

Ka

December 2, 2009, 12:41 am

I was looking very closely at this laptop but it just costs too much!





In the end I opted for the HP ProBook 5310m, it's aimed at the business user but it's very well put together as a machine and cost only £800!





The black aluminium casing is just very sexy and everyone loves it who I have shown it to. Same great isolated keyboard as most HP laptops have these days and a very speedy HDD.





The top of the range VQ470EA#ABU also features a in built in SIM slot for mobile broadband to make it look even slicker.





This less well known ultra portable laptop is a little gem.

Sleeper

December 2, 2009, 1:42 am

Buy a Macbook Pro and put Windows 7 on it. It's a far better option than getting an Envy.

Wedge

December 3, 2009, 2:59 am

@Sleeper I would love a Macbook Pro but they need to hurry up and introduce it with the Core i7 which this laptop has. I use my laptop for recording multitrack audio and want as much power as I can get. The Core 2 Duo Macbook Pros just seems ridiculously overpriced at the moment given their last-gen architecture.





It would also be nice if they could make a laptop with good DPC latency like my Pentium M! Most Montevina laptops - Apple Included - have dreadful DPC spikes which make audio recording a real pain.

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