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HP Envy 15-1060ea - 15.6in Laptop review

Andy Vandervell

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

Summary

Our Score:

7

Taiwanese ODMs and lower-tier manufacturers have long tried to ape Apple's design ethic in the hope of generating some publicity. Larger entities, such as HP, have been known to take some inspiration as well, but they generally shy away from more overt imitation for fear of being made to look a little silly. With its Envy range, however, HP has been more brazen.

There are two models, the 15.6in Envy 15 and the 13in Envy 13, which square off against Apple's respective models of similar sizes. Today we're looking at the Envy 15 which, aside from looking very nice, packs a serious punch. Inside its sleek shell hides not only a quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, but also an ATI Mobility Radeon 4830 that should be more than handy for gaming. This instantly gives the HP an edge in performance, though it does underline that the Envy 15 is a subtly different proposition to Apple's own.

Before we get too bogged down in such technicalities, however, how does the Envy 15 compare as a piece of design? Well the likeness is obvious, but the HP still has plenty to differentiate itself. Most obviously, while it is constructed using aluminium, neither Envy machine has a unibody chassis.

Even without this manufacturing innovation, though, the Envy 15 is not lacking for assured build quality or eye-catching design. While the base is regular silver aluminium, the lid, keyboard and palm rest regions have an autumnal brown shade. This is further enhanced on the lid and palm rest by laser etched patterns, whose variety of different shaped dots form interesting optical illusions. It's a neat trick and certainly gives the HP something unique to call its own.

A more substantive difference is the lack of an integrated optical drive. This helps retain a slim and light form-factor; the Envy 15 measures just 26.5mm thick and weighs a paltry 2.35kg, but it might be a deal breaker for some. However, you do get a neat external drive in the box that also integrates two extra USB ports, so all is not lost.

Overall, from a purely aesthetic point of view, the Envy 15 treads the fine line between imitation and originality rather well. While the inspiration is there for all to see, HP has added enough of its own flare to give the Envy 15 a sense of exclusivity - an idea extended to the minimalist packaging.

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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