Usually we’re pretty happy with HP’s keyboards, and generally the company’s only second to Lenovo in providing consistently pleasant typing experiences. While feedback on the HP Envy 6-1006ea’s keys is a little shallow, there’s a positive click for each key, and layout is both logical and comfortable. Its lack of backlighting is expected at this price point.
The huge multi-touch touchpad, meanwhile, is a pleasure to use. Its concentric ring patterning provides just the right amount of resistance while its integrated ‘buttons’ are clearly marked and offer good feedback. It also sports a little feature common on HP laptops, where tapping the top left corner of the pad twice disables it, lighting up a tiny LED indicator to tell you so.
As affordable laptop screens go, the 1,366 x 768, 15.6in TN panel on the Envy 6-1006ea Sleekbook does a pretty good job. Dark detailing is good enough to spot even the subtlest distinctions, backlighting is even with minimal bleed, and colours seem reasonably vibrant, aided by a glossy finish.
Only viewing angles typically let the side down, with strong contrast shift across the board. Frankly, we can’t wait for IPS or a quality alternative to become the norm as it has in the tablet world.
Unfortunately, despite the presence of a subwoofer to help them along, the speakers are pretty poor by any standard. The Beats endorsement is a bit of a gimmick, but it should stand for a minimum level of quality on speakers that gain its stamp.
This has clearly not been the case here, as even with the inessential Beats processing and “HP Triple Bass Reflex Subwoofer” there’s about as much bass as a soprano’s tea party. On top of this, there’s severe distortion at anything close to maximum volume, and a lack of distinction that carries across the treble range. Maybe it’s a ploy to make you buy Monster Beats headphones…