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HP Updates MacBook Imitating Envy Range

Gordon Kelly


HP Updates MacBook-Imitating Envy Range

It is widely accepted that love or hate Apple it makes good looking products, products that are - shall we say... - 'inspirational' to other companies...

HP continues to take this homage about as close to legal uncertainty as possible with its designer Envy line, but in fairness they do appear to be every bit as desirable as their MacBook Pro counterparts.

For a start the new Envy 17 (17in - above) and Envy 14 (14in - below) models copy (there, I said it) the MacBook Pros' all aluminium finish and back it up with the same backlit keyboards, slot loading optical drives and DisplayPort connectivity while throwing in HDMI and VGA for good measure.

On top of this is 'Beats Audio' technology co-developed between HP and Dr. Dre (as unlikely a partnership as you'll find) which claims "to provide the optimal sound experience when playing music or audio through headphones or external speakers". No word how good it sounds through the laptops' inbuilt speakers though.

Where things begin to differ between the two models is in terms of purpose with the lighter Envy 14 able to last up to a massive 13.75 hours with an optional extended battery (six hours as standard) and optional integrated 3G is available too. The Envy 14 is no slouch either, offering a range of Core i5 CPUs and coming with discrete ATI Radeon Mobility graphics

As for the Envy 17 this boasts a 1920 x 1080 Full HD display, choice of a Blu-ray drive and sports a single USB 3.0 port along with heavyweight ATI Mobility Radeon 5850 graphics and CPU options right up to a Quad core Intel Core i7 processor. Up to 8GB of DDR3 can be fitted too while storage can be configured up to 2TB.

Both the Envy 14 and Envy 17 are launching in May with the former starting at $999 (£660) and the latter at $1400 (£925). An entry level 13in MacBook Pro? £999. An entry level 17in MacBook Pro? £1,899.

Yes HP may have ripped off Apple's design skills, but I can't help but let it off when it comes this level of price/performance...


HP Envy Laptops


May 6, 2010, 6:29 am

I've always found the look of this laptop really creepy - kinda like when Jennifer Jason Leigh starts wearing Bridget Fonda's clothes in Single White Female. But I can't deny that fantastic feature set highlighting all the embarrassing omissions of a MacBook Pro, and at a very attractive price... I want Blu-Ray and a goddamn numberpad, Steve!


May 6, 2010, 6:56 am

Like you Gordon, I am just about able to let H. Packard off for submitting this blatant piece of plagiarism. But for goodness' sake! Talk about steps back after steps forward.

Don't they understand that it could seriously turn potential buyers off? Wannabe is not a good look. They could have made it all black, or metallic HP blue and thus take a dig at the Vaios whilst actually being kind of individualistic. But then anyone who thinks that putting floral swirlies (nice though they are) onto the whole production run of a laptop series probably wouldn't understand the concept of painting yourself into a corner.


May 6, 2010, 7:11 am

@GoldenGuy @Hedgeporker - you are beacons of logic


May 6, 2010, 10:19 am

This laptop looks angelic, yet whispers evil incantations from the Ones Who Came Before under the light of a gibbous moon.

Dave 22

May 6, 2010, 12:44 pm

and yet these copies are so chunky and clunky....

Way to go...

Sophistication holds the edge


May 6, 2010, 2:09 pm

The 14" looks ideal to me. I have a 13" 2008 aluminium unibody Macbook which I love but now use Windows 7 exclusively on it - don't want to get into a long debate about this I just prefer it to OS X and it runs all my software. The trouble is that Apple's power management for Windows is absolutely dreadful so I'm lucky if I get 2.5 hours out of it.

This looks nice and has a six hour battery life. It's kind of a no brainer for me and, I suspect, qite a few others who have dabbled with Macs and found them nice but ultimatley an unsatisfactory solution.


May 6, 2010, 2:19 pm

Yawn. Lazy journaism again. Apple invented everything. Blah blah blah. The chicklet keyboard came from sony. Aluminium was used in premium laptops by Panasonic, Fujitsu et al long before apple. Premium laptops are typically magnesium (thinkpads), carbon fibre (sony) or aluminium (HP and, errm Apple). There's not a lot else out there. All we need now is for Apple to make CF and magnesium laptops and then they invented everything!

Charles 2

May 6, 2010, 3:51 pm

That 14" is perfect for me.


May 6, 2010, 3:52 pm


As you said, don't want to get into a long debate, but could I ask why you prefer Windows 7? Just because I really like Windows 7 from using it on a mate's laptop, but also have a unibody macbook and have been a longtime os x fan.


May 6, 2010, 3:56 pm

oh one more thing: apparently HP are doing (like the Apple 'tax') a direct dollars to pounds conversion, so the 14" Envy will cost about £990, i.e. about as much as the 13" mbp...


May 6, 2010, 3:59 pm

@gagaga: Although you're right that Sony invented chiclet on the X505 (as we've pointed out umpteen times) and other companies use aluminium, there's no escaping the fact that HP is clearly taking a huge amount of stylistic influence from Apple.


May 6, 2010, 4:00 pm

If this wasn't HP people would go KIRF and move on. Come on @gagagaga this is not lazy journalism, while Apple may not have invented any of those design features they put them together in a certain way that HP are blatantly ripping.

I'm impressed with the price, last month when I popped into PC World the previous Envy was about £1300+, getting it down to £999 for the base model makes these pretty competitive. I didn't actually like the feel or design of them though, I couldn't really say why, but it just didn't work for me. They look better in the pictures than in the flesh. That said I think the Macbook design is a little staid and old these days as well. If I hadn't just gotten a Sony I'd be tempted by these.


May 6, 2010, 4:20 pm

I gotta say, based on my last HP Pavillion laptop I will never buy again. Slow, hot, noisy, power supply broke, left click broke, fan broke, even the rubber feet fell off. Quickplay software awful.

A poor peice of kit.

I would like to think they have improved them with this Envy range...


May 6, 2010, 4:23 pm

@gagagaga - as Ed points out: lazy comment.


May 6, 2010, 4:27 pm


Sure, the main reason is the software compatibility. I run a couple of packages from work and the OU that simply aren't supported by OS X or would cost me more money to get an equivalent. I thought about dual booting but that just smacks of desparation to me.

Plus I just prefer Windows because I'm used to it I guess.

Hamish Campbell

May 6, 2010, 4:45 pm

I was quite amazed at the price at the 600+ mark, but if its the same as an apple 13" then again the apple tax doesn't seem so significant as most people make it out to be.

Although here the specs are improved, they are not widely apart and OSX does include the iLife suite which is pretty swish and would cost a fair few bob if similar software was bought for windows.

Wish the alu bodies had been out when I bought my wifes macbook. The plastic on that is cracked and scuffed pretty badly and an alu chasis would have been much help.


May 6, 2010, 5:45 pm

Let's just reiterate - Your US dollar to Pounds price conversion is bang on but it seems in the UK, HP will be trying out it's own "apple tax" and the price will jump to £999 for the basic model- the same as a standard 13inch macbook pro. Oh and where's the equivilent of the iLife suite of apps?

Denis iii

May 6, 2010, 10:36 pm

nice prices if your in the US but guarenteed HP will increase then by min 50% for UK release and very likely only make avialable inferior specced machines in UK.

Like the HP Envy 15/13 laptops these are going to be a flop with misinformation, shoddy hardware and software and no availability in the UK + overpriced. For instance you can't even get an HP Envy 15 2nd gen in UK with a 5830 yet which has been out in the states for time but only a select few 1st gen overpriced models.

HP are useless, it may look premiere but it definately isn't though I do hope they prove me wrong this time.


May 7, 2010, 1:06 am

On pricing, this article compares the US prices and the Envys are a lot cheaper ($200 - $900) than the macbook pros.



May 7, 2010, 6:19 am

You forgot the display resolutions! 14.5" - 1600x900 (finally!) 17.3" - 1920x1080.


The battery life on the 14 sounds friggin immense! WANT!


May 7, 2010, 6:58 am

@xenos you're half right, I listed the Envy 17's resolution, but HP didn't reveal the Envy 14's resolution to us at the time.


May 7, 2010, 3:52 pm

Does the Envy 14 have ati 5650 or 5830 graphics? i've seen different results on different sites but on a youtube vid by slashgear with envy's project manager, he clearly says 5650... and is this graphics standard at the USD 999 price point?

Denis iii

May 7, 2010, 8:01 pm

do they have edge to edge glass displays like then envy 13?


May 8, 2010, 8:48 pm

@Gordon - Didn't pay much attention to the 17 so didn't see that soz. I'm not a fan of big laptops, in my opinion carrying it around would be a royal pain in the arse!

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