TechSpot: HP Envy 14 Review

Introduced as a replacement for the Voodoo Envy in 2009, the Envy series originally kicked off with 13 and 15-inch models and was later expanded with 14 and 17-inch flavors. If you are familiar with the Envy line, there aren't many surprises from last year's models.

From the outside the 2010 and 2011 Envy 14 models are nearly indistinguishable. The Envy has a strong resemblance to Apple's MacBook Pro which for the most part could be considered a good thing. The latest version features the same gunmetal lid with an attractive etched pattern. A reflective HP logo is positioned on the back corner of the lid on the right side and emits a subtle white glow when the system is on.

Our evaluation system used to cost $1,079.99 but now you can get it for $899. The Envy 14 comes with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430M with Turbo Boost, 6GB DDR3 SDRAM, a Western Digital 750GB hard drive, Radeon HD 6630M switchable graphics, a 14.5" HD BrightView Infinity LED display, 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer support, Intel HM65 Express Chipset, Intel 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN with Bluetooth and an 8-cell 3800mAh Lithium Ion battery. Windows 7 Home Premium is the operating system of choice.

Read: HP Envy 14 Review

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19 Comments

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Got my g\f this laptop and its been great.
Except for 1 small problem with the built in web cam; its very choppy and lags with both the audio and visual aspects in Windows Messenger...

It will say that the quality of the feed can be improved by using a wired connection but that is not true. Tried updating the drivers and it still wont work properly... But other then that the laptop is great for her needs.

Lot's of students have an Envy 17 with a similair desgin at my school.
You cut you're self on the sharp edges.
That you don't have to press the Fn key to use the special buttons leads to lots of complications in software that uses those keys.
Lot's of people had to bring it to the school repair center.
Really glad I don't have that laptop.

I love the ENVY design, but I miss the 1600x900 display option.

Also why the late review? new ENVY's were already announced to be coming this version is about 6 months old.

Really does no other company have industrial designers?

Anyway, my current laptop is a HP, had it a few months and will probs be my last HP. This thing runs hot, unbelievably so, so hot you can't touch the hot bits.

greenwizard88 said,
Dell has some fantastic industrial designers. Check out their Vostro lineup. Some of the nicest laptops I've seen in years.

Dell - LOL!!!!

evo_spook said,
Really does no other company have industrial designers?

Anyway, my current laptop is a HP, had it a few months and will probs be my last HP. This thing runs hot, unbelievably so, so hot you can't touch the hot bits.

Apple arguably has some of the best industrial designers. That said, the Macbook Pro I have runs very hot on the bottom and near the F# keys and has noisy fans like just about every laptop I've come across.

the 2011 hp's aren't bad, mine only ever cracks 55 degrees playing intensive games. with general stuff like watching movies it'll stay at around 40. a great improvement over my last hp running an amd turion which would hit 60 just sitting there idling

evo_spook said,
Really does no other company have industrial designers?

Anyway, my current laptop is a HP, had it a few months and will probs be my last HP. This thing runs hot, unbelievably so, so hot you can't touch the hot bits.

I'm never touching HP again. I've seen FAR too many HP models that suffer from serious overheating issues.

Panda Bear said,
the 2011 hp's aren't bad, mine only ever cracks 55 degrees playing intensive games. with general stuff like watching movies it'll stay at around 40. a great improvement over my last hp running an amd turion which would hit 60 just sitting there idling

ahh, this is running a Phenom triple core

Relativity_17 said,

And that is where they cut corners to get the price down.

Macbook Air with the same resolution is selling like hotcakes.

KingCrimson said,

Macbook Air with the same resolution is selling like hotcakes.

11" Macbook Air: 1366x768
13" Macbook Air: 1440x900

Relativity_17 said,

And that is where they cut corners to get the price down.


Thats between 1080p and 720p - so pretty much perfect.
Massive Amount of Pixels squeezed into a small space is also bad as it forced you to be closer to the computer screen.

_Heracles said,

Thats between 1080p and 720p - so pretty much perfect.
Massive Amount of Pixels squeezed into a small space is also bad as it forced you to be closer to the computer screen.

I'll be happy the day that sort of thing is no longer a problem. Pixels are a frustrating limitation to display tech, and software has pretty much only relied on awkward scaling and smoothing techniques to accommodate for it. Higher resolution shouldn't ONLY mean everything gets tinier. Scale should be about display dimension first, and resolution should only affect the detail/sharpness of the image.

But we're easily more than a decade away from that sort of revolution. My greatest hope is that the iTV is a huge success (and I'm NOT an Apple fan at all). It's probably the only product in the foreseeable future capable of shattering this 1080p ceiling crap, if Apple goes in that direction.

Joshie said,

the only product in the foreseeable future capable of shattering this 1080p ceiling crap, if Apple goes in that direction.

i disagree. i think 1080p is perfect for where we are right now.. I would rather we work on actually getting TV stations to start making all the TV in HD then we can consider getting higher resolutions.. anything over 1080p on a TV is a gimick such as 3D is because of the fact that their is no content out there to make it worth it..

edit: just saw this and thought you might love it.. a Super HD LG TV
http://www.engadget.com/2011/1...-4k-tv-its-bringing-to-ces/

Lachlan said,

i disagree. i think 1080p is perfect for where we are right now.. I would rather we work on actually getting TV stations to start making all the TV in HD then we can consider getting higher resolutions.. anything over 1080p on a TV is a gimick such as 3D is because of the fact that their is no content out there to make it worth it..

edit: just saw this and thought you might love it.. a Super HD LG TV
http://www.engadget.com/2011/1...-4k-tv-its-bringing-to-ces/


We? Work on HD? Who is we? That has nothing to do with the hardware side of things. It's such a weird opinion to have. Why not wish for a complete transition to IPTV and hope for wide area wireless networks and a new age of 'over-the-air' broadcasting? Then, being HD or not is up to each individual streaming station to provide. Making the conversion to HD for all networks your PRIMARY MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING EVER goal in broadcast media is bizarre and unrealistic.

And again, it has nothing to do with hardware. Display tech is stagnating. The industry is paying attention to idiotic ventures like 3D while 1080p--a format that's all right for a 46" screen ten feet away--has become a standard on PCs for no reason other than the fact that the panels are in demand for TVs and thus cheap. In other words, the only way--literally, this is it--for computer monitors to offer higher resolutions at lower price points is if some other mainstream market is contributing to demand for those panels.

The iPad is too small for it. There is ONLY TV. That's it. Without TV going high-res, we'll be stuck at this painfully inadequate resolution on large monitors until monitors stop using pixels.

/and seriously, "where we are right now"? Seriously, is that the sort of thing a tech enthusiast says? Is that what we want companies developing for? When has it ever been Apple's reputation to develop for "where we are right now"? That's just reacting to existing standards. Apple wants to be the company that CREATES markets. "Where we are right now", to Apple, is exactly the place we should be leaving behind.