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HP Envy 14 Spectre review

An Ultrabook bigger, bulkier and Beats-ier than its rivals

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1600 x 900
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Tough Gorilla Glass chassis
  • Comfortable, backlit keyboard
  • Beats audio controls
  • Crisp, detailed screen
  • Great connectivity

Against

  • Very expensive
  • Heavier and thicker than rivals
  • Lousy touchpad
  • Average CPU
  • Lid attracts dust and fingerprints

The HP Envy 14 Spectre is the latest and best-named Ultrabook to hit the shelves, and with the combined draw of HP's premium Envy range, and Dr Dre's urban cool Beats brand, it's going to be very hard to ignore.

We're well into the Ultrabook race by now and we've already been impressed by the Asus Zenbook UX31, Acer Aspire S3 and most recently by the Dell XPS 13, perhaps the toughest rival that the HP Envy 14 Spectre faces in the battle for our hard-earned pennies.

And HP's newest baby is taking an interesting approach to the competition by being less concerned with a size zero frame. The HP Envy 14 Spectre is 20mm thin, and weighs 1.8kg - hefty for an Ultrabook.

But the slight bulk enables it to throw around some extra connectivity and features that other Ultrabooks, perhaps save the Toshiba Satellite Z830, can't match.

Hands on  hp envy 14 spectre review

Of course, before we start dreamily idolising this shiny new offering, there are a couple of points that need to be looked at. Firstly, the fact that the HP is built around an Intel Core i5-2467M processor, rather than the Core i7 CPUs on offer inside the likes of the Dell and Acer mean that for all its bulk, the Spectre lacks power.

You might also be forgiven for thinking that this lower-spec processor will have a pleasing effect on the price of the computer. Not so.

The HP Envy 14 Spectre costs a sphincter-tightening £1,100 in the UK, and $1,400 in the US. That's a clear £200 more expensive than the Dell, and in these hardened times; a penny saved is a penny earned... or something.

But before you click away in disgust, there are a number of excellent features that the HP Envy 14 Spectre has to offer, and we have to say that it's one of the best-looking Ultrabooks we've yet seen. Clearly a lot of time and effort has gone into its design and development.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 3000
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time9 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity128 GB
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyEnvy Spectre 14-3000
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Processor Modeli5-2467M
ColourNatural Silver
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameHP
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size35.6 cm (14")
Number of Cells4-cell
Screen Resolution1600 x 900
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.80 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, EPEAT Silver
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM65 Express
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyBrightView
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11 a/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports2
Height20 mm
Width327 mm
Depth221 mm
Screen ModeHD+
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series14-3000
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product Model14-3000ea
Product NameEnvy Spectre 14-3000ea Notebook
Pointing Device TypeImagePad
Product LineEnvy Spectre
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberB1J91EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

When we crafted the new HP ENVY 14 SPECTRE we pushed the boundaries of design and engineering. The seamless integration of an incredible tough and lightweight glass brings a cool and sophisticated look. Designed for those who expect the extraordinary.

Unique design

Thin, lightweight, made of both metal and strong, scratch resistant glass - doesn't weigh you down.

Live life in HD

Watching videos on the HD radiance display, or talking to friends via the HP TrueVision HD webcam: there's high definition everywhere.

Maximum Memory4 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Envy Spectre 14-3000ea Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Notebook Protective Sleeve
  • Limited Warranty1 Year