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HP Envy 6 review

The HP Envy 6 is bigger and heavier than most Ultrabooks

Our Verdict

For

  • Fairly thin
  • Reasonably light
  • Screen is bright and clear
  • Fast enough
  • Lack of bloatware

Against

  • Poor battery life
  • Terrible trackpad
  • Fingerprint/grease magnet
  • SSD only for fast boot
  • Low screen resolution

When we think of Ultrabooks, we tend to think of something like the Asus Zenbook UX32A, the Acer Aspire S5 or, of course, the Apple MacBook Air - all with small screen sizes, super-thin chassis and speedy SSD performance.

The thing is, that's not what they have to be, and so we get the HP Envy 6, a 15.6-inch, 2kg big slab of Ultrabook. Of course, 2kg is actually pretty light for a 15-inch laptop, and the HP Envy 6 is pretty thin, too.

HP Envy 6 review

Physically, you'd probably say it has more in common with the MacBook Pro with Retina display than the MacBook Air, but coming in at a price of £680 in the UK or $899.99 in the US, it's obvious that we're talking about Ultrabook innards.

Looks-wise, the HP Envy 6 has a distinctly Envy appearance, with a serious black finish on top and a kind of wine red underneath. It's a handsome machine, though it would look even nicer without the Beats logo (sported because it packs in Beats-branded speakers, complete with subwoofer), light-up power button and various Intel/Windows/HP stickers (though these are at least monochrome, so don't stand out too badly).

HP Envy 6 review

The only problem is that the brushed aluminium-look surfaces pick up fingerprints and dust to a ridiculous degree. It'll drive the more obsessive compulsive owners mad, and it's a shame because, as we said, it's a looker of a laptop otherwise.

The 15.6-inch screen might be a good chunk larger than your average Ultrabook display, but that hasn't extended to the resolution, which is 1366 x 768. You won't be watching any videos at native 1080p, then.

HP Envy 6 review

Compounding that is the total lack of an optical drive – Blu-ray or otherwise. This isn't exactly unusual for an Ultrabook, but it might surprise those looking for a 15-inch computer to be a media centre.

With a 1.7GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor and 4GB RAM, it's fairly standard as far as specifications go, with one notable exception: a 500GB, 5400RPM hard drive. Not one of those fancy SSDs, but a good old-fashioned HDD.

HP Envy 6 review

No doubt this will raise eyebrows (and the weight of the machine) when compared to other Ultrabooks, but you'll have to pay a lot more if you want this volume of storage in SSD form, in something like the Dell XPS 14.

There is a version of the HP Envy 6 available with an AMD A6-4455M processor, making it a Sleekbook rather than an Ultrabook, and bringing the price down to around £550/$699.99.

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook
HDMIYes
Product FamilyEnvy 6-1000
Brand NameHP
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Weight (Approximate)1.93 kg
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM77 Express
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height19.8 mm
Width374 mm
Depth252.8 mm
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series6-1000
ManufacturerHewlett-Packard
Product Model6-1005sa
Product NameEnvy 6-1005sa Sleekbook
Product LineEnvy
Manufacturer Part NumberB6W51EA#ABU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.hp.com/uk
Marketing Information

Live-free and light now with ultra-thin, ultra-light, ultra-affortable HP ENVY Ultrabooks that are down for whatever. Own the only large screen Ultrabook™ with Beats Audio™. Hear awesome Beats Audio™ studio quality sound boosted by two HP Triple Base Reflex Subwoofers only on HP ENVY Ultrabook™.

Maximum Memory8 GB
Package Contents
  • Envy 6-1005sa Sleekbook
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter