If ya can’t beat 'em, look like ‘em. That seems to be the ethos at HP with the unveiling of its slim new Envy line of notebooks, which take a fair few visual cues from Apple’s MacBook Pro – not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Available in two models, the Envy 13 and Envy 15 (which refers to their screen sizes in inches) are constructed with lightweight magnesium and aluminum casing, with artistic etching in the metal of the palm rest and, in the Envy 15’s case, around the lid also. They are both compact little numbers too, with the Envy 13 and Envy 15 measuring in at around one inch thin and weighing around 3.5 pounds and 5.2 pounds respectively.
The Envy 13 features a HP Radiance WXGA display boasting double the brightness of any other in its class, along with an 82% color gamut (as opposed to the standard 45 – 60%). The Envy 13 packs an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, with an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 discrete GPU, as well as an Intel integrated graphics processor for either high or lower powered consumption. The optional Slim Fit Extended-Life Notebook Battery offers up to 18 hours of battery life, and the unit includes built in surge protection. An Ethernet port and optical drive is optional, with two USB ports as standard, with a built in VGA web cam optimized for low light conditions.
In the case of the Envy 15, the features step up a notch, starting with an Intel Core i7 processor to make it HP’s fastest consumer laptop yet. It comes with up to 16GB of DDR3 1,066 MHz system memory in four SODIMM memory slots, with the ability to add two SSD’s in a RAID-O configuration to enhance overall performance. An ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 GPU is coupled with 1GB of dedicated video memory.
There is a choice of two HP “Brightview” high resolution LED back-lit displays along with a built in night vision VGA web cam suitable for low or zero light conditions. The optional Slim Fit battery is expected to offer up to 7.5 hours of battery life.
In an obvious grab for the “hip” dollar, both models boast the high performance “Beats by Dr. Dre” audio. With the balance of style and substance featured in the Envy 13 and Envy 15, HP may well find their latest offerings embraced by the ever fickle young consumer crowd.
Price wise, the Envy 13 will retail for approx US$1699 with its counterpart the Envy 15 set at US$1799. A closer look can be found at the HP website.
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