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HP Envy Notebooks Have a Super Sweet Design

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 34 comments

Could these be of an even spacier design than Apple's MacBook Pros?

When HP acquired Voodoo, it was buying not only an established name in the boutique computer business, but also some of Canadian-based computer-maker's special know-how.

The HP Firebird serves the desktop enthusiast, but what about for the road warriors? We're not talking about gaming laptops, but rather something sexy on-the-go. Voodoo has its specialized Voodoo Envy laptop – and it seems HP has taken that and is mainstreaming next month with the Envy 13 and Envy 15.

HP says that the new notebooks, announced today, are built from the "Voodoo Envy legacy," but the design appears to borrow a lot from Apple's unibody MacBook Pro line.

"HP Envy includes the latest in materials and technology inside and out and pushes the technological and performance boundaries of what can be done in sleek, powerful and lightweight notebook PCs," said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. "Discerning consumers will get a premium experience and performance."

Like the MacBook Pros, the Envy 13 and Envy 15 feature metal casing – though HP's offering uses a combination of both aluminum and magnesium, making it lighter at the expense of losing some rigidity.

Both models also feature Beats Audio thanks to HP's partnering with Beats by Dr. Dre.

The Envy 13 boasts an LCD worthy enough for HP to brand it as "Radiance," and say that it is twice as bright as other notebook displays in its class with 410 nit (a measurement of display brightness) and 82 percent color gamut (versus standard 45-60 percent).

Those not taken with Apple's non-removable battery will be pleased to know that HP's Envy line features removable battery packs, as well as an external battery attachment that could give the Envy 13 up to 18 hours of battery life. The standard battery still delivers a very good 7 hours.

The Envy 13 will have ATI Switchable Graphics technology dynamically switches between ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 discrete graphics and the Intel integrated graphics processor for either high-powered graphics processing or low power consumption for long battery life. Intel Core 2 Duos will be the main CPUs powering the Envy 13.

The Envy 15 is what HP calls its fastest consumer notebook and "dream machine," coming in a 1-inch thin, 5.18-pound package. It'll pack a 'future' Intel Core i7 processor and up to 16 GB of DDR3 1,066-MHz system memory in four SODIMM memory slots. It also has space to add two solid-state drives in a RAID-0 configuration if you need the speed.

For graphics, the Envy 15 will use an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics with 1 GB of dedicated video memory, though there doesn't seem to be the dual-GPU trick that the Envy 13 has.

The Envy 15 also sadly won't have the same "Radiance" display as its smaller sibling, but should still have a decent screen with the choice of two 15.6-inch HP Brightview high-resolution LED backlit displays, including the Full High Definition LED HP Ultra BrightView Widescreen Display with up to 300-nits brightness.

If you like to cam with people in the dark, the Envy 15 has a Nightvision VGA LED-assist infrared webcam that is optimized for low-light or zero-light conditions.

Battery life on the Envy 15 won't be nearly as strong as on the 13-inch model, giving 7 hours with the optional Slim Fit Extended-Life Notebook Battery.

The HP Envy 13 and Envy 15 are expected to be available in the United States on Oct. 18 with a starting price of $1,699 and $1,799, respectively.

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  • -7 Hide
    IronRyan21 , September 15, 2009 5:55 PM
    meh, idk
  • 7 Hide
    rebel conquest , September 15, 2009 6:10 PM
    I'll take a gaming desktop (a really nice one at that price too) instead.
  • -5 Hide
    pakardbell486dx2 , September 15, 2009 6:12 PM
    it better not have intel graphics
  • 1 Hide
    chaohsiangchen , September 15, 2009 6:12 PM
    Envy 13 looks pretty neat. Do they still build this in the US?
  • 0 Hide
    pakardbell486dx2 , September 15, 2009 6:13 PM
    ^ oh it doesn't, my bad lol
  • -5 Hide
    Grims , September 15, 2009 6:27 PM
  • 1 Hide
    Montezuma , September 15, 2009 6:28 PM
    I am not paying that much for a HP product. I have always had problems with any of the products that I have purchased with the HP and Compaq name. If they offered these laptops at $1,100 for the 13 and $1,200 or $1,250 for the 15, then I might consider it a better deal.

    I really just do not see a lot of laptops out there that really stand out as a good deal now a days.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , September 15, 2009 6:30 PM
    trih: I suppose you think Mac are all original and innovative, don't you? If not for copying others(and then adding a gay man fashion sense), they wouldn't have ANY products.

    Steve Jobs: "Boys, writing an operating system is REALLY hard, the legal department tells me that we can get away with stealing BSD UNIX and rebranding it as our own, go download the source code and get to work. In the mean time, I'll have our marketing department spin this in a positive light."
  • 4 Hide
    shamgar , September 15, 2009 6:49 PM
    but can they play crysis!?!?!
  • 9 Hide
    belardo , September 15, 2009 6:55 PM
    The 15" model can play Crisis.

    BTW: Do do some posts by people come in GREY? It so HARD to read the text? I generally don't even both trying to read them. I don't see color options when I make my posts.
  • -2 Hide
    captaincharisma , September 15, 2009 6:58 PM
    too bad its made by HP
  • -1 Hide
    C 64 , September 15, 2009 7:11 PM
    Finally some one started to copy the best thing about new MacBooks - the solid and sturdy built body of the notebook, but the price.... The HORROR THE HORROR
  • 4 Hide
    godwhomismike , September 15, 2009 7:11 PM
    From what I been reading on the web, it appears the Envy 15 will come standard for $1799 with:

    Intel Core i7 720QM (1.6GHz Quad core with hyper threading / turboboost to 2.8GHz)
    6GB DDR3 (upgradable to 16GB DDR3)
    500GB 7200 rpm hard drive
    1GB ATI 4350 video card

    Now, you know how HP and Dell always have coupon codes, right. I can't wait to see the 25% off one day coupon. Maybe bump up the ram and video card, price goes to $1900 MSRP. Apply 25% off coupon, and now you have a super notebook for ~ $1425. That seems to be a screaming deal to me.

  • 1 Hide
    Major7up , September 15, 2009 7:13 PM
    pakardbell486dx2it better not have intel graphics

    Seriously..did you read the whole article?
  • 3 Hide
    godwhomismike , September 15, 2009 7:18 PM
    C 64Finally some one started to copy the best thing about new MacBooks - the solid and sturdy built body of the notebook, but the price.... The HORROR THE HORROR

    What the holy hell are you talking about?

    $1799 gets you:

    15" Macbook Pro
    2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo
    4GB DDR3 ram (upgradable to 8GB)
    320GB 7200 rpm hard drive
    Intergrated nVidia 9400M video

    - or -

    15" HP Envy 15
    Intel Core i7 720QM (1.6GHz Quad core w/ hyper threading / turboboost to 2.8GHz)
    6GB DDR3 (upgradable to 16GB DDR3)
    500GB 7200 rpm hard drive
    1GB ATI 4350 video card

    Clearly, the HP has better hardware. Quad core with 8 processor threads, 1GB of dedicated video, more ram, better expandability, more storage space, slots, and options for the same price.
  • 3 Hide
    godwhomismike , September 15, 2009 7:23 PM
    Oh, and HP runs coupons, deals, and sales all the time. The best you'll see discounted of a Macbook Pro is $100 with the academic pricing. With the HP, you will see HP knowing anywhere from $100 - $350 off or their 20-25% off coupon codes, depending on the promotion they are running that week.

    I am tipping my hat to HP on this one, unless Apple can answer back with a Core i7 notebook putting out the same power with similar pricing.
  • -2 Hide
    C 64 , September 15, 2009 7:36 PM
    I am not comparing prices with Apple products, just that ~1.800 $ is an PAINFUL price to pay(for me at least).

    About that i7 is it a new (as in low energy consumption new dye)type or is it just throttled usual i7 (to save energy in an laptop)?
  • 1 Hide
    c_schwab , September 15, 2009 7:49 PM
    Very nice but way too expensive!
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , September 15, 2009 7:54 PM

    I fail to understand how they stole BSD to begin with. The operating system (BSD) is open source. Apple does give back to the community as well so you need to do a little research before commenting like that.
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