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The HP Envy 15 (2012) ($1,249.99 direct) is the latest iteration of HP’s premium line of desktop replacement laptops, offering a mix of style, substance, and price that’s well suited to both work and play.

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  1. 1. 31/01/2012 04:33 HP Envy 15 Reviews (2012) HP Envy 15 Reviews (2012) on the MacBook Pro. HP has added a few touches of its own, such as beveling the edges to increase CloudTags: HP , Envy 15 , 2012 , laptop battery , comfort and utilizing a black lid (on our model; it’s battery uk , hp batteries , Hp 510 battery life , Hp also available in gray) with a glowing HP logo in one nc6000 battery replacement corner. The Envy is also just a shade heavier (5.7 pounds versus 5.5 pounds for the MacBook Pro). The black chiclet-style keyboard is highlighted with a subtle yet striking red strip that runs around its recessed inside edge. Each key is individually backlit with an LED; the letters are brighter but the light leakage is significantly reduced. It’s also smarter than other backlights, with a proximity sensor that activates the backlight when you’re close enough to the keyboard to need it and turns it off when you move away. The large clickpad that accompanies the keyboard continues the Apple-flavored design, with the right and left buttons integrated into the surface, though its performance was not on par with Apple’s model. And though the multitouch worked smoothly, without any jumpiness or false positives, The HP Envy 15 (2012) ($1,249.99 direct) is the latest it felt plastic compared to Apple’s glass-surfaced iteration of HP’s premium line of desktop repla- clickpad. cement laptops, offering a mix of style, substance, and price that’s well suited to both work and play. Though it competes with current top dogs, like our Editors’ Choice Samsung Series 7 (NP700Z5A-S03) ($1,299 list, 4 stars), and bears a strong resemblance to the Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch (Late 2011) ($1,799 direct, 4 stars), a number of additional features, such as deep integration of Beats Audio and an impressive number of wireless options, help set the Envy 15 apart from the pack. Design From its bare aluminum chassis to its large touchpad and black chiclet-style keyboard, the Envy 15 una- The Envy 15 is also the showcase for HP’s Beats bashedly copies everything that works well for Apple Audio, the same Dr. Dre–approved sound system Love this PDF? Add it to your Reading List! 4 Page 1
  2. 2. 31/01/2012 04:33 HP Envy 15 Reviews (2012) backing several models of high-end headphones Beats Audio, and headphone users actually get a and making its way into smartphones and media further boost thanks to built-in headphone ampli- players. The Envy 15 is well equipped to show off fication. If you want to enjoy the video and audio this quality 6.1-channel sound, with two top-firing without all those cables, the Envy 15 is equipped speakers, four front-firing speakers, and an inte- with Intel’s WiDi 2.0—a wireless alternative to HDMI grated subwoofer delivering decent bass. The audio (provided you have the appropriate adapter, like may not top the superb sounds of the Asus N55SF-A1 the $99 Netgear Push2TV)—and HP Wireless Audio, ($1,249.99 list, 4 stars), but it’s still better than what which streams multichannel audio to any compa- you get with most laptops on the market. Set into tible sound system or adapter without requiring a the side of the Envy 15s chassis is a volume control dongle for the laptop. knob displaying a bright red Beats logo; it’s designed to mimic the look and feel of a control knob from a There are also three USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet high-end stereo system, and provides digital preci- jack, and a card reader (SD/MMC). Internally, the sion with the tactile control of analog. Envy 15 offers 802.11n Wi-Fi, a slot-loading dual- layer DVD drive, and a 500GB 7,200rpm hard drive— The gorgeous 1,920-by-1,080-resolution display on the same size found in the Apple MacBook Pro and the Envy 15 looks just as good as the Beats Audio Dell XPS 15z (Microsoft) ($999 direct, 4 stars). A few sounds. The 15.6-inch widescreen is bright and clear, newer competitors, like the Samsung Series 7 and with edge-to-edge glass and LED backlighting for Toshiba Satellite P755-S5269 ($979.99 list, 4 stars), visibility even in bright environments. But you’ll offer larger 750GB drives, but 500GB will still hold have to watch out for glare off of the glass, which a sizable media collection along with all of your might make it difficult to work or enjoy a movie programs and files. outdoors or in certain lighting conditions. The Envy 15 does come with some software preins- talled, but it’s far from bloatware. The Envy includes full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 and Adobe Premiere Elements 9, as well as Microsoft Office Starter 2010 Starter and a 60-day subscrip- tion to Norton Internet Security. HP covers the Envy with a two-year warranty on parts and labor along with toll-free tech support, available 24/7 via chat or email. Performance HP has equipped the Envy 15 with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-2430 dual-core processor and 6GB of RAM. Features This hardware led to a strong showing in our pro- The Envy 15 also packs plenty of connectivity options ductivity tests, but the Envy naturally fell behind the and entertainment features. Along either side of the superior quad-core Core i7–equipped competition laptop you’ll find connections for video and audio of the MacBook Pro and the Series 7—though not alike. First there are DisplayPort and HDMI ports, by much. In PCMark 7 the Envy 15 scored 2,218, for connecting to an external monitor or HDTV. Dual nearly identical to the 2,235 earned by the Apple, headphone jacks let you share the sweet sounds of but not quite the 2,697 of the Samsung. The biggest Love this PDF? Add it to your Reading List! 4 Page 2
  3. 3. 31/01/2012 04:33 HP Envy 15 Reviews (2012) difference we saw was in CineBench R11.5, where Though HP claimed the Envy 15 could produce 9 the Envy 15 scored 2.67, on par with the Dell XPS 15z hours ofbattery life, we were skeptical of the claim— (2.53) and indicating more than enough horsepower desktop replacements usually average around 5 for the average user, if not as impressive as the re- hours. Testing with MobileMark 2007 confirmed sults from the MacBook Pro (5.08) and Samsung our suspicions. The Envy 15 lasted 4 hours 1 minute, Series 7 (4.55). The Envy couldn’t keep up with them one of the shorter times for the category but still in our Photoshop CS5 or Handbrake tests, either; long enough to enjoy a double feature while stuck it needed 4 minutes 1 second for the former and in an airport. By comparison, the Toshiba Satellite 1 minute 51 seconds for the latter, compared with P755-S5269 lasted 5:07, the Samsung Series 7 lasted 3:39 and 1:30 for the Apple and 3:39 and 1:37 for 6:41, and the Dell XPS 15z led the category with 7:13. the Samsung. Its processing and graphics capabilities make the HP Envy 15 (2012) a solid alternative to pricier quad- core systems, and a true HD display and Beats Audio add polish to its entertainment side. It falters on batteries life and we would love to see an option for a Blu-ray configuration, so it won’t replace the Samsung Series 7 as our current Editors’ Choice. But on the whole there’s little to complain about, so you can buy the HP Envy 15 (2012) with confidence. Related Articles: The Envy 15 also offers plenty of graphics power for both work and play, thanks to a discrete AMD Radeon HD 7690M video processor with manual switching. When disconnected from a power outlet, the laptop defaults to lower-powered integrated gra- phics, but you can switch back to the AMD GPU with just a few clicks. With discrete graphics enabled, the Envy 15 produced decent results in our gaming tests. In Crysis, it managed to crank out 62.7 frames per second (fps) at 1,024-by-768 resolution, with anti-aliasing turned off. With anti-aliasing turned up to 4x and the resolution cranked up to 1,920-by- 1,080, the Envy produced an unplayable 9.4fps; this means you should have no problem playing most games as long as you go easy on the eye candy. We saw similar performance in Lost Planet 2, where the Envy 15 managed 63.9fps at lower resolution and detail, but 23.2fps at full resolution. Love this PDF? Add it to your Reading List! 4 Page 3