Sometimes, you just need some raw firepower and performance when you want to do your work on the road. Better performance, better graphics, and better looks. HP has always been on their feet to give customers the best value from their machines, and the latest Envy 14 doesn’t run far from the level of quality that one would expect from them.
Handsome Little Fella!
When you take it out from the box, the first thing that you will notice is the prominent beats audio logo on the lid of the notebook. There is an almost-afterthought looking HP logo on the side, but it is meant to be there, as the beats audio takes precedence in the branding here. Even the overall design has inspired vibes – from the rounded edges throughout the notebook, the black and red overall colour scheme all the way to the letter B on the keyboard that uses the beats audio logo. One nice thing to mention – there is not a single fingerprint-magnet surface present. Hurray for sensible design! There is a chrome band around the middle of the notebook, but it adds rather than detracts to the overall design.
Ports, Ports Everywhere
Talking about ports, there is no shortage of connectivity options – three USB ports, one shared with eSata for fast connection to external storage. You have both a HDMI and DisplayPort on board to connect to your external displays. One RJ-45 (a.k.a LAN port) and a couple of headphone jacks complete the package. One of the jacks is output only so don’t be plugging your microphone into the jack.
Performance? Yes, in spades.
Running your favourite programs with the Envy 14 is nothing short of buzzing. You can run your daily productivity programs with ease – Excel processes very fast, multi-megabyte Powerpoint slides are no problem and even multi-page Word documents will render instantly. The notebook really shone when playing games however, as the built-in AMD Radeon HD 5650 will give you enough grunt to play even the most demanding games we have today. We managed a respectable 1219.6 points on our PassMark PerformanceTest testing suite.
Talking about power, there is on facet of power that we haven’t really touched – the one that gives the Envy 14 life. Sadly, this is the Achilles heel for the Envy 14. While there are notebooks out there that have 10 hour battery life, the Envy 14 only lasts about four. There is an extended battery available for purchase, but it adds half an inch to the total thickness, and also nearly one kilo to the weight. Not good.