HP Envy 14 Spectre

A high-end ultrabook

HP has only started to bring an ultrabook to its extensive line of products. The $1,400 Envy 14 Spectre is finally the first of these devices to be made by the company. A lucky handful of first users have all brought very positive reports when asked about the product. They all agreed on the very handsome design and good performance of this ultrabook. Now it’s our turn to have a look at the product. You can see if we liked it or not by reading this review.

Made from aluminum

We’re happy to be living in a world where gadgets look so much better than they did decades ago. Many companies have made it their mission to make superb devices. HP is proud to be one of them. Their Envy 14 Spectre shows up and instantly turns a lot of heads in its direction. But this is not a product that looks good only on the outside. Nope. Its beauty is striking even inside and underneath. The chassis is made from durable aluminum. The area where you place your wrists is made of glass, though. The keyboard is very elegant with its black color.HP-Envy-14-Spectre

Beats Audio technology

The screen cleverly outshines what Apple laptops incorporate. Its Radiance technology makes it a joy to look at. Among ultrabooks, the display on the HP Envy 14 Spectre is the best. The resolution makes all the colors vibrate with brightness and contrast that are amazing. This is a glossy kind of screen; we only saw reflections once or twice after starting our tests. Viewing angles were perfectly good.

This ultrabook is among the first of its kind to feature an NFC reader. The ports and inputs and so on are very well selected. Not many important connectivity options are missing.

The device has Beats Audio, but that doesn’t imply brilliant you’ll be listening to the best sound quality. The major issue was with how the bass sounded in test.

The processor places the speed performance somewhere in the mid range. Tasks that require a lot of intensity are better to be avoided; also, apps running simultaneously should also be left for better ultrabooks. The GPU allowed watching 720p and 1080p HD videos. Modern games aren’t such a good idea.

Glass touchpad

The keyboard has backlight. Its buttons were a revelation when we typed this review with their help. The touchpad is made of glass. We could move the mouse cursor very well. Multitouch gestures were fully supported. The built-in keys pretty much sucked due to stiffness. And since they’re surrounded by the wrist area, pressing them will bring you to tears.

Battery was our best friend when using the Envy 14 Spectre. 8 hours were more than enough to let us do whatever with the device. The MacBook Air is the only ultrabook to top this model. Netbooks may have the best batteries, with better life, but their power is vastly inferior.

Review conclusion

The HP Envy 14 Spectre is almost all you need from an ultrabook. For us it was a complete surprise, even if we kinda guessed it would rock. Seeing as it’s HP and all that. The looks, the display and the performance are key factors to make you fall for this ultrabook. It still has to mature and maybe next versions will be better and stronger. For now, we think it will please many crowds of ultrabook fans. If they choose to turn a blind eye to the expensive price.

Technical specifications

Operating system Windows 7
Display diagonal 14 inches
Laptop characteristics Ultrabook
Processor Intel
Processor model Sandy Bridge
Graphics Integrated
Thickness 0.79 inches
Total weight 3.79 pounds

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