Wednesday, August 15, 2012

HP Envy Ultrabook 4-1015dx

There was a time, final year or so, when an ultrabook represented a noteworthy product inside of a P.C. line. Now, as is the box with Hewlett-Packard, there are entire lines of ultrabooks. Yes, that creates selling a small more difficult, but the additional choices can conceptually work out to your advantage.

Finding the honeyed spot, though, has never been tougher. Exhibit A is the HP Envy 4, a 14-inch laptop that's segment of a line of Intel processor-bearing ultrabooks and AMD processor-bearing "Sleekbooks." These gaunt laptops act for a not similar segment of the thin-and-light landscape than the in vogue and costly HP Envy 14 Spectre expelled progressing this year, or the thinner Spectre XT . This Envy 4 and its brethren are the affordable ultrabooks. AMD versions of the HP Envy lineup cost reduction (the 15.6-inch Envy Sleekbook 6 is existing for as low as $599), whilst the Intel versions have an joined markup.

The $679 HP Envy 4-1015DX (this expect model is a sell setup existing from Best Buy) has a last-gen Intel Core i3 processor, a 500GB hard drive, and 4GB of RAM in a body that feels similar to the Editors' Choice Award-winning HP Folio 13 ultrabook we desired final year and the HP dm4 gaunt laptop amalgamated together, with small pieces of Beats Audio pattern touches.

On a whole, the HP Envy 4 is a incomparable ultrabook, a of the somewhat thicker, bigger, and heavier laptops that you would maybe expect to have an visual drive, or several graphics. It's in a similar difficulty to the Toshiba Satellite U845 , but better-designed. And, yes, it's a deputy of sorts is to rarely versatile HP Folio 13. But December 2011 was a not similar time than Aug 2012.

Having an SD card slot, an Ethernet port, and a long-life battery for a in accord with cost was singular for an ultrabook back then. Not anymore. If we were buying the admittedly easily written HP Envy 4, I'd pay up for a more bone-fide configuration. Or if we longed for to save money, I'd opt is to more affordable AMD-powered Envy Sleekbooks, instead. Or maybe I'd only ponder profitable up is to HP Envy Spectre XT. That's the complaint with having as well many choices: suddenly, the ultrabook landscape becomes no not similar from, or reduction swarming than, the rest of the midrange consumer laptop universe. And that's not precisely a great thing.

In the $679 entry-level Core i3 setup we reviewed, the complete product feels decent, and of course plenty for many people, but it's not a standout. It'll obtain the job done, and it has great speakers. Back-to-school shoppers, take note: this could be for you, if you do not thoughts not having a DVD drive. we only have a question: didn't the Envy brand used to be high-end? Not anymore. It creates me consternation how Envys will co-exist with rest of HP's Pavilion products.

Weren't ultrabooks ostensible to revive sexiness to the laptop? Don't discuss it that to this Envy. Hey, I've seen this pattern before. So have you, if you've been window-shopping for HP laptops over the final year or so. The brushed aluminum and black cosmetic look of the HP Envy 4 feels similar to a hybrid of new Envy designs and laptops similar to the Pavilion dm4, with more than a hold of the HP Folio 13. It's not a bad look at all -- in fact, it's far improved than many laptops -- but it doesn't precisely break the mold.

The Envy 4 has a bigger shade than the Folio 13 (14 inches instead of 13.3 inches), and is somewhat thicker and heavier, too. At 3.9 pounds and 0.78 inches thick, the Envy 4 isn't portly for an ultrabook, but it feels bulkier all around, sufficient similar to the Toshiba Satellite U845.

With a not similar size class advance not similar expectations. There's no DVD expostulate on this laptop, but it feels similar to there could have been -- the Dell Inspiron 14z and Acer Timeline U M5 both managed to add one. The framework tries to look high-end, with premium-style finishes from the inclined tip lid to the soft-touch underside, but the entire package feel more bill than that. The aluminum set of keys rug feels similar to a finish, not plain metal. The set of keys itself flexes, and far more than I'd like. The back lid is brushed aluminum (available in black/red or silver/black finishes, both with black back lids), but the shade itself is surrounded by generic, shiny black plastic.

The backlit set of keys isn't the most appropriate I've seen from HP, primarily since it exhibited be at home in the middle, causing me to skip keys on more than a occasion. Pressing down harder was the solution, enlivening me to vigorously sort out this review. Results improved, but the updated mainstay of right-side keys cramping access to Enter, Shift, and Backspace feels unnecessary.

Media manage keys reserved to function buttons on top of the set of keys are function-reversed, meaning they'll work right away without the Fn key. Above that, a single gaunt power symbol lurks nearby the lid hinge on the left.

A multitouch Synaptics clickpad next is somewhat recessed from the set of keys rug and abundantly sized. Two-finger gestures similar to pinch-to-zoom didn't always register. It was hard to discuss it either the complaint was the touch-pad hardware's clickzones or Windows 7 itself.

The 1,366x768-pixel shiny 14-inch manifestation feels particularly budget; black levels were feeble on my examination model, and observation angles were reduction than ideal. The resolution's moreover a step down from what's starting to show up on higher-end laptops, but 1,366x768 is still the mainstream baseline for bland computing, and will obtain the job done.

A Beats-branded orator club on top of the set of keys angles ceiling slightly, affording improved projection of sound than the typical ho-hum ultrabook. However, the sound high quality of the speakers, whilst loud, wasn't particularly great. It lacked force and depth, and was misrepresented at high volumes.

Also, take note: HP has preinstalled a great lump of trialware and other program on this Envy, formulating more than a satisfactory share of pop-up windows.

A 1,280x720 Webcam looked great enough to have efficient Web chats on, with decent light sensitivity.

The HP Envy 4 has all the simple vital ports and connections, inclusive a pull-down condensed Ethernet port, USB 3.0, and an SD card slot, in addition to Bluetooth. There's no DVD drive.

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