HP Envy 14 Spectre

The HP Envy 14 Spectre is a great-looking, high-end laptop. It has unique design, pulling away from the average-looking laptop. It is one of the very first 14-inch ultrabooks that uses Corning’s scratch resistant Gorilla Glass enclosures. It also incorporates an NFC receiver for wireless data transfer with compatible wireless phones. It has Intel Core i5 processor, 128GB solid-state drive and Intel HD300 graphics. All of these features are welcome, but can also be found on lower-priced ultrabooks. If you are looking for sleek design, the HP Envy Spectre will deliver if you are willing to pay for it.

Advantages

The design of the HP Spectre is unique and sleek. It has a lot of features in such a slim 14-inch body and is great if you are searching for something that is easily portable.  Its multi-touch pad also has terrific responsiveness.

Disadvantages

The HP Envy 14 Spectre can be considered fairly expensive for its somewhat standard features and components. The glass wrist rest takes some getting used to and may feel very awkward to some. It is definitely a feature that should be tried out before purchasing. For its ultra-thin design it is still fairly heavy, which can be a pain when it comes to travel.

Design

The HP Envy Spectre showcases beautiful design, one that reminds many of the Apple MacBook Pro. It has a glass backing that reminds many of the tablet and when the laptop is open it certainly looks similar to an Apple product. One thing it doesn’t look like is any of the previous ultrabook laptops we’ve seen. Many ultrabooks try to look as much like a MacBook Air as possible. The Spectre ignores the trend toward tapered bodies, instead presenting itself as a solid glass slab. The glass backing does make this ultrabook a bit heavier than we would like, but it is very aesthetically pleasing. It can also seem fairly bulky for travel in a shoulder bag. The catch on the lid is fairly hard to open, which can be very frustrating at times.

It has a radiance backlit keyboard which means the keys light up when you are using them, and then dim when you are not, in order to conserve energy and battery life. Its keyboard is also large and spacious with island-style keys. The multi-touch performance is much improved from previous models, and has terrific two finger scroll. The wrist pad is raised up off the keyboard tray. It is a solid sheet of glass that extends from the front lip to the bottom of the keyboard. For all of the effort that was put designing this laptop, the design of the wrist pad is awkward and initially uncomfortable. The 14 inch display has 1,600 x 900 pixel resolution, which is much greater than the basic amount found on other laptops or ultrabooks. The built in NFC antenna is a cool feature that allows for you to place your smartphone on the wrist rest and sync or exchange data. The audio is from Beats Audio which is great for wearing headphones, but they must be Beats-branded headphones to get the most out of your listening experience.

Battery Life

The battery life is 5.7 hours which is right up there alongside its rivals in terms of functioning. Supporting a bright 14 inch screen, NFC antenna, backlit keyboard, and Beats Audio system also contribute to the battery being drained.

Performance

The HP Envy Spectre uses an Intel Core i5-2467M processor that delivers great performance, right alongside many of the best laptops in the competition. It is not a good laptop for gaming, as it does not have the fastest response time and graphics.  It may be worth holding off on this laptop and checking in again when the next generation of Intel CPUs come out. The next generation will have the much anticipated line code Ivy Bridge, which is will have much better integration for graphics. The HP Envy 14 Spectre has a two-year parts-and-labor warranty, but this model also can be covered by something HP calls its Concierge Service. The Concierge service has a separate team for phone support and for an additional $210 you will have access to three years of on-site service, as well as accidental damage protection.

Conclusion

The HP Envy 14 Spectre is a cool laptop that remains functional. It is fairly expensive, especially since it is lacking some of the higher-end components that other pricier ultrabooks have. There are newer features coming to future HP models including Windows 8 and Intel’s Ivy Bridge, so it may be worth investigating and waiting based on your own user preferences. The HP Envy 14 Spectre is a laptop that has come a long way for HP models, but still has a little ways to go with improvements that are coming in the near future.

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Quick Specifications
ManufacturerHP
ProcessorIntel Core i5
Screen14" (1600 x 900)
RAM4 GB
Hard Drive128/256 GB SSD
   See Full Specifications  

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