HP Envy 4 - Ultra Envious

12/10/2012 8:52:11 AM

HP’s Envy range – as the name suggest – has traditionally been its high-priced premium line of products with the Pavillion range being the more affordable mid-tier sub-brand. However, HP’s new Envy 4 Ultrabook is blurring these lines.

On the low end of the Ultrabook pricing scale, at a very affordable $1,299, and with a decidedly non-premium 1366x768 pixel resolution screen and hybrid HDD, the Envy 4 might at first seem to be missing the premium features of its bigger brothers. However, once you actually get your hands on it, you start to notice its many envious qualities.

HP Envy 4

HP Envy 4

The overall design has a high-end premium look and feel, and HP deserves points for originality by differing from the usual silver MacBook clone aesthetic, opting instead for a sleek, black, brushed aluminum lid, a matching interior, and a plastic base coated in a velvety, soft-touch red finish.

Inside, it’s armed with an ultra-low-voltage Intel Ivy Bridge Core i%-3317U (1.7GHz) dual-core processor, 8GB RAM, and a hybrid 500GB HDD with 32GB SSD cache. All fairly standard Ultrabook specs, but you’ll also find a discrete AMD Radeon HD 7670M GPU with 2GB DDR3 VRAM, a 14-inch screen (giving you a bit more real estate than the 13.3-inches found on most Ultrabooks), full connectivity options (including the oft-missing RJ-45 port), Beats Audio, and most impressively, for the first time on any Ultrabook, a built-in subwoofer.

Testing the Envy 4, we were immediately impressed by the large trackpad, which is fast and smooth, without any obvious deadspots. Multi-touch gestures are supported, and both two-finger scroll and HP’s four-finger swipe (to tab between programs) were easy to execute and worked flawlessly. The Chiclet-style keyboard also impressed with its firm response and generous key-travel.

The envy 4 is business-like and understated on top, but underneath, its red based plate is all party.

The envy 4 is business-like and understated on top, but underneath, its red based plate is all party.

The screen on the Envy 4 was satisfactory, but not outstanding. While it’s relatively bright, and viewing angles are decent, the 1366x768 pixel resolution is disappointing. The display is also very glossy.

Audio, on the other hand, was better than expected. The main speakers, which are located above the keyboard aren’t anything special, but it’s the audition of a subwoofer on the underside that makes the Envy 4 really stand out. While it’s not a replacement for a true subwoofer, there is marked improvement compared to other Ultrabooks. Volume is also respectably loud –enough for you to annoy the neighbors when you ‘drop the bass’. Beats Audio also only really works when you pair it with high-end headphones to take advantage of the electrically-shielded audio port.

HP Envy 4 - Ultra Envious

While the Envy 4 didn’t blow us away in our benchmarks, it performed above average in all categories, and showed no glaring weaknesses. The discrete GPU was better than integrated graphics, and was just about good enough to play games if you don’t mind turning down some of the settings.

Overall, despite its standard resolution and lack of an SSD option, we still felt that the Envy 4 offers enough features to earn its premium envy branding. You get a lot more than what you would normally get for an Ultrabook of similar price, all within a stylish and well-built design, while still retaining a relatively sleek footprint.


·         Processor: Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz)

·         Memory: 8GB DDR- 1333

·         Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7670M 2GB DDR3

·         Storage: 500GB HDD with 32GB SSD cache

·         Price: $1,299


·         Processor: Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz)

·         Memory: 8GB DDR-1333

·         Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7670M 2GB DDR3

·         Storage: 500GB HDD with 32GB SSD cache

·         Audio: Beast Audio, 2.1 speakers (built-in subwoofer), headphone port, microphone port

·         Ports: 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, HDMI port, Multi-card reader

·         Communication: Gigabit Ethernet LAN, Intel 802.11 abg/n 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 3.0

·         Battery: 4 Cell Li-on, 62 WHr

·         Dimensions: 340x235.8x19.8mm (W x D x H)

·         Weight: 1.8kg

·         Operating system: Windows 7 Home Premium 64

·         Website:

Verdict : 9.0

·         Physique: 9/10

·         Features: 8.5/10

·         Userfriendliness: 8.5/10

·         Value: 9/10


Most View
Broadberry CyberServe XE5-R224 - Top-Value Rack Server
Philips 7000 Series 46PFL7007 Smart LED 3D TV
Windows Server 2003 : Domain Name System - The Split DNS Architecture
Open GL : Storing Transformed Vertices—Transform Feedback (part 1)
Windows Server 2008 : Adding Roles to Server Core - Using ocsetup to Add Roles to Windows Server 2008 (part 1)
Samsung Galaxy S4 Review (Part 5)
Blackberry Q10 - An Ultimate Messaging Machine For Socializing, Sharing And Working (Part 3)
The Jaguar XFR – Big Bang Theory (Part 1)
Nokia Lumia 820 - Windows Phone with Wireless Charging
Ditch Your Laptop For Your Phone (Part 1)
Popular Tags
Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Biztalk Exchange Server Microsoft LynC Server Microsoft Dynamic Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Indesign Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe After Effects Adobe Photoshop Adobe Fireworks Adobe Flash Catalyst Corel Painter X CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 QuarkXPress 8 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 BlackBerry Android Ipad Iphone iOS
Top 10
Review : Acer Aspire R13
Review : Microsoft Lumia 535
Review : Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
TomTom Runner + MultiSport Cardio
Timex Ironman Run Trainer 2.0
Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire HR
Polar M400
Garmin Forerunner 920XT
Sharepoint 2013 : Content Model and Managed Metadata - Publishing, Un-publishing, and Republishing
Sharepoint 2013 : Content Model and Managed Metadata - Content Type Hubs