The notebooks also supports 802.11n and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and there’s an SD memory card slot on the front edge of the unit. HP includes the product manuals on a 2GB memory card, which you can obviously reuse once you’ve made a copy of the PDF.
Here come the grilles
The keyboard has a nice solid feel to it – as it should do at this price – and we could touch-type quite comfortably on it. The trackpad works well too. Its size makes it easy to perform tasks such as scrolling through long documents, and also allows you to use the lower left and right corners of the trackpad like conventional mouse buttons.
The screen has 1366 x 768 resolution - a 16:9 aspect ratio - and uses LED backlighting that produces a very bright and colourful image. The glossy coating on the screen is highly reflective, though, which some users will find annoying when bright daylight falls on the screen.
Nonetheless, the external design of the Envy 15 is extremely attractive and shows that 'boring old PC manufacturers' can give Apple’s design team a run for their money when they bother to make the effort.
However, it’s the inside of the laptop that really piqued our interest. The Envy 15 arrived with 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium pre-installed and is equipped with a Core i7-720QM processor running at a relatively modest 1.6GHz, so we were curious to see how that processor would compare with Core 2 Duo processors that typically run at much higher clock speeds.
Ports a-plenty - but no on-board optical drive
The i7 chip is backed up by a healthy 4GB of DDR 3 memory - which can be upgraded to 16GB in total - a 320GB Sata hard disk running at 7200rpm and an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics chip which grabs at least 1GB out of the 4GB of main memory and can take up to 2811MB.
A "performance" laptop with no cd/dvd drive is a waste of time.
Not another bloody lozenge keyboard!
Yet another useless letter box screen
Was liking the sound of this machine until it got to the screen resolution. 768 deep is a waste of time, I'll never buy any laptop with less than a 1000 pixel deep screen.
ready to buy if it wasn't for the screen resolution
As a software developer I had been eagerly awaiting the release of this machine, timed to coincide with Windows 7.
Up to 16GB of ram making virtualisation a real possibility and the additional 9cell battery giving a reasonable time away from a power socket. But why the inadequate screen resolution? I've been checking the UK HP website every day since October 22nd in the vein hope that the 1920x1080 screened model (as per the US) might appear. Maybe I'll have to take look at Dell's Studio XPS 16 (even though I promised myself I wouldn't buy Dell again) as it is slowly dawning on me that we may not see the higher resolution screen in the UK, any time soon - unless anyone knows otherwise.
Desktop replacement without an inbuilt optical drive?
WTF were they thinking?