Despite its relatively low clock speed, the quad-core Envy 15 still outstripped the various Core 2 Duo laptops that we’ve reviewed in recent months in just about all aspects of system performance – and that includes Apple’s 15” MacBook Pro, which comes in at almost £1500. We attribute that performance to Intel’s TurboBoost technology, which can boost the basic processor clock speed if any of the processor cores aren’t being used. In the case of the i7-720QM used here, the clock-speed can actually get right up to 2.8GHz.
The MacBook Pro-style clickable touchpad is good to use
The Envy 15 even managed an impressive 89.30fps when running Far Cry 2 at full 1366 x 768 resolution, rising to 95.5fps at 1024 x 768, so it’ll make an excellent workhorse for heavy-duty gaming or graphics work. Having a discrete ATI GPU really pays off here.
If you're more used to old-style PCMark05 numbers, the Envy 15 yieled an overall score of 7031, putting it well ahead of every other notebook we've tested bar one. Its CPU, Memory, Graphics and HDD scores of 6824, 7412, 7961 and 5912, respectively.
The Envy 15 wasn’t as staggeringly fast as Rock’s Xtreme X790, which is the only other Core i7 laptop we’ve seen so far. However, that machine was built like a tank, had an desktop i7 running at 3.06GHz and cost twice as much as the Envy 15. That makes the Envy 15 the clear winner in terms of overall price and performance.
The keyboard is nice and rigid
The Rock machine also got very hot and had a number of powerful fans built into it to cope with the heat output. In contrast, the Envy 15 merely got a bit warm on the underside. It wasn't even so hot that it would be uncomfortable when balanced on your lap. The cooling system does make a slight but noticeable humming sound when it’s running, but we didn’t find it loud enough to be annoying.
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?