Feeds
80%
HP Envy Spectre 14in

HP Envy 14 Spectre Ultrabook

Shiny slab of laptop lusciousness

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Review The test unit I reviewed was forwarded on to me from the Harrods press office. That alone should tell you a lot about the HP Envy 14 Spectre. For you, Harrods may conjure images of oil sheiks browsing bling, affectatious middle classes buying ham and feeble-minded tourists ogling Saint Diana's soiled crockery, but Harrods makes a point of not selling crap.

HP Envy 14 Spectre

HP's shiny Spectre: glass even covers the full width of the base in front of the keyboard

Forget about money and demographics for a second and instead consider appearance and reputation. If I was the kind of person who bought computers from Harrods, the HP Envy 14 Spectre is exactly the type of laptop I want the great unwashed who linger zombie-like near the entrance to see me walking out with.

The combination of an almost mirror-like black glass lid backed with a cool aluminium body is reminiscent of modern smartphones and tablets but somehow more grown-up and less toy-like. Sure, the HP Envy 14 Spectre probably looks like an executive toy to many of you reading this, but it's still a pretty decent Ultrabook in its own right.

I use the term 'Ultrabook' with some reservation because the Spectre is thicker and heavier than any Ultrabook I have tested for El Reg to date. But what does 'Ultrabook' really mean? Intel has trademarked the word, so it gets first dibs on a definition: apparently, Ultrabooks are "ultra responsive, ultra sleek and ultra stylish devices that are less than an inch thick and wake up in a flash."

OK, the Spectre is all of those things but let's be fair - even Dell's cheapest Inspiron is less than an inch thick. My own definition would be: "less than 0.75in thick and light enough to be held between the fingers and thumb of one hand with the arm outstretched for half a minute without your muscles trembling." The Spectre might fail that one.

HP Envy 14 Spectre

Just to show everyone how spanky you are, the mirrored HP logo on the top glows when it's on

It's possible that the Spectre's thickness and weight are a little greater than expected for an Ultrabook because of its three glass surfaces. The entire top surface of the the lid, the entire surface (display and bezel) on the other side, and more than one third of the base in front of the keyboard is covered by sheets of toughened, scratch-resistant glass.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: The thick of it

More from The Register

next story
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.