Feeds
80%
HP Envy 4-1010ea Ultrabook

HP Envy 4-1010ea 14in Ultrabook review

Cost-effective compromise?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Power broking

The use of the Core i3 processor also helps to eke out pretty good battery life. The Envy 4 managed a robust 3hrs and 20mins with the PowerMark 11 benchmark software, and hit a full five hours when using Wi-Fi to stream the Beeb’s recent Shakespeare marathon on the iPlayer. You’ll probably get close to a full day’s work out of it if you’re just doing a bit of casual web browsing or running an Office suite of apps.

HP Envy 4-1010ea Ultrabook

Slim enough for Ultrabook standards

Build quality is quite good too, even if the Envy 4 lacks the Gorilla Glass armour plating of the Spectre. It’s plastic all over, but the matt black-and-red casing is solid enough, and looks quite smart and businesslike – although it does pick up finger smudges the moment you touch it.

Like all Ultrabooks, the Envy 4 lacks an optical drive, but it has a large, comfortable keyboard and mouse, and I was pleased to see that it includes Gigabit Ethernet in addition to the 802.11n Wi-Fi. There’s also a pair of USB 3 ports, one plain old USB 2, a memory card slot and ports for headphones and microphone.

PCMark 7 Results

HP Envy 4-1010ea Ultrabook

Longer bars are better

So far, so shiny – but here’s the odd thing. Like the Spectre, the Envy 4 has opted for a 14in screen, rather than the 13in displays found on most Ultrabooks. Now, to be fair, it’s a very nice screen – bright and colourful, and the 1366 x 768 resolution worked perfectly well when watching the BBC iPlayer. It’s a shame, though, that HP’s much-touted Beats Audio speakers sound just as thin and tinny as any other laptop speakers.

However, the 14in screen automatically means that it’s less portable than the 13in Ultrabooks that seem to be the norm at the moment. Despite foregoing the Spectre’s chunky glass accoutrements (and its 1600 x 900 display) the Envy 4 has the same 1.8kg weight – whereas most 13in Ultrabooks come in at less than 1.5kg. It’s virtually the same thickness as the Spectre too at just under 20mm. Yet the Envy 4 is about 13mm wider and deeper than the Spectre, which means that it’s really stretching the definition of ‘ultraportable’ to its limits.

HP Envy 4-1010ea Ultrabook

A 14in screen, but alas, not full-HD resolution

Verdict

This is one of those ‘glass half full’ situations. If you consider portability to be the be-all and end-all of an Ultrabook then the Envy 4 – like the Spectre – falls short when compared to its slimmer, lighter 13in rivals. On the other hand, it’s cheaper than most Ultrabooks, whilst also being a lot lighter than most conventional 15.6in notebooks. So if you’re looking for a lightweight, affordable laptop with a decent screen and performance, and impressive battery life then the HP Envy 4 may well satisfy. ®

More Ultrabook Reviews

Ten...
Ultrabooks
HP Envy 14
Spectre
Toshiba
Portégé
Z830-10N
Asus
Zenbook
UX31E
Dell
XPS 13

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

80%
HP Envy 4-1010ea Ultrabook

HP Envy 4-1010ea 14in Ultrabook review

Affordable Core i3 Ultrabook with performance boosting hybrid storage.
Price: £649 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
All aboard the Poo Bus! Ding ding, route Number Two departing
Only another three days of pooing and I can have a ride!
Heyyy! NICE e-bracelet you've got there ... SHAME if someone were to SUBPOENA it
Court pops open cans of worms and whup-ass in Fitbit case
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
The IT Crowd's internet in a box gets $240k of crowdcash for a cause
'Outernet' project proposes satellite-fuelled 'Lantern' WiFi library for remote areas
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.