My former laptop was a Dell D620 Latitude. It had a p5500 Core 2 Duo processor, 14 inch matte screen, dual batteries, 500 gig hd, and 4 gigs ram. I loved that laptop, it was a great laptop. The screen was dimming due to age (florecent display), it wasn’t the fastest laptop in the world, and it started beeping if held the wrong way. Being three years old, I figured it was time for an upgrade. My Hearst work laptop is a newer Dell Latitude 6300, and frankly its a build quality is terrible. There is peeling paint on the speaker grills, it creaks when you lift it, and sound hollow when you tap on it. After reviewing the modern Dells, I decided that it was time to look at other manufactures.
My specs were as follows: It must have a Core i5 or i7 processor. High Mhz matters since the android emulator is single threaded. Had to have at least 4 gigs of ram, and a 500 GB hard drive. I wanted build quality simular to a Macbook Pro.
Why didn’t I get a macbook pro? Three reasons really. The main reason is that I disagree with Apples apparent vision of the future of computing. I won’t use closed API’s and I find Apples use of their market power to be immoral. Apple really wants to be the 1984 big brother. This was the main reasion I didn’t get a macbook pro. Secondary to that is Macbooks Pros are very expensive, and don’t have great windows keyboards (no page up/page down, screenshot etc.)
The envy is very polarizing, except on the screen, which is a joke you will understand in a minute… As a good Christian guy, I don’t like the name envy. Its a really poor product name. On the other hand, the keyboard is one of the best I have ever used. I love this keyboard! Its also backlit, which I love, but the backlight isn’t on at boot, which is a disappointment. The activity lights are subdued and work weel in both a well lit and dark environment. Except when in dark environments, there is a HP light on the back of the monitor that seems about as bright as a full moon.
The build quality is very good, its not quite unibody macbook pro quailty, but its better then the previous macbook pro body styles. But it does have some seams around the edge of the keyboard area.
Its also part Dell and Mac. The mac mini-displayport adaptors work on it. My Dell power supply works on it. The included hp power supply sucks, its huge with very long cords.
The audio is tuned by beats audio. I have never heard of them, but my existing headphones sounded better then on the d620. The on board speakers are good for a laptop.
The computer it self is mainly a nice gunmetal finish. HP used a laser engraver and put in a paisley pattern made of rotated squares of various sizes. I dislike the look of it, but it does make the laptop easier to hold. The whole laptop is metal, which looks good, but isn’t a great material for a laptop. Its cold to the touch at boot up and then gets hot. Its also heavy.
It has an optical drive. I don’t like optical drives, I never use them. Plus its slot loading, which looks nice until the mechanism breaks.
The battery is replaceable (Yay!) and the stock capacity is pretty good, I’m getting 4 hours of easy running.
The display itself its terible. The screen is very reflective, much worse the any other glossy screen I have seen. That coupled with the low resolution (720P) made it almost unusable for programming. Plus there is a HUGE boarder around the screen, so the 14.5 inch laptop is the size of a 15 inch laptop. It reminds me of the old 7 inch netbooks in the 10 inch frames.
The laptop is also very heavy. I always considered 14′s as being more portable then the larger laptops, but the Envy isn’t a normal 14.
The touch pad is a huge touch pad, like a mac books, but it sucks. It creaks when you click on it, and multitouch gestures suck. For example to scroll down a page you can swipe down with two fingers, but they have to start almost exactly together horazontly. Look at your index and middle finger, the middle finger is longer, so instincivly you swipe with your middle finger slightly above the index finger, therefore your swipe won’t work. I hated the touchpad.
The envy has a Raddion and Intel graffics chip. It was cool to be able to switch between them (but not if a 3d program was running, it would crash). I would have prefered a graffics card that could turn it self on and off as needed, I meen having two seems like a hack which causes other problems, like weird x configs.
In the end, I couldn’t live with the crappy display and touchpad. It drove me nuts and made eclipse very hard to use. I ended up taking it back to microcenter, and they very chearfuly accepted and i walked out with a Sony Vaio Z12, which is a much better fit and I’m much more happy with it then the envy.
tl;dr; HP Envy 14 has a terible display and trackpad, ended up returning it I hated it so much. 5/10