Sleek And Stylish

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: October 2012

HP ENVY 4 (Price: Rs 41,990 onwards)

Specs:
Windows 7 Home Premium; 14-inch HD BrightView LED-backlit display (1366 x 768); Intel Core i3-2367M processor; 4GB RAM;500 GB HDD, Intel HD Graphics 3000; 3 USB, LAN, Card reader; 13.38 x 9.28 x 0.78 inches; 1.75 kg.

Ultrabooks are slowly taking on the role of regular notebook PCs and, in the process, are becoming chunkier to accommodate more features. They are also becoming costlier. The HP Envy 4 Sleekbook tires to provide a cheaper alternative despite adding more ports and a 14-inch screen without looking fatter than is should be.

In fact, the all-black Envy 4 is a stunner as far as looks go, with a sleek body that is both manly and stylish at the same time. The brushed aluminum body holds a 14-inch HD Brightview, 1366x768p LED-backlit display. Still it maintains its body at 19.8mm with a weight of 1.75 kg, not a small achievement by any means. The keyboard is full-size and the keys have nice travel. But the mousepad is a bit stubborn and needs too much persuasion for our liking.

The Envy 4 easily ticks all the boxes as far as performance is concerned. This one sports not the 3rd generation Intel Core processor, but the Intel Core i3-2367M processor - which is good enough for regular users. While it took a rather long 1.1 minutes to start up, it woke up from sleep in 2 seconds. At times we felt the machine was dragging a bit while opening applications. So, its PC Mark7 Benchmark score was not very impressive at an entry-level 1102 marks

Where the Envy 4 scores high is with entertainment, thanks to the larger screen size and the inbuilt Beats Audio. While the LED screen needs to find the perfect angle to stop reflecting all that is around, the speaker has no such issues. The sound is loud and good without any help from Beats and when you call Dr Dre for help the audio goes up several notches. Along with the branding we would have loved to see a Beats Audio button too.

The battery life is not what you would expect from an Ultrabook or Sleekbook, but then you have to understand that it is a 14-inch device and needs more power. We got about six hours on regular usage, not the eight we were promised. Overall, the Envy 4 is ideal for those who want an entry-level Ultrabook without having to dole out too much moolah as much as it is for those who do not require the extra processing power.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT?
Affordable Ultrabook option, but lacking a bit of power.

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