HP Envy Hands On: MacBook Pro Clone Better Than The Real Thing?

Holy hell! That's a Windows 7 Macbook Pro with an HP logo. That was my thought upon seeing the HP Envy. The new premium line shows blatant signs of Apple ripoff, but its got features that could make 'em better.

The Envy 13 and 15 wave goodbye to Voodoo's Envy 133, which was an overpriced ultraportable that had only style to save it from total inhalation. These Envys keep that style and blast it out in performance. Both are built from the same stuff — aluminium and magnesium with subtle etching on the lids and palmrests. Shocked to hear they both have island style keyboards and multitouch trackpads with integrated mouse buttons? Don't be because HP isn't hiding the fact that they absolutely stole their look and ergonomics from the Macbook Pros. The $US1699 13-inch Envy isn't as powerful as the $US1799 Envy 15's Core i7 processor, but its beautiful screen has been in my dreams.

Envy 13 The Envy 13 is smaller than the Macbook (and lots of ultraportables on the market) and closer in size to the Air. When the lid is closed it is .8-inches thin and it weighs 3.74 pounds. Its screen, which has a strikingly similar frameless bezel to the unibody Macbook family, is absolutely stunning. Dubbed an HP Radiance, the 410 nit display is apparently two times as bright as other LED displays. And honestly it looked it; in comparison to the Macbook's, the same picture was noticeably brighter and clearer.

It crams switchable ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4330 graphics and an Intel ultra low voltage Core 2 Duo processor inside. Its standalone battery promises 7 hours of battery life, however its battery slice is actually sweet (yea, I effin said a battery slice was cool). It magnetically clips to the bottom of the notebook to make it look like it is part of the actual build. HP promises 18 hours of juice with that thing clipped on. That would run any of the Giz team's MacBooks under the table. Did I mention it has Dr. Dre's fingers all over it with Beats Audio integration?

Envy 15 Where the Envy 13 leaves off in performance the Envy 15 picks up and knocks the crap out of it. The 15.6-inch version looks pretty similar to the 13, but is laser etched all around (on the palmrest and the lid) and lacks the flush glass display with the high quality Radiance technology. Inside it will out preform any laptop we have seen on the market since it will have Intel's next generation mobile Core i7 processors, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics and support for up to 16GB of RAM. The beast will also have two hard drive bays and you can fill those both with SSDs. It will only come with the 64-bit version of Windows 7.

Told you they could be beat the Macbook Pros and that it would be worth your while to wait to buy a notebook in October. Both will be available on Oct. 15 (you can upgrade them to Win 7 after Oct. 22). And if I didn't give you enough details, the full release is below. [HP]

HP Redefines the Premium Notebook PC with ENVY Precision-crafted, high-performance notebooks are bright, thin,deliver superb experience

PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 15, 2009 – HP today redefines the premium notebook PC experience with the introduction of the HP ENVY sub-brand, which offers customers precision-crafted, high-performance models featuring HP Metal Etching and concierge service and support.

The new HP ENVY 13 boasts the brightest display in its class, and the HP ENVY 15 is the company's fastest consumer notebook PC ever. "HP ENVY includes the latest in materials and technology inside and out and pushes the technological and performance boundaries of what can be done in sleek, powerful and lightweight notebook PCs," said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. "Discerning consumers will get a premium experience and performance."

With HP ENVY, the focus is on designing an entire premium experience to satisfy the most demanding customers – from the products to the packaging to the service and support.

Breakthrough HP Metal Etching on the lid and palmrest of the ENVY 15, and on the palmrest of the ENVY 13, subtly signals luxury. The combination of materials provides exceptional mobility and a compelling metal look and feel, while using energy-responsible manufacturing methods.

The HP ENVY line – building upon the Voodoo ENVY legacy – includes leadingedge components optimised to yield power and performance. HP partnered with Beats by Dr. Dre to develop a unique, high-performance subsystem tuned for today's music and available exclusively on the HP Envy: Beats Audio. Envy users will feel the music – not just listen – and enjoy music the way the artist intended.

The lightweight heavyweight: ENVY 13 The ENVY 13 balances style and substance. Carefully crafted details inside and out will satisfy the cravings of demanding mobile customers.

The HP Radiance display is twice as bright as other notebook displays in its class – 410 nit (a measurement of display brightness) – and provides an exceptional movie and photo experience, even in high ambient light conditions. With 82 percent colour gamut (versus standard 45-60 percent), photos appear richer with amazing colour depth. Additionally, with fast 8-millisecond response time, customers can view movies with TV-like performance.

The ENVY 13's strong performance is delivered in a small frame – less than an inch thin and weighing 3.74 pounds.(1) The exterior's aluminium and magnesium construction provides durability in a sleek design. An etched-metal palmrest further sets the PC apart from others, and a VGA webcam(3) optimised for low light also is included.

HP placed the same focus on design into its optional Slim Fit Extended-Life Notebook Battery. Taking the form of a "slice," it preserves the sleek look of the ENVY 13 while giving users up to 18 hours of battery life with the extended-life battery.(2) The standard battery is user-replaceable. ATI Switchable Graphics technology dynamically switches between ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4330 discrete graphics and the Intel® integrated graphics processor for either high-powered graphics processing or low power consumption for long battery life without booting the notebook. The Intel Core™ 2 Duo processor provides the power of dual processor cores while delivering extended battery life when the notebook is unplugged.

Designed with the most demanding mobile user in mind, the ENVY 13 notebook's premium AC adaptor is small and light. It draws minimal power, has built-in surge protection and includes a rubberized strap that keeps the cables organized and the adaptor from slipping off a slick surface. An optional HP USB Ethernet adaptor also is available.

The performance powerhouse: ENVY 15 This lean, mean, dream machine is HP's fastest consumer notebook. The full metal case features a sleek, subtly crafted, laser-etched metal design on the lid that is repeated on the palmrest. The magnesium alloy casing provides lightweight durability in a 1-inch thin, 5.18-pound package. (1)Customers have maximum speed and mobility with the future Intel Core i7 processor(4) and up to 16 gigabytes (GB) of DDR3 1,066-MHz system memory in four SODIMM memory slots. Versatile storage options include the ability to add two solid-state drives in a RAID-0 configuration to improve the overall speed of the ENVY 15 while providing excellent disk performance. Creative users will appreciate the ENVY 15 notebook's performance and full versions of Corel® Paint Shop Pro® Photo X2 and Corel VideoStudio® Pro X2 for creating photo and video content.

Power users and gamers can take advantage of premium graphics performance via ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics with 1 GB of dedicated video memory for visually intense applications, DirectX® 10.1 games and highdefinition video playback.

A choice of two 15.6-inch HP Brightview high-resolution LED backlit displays, including the Full High Definition LED HP Ultra BrightView Widescreen Display with up to 300-nits brightness, provides a superb display experience for a notebook in this class. A Nightvision VGA webcam that is optimised for low-light or zero-light conditions is standard on the HP ENVY 15, incorporating an infrared LED that assists the webcam(3) by providing the necessary illumination in dark environments.

The ENVY 15 has an optional Slim Fit Extended-Life Notebook Battery, giving users up to seven hours of battery life.(2)

Designing the ENVY experience The HP ENVY line includes a 360-degree approach to product design – from the products to the packaging: • Building upon HP's success with instant-on technology, HP QuickWeb allows customers to access key applications without booting the PC. In less than 30 seconds, users can access the Internet, music, videos and photos, and email.(3) • HP Clickpad integrates the buttons into the touchpad and allows for fluid movements, while also allowing users to disable the clickpad if desired. • The keyboard's direct-action keys (versus typical function keys) allow users to quickly access often-used commands such as print and volume adjustment. • Minimal desktop clutter and trial software adds to notebooks' simplicity. • An optional external optical drive complements the ENVY design and gives users the flexibility to carry the extra weight only when necessary. Two USB ports also transform the drive into a dock for additional capability. • The ENVY 13 and 15 are presented in streamlined paper carton boxes using minimal ink. Included in the packaging is a simplified setup poster and documentation contained within an SD card.

Concierge service and support The ENVY experience extends to premium service and support via the awardwinning HP Total Care program. This includes expert agents dedicated to addressing ENVY customers' questions via phone, online chat and email as well as next-day shipping for hardware customer service.

Pricing and availability The HP ENVY 13 and ENVY 15 are expected to be available in the United States on Oct. 18 with a starting price of $US1,699 and $US1,799, respectively.(5) Register for availability notification at www.hpdirect.com/go/newfromhp. Additional information about HP ENVY is available at www.hp.com/go/ENVY.

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