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73PRO SCORE
GIVE IT AN OVERALL RATING
3.67469879518072 10 5 0
3.67469879518072
83 VOTES

The HP Envy 15 is one of two laptops released in 2009 as HP’s new flagship units for the Envy line.

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Pros

great screen (LED backlight, 1080p resolution)

6 agree

very slick design

6 agree

extra battery slice fits underneath the entire laptop which means you don't need to swap out batteries for more life

5 agree

comes with one of the most powerful mobile dedicated graphic cards available (as of Fall 2009)

4 agree

Great overall performance

4 agree

very loud and clear sound for a laptop

3 agree

very good battery life despite the powerful specs

3 agree

extremely flexible touchpad with a lot of different gestures

3 agree

beats the Macbook Pro in value for the dollar (in Canada by far)

3 agree

laptop is still portable (size, weight) while still being powerful

3 agree

built-in webcam has special features to work in low-light situations

3 agree

gesture based touch pad

3 agree

HDMI output

3 agree

very solid construction

3 agree

runs surprisingly cool and quiet

2 agree

very nice packaging

2 agree

ridiculously light with no battery

1 agrees

handles sleep and hibernate transitions well

1 agrees

has retained its value very well

1 agrees

good keyboard that makes typing quick and easy

1 agrees

uses up very little battery while in sleep mode

1 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Cons

pretty expensive

5 agree

poor battery life, even with the battery slice

2 agree

trackpad is very buggy

2 agree

extra battery slice weighs almost 3 pounds on its own

2 agree

unit gets pretty hot under load

2 agree

No optional backlit keyboard

1 agrees

HDMI output only, need a special adapter to connect it to many monitors

1 agrees

extra column of keys on the very left can get annoying with many accidental pushes

1 agrees

substantial shipping delays

1 agrees

fans can get loud even when just idling

1 agrees

no TPM support

1 agrees

default auto-dimming settings are far too aggressive and become distracting

1 agrees

Beats branding - Monster Cable, stupid celebrity endorsement

1 agrees

default auto-dimming is way too aggressive and is quite distracting

1 agrees

poor quality control with some units being great, while others have defects

0 agrees

no SSD option as standard (might have to do a custom upgrade)

0 agrees

no internal optical drive

0 agrees
  • Only 3 words are allowed.
Edit

 

The HP Envy 15 is one of two laptops released in 2009 as HP’s new flagship units for the Envy line. It is the superior of the two, as it built to handle Intel’s next generation Core i7 quad-core processor; the base model comes with a 1.6GHz processor. Included also is a large 15” widescreen display with two resolution options: 1366x768 or 1920x1080. It’s also very gamer friendly, as it can handle 16GB of regular RAM and also boasts a Radeon HD 4830 graphics card with 1GB of VRAM. Note that the Envy 13 does not come prepackaged with an optical drive, but users have the option of purchasing a USB-connectable Blu-ray drive if they so desire. It is scheduled to ship in October 2009 and will include Microsoft Windows 7. Additional features include a 2-in-1 Integrated Digital Media Reader, integrated Gigabit LAN, and an HDMI port.

Features
  • HP Envy Flagship (2009)
  • Intel Core i7 Quad-Core
  • Radeon HD 4830
  • 15” Widescreen Display
  • Integrated Webcam
  • Tiled Keyboard
  • Glass Touchbad
  • Beats Audio
  • HDMI
  • Digital Media Reader
  • Gigabit LAN
Post Review
Omar
12/16/2009 06:25

I've owned my Envy for a few weeks now, and overall I have to say that I'm extremely pleased with the machine. It meets all of my major criteria:
* VERY powerful
* great screen
* coming in a light and portable package
* all while being somewhat affordable

Affordability is obviously debatable but when put up against a comparable Macbook Pro when upgraded to as close to the specs as possible the Envy comes in hundreds of dollars cheaper, and that's with the Envy still having a better processor and graphics card.

However, not everything is roses and peaches. The biggest drawback, particularly compared to the MBP, is the battery life. Without the extra heavy slice and decent use, you're not looking at much more than an hour, hour and a half. All-day-work laptop this is not. When you combine that with the fact that the power supply is quite heavy in its own right, not to mention the heavy extra battery you can't just pick it up and go like with the Macbook Pro.

The other major complaint I have is the heat/fan sounds. When you're not doing anything intense with the laptop it's quite silent (especially if you follow some of the tips I link to below). However, when doing anything somewhat performance related such as watching Flash movies or playing the game the fans start going very quickly. And if you continue the demanding task the laptop can heat up to very hot temperatures until the fans go into "super" mode (you'll know what I'm talking about when you hear it, trust me) that lasts for a few minutes until the laptop gets back down to reasonable levels.

At the end of the day though these are realistic compromises for putting some of the most powerful and capable components inside of a laptop, and then keeping that laptop as light and thin as the Envy. Sure, you could have some Alienware, or Toshiba monstrosity that provides the same performance, but you also better budget some chiropractor appointments from lugging those things around.

Two things that I'd like to mention.

1) Gaming performance. This thing suits my gaming needs and more. It plays Crisis that looks great, Street Fighter 4, Mirror's Edge. I just don't worry about whether or not the game will work on this laptop and that's a great feeling to have. I just crank up all the settings and still get great framerates.

2) The Screen. WOW. The screen is amazing. The 1080p resolution is fantastic gives A LOT of usable real estate, and the image quality is the best I've ever seen.

Now for the ultimate question: Is the Envy better than the Macbook Pro? For me, it's a definite YES. I don't travel too much, so I don't require the better portability that the MBP offers. And if I do need longer battery life for a specific reason then I'll just bring the extra battery and I'm pretty much covered. Also Windows 7 is actually a very fair comparison to OSX. Many people, and I'm starting to include myself as one of them, consider Win7 to be better than the Mac operating system.

Overall, if you're in the market for a high-end laptop you have to at least consider this option, and I highly recommend picking it up.

Lastly, if you DO pick up an Envy then check out some quick tips I wrote up to get the most out of your machine. 5 Tips and Tricks to get the most out of your HP Envy 15

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