Pros 1600 X 900 screen and backlit keyboard! Mechanical audio adjust is very useful. Simple double tap to turn touchpad on and off is great. Looks nice. Lonngggg battery life.
Cons Dual 128 gig SSD storage means you have to effectively manage two hard drives. USB ports are only on the left side. A bit heavy for it's size. Power cord is a problem. It is stiff for about 1 - 1.5 inches from the plugin port on the right side. That me
Summary I only had this computer a few days before I sent it back. I've owned a Sony Vaio Z590 for about 4 years and I may be spoiled. The Envy 14 is heavier than it should be due to the glass. Looks nice but adds little functionality. I like to use a very lightweight corded mouse. You can't do that with this laptop since it has USB ports on the left side -- unless you are left handed which I'm not. Although I knew the computer had two 128 gig SSD drives when I bought it, it didn't dawn on me that I'd be managing two drives which is a pain and the main reasons I sent it back. The number one reason I bought it was the 1600 X 900 screen which was as expected and a delight. I am amazed that 13-14 inch laptops don't have this important feature. Battery life was long - very long and longer that I expected. The BEATS audio and manual audio adjust is very nice. I found myself using the mechanical audio adjust within minutes of getting the unit. HP customer service was good, courteous, and easy to contact but many of the reps don't have all their facts straight so be sure you know what you are doing when you call them. This computer was very quiet and the few days I had it I never heard the fan. If you don't care about the USB ports on the left and are fine managing multiple drives this computer may be for you. From the factory you can only get 4 gigs of RAM.
Pros - Thin bezel, makes the screen so much larger and more attractive to the eye.
- Stays very quiet and cool.
- (backlit) keyboard is very responsive, feels great to type.
- Loud & clear audio + 1600x900 resoltion for a great multimedia experience.
Cons - Expensive for its range.
- Heavier than other 'ultrabooks'
- Only 70 GB of storage space left after OS installation! (That is the standard 128 GB model)
- Glass cover attracts dust and fingerprints.
Summary The gorilla glass and the 'white-glowing' HP logo, were the very first things that caught my attention when looking at this laptop. I really liked it because it had a very unique touch and made it stand out from the dozens of computers on the shelve, but of course this is personal preference. The second thing I noticed was the price tag, ouch! This is definitely a premium notebook, you pay extra for the design and the beats audio. Other ultrabooks offer much better value for money, no questions asked. But if you don't mind spending the extra few hundred dollars, you are in for a great experience. The SSD makes this notebook incredibly fast. Bootup, browsing, email, loading up applications all feels very snappy and responsive. Listening to music is a real blast on this device. The sound is very clear and the 'oldschool' scrollwheel, to regulate volume adds a nice touch. When watching a high definition movie, it really does not feel like you are watching it on a 13inch laptop. The wide viewing angles allow multiple people to get a good picture quality, combined with the crisp audio this makes for a great mobile multimedia machine. But be aware, if you go for the basic model, you will only get around 70 GB of storage, not a lot of space for all them HD movies.
If you're looking for a unique looking, mobile but still capable of giving you an immersive multimedia experience, and the price tag doesn't bother you, the HP Envy 14 Spectre is a fantastic piece of hardware and I can only recommend it.
Pros Breathtaking design; gorgeous display; phenomenal sound quality; fast boot up from sleep; did I mention the breathtaking design?
Cons Pricey; no ram upgrade option; no discrete graphics; buttons on touchpad take getting used to
Summary So, let me just be totally open and honest here: I bought this because it's beautiful. Reading other reviews, people seem keen to point out that's it's a bit expensive, that it doesn't really "do" anything extraordinary, and that, for a little less money, you could compromise with something else. All true.
However, what Windows PCs have been sorely lacking is soul. In a sea of commonality and mediocrity, Apple's products have soared because of their beautiful, original designs (among other plusses). Windows PCs have been the ugly, cheap, plasticy brethren of lesser quality; the "poor-man's computer." Sure, the price tag is a little hefty, but if you have it, you won't regret it.
When you break this thing out in public, you turn heads. Compared to all the titanium/aluminum/metal-a-whats-its, this thing stands out. The glass is smooth to the touch, the sound from the internal speakers is shockingly good, and the display explodes in vibrant, vivid (albeit innacurate) color. Everywhere you can put your fingers, this machine exudes top-notch quality rarely seen on a Windows machine.
Though mine is an i5, it works well enough that I've never stopped to wish for a faster CPU or more RAM. That's important, because at the end of the day, you need enough power and speed to feel uninhibited, and this computer delivers. Other than gaming, which gets the kibosh because of a lack of integrated graphics, this computer runs "right," with no slowdown or choppiness, even on more processor-intensive software. This is the first time with a Windows laptop that I've really felt like I bought a premium, high-quality product.
Now, this isn't to say it's perfect. The touchpad is the major sour point, being oddly firm and resistant, so that if you don't focus on pushing it, you probably won't get it down. If you're used to multitouch gestures on a trackpad, though, then I wouldn't worry about it. The trackpad isn't Apple precise, but it's better than most other ultrabooks I've gotten my hands on.
I guess the big question is, "should you buy this?" I guess that depends on what you want. If you just need a functional, solid ultrabook, I'd probably recommend the Folio 13 or Macbook Air. Both are great machines that can clock in under the price point of the Spectre. If you want something original, have a little extra money to spend, and not looking like all the other metal-clones out there, this is the one for you, definitely.
Pros Gorgeous, scratch-resistant gorilla glass, beats audio, NFC technology, physical volume rocker, 1600 by 900 display, 14 in screen in a 13 in chassis. Better looking than a Mac book pro side by side.
Cons Only available with 4GB ram from HP thus far but you can upgrade it yourself. Lid slightly difficult to open. The trackpad is good but not perfect.
Summary I don't think people should write reviews if they have not used the product, that isn't the point. This is the best laptop I have owned. I am not worried about scratching the glass because it is Gorilla glass and very durable. I agree that it does look similar to a Macbook pro, however side by side the Envy Spectre is noticeably nicer. The glass is unique and amazing. The cons do not out weight the pros of owning this machine. The price is a little steep but I was able to get a student discount and bought it when they reduced the price for one day. I paid only 1300 total including tax, and this included upgrading the processor to the core i7. So for me this purchase was a no brainer. I could see other people thinking this is too expensive however without a discount.
Pros Fast machine, looks sharp, really good audio.
Cons Touchpad renders the machine absolutely unusable. Very poor keyboard. Abysmal support.
Summary After using this machine for a few weeks I am looking for a replacement. The overly sensitive touchpad means that it constantly has 'palm taps' even if touch tapping is completely turned off. I've worked through both HP support and a physical repair to no avail. I would strongly suggest you look at some of the other options out there before settling on this unit.