CNET First Look
HP Envy 14 Beats EditionHP's Envy 14 Beats Edition is a black-clad copy of the well-built standard Envy 14, available (at least for now) without a price premium.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here today with the HP Envy 14 Beats Edition. Now, if you've actually been fairly big fans of the 2nd generation of Envy laptop of HP, they have the same kind of like cool design and really nice craftsmanship as the original Envy laptops, but they were a lot less expensive, starting as little as $99 for the 14-inch model. Just like the original Envy's, this new generation also has a specialized beats edition, it's basically the same laptop, except it's in a black case, and originally, this came with a pair of beats audio headphones. The whole things design is sort of emphasized that partnership with the beats audio guys, those are the guys who makes those Beats by Dre headphones. Now, this Envy 14 is actually virtually identical to the regular Envy 14 that we reviewed just a little while ago. Originally, the beats version was going to cost a little bit more and come with those Beats headphones. As of right now, you actually don't get the headphones with it anymore, but the price if you can figure this thing the same as the regular Envy, is actually the same, so you're not really paying a premium for the really cool, actually, black design, which is something we liked a lot. However, you cannot downgrade this guy to that basic 999 level, so it's a little bit expensive with the regular Intel Core i5 processor. All the standard stuffs we liked about the Envy series is here. The big edge-to-edge glass over the display, the backlight keyboard, in this case, it's a red backlight coming through matte black keys, and of course, that big Multi-touch touchpad, which is about as good as you can find on the PC, but the multi-touch commands, like scrolling and things like that, really don't come close to what Apple does. The Apple's experience is a lot smoother and this, of course, likes inertial scrolling that makes scrolling on your iPad, your MacBook, even your iPhone feel so realistic. This is a multi-media machine, so you get mini display port and HTDI, along with a slot-loading DVD player, and of course that beats audio partnership means there's a specialized hardware and software inside that's supposed to enhance your audio experience. It's certainly a really good-sounding laptop. They claimed it's even better when you pair it and equipped with branded beats headphones. I'm not so sure you have to go that far. Now, because they're so similar on the inside, or you may have trouble telling the difference between the beats version of the HP Envy 14 and the regular Envy 14, if the black case is not enough to give the way, this guy replaces the "B" button with a Beats audio logo, which is kind of stylized B, and of course, there's also a giant logo right on the back. I'm Dan Ackerman and that is the HP Envy 14 Beats Edition.