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HP Envy 14-1195ea Beats Edition review: HP Envy 14-1195ea Beats Edition

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The Good Cool, modern design; Strong performance; Comes bundled with Beats headphones.

The Bad Expensive; Annoying trackpad design; Not the brightest screen; No Blu-ray player.

The Bottom Line If you're after a stylish desktop replacement machine, this is a cool twist on the Envy line of laptops. The trackpad is quite annoying though, and there's no Blu-ray player on board, so think carefully before throwing down your notes

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.5 Overall

Review Sections

If you read our review of the HP Envy 14 and thought to yourself, "Hmm. I like it, but it looks like a laptop for fusty old losers with no appreciation for skull-exploding bass," then we have a real treat for you. This is the Envy 14 Beats Edition, which offers some ravishing extra features, including a bundled pair of Beats by Dr. Dre Solo headphones

It also comes, however, with an RRP of £1,400, which is a huge wedge of wonga, even for superstar producers. Is it worth the cash?

Paint it black

In terms of construction, the Envy 14 Beats laptop is very similar to the regular Envy 14. With this version, however, you get a matte-black finish on the lid and wrist rest, and an attractive chrome trim around the chassis. We're not sold on the huge Beats logo that adorns the lid itself, but the more subtle design touches, such as the Beats 'B' on the keyboard and the red accent colours elsewhere look great.

That matte finish does have a tendency to attract fingerprints and smudges, so beware if you're the kind of compulsive polisher who needs their tech to remain pristine at all times.

The 14.5-inch display has a maximum resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, and while we've seen brighter panels before, this screen is clear and sharp.

This is a really chunky laptop -- the metal casing means it weighs quite a lot, and at 2.58kg it's hardly the most portable laptop we've ever picked up. It's quite thick too, so if you're looking for something slender to slide sensually into a satchel, keep looking.

This laptop is definitely more of a desktop replacement -- portable in principle, but primarily to squat on a desk providing all manner of multimedia delights through a multitude of ports.

Brace for marketing speech...

So, how well will this machine fit into your life? (Saying that made us feel a bit dirty.) Around the edges you'll find an Ethernet port, a mini DisplayPort, an HDMI output, three USB ports, one of which doubles up as an eSATA port, a DVD rewritable drive (not Blu-ray) and 3.5mm sockets for headphones and a microphone. There's also a webcam stuck on the bezel just above the display.

The lack of Blu-ray is disappointing, especially considering how much you're shelling out for the privilege. There's also no VGA on board, which limits your video-output options.

As far as usability goes, this laptop keeps all the same problems that the standard Envy 14 suffered from, namely a trackpad that's lovely and big, but like so many HP laptops extends the touch-sensitive area to the click buttons themselves, so you might find yourself accidentally nudging the cursor when all you want to do is click. That's so annoying you might just end up administering some beats yourself.

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