It's kinda weird to get an ultrabook using last year's hardware, and be told that it's a new product.
- USB 3.0: 2
- USB 2.0: 1
- Optical: None
- Video: HDMI
- Ethernet: Gigabit
- Wireless: Single-channel 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0
Such is the case with HP's Envy 6, which uses a Core i5 2467M. Not necessarily a bad thing, but with third generation Core around and offering marked performance increases, it's at the very least anachronistic. Things become a little clearer when you realise it's all to hit a price point, with the Envy 6 selling for AU$999, even at the likes of Harvey Norman.
It is attractive, at least. Black, brushed aluminium, a red base and a thin profile for a 15.6-inch laptop all add up to something that's quite appealing. It's not as thin as the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which comes up at the same height as the Envy 6's keyboard, but it's nice to see the mid-weight crowd get decidedly slimmer.
Sadly, the screen doesn't match the same rate of progress. At 1366x768 and TN-based, this is standard budget laptop fodder, which cheapens the Envy brand. There is a 500GB mechanical hard drive inside though, paired with a 4GB flash drive to assist boot speed.
Ports are befitting of a laptop of this size, with two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, an SD card reader, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks.
HP has employed a standard level Synaptics pad for its clickpad, and the keyboard is serviceable, but not backlit. Despite carrying the Beats logo, the speakers included are quite hissy and treble biased, also attenuating volume when it gets too much for the equipment used. You can get something vaguely acceptable by fiddling with the settings in the Beats control panel, but it can't overcome the fact that the speakers simply aren't very good.
Wireless options are towards the budget end of the spectrum, with 2.4GHz 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 included.
Handbrake encoding (in seconds)
- 541HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
The hardware configuration puts the Envy 6 within spitting distance of the Spectre 14, but still a large distance behind the third generation Core laptops.
Battery life (time)
- Heavy battery test
- Light battery test
- 6h 58m
- Dell XPS 14 (Core i7 3517U, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, GeForce GT 630M)
- 6h 27m
- HP Folio 13 (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 6h 7m
- HP Envy 14 Spectre (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 5h 42m
- Fujitsu Lifebook U772 (Core i5 3427U, 4GB RAM, 500GB HD + 32GB SSD cache)
- 5h 23m
- Asus ZenBook UX31 (Core i7 2667M, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- 5h 10m
- HP Envy 6 1010TU (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD)
- 5h 8m
- Toshiba Satellite Z830 (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 4h 52m
- Samsung Series 5 Ultra 13.3-inch (Core i5 2467, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 4h 41m
- Samsung Series 5 Ultra 14-inch (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Radeon HD 7550M)
- 4h 25m
- Sony Vaio T 11.6 (Core i5 3317U, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 4h 21m
- Asus ZenBook Prime UX31A (Core i7 3517U, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD)
- 3h 21m
- Asus ZenBook UX21 (Core i7 2667M, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
- 2h 54m
- Acer Aspire S3 (Core i5 2467M, 4GB RAM, 320GB HDD)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
While battery life is excellent, it doesn't match HP's other efforts in the ultrabook arena.
For less than AU$1000, the Envy 6 is quite a good deal, with an excellent build quality and attractive design. To get there, though, the company had to use last-generation specs. For most, this won't be a bother, but if you want better performance, wait for the refresh.