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HP Envy 6 (1010TU) review: HP Envy 6 (1010TU)

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.

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Craig Simms
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Craig Simms

Special to CNET News

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

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3 min read

It's kinda weird to get an ultrabook using last year's hardware, and be told that it's a new product.

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8.0

HP Envy 6 (1010TU)

The Good

Atttractive styling. Decent port selection. Excellent price point.

The Bad

Using last generation hardware. Worse than usual speakers. Bog standard, 1366x768 screen. Keyboard isn't backlit.

The Bottom Line

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.

Connectivity

  • 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.

Application performance

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia


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


While battery life is excellent, it doesn't match HP's other efforts in the ultrabook arena.

Conclusion

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.