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Review: HP Envy 15
3.1Overall Score

Price (RRP): $1499
Manufacturer: HP

Thin and light isn’t on the checklist for everyone, so if you need big and speedy, HP hopes to fit the bill with something to make all of your friends jealous, or a little bit envious. Does it succeed with the Envy 15, or would you be better off with something else?

Features and performance

Computers have sure changed over the past decade. Remember when everyone was carrying around something thick and back-breaking?

These days, you can get something that barely weighs more than a binder, or even a tablet, now that laptops can be based on hardware that doesn’t tend to weigh much, such as the ever-light processor, memory, and solid-state drives taking the place of the heavier and bulkier hard drive.

But while you can get super thin and ultra-light computers, they’re not for every purpose.

In fact, if what you’re after is a large quantity of space or a wider display than the 11 to 13 inch screens out there, the older and thicker style of computer is what you’ll want to look towards. These machines tend to be larger and heavier, relying on the older parts like conventional hard drives, and while they can be reduced in size, they also generally feature wider and thicker cases, suggesting more weight.

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HP’s Envy 15 is one such model, and in this computer, it feels as if HP is channeling technology for people who don’t necessarily desire thin and light, but definitely need space and specs, which appears to be where this is aimed at.

Arriving with an Intel Core i7 from the fifth-generation of chips, also known as “Broadwell”, you’ll find this computer runs at 2.4GHz and shares its operation with 8GB RAM and 2TB of storage operating on a 5400RPM conventional hard drive.

None of that solid-state stuff here, with space to spare thanks to the large drive that is being relied on.

You may even find this machine a little more capable than some of the ultrabooks out there thanks to the inclusion of a discrete graphics chip, with the Nvidia GeForce GTX950M making an appearance in this computer alongside the Intel HD 5500 graphics used on this machine for not-so-graphically-intensive operations.

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Connections for the HP Envy aren’t so bad, with 802.11a/b/g/n and 802.11ac supported, alongside Bluetooth 4.0, four USB 3.0, one HDMI, one Ethernet, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headset jack.

Bang & Olufsen provides the sound for the Envy, and you’ll find the speakers below a 15.6 inch HD display, allowing touch on the 1366×768 display.

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Aesthetically, HP isn’t going to change things dramatically with this machine, and the silver aluminium body is certainly nice enough on the eye and pleasant to rest your wrists on, though it is by no means the machined aluminium unibody you see out of Apple, nor is it the sleek rectangular alloy box Microsoft works with in its computers.