The idyllic faraway island of Sentosa (we jest!) was the ideal location for HP to introduce its fall PC refresh, with numerous new models in its netbook, notebook and desktop range. With media from the entire Asia Pacific including Japan in attendance, HP put up a dazzling show of strength befitting its status as the largest PC vendor in the world.
Join us as we bring you some of the event highlights that will be heading to a retail store near you come October 22nd.
The latest incarnation of the premium ENVY series that HP adopted after acquiring Voodoo in 2006, the ENVY 13 and ENVY 15 appear to take a page not from last year's Voodoo Envy 133 but from Cupertino. From its full body aluminum and magnesium chassis to a MacBook-ish multi-touch capable clickpad that integrates the buttons into the touchpad, the DNA of the ENVY definitely screams Apple to us.
HP did add its own distinctive touches, like the metallic etchings on the palm rest of the ENVY 13 and a Beats Audio subsystem developed with Beats by Dr Dre. Notably, HP's QuickWeb, a quick-boot utility that allows users to access their media, chat and browse online without booting into the operating system, is found on the ENVY and all other new notebooks introduced.
At least HP retains the Voodoo Envy's slim looks, with the ENVY 13 having a form factor that measures 0.8 inches thin and results in a weight of around 1.69kg, slightly more than the thin and light notebooks making the rounds recently. (Like all thin and light notebooks, HP has ditched the optical drive on the ENVY 13 to achieve this).
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the ENVY 13 is the radiance of the 13.1-inch widescreen display, which with its 82% color gamut and 410 nits (display brightness), is twice as bright as its competitors. This is complemented by a switchable graphics design, alternating between the usual integrated Intel graphics chipset and an ATI Mobility Radeon 4330 discrete graphics chipset.
Powered by a Core 2 Duo processor of the low voltage type, HP is claiming up to 18 hours of battery life with the optional Slim Fit extended battery, which attaches itself unobtrusively to the bottom of the notebook. While we don't doubt that the battery life will be significantly extended with this battery, we're eager to find out what the actual battery life would be in a real-world use scenario.
Available in Asia Pacific from Oct 22 (to coincide with Windows 7), the ENVY 13 is priced starting from US$1699.
Those requiring a more powerful multimedia notebook will find the ENVY 15 right up their alley. Starting from 2.35kg, the ENVY 15 is relatively svelte for its class, measuring one-inch thick and with similar features as the ENVY 13 like the HP Clickpad and aluminum chassis. However, the ENVY 15's display is slightly less bright compared to the ENVY 13 at 300 nits and 60% gamut, though these specs are still pretty good for its class.
The innards of this 15.6-inch notebook is the main protagonist as it is after all the faster consumer notebook in HP's lineup. One finds a Core i7 processor inside (we spotted Core i7 Q720) and 4 SODIMM slots for a maximum of 16GB of DDR3 memory. The storage options are similarly high-end, with dual solid state drives (SSD) in a RAID-0 configuration available for those who can afford to pay. ATI graphics is preferred again, with a worthy ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 with 1GB of graphics memory on the ENVY 15.
Prices for the ENVY 15 start from US$1899 and it's available from Oct 22.