So what do you do when you’re the largest personal computer manufacturer in the world, and other manufacturers are nipping at your heels, waiting for you to trip? Do you quiver in fear, threaten to wind up your business and call it a day? Nope. You do what HP does, which is to get back in there, and continue to churn out products that people actually want to use. Products like the new HP Envy 15. This 15.6-inch, Core i7 notebook is one of the latest additions to the Envy line of products.
By now you should already know that the Envy line is made up of HP’s premium notebooks, and of course, the 2.63kg Envy 15 is no different. It has all the premium features and ports one can hope for in a Windows based mobile workhorse, and naming all of them would simply take up too much space. To save you the hassle, we point out the most notable aspects of the Envy 15 in this review (with the main specs lined out here).
To differentiate themselves from the bottom-of-the-barrel type of notebooks, HP opted to build the Envy 15 (mostly) out of aluminum, a 'premium' feature for a notebook's build quality. Two basic colors, black on the lid and bottom, silver in the middle, gives the notebook a clean and classic look. While it’s basic shape (and even color and build) reminds us greatly of an Apple MacBook Pro, it may not be a bad thing. In fact if you observe close enough, it’s actually slightly curvier than a MacBook Pro, and is easier to grip like a folio.
The HP Envy 15 also has no shortage of ports and should easily satisfy the most demanding multimedia content creators who need to dabble with multiple inputs and outputs. It's got two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, a RJ45 LAN port, an HDMI port, and a regular sized DisplayPort. Hopefully you wouldn't mind the lack of an old school VGA port. Apart from connectivity, one of the better features implemented on the notebook that caught our attention was the side volume jog dial that is accessible even without opening the lid or using the OS volume control. It's not a lifesaver nor a deal breaker, but it just makes volume control a tad more effortless.
On the bottom machine, the HP Envy 15 is quite featureless. All you can see are a couple of vents, and a line that reveals the existence of an aluminum cover that hides the battery. Once you pop it open, you will be able to see the unit’s massive battery, and a couple of small subwoofers. So where are the main speakers? Those have been consciously positioned upfront where it makes listening to audio much more pleasant and clear.