Preview: HP’s 14-inch 3200 x 1800 QHD Envy 14 Notebook

Preview: HP’s 14-inch 3200 x 1800 QHD Envy 14 Notebook

Beyond Retina

The Envy 14 TouchSmart Ultrabook is one of the few 14-inch notebooks to sport a QHD display - a whopping 3200 x 1800 pixels.

The iPhone 4, being the first electronic gadget to feature Apple’s Retina display, ushered in an era of high pixel density displays. Smartphone makers today are obsessed with pixel densities and continue to compete with rivals offering ever high resolution displays with greater pixel densities.

The same is true for notebooks. Although notebook display resolutions still have a bit of catching up to do, the bulk of new notebooks today do offer at least Full HD (1080p) resolution. And then there are those that go beyond, like the new HP Envy 14 we have here.

3200 x 1800 pixels!

The highlight of this new notebook has got to be its QHD multitouch display. This means it has a resolution of 3200 x 1800 pixels and a pixel density count of around 262 pixels per inch - greater than the Retina displays on Apple’s Retina MacBook Pro notebooks. And as you would expect, the Envy 14 TouchSmart’s display is gorgeous to behold. Everything looks sharp and fonts have very smooth edges. The touchscreen-enabled display also supports up to 10-point touch simultaneously, which we found to be accurate and responsive to use.

Elsewhere, the Envy 14 is powered by a fourth generation Intel Core processor, specifically the dual-core Core i5-4200U (1.6GHz, 3MB cache, HyperThreading), sports 8GB of RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M discrete graphics with 2GB of DDR3 framebuffer and a 750GB HDD with HP’s ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection and augmented by a 24GB mSATA cache.

As befits a premium Ultrabook, the Envy 14 TouchSmart has a backlit keyboard. The trackpad is also sizable and accurate to use. 

In terms of design, the Envy 14 TouchSmart has an aluminum front lid and a plastic base with matte rubber coating. It feels solidly built, weighs about 2kg and is around 2cm thick, which means portability should not be much of an issue. The Envy 14 TouchSmart also offers a pretty standard selection of I/O connectivity, including three USB ports, a memory card reader, HDMI output and an Ethernet jack.

On the left, there is an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports and a memory card reader.

To the right, an Ethernet jack, a single USB 2.0 port and headphones jack.

The HP Envy 14 TouchSmart also features Beats audio and has an integrated subwoofer. Unfortunately, its audio performance is nothing to shout about, though it did sound a little better than most notebooks.

The HP Envy 14 TouchSmart will be available at COMEX 2013 next week and will retail for S$1699. Purchase at COMEX and you will also receive some Comex-only freebies to go along wit this new 'shining armor' of a notebook.

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