HP Envy 14-2000ea review
14.5 in 1,366x768 display, 2.5kg, 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-2410M, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
HP’s Envy laptops were simply gorgeous when they first appeared a few years ago – they were among the only Windows-based machines capable of giving Apple a run for its money where it comes to design. Little has changed on the outside, but this latest model has brand new internal components to keep it up to date.
First up is an Intel Core i5-2410M processor running at 2.3GHz. This dual-core chip is more than capable of completing everyday tasks, and can also hold its own when it comes to more intense workloads thanks to Turbo Boost, which can push its clock speed up to 2.9GHz. Paired with 4GB of RAM, it achieved an overall score of 53 in our multimedia benchmarks.
It also copes well with gaming, thanks to an AMD Radeon 6630M dedicated graphics card. With its 1GB of dedicated video memory, it eased its way to 34fps in our Dirt 3 test. Unsurprisingly, it’s also powerful enough for watching high definition video, although you’ll need to connect an external display to watch 1080p content at its native resolution.
Dedicated graphics don’t have to come at the expense of battery life, as the Envy 14 can dynamically switch between the AMD card and Intel’s integrated GPU. In our light use test, the laptop managed over five hours away from the mains, so you should be able to get a fair amount of work done on a single charge.
The Envy 14 is also well equipped for multimedia playback. A slot-loading DVD writer looks great and is ideal for watching films on the 14in display plus the internal speakers have Beats by Dr. Dre branding. In practice, this doesn’t mean a huge amount – Beats is essentially an equaliser preset. When activated, bass was slightly more audible than on other laptops, but we would still recommend using a set of dedicated speakers.