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HP Envy 14 Spectre review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £1200
inc VAT

A great looking Ultrabook with a fantastic screen, but it's not particularly fast or light


14 in 1,600×900 display, 1.8kg, 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-2467M, 4.00GB RAM, 128GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

The Spectre isn’t the thinnest Ultrabook around, but at 20mm thick there’s ample room for a good selection of ports. As well as one USB3, one regular USB, a combined headphone and microphone audio jack, multi-format card reader and full-size Ethernet, the Spectre is also one of the first laptops we’ve seen with a Near field communication (NFC) reader, which will be useful to transfer information from devices such as NFC-enabled smartphones.
HP Envy Spectre
In terms of performance, the Spectre is fairly middle of the road – with a dual-core Intel i5-2467m processor running at 1.6GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. It managed 41 overall in our multimedia benchmarks, so you should be able to run almost any everyday task without complaint, although more intense tasks and running several applications at once might push the system. Battery life is excellent – in our light-use test, the Spectre managed over eight hours away from the mains. This puts it ahead of all the other Ultrabooks we’ve seen so far, and is second only to the MacBook Air in the ultraportable category – only netbooks last longer, and they’re far less powerful.

The Spectre doesn’t have a discrete graphics chipset, and instead relies on its processor’s integrated graphics. It’s easily able to handle high definition video, either at 720p on the laptop screen or 1080p on an external display using the HDMI or Mini DisplayPort outputs, but you’ll struggle to play modern games on it. In our Dirt 3 test, it could only manage a jerky 13.6fps, proving you’ll need to lower your expectations as well as your detail settings to get a playable frame rate.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core i5-2467M
Processor clock speed 1.6GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 8GB
Size 20x327x221mm
Weight 1.8kg
Sound IDT HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 14 in
Native resolution 1,600×900
Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics/video ports HDMI, mini DisplayPort
Graphics Memory 384MB


Total storage capacity 128GB
Optical drive type none

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 2
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDXC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Other ports minijack headset port, 1x USB 3.0


Carrying case Yes
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter Edition, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Premiere Elements
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £1,200