To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

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

We had no trouble typing on the LED backlit keyboard, which has firm yet springy keys spaced comfortably apart. Almost all the punctuation keys were in the right places, with just the arrow keys cramped into the corner of the keyboard tray. The function keys are set to multimedia shortcuts by default and you have to press the fn modifier key to use them normally, but you can change this behaviour in the BIOS if you prefer.
HP Envy Spectre
The large glass touchpad is well-matched to the 16:9 screen, with minimal friction to make moving the mouse cursor around the desktop a breeze. It also works incredibly well with multi-touch gestures, but the integrated buttons are a real let-down. They are stiff and difficult to press down at the edge because they are completely surrounded by the glass wrist rest. This isn’t enough to spoil the experience of using the Spectre, but it’s definitely frustrating in an otherwise very good laptop.

With its unique design, fantastic screen and surprisingly good software bundle, including full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, the Spectre looks great on the surface, but dig a little deeper and it doesn’t look like great value. It’s significantly more expensive than the competition, including the Asus ZenBook UX31, which weighs less and has a faster processor. The Spectre is a great-looking laptop with a superb screen, but the UX31 remains our favourite Ultrabook.

Pages: 1 2 3

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