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HP Envy 6 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £699.99
inc VAT

An Ultrabook with a 10-hour battery life and strong performance for just £700 - the Envy 6 is a steal


15.6 in 1,366×768 display, 2.2kg, 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U, 4.00GB RAM, 500GB disk, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

HP’s Envy label has always been reserved for premium products with flashy design and strong performance, so it came as no surprise when the company announced its latest line of Ultrabooks would carry the Envy label. The 15.6in Envy 6 is a slim and light Ultrabook for a very reasonable £700.

HP Envy 6

In keeping with HP’s collaboration with Beats Audio, the Envy 6 is adorned in a mixture of black brushed metal and red rubberised plastic, which gives it a style you wouldn’t expect for the price of the laptop. Despite being just 20mm thick, the chassis still has room for plenty of ports, including three USB, two of which are USB3, a multi-format card reader, HDMI, Ethernet and twin 3.5mm audio jacks.

HP Envy 6

The dark colour scheme continues inside, with an all-black keyboard tray and metal-effect touchpad. This looks great, but it’s a shame the keyboard tray isn’t backlit to make it easier to use the laptop in low lighting. The Chiclet-style keys are all full-size and well-spaced for comfortable typing, with a reasonable amount of travel. They are springy enough to bounce back quickly, providing plenty of tactile feedback to your fingers as you type. By default, the function keys are mapped to HP’s own shortcuts, but you can change this behaviour in the BIOS.

We haven’t been particularly impressed with HP’s touchpads in the past, mainly because they’ve used an all-in-one design where the buttons are part of the touchpad. This design may not have changed, but the driver software certainly has, as we had none of the problems we’ve experienced in the past – the Envy 6’s touchpad was responsive and accurate, recognising multi-touch gestures and making it easy to navigate the Windows desktop. We especially like the way a double-tap to the top left corner will disable the touchpad completely, which is useful when you’re using a separate mouse and don’t want touchpad taps interfering with your typing.

HP Envy 6

Our first real criticism of the laptop centres on the display. A 1,366×768 resolution is standard for the price, but the image quality isn’t anything to shout about. The glossy finish gives colours plenty of pop, but also makes light reflections a real issue, although there is at least a decent amount of screen tilt to counter the effect. Viewing angles are very shallow, so we noticed changing colours when we weren’t looking at the laptop straight on, and the screen isn’t particularly bright, so it was difficult to pick out the details in some of our darker test images. The screen has been the highlight of other Envy laptops we’ve seen, so it’s disappointing to see such a basic one here.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
Processor Intel Core i5-3317U
Processor clock speed 1.7 GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 16GB
Size 374x20x253mm
Weight 2.2kg
Sound IDT HD Audio
Pointing device touchpad


Viewable size 15.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel HD 4000
Graphics/video ports HDMI
Graphics Memory 384MB


Total storage capacity 500GB
Optical drive type none

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 3
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots none
Supported memory cards SDXC, Memory stick Pro, MMC
Other ports minijack audio output, minijack microphone input, 2x USB3


Carrying case No
Operating system Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Office 2010 Starter edition
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £700