HP ENVY 15 NOTEBOOK PC: As Good As It Gets
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Hewlett-Packard's Envy has always been a reliable high-end PC laptop line. Its latest 15-incher is a great movie machine as well.
Ultrabooks may be taking the spotlight nowadays thanks to their compact size and powerful performance, but consumers' appetite for mainstream laptops has not waned all that much. Lots of folks aren't yet ready to give up their slightly larger screens with optical drives and discrete graphics. Reason is simple: high-end PC laptops come with a greater range of features and performance.
Recently, Hewlett-Packard introduced its redesigned Envy 15 notebook PC, extending a brand that some say borrows heavily from the design of the Apple MacBook Pro. I would not like to comment on this, but what I would like to emphasise is that the HP machine is attractive, uncluttered, well-made and is powered by the California-based tech company's own innovations. This includes HP CoolSense technology, which uses advanced hardware and intelligent software to automatically adjust performance and internal fan settings for a noticeably cooler PC, and HP ImagePad, which uses image sensor technology for precise multi-finger touch navigation. And with an estimated street price of R79,990, this HP piece of hardware and software is directly taking aim at other high-end 15-inchers like MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 15z and Samsung Series 7 Chronos. But how does it stack up? Let us find out.
When I first got hands-on with the Envy 15, I was impressed with its upscale look and feel. Our 15-inch test unit came to us in an all-metal chassis with rounded edges in a classic black and silver finish, and accented by subtle red details. The chassis redesign is a surefire improvement over previous models both superficially and internally. The Envy 15 features the Radiance Backlit keyboard that provides illumination using individual LEDs dedicated to each keycap. The keyboard also includes an advanced proximity sensor to illuminate when it detects a user approaching the notebook and deactivate after the user leaves. There are six built-in speakers and two subwoofers, and Beats Audio—a technology developed by HP and Beats by Dr Dre.
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