HP’s premium line of laptops, the Envy series, is getting a lot more than a fresh coat of paint for the holidays.
The redesigned laptops offer the latest Intel and AMD processors, Beats Audio with a built-in knob for precision volume control, and a host of new features, like HP’s wireless audio, a proximity activated keyboard backlight, and a sleek new all-metal chassis.
The revamped Envy line is getting a complete redesign with several new features. Both the Envy 15 and the Envy 17 will feature HP’s Radiance wide-screen display with bright (350 nit) backlighting and much higher resolutions than the common 1366-by-768. Connections for HDMI and DisplayPort allow easy connection to projectors and HDTVs, or multiple monitors—the Envy laptops will support up three external displays simultaneously, plus the laptop display, for a total of four. The Envy line also features a new twist on the backlit keyboard, with a proximity sensor that activates the backlight when the user approaches, and deactivates it when no user is present. Individual LED lights provide a brighter glow for each key while minimizing light leakage.
Beats Audio has long been a key feature on the premium laptops, but HP has tweaked the Envy even further to provide a superior listening experience with more precise control. Perhaps the biggest such change is the inclusion of a physical volume control knob, designed to emulate the look and feel of premium analog stereo equipment, paired with precise digital control. The Envy laptops combine two top-firing speakers with four front-firing speakers and an integrated subwoofer to provide 6.1 audio. Headphone users aren’t left in the cold either thanks to an integrated amplifier. The new Envy laptops also come with HP Wireless Audio built in, letting users stream audio to any compatible sound system or adapter without requiring a dongle for the laptop.
In addition to the new display and premium audio, the HP Envy line has been tweaked to provide faster start-up and wake times. The HP Envy series is also getting HP’s ImagePad multitouch trackpads, CoolSense heat management, and perks like a two-year subscription to Norton Internet Security.
The smallest and most affordable of the bunch is the HP Envy 15, which starts at $1099.99. The Envy 15 features a 15.6-inch wide screen, but HP’s Radiance display offers up to 350 nits brightness and 1920-by-1080 resolution. Configurations are available with up to quad-core Core i7 processors and AMD Mobility Radeon dedicated graphics. The Envy 15 is available with either a traditional spinning hard drive or solid-state drive (SSD). HP claims that the Envy 15 provides up to nine hours battery life, but we look forward to testing that claim in the PCMag Labs. The HP ENvy 15 will be available starting Dec. 7.
The HP Envy 17 includes all of the new features of the Envy line, with a 17.3-inch display delivering 350-nit brightness and 1920-by-1080 resolution. Like its 15-inch sibling, the HP Envy 17 will be available in multiple configurations, with processors up to Intel Core i7 quad-core, and AMD graphics. The 17-inch Envy can be configured with a 128GB SSD, or up to 2TB using two mechanical drives. HP claims seven-hour battery life. The HP Envy 17 will be available Dec. 7, starting at $1,249.99.
The HP Envy 17 3D shares all of the same specifications as the Envy 17, but adds active 3D, in full 1080p high-definition with a 128-Hz display. The Envy 17 3D comes bundled with one pair of HP’s active shutter 3D glasses, but additional pairs are available for order through HP. The HP Envy 17 3D will be available Dec. 7, starting at $1,599.99.