BENEATH the Prada-like packaging of HP's Envy 15 lies a premium notebook aimed at the Apple-loving crowd.
|HP Envy 15
|» Price: $3,699
» Available: From HP Singapore online store and major electronics retailers
In fact, the Envy 15 resembles the current Apple MacBook Pro in its use of individually raised keys and a touchpad where the mouse buttons also sit.
That is as far as the borrowing from Apple goes. Other than that, the Envy15 crafts its own identity to stand out from run-of-the-mill designs.
Its lid and palm rest, for instance, have laser-etched patterns that look somewhat like snakeskin. The patterns also provide good grip.
With a body made of magnesium alloy, you get an inch-thin package that is also durable.
At 2.35kg, however, the machine is hardly lightweight by netbook standards.
But if you appreciate the beefcake's gorgeous 15.6-inch screen and its tremendous computing power, weight should not be a deterrent.
From design to electronics, the Envy15 exudes a sense of class. It is the top PC maker's fastest consumer notebook so far, boasting the high-end Intel Core i7 720QM 1.6GHz mobile processor, 8GB of DDR3 memory and a 500GB hard drive.
Not surprisingly, the netbook aced the PCMark Vantage benchmark test that grills PCs on a suite of computing tasks with 5,960 points.
Its computing muscle is evident in tasks that require serious data-crunching such as video editing, using the bundled Corel VideoStudio 12.
With a high score of 7,216 points in the 3DMark06 graphics test suite, this device should be able to handle most video- and image-editing jobs you throw at it.
Watching high-definition QuickTime movie trailers and DVDs was a pleasure.
The multimedia experience was augmented by the built-in Beats Audio speakers which gave sufficient clarity and volume in both digital music and movies.
With a large screen and powerful processor, battery life inevitably takes a backseat. I managed to squeeze just under two hours of Web browsing without firing up any other application.
A backup nine-cell battery, which doubles the amount of time you get on the notebook, is included. But the hefty add-on, which snaps into the base of the notebook, plumps up both weight and bulk.
By Aaron Tan, a freelance writer
Plenty of style and computing power, at the expense of battery life.
This story was first published in The Straits Times Digital Life.
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