August 11, 2012 00:00 By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The new glass covered ultrabook from HP doesn't just look good, it also packs in lots of great features
A premium Ultrabook computer with great performance, the HP Envy 14 Spectre stands out from the crowd with its sleek glass-covered body.
The Spectre uses lightweight, scratch-resistant glass on the lid, display, palmrest and HP ImagePad, making it both tough and sexy.
It looks very chic too, with midnight black glass on the outside and silver glass on the inside.
It uses the HP Radiance Backlit keyboard, which provides outstanding illumination and also has individual LEDs dedicated to each keycap. The keyboard works with an advanced proximity sensor to intelligently sense a user’s presence, lighting up when you approach and dimming down after you leave.
Its high-definition HP Radiance Display looks sharp and bright with high resolution of 1,600 x 900 pixels and rich colour for better brightness and wider viewing angles. And while it comes in a 13.3-inch body, it still manages to provide a full 14-inch display.
Envy 14 Spectre can also serve as a high-quality stereo system. It is equipped with a matching audio-grade speaker mesh and Beats Audio, which is the high-performance technology developed by HP and Beats by Dr Dre. The aluminium analog volume dial acts as a visual design cue and works seamlessly with Beats Audio Manager to precisely adjust audio levels.
It also has built-in HP Wireless Audio that allows you to stream uncompressed audio to up to four external devices or directly to any KleerNet-compatible device. KleerNet is a complete hardware and software solution that enables wireless audio in home and portable products and features interoperability across products and brands.
As one would expect, Envy 14 Spectre meets all Intel’s requirements of Ultrabook PC. It is only20-mm thick, weighs about 1.81 kg and boasts up to 9 hours of battery life. It uses Intel Rapid Start Technology and has two ultrafast mSATA solid state drives each of 128 GB, allowing for quick boot and resume times.
I found that Envy 14 Spectre started up in just about one second and shut down in less than two. It also took less than a second to exit sleep mode.
The model tested was the Envy 14 14-3014TU, which is powered by a 2nd generation Intel Core i5-2467M processor running at 1.6 GHz and has 4 GB of DDR3 RAM. It uses new mobile Intel HM65 Express chipset and its graphics engine is Intel HD Graphics 4000. It runs on Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
Most applications and multimedia, like PowerDVD performed smoothly. Web page browsing was also fast and smooth.
When measured with internal benchmark tool of Windows 7, the Spectre got impressive scores.
On the scale of 1.0 to 7.9, Envy 14 Spectre got 6.4 points for its performance of calculations per second. It got an impressive 7.2 points for its performance of memory operations per second. It scored 7.5 for its performance of disk data transfer rate.
Its performance of 3D business and gaming graphics was also good with 6.2 points. Only the transitional effects of Windows 7 or the Desktop performance for Windows Aero was lower at 4.7 points, which was not bad.
The HP Spectre features a full array of advanced input and output options, including Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, HDMI and Mini DisplayPort.
Envy 14 Spectre also comes with performance-tuned software image, full versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 and Adobe Premiere Elements 10 and two years of preinstalled Norton Internet Security.
And like all ultrabooks, the HP Envy 14 Spectre is not cheap, with a starting price of Bt59,990, depending on CPU and storage options.