We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Laptops Reviews
15,670 Reviews

HP Envy 15 review

£1199 inc VAT

Manufacturer: HP

Our Rating: We rate this 3.5 out of 5

The HP Envy 15 is the larger of two premium notebooks from HP, this model featuring a new Core i7 quad-core Intel processor.

The HP Envy 15 is the larger of two premium notebooks from HP, this model featuring a new Core i7 quad-core Intel processor.

The smaller HP Envy 13 is an attractive 13in notebook, distinguished by thoughtful design and incredible battery life. But there's little new in terms of its essential components - unlike this larger HP Envy 15 which adds some spicy novelty with a brand-new quad-core processor.

The design of the HP Envy 15 is essentially the same as the Envy 13, majoring on solid construction from a magnesium alloy chassis, a multitouch button-less trackpad, and detachable long-life baseplate battery packs. In the case of the £1199 model we tested, though, the add-on battery is not included in the price.

In place of a 13.1in widescreen, we have here a 15.6in 16:9 panel. And instead of edge-to-edge glass, there's a separate shiny black bezel to frame a - predictably frustrating - reflective LCD screen.

Read the full review of the HP Envy 13

Resolution is rather on the low side. Perhaps 1366x768 isn't too terrible, but it's the same as little brother's and somewhat lower than you might expect for a 15-incher. In other markets outside the UK, HP offers an option on a full-HD 1920x1080 panel, but not here in Blighty.

A slightly better selection of ports is offered on the Envy 15, compared to the somewhat bereft Envy 13; namely built-in gigabit ethernet and an extra combined eSATA/USB port.

These join two USB 2.0, a combo audio in/out jack and an HDMI video port, all ranged along the right side. You also get two more USB ports after plugging in the external Lightscribe dual-layer DVD±RW drive.

As with the Envy 13, you'll find a large touchpad, 100 x 62mm, that supports multitouch gestures such as two-finger scrolling and pinch-to-zoom. There's no separate left/right buttons; instead the whole pad is hinged and you must aim for the appropriate front corner to activate a mechanical click.

It's a smooth and precise furnishing even if it doesn't provide quite the same tactile precision as you'll find on the Apple MacBook Pro, from which HP unashamedly pinched the idea.

There's a subtle cosmetic difference between 13 and 15 models in the treatment of the display lid. Both sizes get a metallic gunmetal-grey hessian texture for the palm rest area; the Envy 15 sees this art-tech effect spread over to the back of the screen lid.

The result is either quite stylish or 20 minutes away from becoming dated, depending on your outlook. We'd certainly argue that the simple plain satin-grey metal of the Envy was more timeless.

But it's the new processor technology inside that sets the Envy 15 apart. The Core i7-720QM is the slowest of three new mobile quad-cores that Intel is making (1.8GHz and 2.0GHz are the faster versions), clocked at an seemingly underwhelming 1.6GHz.

This chip is able to auto-overclock on the fly, though, up to 2.8GHz providing it senses that temperatures aren't running too high.

Then there's TurboBoost, Intel's name for the technology that intelligently switches off unused cores and puts more power into those still in operation, as and when it's needed.

NEXT PAGE: Performance and battery life benchmark results

HP Envy 15 Expert Verdict »


HP Envy 15-1060ea reviews verified by Reevoo

HP Envy 15-1060eaScores 8.3 out of 10 based on 6 reviews
1.6GHz Intel Core i7-720QM
6MB L3 cache
15.6in (1366x768) 16:9 glossy LCD display
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
320GB 2.5in 7200rpm SATA HDD
4GB (2x 2GB) DDR3-1333 RAM
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 with 1GB RAM
HDMI
802.11a/b/g/n
Ethernet gigabit
Bluetooth
2x USB 2.0
1 x eSATA/USB 2.0
nightvision webcam
built-in mic
headphone/mic combo jack
external USB LightScribe DVD±RW DL drive
SD card slot
2GB SD card
53Wh removable Li-ion battery
380x244x27mm
2358g (plus 767g charger)
  • Build Quality: We give this item 9 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 7 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 7 of 10 overall

There is potential for high performance in this laptop with its interesting processor, but there’s also enough niggles to make us cautious before making a recommendation. Given the high power demands of the CPU, this is still more of a desktop replacement, a static desk design which makes the separate optical drive an satisfactory solution over a regular integrated unit. And professional users may be turned off by the glossiness of the screen, its low resolution, or both. Ultimately it’s a brave attempt to catch up with the MacBook Pro range, but like the 13in HP Envy, the Apple original pips it in many ways. Mobile gamers, meanwhile, will appreciate the good graphics performance.

  • HP Envy 15-1110ea review

    HP Envy 15-1110ea

    The HP Envy 15-1110ea laptop is the Windows users' answer to the MacBook Pro.

  • HP Envy 14 review

    HP Envy 14

    The HP Envy 14 is Hewlett Packard's rendering of an Apple MacBook Pro, now available in 14.5in widescreen size, and with useful improvements beyond the HP Envy 13 that came before.

  • HP Envy 13 review

    HP Envy 13

    The HP Envy 13 is a handsome laptop with more than a hint of the Apple MacBook Pro. UPDATED 15th DEC

  • HP Envy Ultrabook 6-1010ea review

    HP Envy Ultrabook 6-1010ea

    HP's Envy Ultrabook 6-1010ea looks to be trying to be many things in one device. The essential proposition is something like a 15in ultraportable for a reasonable price of £699. Can the HP's laptop deliver as a cheap ultrabook? Read our HP Envy 6 Ultrabook review to find out.

  • HP Envy 6-1006ea Sleekbook review

    HP Envy 6-1006ea Sleekbook

    The HP Envy 6 Sleekbook is one of AMD's answers to Intel's Ultrabook category of laptops. Read our HP Envy 6-1006ea Sleekbook review to find out if it's a successful rival.


IDG UK Sites

Best Christmas 2014 UK tech deals, Boxing Day 2014 UK tech deals & January sales 2015 UK tech...

IDG UK Sites

Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014

IDG UK Sites

Watch this heartwarming Christmas short by Trunk for composer John Rutter

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad