In pictures: HP Envy 15 Beats Audio notebook

Plenty of style, features and good performance make this a desirable 15in notebook

  • The box reveals a neat package with the laptop itself in a pouch and sitting above its accessories, which includes another pouch for the thin power supply.

  • A clean design and some nice accents make the Envy 15 quite an attractive notebook. The screen is glossy though, which can be annoying, and it only has a resolution of 1366x768.

  • Its keyboard is reasonably comfortable to type on and it's also backlit. Look at our YouTube video to [[xref:|see how it lights up]]. HP has implemented a proximity sensor to control the backlight. It's meant to switch off the keyboard light when it doesn't detect a user in front of the laptop, but it never worked reliably during our tests.

  • The big focus of the Envy 15 is audio. With Beats Audio processing and a 6-speaker system built in to it, this laptop definitely is a good one when it comes to sound reproduction. We found that it produced clear audio during our tests, and it didn't go so loud so as to produce distortion. At the same time, it was still loud enough to fill a small room with an enjoyable sound level.

  • On the left side you can see the slot-loading DVD burner, which we think is an elegant inclusion. Next to it are two more USB ports of the 3.0 variety, as well as a microphone jack and two headphone jacks.

  • You can see the "sub-woofer" set up in the base of the notebook, right near the battery compartment. The battery has a 72 Watt-hour rating, and it's removeable, but you'll need a special star-tipped screwdriver to undo the screws that hold it in place.

  • The HP Envy 15 is a 15in laptop with a ton of style, and good dollop of substance as well. It features an Intel Core i7-2670QM quad-core CPU at its helm, and it's surrounded by 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM, dual graphics (integrated Intel and AMD Radeon HD 7690M adapters) and a 750GB WD hard drive. This makes it a good performer, to be sure, but there are some areas in which the Envy could do more to impress -- mainly with its screen and some of its physical details. You can see from this first image that the Envy 15 is not packaged like a regular notebook. It actually comes in two boxes. Once the external box is removed, you are left with this package.

  • The power supply, notebook, pouches and documentation that are included in the package.

  • The lid has an HP logo that lights up brightly in white and while it looks quite good, it seems like a bit of a waste of power. The HP Envy 15 is available for $1699.

  • A large touchpad (110x68mm) sits on the clean palm rest. It's a Synaptics pad that supports gestures such as three-finger flicks and two-finger scrolling. It performed reasonably well in our tests, but we sometimes found it to be unresponsive and we had to repeat our actions and put a little more pressure on the pad.

  • We love the idea behind this physical, rotational volume control that's located on the right side of the notebook. It can also be pressed to bring up the Beats Audio equaliser ([[xref:|see it action]]). However, after a couple of weeks of use, the control started to feel a little "sticky" when it was pressed.

  • The right side also houses the power jack, the Gigabit Ethernet port, HDMI and DisplayPort video outputs, one USB port and an SD card slot. The Kensignton lock is located in between the SD card and USB port, rather than towards the rear of the notebook. This seems like an awkward, in-the-way position for it if you need to use the laptop while it's cable locked.

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