Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

The Sixth Sin

with 2 comments

Today I got a new toy, my HP Envy15 laptop. Actually I got it a week ago, but that one was faulty and kept locking up. So I returned it, and took the opportunity to make this one that extra bit of sinful by adding a solid state drive.

Despite my habit obsessively researching every option before making any significant purchase, picking this laptop was actually pretty simple. I wanted USB3.0, which at the time left me with two choices: The Envy or a model from Asus. The Asus was significantly cheaper but didn’t have a FullHD display or various other sexy features, so I got the Envy. It’s basically a desktop-replacement laptop in a package that quite clearly took a page from the Macbook Pro design (but added a laser-etched floral pattern…). While this may not be the most original move, it does make for a laptop that looks better than most other PC choices, and which is roughly 50% more powerful than the current Macbook Pro range, at a lower price. On the other hand the lower price isn’t low, and it does have some baffling design features/flaws. Overall, though, the Envy does a good job of feeling luxurious, a fact that HP reinforces with their packaging:

The Envy box oozes decadence

Even the little extras add to the experience, like the manual that comes on an SD card, or the string-tied envelope with the warranty information. And of course the Envy itself:

So, how does it stack up?


  • Very powerful. Especially with the solid state disc, it handles anything I throw at it without slowing down.
  • Sexy. Laser-etched pattern is subject to taste, but you can’t argue with the magnesium casing and design.
  • Full High-Definition display, with good brightness and contrast to boot. Hot in matte and glossy versions.
  • Superior audio. BEATS Audio by Dr. Dre… all I care about is that it sounds way better than most laptops.
  • USB3. Superspeed transfers to my external, and later on to thumbdrives as well.
  • Solid state disk. Windows booted in 28 seconds, and Photoshop in 2. Enough said.
  • Nightvision webcam. Infrared tech means it actually works in the dark.
  • Slim and light. Definitely mobile, though not on battery (see below).


  • Screen only opens to 120°. Why?! Vertical viewing angle is good, so it’s not that bad. But why?!
  • No DVD drive. Haven’t missed it so far, though.
  • All ports placed on the right side; right where you want your mouse to be. Again, why?
  • Crap on battery. Max 2 hours of light usage, and the CPU is throttled down as well.
  • Not cheap.

So far everything is sleek, snappy and seductive, but time will tell whether beauty is indeed skin-deep; some users have reported a couple of weird errors occurring . Overall, I’m very pleased. The downsides are there, but they’re not dealbreakers for me.  It’s a bit like my favorite car, the 1969 Corvette Stingray: It’s brimming with power and looks incredibly sexy, but has some big design flaws that you don’t really care about because… did I mention how hot it was?

Written by Martin

2010/03/01 at 23:42

Posted in New toys

2 Responses

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  1. Sweeeeeet…congrats…but have to say – not a Mac….


    2010/03/02 at 05:28

  2. […] another weekend devoid of variety, or indeed any sensory stimuli not originating from my ENVY, was threatening to smash the last bastion of my sanity and make me accept the drudgery of a worker […]

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