With the introduction of Windows 8 this fall most of the laptop manufacturers are trying their best to add inventive designs to their products. Varieties of hybrid machines are available in the market these days. Some screens spin, some twist, some flip, and some can even be detached from the keyboard dock and take the form of tablet. One of such hybrid laptops found in the market is HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4, which costs $799.99. Along with a relatively weighty, thick chassis, the ultrabook has 14-inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. Read the entire article to find out if this is a good laptop or not.
Almost all of the light and thin laptops of HP share similar chassis. Just the quality of the components and materials, the thickness and the weight vary from one to another. So, this latest ultrabook of HP is much similar to the HP Envy 4. The entire black lid, keyboard deck and palm rest have been brushed aluminum. Soft-touch rubber has been used to cover the bottom. The TouchSmart ultrabook comes with plenty of ports. There are SD card slots, full-size HDMI, Ethernet jack and two USB 3.0 sockets on the left. The right side of the laptop features a Kensington Lock slot, the power socket, microphone jacks, 3.5mm headphone jacks and USB 2.0 port.
Speakers and Screen
The touchscreen of the Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook is fantastic. Every gesture of Windows 8 work flawlessly and instantly. The hinge is not that strong, but still zooming and scrolling are so much more responsive and intuitive on the screen. This ultrabook also features Beats Audio.
The keyboard is fine but it is not that comfortable in comparison to MacBook Air and Spectre XT. The keycaps are not well cushioned and deep. The top of the keyboard has a handy function row and the right side feature some keys such as End, Page Down, Page Up and Home keys. There is the Wi-Fi toggle button next to mute button. An extra $20 will let you have LED backlighting for the whole keyboard.
The touchpad of Envy TouchSmart is quite decent. The concentric ridges of the Synaptics ClickPad make a good texture for scrolling and pointing. The touchpad also supports different gestures of Windows 8.
The ultrabook comes with a 32GB solid state cache, 500GB of magnetic storage, 4GB of RAM, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics and a 1.8GHz Intel Core i3-3217U processor. Since the integrated Intel graphics have been used, it is not so good for gaming. The non-touchscreen version comes with an AMD Radeon HD 7670M GPU which offers excellent gaming experience. The HP Envy TouchSmart takes 12 seconds to boot. It supports whole bunch of apps, including Skype, eBay, Kindle and Netflix. The company claims the battery last up to 5 hours, but it lasted for 4 hours during our tests.
The HP Envy TouchSmart Ultrabook 4 is a moderately attractive, moderately capable laptop at a reasonable price. Good things about this device include decent array of ports, few potential deal breakers and excellent touch experience. And the bad points include unimpressive battery life, ugly screen and uninspired design.