Just like netbooks, slim laptops in the 13-inch to 14-inch range tend to be slightly underpowered compared to their larger 15-inch siblings. However, this is certainly not the case with the HP Envy 14 as it offers the ability to scale all the way up to a quad-core processor. Even its standard components are better than other laptops in its class, with an Intel Core i5 450M processor and a larger 14.5-inch glass covered display. With 4GB of memory and 500GB of storage it is very stable.
However, what really marks it apart from the rest is its ATI Radeon HD 5650 discrete graphics that is mid-range gaming model in its own right. Coupled together with an upper scale 1600 x 900 pixel resolution and the larger glass covered display and you get awesome graphics both for 720p HD video as well as excellent gaming performance. Rounding up great graphics and a fast processor with a Beats Audio system, the laptop sounds as good as it looks.
In terms of design, the HP Envy 14 is a bit larger than the average 14-inch laptop but this means that there’s a lot more space for the LED back-lit keyboard. This makes it much more comfortable to use. Using an anodized aluminum chassis, the laptop is slim and tough. The chassis is silver gray while the cover has a textured pattern for better grip. At 5.2 pounds it does weigh a bit more than other 14-inch laptops but it makes up for it by adding in a whole array of features. This includes a slot-load DVD burner, two USB ports, one eSATA/USB combo port, a HDMI port, a mini-DisplayPort and the option for embedded 3G.
Performance-wise the HP Envy 14 definitely packs a punch as it can handle practically any application you throw at it. In terms of battery life, it can last about four hours using the standard graphics and about three hours with the discrete graphics that is quite impressive considering the premium components.
Overall, the HP Envy 14 is an excellent premium-class 14-inch laptop with competent gaming capabilities. Its great display, awesome power and extensive features means that it is mostly unmatched within its class making it ideal for those looking for a great looking premium laptop.