HP Envy 6 SleekBook review

This sub-£500 AMD powered SleekBook aims to offers users an alternative to the premium priced Intel-based Ultrabooks, but the 15.6in device can't quite match the performance.

We're less pleased with the trackpad. It's made from the same metal as the rest of the machine but, rather than a smooth or brushed finish, it's got a pattern of concentric circles across its surface. The pattern looks good and the pad itself is large enough but, under the finger, we found the trackpad uncomfortable.

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The screen has its faults, too. The 15.6in display is larger than the vast majority of Ultrabooks, but its 1,366 x 768 resolution is the kind of figure we'd expect to see on 13in machines on a screen that's this wide, it looks poor. Its brightness level of 188cd/m2 is low, and the contrast ratio of 265:1 is entirely average the HP Folio 13's display, which we also found disappointing, returned a better brightness result of 223cd/m2 and a weaker contrast ratio of 193:1.

While the screen is fine for general work tasks, the lack of a wide colour gamut means it's not up to the task when it comes to more demanding graphical tasks.

Trinity

The Envy 6 is the first time we've seen one of AMD's Trinity processors, which have been designed to succeed 2011's Llano range. Little has changed when it comes to the basic design of these chips: they're still APUs and, as such, still include a Radeon graphics core alongside a traditional processor.

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AMD has made a host of smaller changes in order to put together Trinity. Low power APUs are now available, with the lesser of the two low-power chips, the A6-4455M, employed here. That means a tiny 17W TDP less than half of the 35W TDP of full-fat Trinity chips and just two cores rather than four. Those two cores run at 2.1GHz and, when stressed, can use AMD's Turbo Core technology to dynamically improve clock speed to 2.6GHz.

The low-power specification means we weren't expecting much in our benchmarks, and the Envy 6 duly delivered an application result of 0.37. That's enough to cope with basic office applications, but it's poor in comparison to Ultrabook rivals: the Folio 13 scored 0.56 thanks to its Core i5 processor.

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