IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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.

Trinity ups its game in graphics tests. The Radeon HD 7500G comes with 256 stream processors, a stock speed of 327MHz and a Turbo Core clock of 424MHz. It didn't run our Crysis test but, in Just Cause 2 and DiRT 3, it proved its worth: it averaged 30fps in both games' low quality tests run at native resolution. That won't threaten discrete chips, but it's more than Intel's HD Graphics 4000 core can handle it averaged 10fps in Just Cause 2 and 17fps in DiRT 3.

The low-power chip lends itself, on paper, to decent battery life but, again, AMD couldn't trump Intel. One of our favourite Ultrabooks, HP's Folio 13, lasted for 8hrs 12mins in our light use battery test, which is more than thirty minutes more than the Envy managed it ran out of juice after 7hrs 27mins.

HP Envy - Ports

Elsewhere, the specification extends to 6GB of RAM, a 500GB hard disk, 802.11n wireless and Gigabit Ethernet. There's no sign of any business-pleasing extras though, with TPM, mobile broadband and a fingerprint reader all missing. The one-year warranty isn't as generous as the three-year deals that are included as standard with many business notebooks, either.

Conclusion

When examined closely, then, the Envy 6 falls behind its Ultrabook rivals in numerous ways: it's not as fast in applications, its screen is average, and it misses the mark when it comes to ergonomics.

It makes up ground in other areas, though, with better graphics performance, good design and build quality for a 15.6in machine, and a 457 exc VAT price that makes it twice as cheap as many of its Ultrabook rivals. If you like the idea of an Ultrabook but can't stomach the price, this is a cheaper alternative just don't expect it to accomplish much beyond basic computing tasks.

Verdict

HP’s attempt to tackle the Ultrabook for half the price is admirable, but its budget cuts are evident in several key areas: the screen mixes mediocre quality with a low resolution, good design and build quality is matched with iffy ergonomics, and the AMD APU combines poor application performance with good graphical grunt. If Ultrabooks are too expensive, this £457 exc VAT Envy 6 is a good alternative – just don’t expect too much.

OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit PROCESSOR: 2.1GHz AMD A6-4455M RAM: 6GB DDR3 STORAGE: 500GB hard disk SCREEN: 15.6in 1,366 x 768 TFT CONNECTIVITY: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11n WiFi PORTS: 2 x USB 3, 1 x USB 2, 2 x audio, HDMI DIMENSIONS: 374 x 253 x 20mm (WxDxH) WEIGHT: 2.2kg (2.5kg w/power pack)

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Recommended

AMD splashes out $1.9 billion on networking firm Pensando
Network & Internet

AMD splashes out $1.9 billion on networking firm Pensando

4 Apr 2022
MSI Pro DP20Z 5M review: Small, fast and affordable
Hardware

MSI Pro DP20Z 5M review: Small, fast and affordable

23 Mar 2022
AMD announces Ryzen 5800X3D will ship in April
system on chip (SoC)

AMD announces Ryzen 5800X3D will ship in April

16 Mar 2022
AMD and DoiT partner to help Google Cloud customers maximise performance
cloud computing

AMD and DoiT partner to help Google Cloud customers maximise performance

18 Feb 2022

Most Popular

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
16 ways to speed up your laptop
Laptops

16 ways to speed up your laptop

13 May 2022
Google Russia files for bankruptcy, ends operations in the country
Business operations

Google Russia files for bankruptcy, ends operations in the country

19 May 2022