I was invited to the HP Unwrapped media event yesterday, for an exclusive look at new products that will be released over the next few months in time for Christmas. The most notable of those not under NDA were arguably the new Envy 13 and Envy 15 laptops, which sport gorgeous styling that takes numerous (obvious) cues from Apple’s Unibody MacBook Pro notebooks.
Previously developed by the gaming PC company Voodoo (which HP acquired several years ago), the Envy sub-brand has received a complete styling makeover and as one rep informed me, is designed to be HP’s luxury line moving forward.
The new Envy 13 (previously Envy 133) and Envy 15 laptops both feature a metal alloy chassis made from magnesium which is then coated with aluminum – resulting in cases that are durable, lightweight and scratch-resistant.
As part of the styling revamp, both laptops now feature rather beautiful two-finger muti-touch glass trackpads, which I fortunately got to play with. The left and right click buttons are cleverly incorporated right into the pad itself and feature button surfaces that work as part of the trackpad – even multi-touch.
The Envy 13 and Envy 15 also come equipped with a Beats audio system, which was created in a partnership between HP and Beats by Dr. Dre for high-performance audio.
HP Envy 13
The Envy 13 boasts a super-bright 410 nit intensity 13.3 inch WXGA widescreen display which HP claims is the industry’s brightest.
Running on an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and including ATI Radeon HD 4330 graphics, the Envy 13 gets up to 7 hours of battery life – which can be extended to as much as 18 hours. This is achieved thanks to an optional Slim Fit Slice Battery that matches the width and depth of the laptop’s base and blends perfectly with the machine’s styling.
In order to weigh in at 3.74lbs (1.7kg) and measure just 0.8-inch (20.3mm) thick, the Envy 13 omits an internal optical drive but will apparently ship with an external drive in case you need it.
HP Envy 15
HP claims the Envy 15 is the thinnest and lightest consumer notebook in its class, coming in at 1-inch (25.4mm) thick and weighing 5.2-pounds (2.36kg). It is also HP’s fastest consumer notebook, running Intel’s new Core i7 proccessor with up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM and ATI Radeon HD 4830 graphics.
The Envy 15 features a choice of two 15.6-inch Brightview widescreen displays including a Full HD LED option and comes equipped with a Nightvison VGA webcam with an infrared LED for better results in low-light environments. It also has an optional Slim Fit Slice Battery, but unlike the Envy 13, will be a pretty necessary add on as it bumps your run-time from a paltry 2.5 hours up to a reasonable 7 hours.
The Envy 15 also gets an extra-special, laser-etched pattern on the lid and palm rest which will apparently be available in a number of designs. The pattern is not very clear in the press shots, so I’ve included some of my own snaps in the gallery below.
Both the Envy 13 and Envy 15 are fired up and ready to go with street prices starting at $1699 | £1199 and $1799 | £1499 respectively. Since they’ll both be running Microsoft’s latest Windows 7 OS however, we’ll have to wait until after the official Windows 7 launch on October 22 before they start shipping.
A special thanks to the reps from HP for the walkthrough, as well as the lovely Laura, Fiona and Danielle from Porter Novelli for the invite and hospitality.
HP Redefines the Premium Notebook PC with ENVY
Precision-crafted, high-performance notebooks are bright, thin, deliver superb experience
PALO ALTO, Calif., Sept. 15, 2009
HP today redefines the premium notebook PC experience with the introduction of the HP ENVY sub-brand, which offers customers precision-crafted, high-performance models featuring HP Metal Etching and concierge service and support.
The new HP ENVY 13 boasts the brightest display in its class, and the HP ENVY 15 is the company’s fastest consumer notebook PC ever.
“HP ENVY includes the latest in materials and technology inside and out and pushes the technological and performance boundaries of what can be done in sleek, powerful and lightweight notebook PCs,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. “Discerning consumers will get a premium experience and performance.”
With HP ENVY, the focus is on designing an entire premium experience to satisfy the most demanding customers – from the products to the packaging to the service and support.
Breakthrough HP Metal Etching on the lid and palmrest of the ENVY 15, and on the palmrest of the ENVY 13, subtly signals luxury. The combination of materials provides exceptional mobility and a compelling metal look and feel, while using energy-responsible manufacturing methods.
The HP ENVY line – building upon the Voodoo ENVY legacy – includes leading-edge components optimized to yield power and performance. To offer consumers the best audio experience available on a notebook PC, HP partnered with Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ to develop a unique, high-performance audio software solution. Available exclusively on the HP Envy, Beats Audio offers users playing music or audio through headphones or external speakers the optimal sound experience – the way the artist intended it.
The lightweight heavyweight: ENVY 13
The ENVY 13 balances style and substance. Carefully crafted details inside and out will satisfy the cravings of demanding mobile customers.
The HP Radiance display is twice as bright as other notebook displays in its class – 410 nit (a measurement of display brightness) – and provides an exceptional movie and photo experience, even in high ambient light conditions. With 82 percent color gamut (versus standard 45-60 percent), photos appear richer with amazing color depth. Additionally, with fast 8-millisecond response time, customers can view movies with TV-like performance.
The ENVY 13’s strong performance is delivered in a small frame – less than an inch thin and weighing 3.74 pounds.(1) The exterior’s aluminum and magnesium construction provides durability in a sleek design. An etched-metal palmrest further sets the PC apart from others, and a VGA webcam(3) optimized for low light also is included.
HP placed the same focus on design into its optional Slim Fit Extended-Life Notebook Battery. Taking the form of a “slice,” it preserves the sleek look of the ENVY 13 while giving users up to 18 hours of battery life with the extended-life battery.(2) The standard battery is user-replaceable.
ATI Switchable Graphics technology dynamically switches between ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4330 discrete graphics and the Intel® integrated graphics processor for either high-powered graphics processing or low power consumption for long battery life without booting the notebook. The Intel Core™ 2 Duo processor provides the power of dual processor cores while delivering extended battery life when the notebook is unplugged.
Designed with the most demanding mobile user in mind, the ENVY 13 notebook’s premium AC adapter is small and light. It draws minimal power, has built-in surge protection and includes a rubberized strap that keeps the cables organized and the adapter from slipping off a slick surface. An optional HP USB Ethernet Adapter also is available.
The performance powerhouse: ENVY 15
This lean, mean, dream machine is HP’s fastest consumer notebook. The full metal case features a sleek, subtly crafted, laser-etched metal design on the lid that is repeated on the palmrest. The magnesium alloy casing provides lightweight durability in a 1-inch thin, 5.18-pound package.(1)
Customers have maximum speed and mobility with the future Intel Core i7 processor(4) and up to 16 gigabytes (GB) of DDR3 1,066-MHz system memory in four SODIMM memory slots. Versatile storage options include the ability to add two solid-state drives in a RAID-0 configuration to improve the overall speed of the ENVY 15 while providing excellent disk performance. Creative users will appreciate the ENVY 15 notebook’s performance and full versions of Corel® Paint Shop Pro® Photo X2 and Corel VideoStudio® Pro X2 for creating photo and video content.
Power users and gamers can take advantage of premium graphics performance via ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 graphics with 1 GB of dedicated video memory for visually intense applications, DirectX® 10.1 games and high-definition video playback.
A choice of two 15.6-inch HP Brightview high-resolution LED backlit displays, including the Full High Definition LED HP Ultra BrightView Widescreen Display with up to 300-nits brightness, provides a superb display experience for a notebook in this class. A Nightvision VGA webcam that is optimized for low-light or zero-light conditions is standard on the HP ENVY 15, incorporating an infrared LED that assists the webcam(3) by providing the necessary illumination in dark environments.
The ENVY 15 has an optional Slim Fit Extended-Life Notebook Battery, giving users up to seven hours of battery life.(2)
Designing the ENVY experience
The HP ENVY line includes a 360-degree approach to product design – from the products to the packaging:
Building upon HP’s success with instant-on technology, HP QuickWeb allows customers to access key applications without booting the PC. In less than 30 seconds, users can access the Internet, music, videos and photos, and email.(3)
HP Clickpad integrates the buttons into the touchpad and allows for fluid movements, while also allowing users to disable the clickpad if desired.
The keyboard’s direct-action keys (versus typical function keys) allow users to quickly access often-used commands such as print and volume adjustment.
Minimal desktop clutter and trial software adds to notebooks’ simplicity.
An optional external optical drive complements the ENVY design and gives users the flexibility to carry the extra weight only when necessary. Two USB ports also transform the drive into a dock for additional capability.
The ENVY 13 and 15 are presented in streamlined paper carton boxes using minimal ink. Included in the packaging is a simplified setup poster and documentation contained within an SD card.
Concierge service and support
The ENVY experience extends to premium service and support via the award-winning HP Total Care program. This includes expert agents dedicated to addressing ENVY customers’ questions via phone, online chat and email as well as next-day shipping for hardware customer service.
Pricing and availability
The HP ENVY 13 and ENVY 15 are expected to be available in the United States on Oct. 18 with a starting price of $1,699 and $1,799, respectively.(5) Register for availability notification at www.hpdirect.com/go/newfromhp.
Additional information about HP ENVY will be available the morning of Sept. 15 at www.hp.com/go/ENVY.
HP, the world’s largest technology company, simplifies the technology experience for consumers and businesses with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com/.
(1) Weight will vary by configuration.
(2) Battery life will vary depending on the product’s model, configuration, loaded applications, features and power management settings. The maximum capacity of the battery will decrease with time and usage.
(3) Internet is required and sold separately.
(4) Dual/Quad/Triple Core is designed to improve performance of certain software products. Not all customers or software applications will necessarily benefit from use of this technology. 64-bit computing on Intel architecture requires a computer system with a processor, chipset, BIOS, operating system, device drivers and applications enabled for Intel 64 architecture. Processors will not operate (including 32-bit operation) without an Intel 64 architecture-enabled BIOS. Performance will vary depending on hardware and software configurations. See www.intel.com/info/em64t for more information.
(5) Estimated U.S. street prices. Actual prices may vary.