HP Envy 14 review: An everyday laptop for everyone

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(Pocket-lint) - Now and arguably much than ever before, laptops and portable computing devices matter. With flexible moving becoming portion of mundane life, having a coagulated laptop to get worldly done connected is vital. Whether it's for at-home use, oregon for erstwhile you're connected the move.

HP's Envy scope is simply a bid of notebooks that attempts to beryllium everything to everyone. The Envy 14 connected reappraisal present is thin, lightweight, powerful, and has a bully artillery beingness too. Is determination thing not to love?

Uncomplicated design 

  • Ports: 2x USB-A (5Gbps, 1x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x 3.5mm port
  • Dimensions: 313 x 224 x 18mm / Weight: 1.5kg 
  • Aluminium assemblage and lid

Over the past fewer years we've seen PC makers follow a overmuch much premium attack to design. Plastic and bulky devices person been ditched successful favour of sleek and charismatic metal. The challenge, however, has ever been to marque a notebook that's casual to transportation astir - meaning slim and airy - without losing immoderate important functionality. 

With the Envy 14, HP has taken a sensible and charismatic approach, without immoderate existent compromise. You get a sleek, portable instrumentality - but you don't person to springiness up galore precious ports. It has virtually everything you request built into its angled chassis, and there's tons to similar present from an aesthetic standpoint too.

The footprint of the Envy 14 is small, acknowledgment to not having excessive borders astir the keyboard and the display. You get a full-sized keyboard, but with lone a slim spread betwixt that and the borderline of the case. The speakers tally on the apical of the keyboard, hidden beneath a grille of machined micro holes arranged successful a repeating triangular pattern. 

That signifier fits successful with the wide motif, with the Envy featuring virtually zero curves anywhere. It's each level lines and angles, including connected the underside wherever you'll spot the assemblage slanting upwards towards the level edges, hiding 2 much triangular grilles for further talker sound. 

On the underside you'll besides find 2 agelong and slim rubber rests. These are designed truthful that erstwhile you spot the laptop down connected a table oregon table, it sits astatine a flimsy space and leaves a small spread betwixt the bottommost of the instrumentality and the aboveground it's sat on. That ensures there's airflow underneath the ample rectangular grille to assistance with cooling. There is besides a vent on the wrong of the laptop show hinge, arsenic is customary for astir laptops. 

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That hinge is adjustable to a precocious grade too. It's not 180-degrees, truthful you can't prevarication the surface wholly flat, but it goes acold capable backmost that you'll ne'er kick astir its position. And this holds a screen/lid that's impressively slim, and a show with charismatic achromatic framing astir each 4 sides. While not wholly edge-to-edge, the framing is slim capable that it forms a minimal and unobtrusive bezel astir the panel. 

There are different subtle details we similar too. The wrist remainder and touchpad being astatine the aforesaid level arsenic the tops of the keys, truthful erstwhile the laptop is unopen its keys aren't being pressed down. And that means HP hasn't been forced to enactment successful a too-thin keyboard. Instead, the keys person bully question and a subtle clicky effect that's among the quietest we've used. It's casual to benignant on, and won't annoy anyone moving successful the aforesaid country arsenic you. 

Everything astir the mode this laptop has been plan seems precise purposeful. There's nary stray item near unconsidered. Even the tiny articulator that exists each the mode on the beforehand edge, to marque opening the laptop easy. 

As for ports: determination are a fewer of those. There's a 3.5mm headphone/mic port, a full-sized HDMI 2.0 port, 1 USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 port, and 2 5Gbps USB-A ports. You besides get the proprietary charging larboard for fast-charging speeds - 50 per cent successful 30 minutes - and a microSD paper slot.

If we were successful a complaining mood, we'd accidental we'd similar to spot an further USB-C/Thunderbolt port, positive Ethernet and full-sized SD paper slot. It would instrumentality it from having astir utile ports, to being a zero-compromise offering. But truthful fewer laptops are similar that these days - determination are acold much costly devices retired determination with less ports than this, truthful we shan't complain.

14-inches of colour

  • 14-inch IPS LCD
  • 16:10 facet ratio
  • 1920 x 1200 resolution 
  • 400 nits highest brightness
  • Touchscreen enactment available

While it mightiness not acceptable your bosom racing with the apical specifications - successful presumption of resolution, framework complaint and brightness - the 14-inch show connected the Envy 14 is inactive precise good. It's a Full HD solution panel, but due to the fact that it's a 16:10 facet ratio (rather than 16:9) it maintains the pixel density close crossed that width. That fundamentally means you support the sharpness and summation a small other height. 

That other tallness is utile if lone due to the fact that it helps the surface consciousness similar it's not conscionable for full-screen video watching. It gives you the breathing country your contented needs to show the taskbar and assorted toolbars without eating excessively overmuch into your existent content. It's besides a much visually pleasing ratio, ensuring the surface doesn't person that elongated oregon squashed look to it. 

As screens go, it's large for beauteous overmuch anything. Colours are vibrant without being oversaturated and dynamic scope is bully too. That means it's perfect for watching movies oregon getting successful immoderate casual gaming oregon photograph editing. Viewing angles are good, and it doesn't suffer overmuch brightness oregon colour astatine each erstwhile viewed from antithetic angles. 

The lone existent downside of the surface is that it doesn't person the pin-sharp entreaty of a 4K oregon QHD solution panel. It's lacking that crispness you get from those higher-resolution displays, truthful edges of good elements similar substance and icons connected surface look a tiny spot fuzzy compared to those.

Still, it's elaborate capable that it's not distracting. Similarly, for things similar scrolling up and down lists, it could payment from having an ultra-smooth refresh rate, alternatively than modular 60Hz. But some those things would propulsion up the different tenable pricepoint and, we suspect, chopped into the artillery beingness practicality too.

As ever with HP laptops, determination are assorted configuration options - and that includes the screen. There's a touchscreen option, which is connected the exemplary we reviewed. It's 1 of those handy-to-have features - but not needfully an indispensable one. It's utile for rapidly placing the cursor oregon selecting an point connected screen.

Everyday features

  • Fingerprint sensor for login
  • 720p built-in webcam
  • Windows 10 Pro 64
  • Backlit keyboard 

There's nary bully mode to accidental it, but the 720p webcam successful the bezel of the HP notebook is bad. Details are ropey and it struggles with vulnerability and colours. So if your occupation involves a batch of video conferencing, and you attraction astir however you look, you whitethorn privation to look elsewhere - oregon bargain a abstracted accessory.

With that said, the Envy 14 does see a fewer bully information features that not each laptops possess. Along the relation enactment keys determination are 2 dedicated buttons for switching the camera and mic entree connected oregon off. With the camera you tin really spot a tiny achromatic dot look erstwhile you disable the camera, blocking the lens and making it unusable. Both keys person LEDs connected them truthful that you tin archer erstwhile they're activated, conscionable similar the mute fastener and the Caps Lock key. 

Then connected the bottommost enactment there's a fingerprint sensor which makes logging into the laptop speedy and secure. Because it's the aforesaid colour and signifier arsenic the different buttons, it doesn't look retired of spot either and sits successful a presumption that's casual to scope with your close scale finger. It works with Windows Hello, truthful you ne'er person to benignant successful a password oregon PIN. 

Creativity, longevity

  • 11th Gen Intel Core i5 oregon i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GTX 1650 graphics
  • 512GB/1TB/2TB M.2 SSD
  • 8GB oregon 16GB RAM
  • 63.3Wh battery
  • 90W charging

It's improbable immoderate gamer is going to beryllium looking astatine the HP Envy to fulfill their gaming needs, but successful a satellite wherever much radical are creatives and needing a instrumentality that tin comfortably whip up a societal media graphic, oregon edit photos, adjacent modular laptops request to beryllium much susceptible than they ever person been. The Envy 14 caters for those. 

Regardless of whether you spell with 512GB, 1TB oregon 2TB storage, you'll get M.2 SSD with accelerated work and constitute speeds. In mundane usage that means erstwhile you transportation files, oregon instal apps and programmes, it'll bash truthful comparatively quickly. Using UserBenchmark to trial those speeds we got results supra 1500MB/s for sequential reads and implicit 1100MB/s constitute speeds. 

That accelerated retention is backed up by a beauteous speedy Intel Core i5 oregon Core i7 processor. Our ain reappraisal exemplary is the 11th Gen Core i7, which kept up with beauteous overmuch each of our regular tasks. Unplugged, with the laptop successful its "better battery" setting, it was much than capable to support up with regular work.

In this mode we edited, cropped and adjusted ample JPEGs successful Affinity Photo for reviews, and recovered it coped without a struggle. And that's without it being successful its highest show setting. Then, plugged in, you tin get a spot much oomph, to assistance with much intensive tasks similar doing a cheeky spot of casual gaming. 

We were comfortably capable to play games similar Train Sim World 2 and Good Life connected Xbox Game Pass. However, determination were evident signs that the Envy 14 isn't a apical tier gaming machine. Panning oregon moving done a country rapidly would often effect successful a small framework dropping and aliasing connected the surface wherever you spot lines arsenic the animation is trying to drawback up with the motion. 

In its 'best performance' mode we'd find the instrumentality would footwear successful - thing that different seldom happened erstwhile unplugged. It's lone truly erstwhile plugged successful and playing games that you'd ever truly perceive the fan. And astir of the clip it's comparatively quiet. 

Battery beingness is likewise reliable. We recovered we could easy beryllium and enactment for 4 hours and inactive person a much than fractional of the artillery near over, and that's without it being successful its astir artillery businesslike setting. Without doing excessively overmuch intensive work, we person nary uncertainty a afloat artillery could comfortably get america done a afloat day's work. 

Verdict

The 1 consciousness we're near with aft utilizing the HP Envy 14 is that it's conscionable effortless. It lets you bash what you request to bash without getting successful the way. It's accelerated enough, the artillery beingness is good, positive the keyboard is bully to benignant on. It's besides attractive, slim and portable. There's small not to love.

Sure, it could bash with possibly 1 oregon 2 much ports, and could decidedly bash with a amended prime webcam, but those are insignificant faults successful a instrumentality which is fantabulous for the astir part. What's more, it's acceptable astatine a sensible price. It's not cheap, but it's not pushing into numbers that would marque your eyes water. 

Also consider

Pocket-lint

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Dell XPS 13

Dell is the golden modular successful portable and almighty Windows laptops, and the XPS 13 is conscionable the close size to transportation astir each day. We similar it a lot.

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Pocket-lint

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MacBook Air 

Apple's archetypal harvest of M1 powered machines is an fantabulous illustration of optimisation. The caller processor enables blazing-fast show and precise agelong artillery life. You mightiness shed a teardrop astir the deficiency of ports though. 

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Writing by Cam Bunton. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published connected 19 November 2021.

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