HP Envy 4 Ultrabook

Ultrabooks are not the usual head-turners for people though the company—Hewlett Packard—claimed this series to be a must-have. Particular in HP’s ultrabooks is the size (dimensionally speaking, but not necessarily bulkier) with no real deal to the design and finish. Personally I can congratulate the company for outstanding desktop computer designs, but definitely not for ultrabooks. Finally, when the new Envy 4 was released for this series, I gained a spark within me to take a closer look.

Looking from the top of the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook with lid closed, one might take this metallic thing to be a tablet—or worse, a sleek metal cover for something because there’s actually nothing particular in the design. Too good the company logo is there to let people know it’s ‘something,’ and it is located on the lower left of the surface.

Changing an angle in view, one can easily be attracted by the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook’s rubber-coated undercarriage painted with a very sexy red color. The first thought I had was, “It only lacked one color to make it referable to Ferrari: yellow.” Funny, though, but this undercarriage made this model slightly more mouth-watering compared to competitors and predecessors.

Featuring an Intel i3 or i5 processor and powered with 4GB RAM, the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook can actually optimal performance for almost all daily duties and operations. As recorded and tested, this Envy 4 scored 126 in speed when put into arena with a more advanced model equipped with an i7 processor and an NVIDIA graphics card. However, specs-wise, the Envy 4 cannot still do that much as shown in the score sheets on the market today. This model relies only on Intel technology for graphics processing and choosing a lower price for just an i3 can be a bit more frustrating.


The glossy 1366×768 screen of the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook is well and good for normal usage and portability. Yes, anyone can watch HD movies and play games—but not the way you expect. Colors are not that sharp and natural, and the warmth of the pixels projected in playing HD movies seemed lack in contrast and depth. Adding more to the pain is the brightness that was largely scored as average but not capable of healthy viewing under bright sunlight. Viewing angles are very limited also, making the Envy 4 a gadget for solo—or duo—users.

But before we turn our backs and look for other options, we must also learn that the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook made itself more worthy of envy by fostering Beats as the audio perpetrator. The sound is well projected in different levels with an amazing loudness seemingly unusual for ultrabooks, but audio quality gets a bit cranky on the maximum level.

The keyboard and touchpad in the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook are unique for this model. For the island-type keyboard, the aluminum casing is well crafted, but each press may need a bit more pressure than usual. If you are a real typist by profession, you might experience difficulty at first. For the touchpad, multi-gestures is not that responsive and accurate though the width and height seemed a bit amplified for better user experience. As for me, I would still prefer an external optical pointer for this model.

But this model from the Envy series did not break the chain of trust from its fans. This Envy 4 features 2 USB 3.0 that is capable of 10x more transfer speed compared to the usual 2.0. There’s also an additional USB 2.0 port, an Ethernet port, an audio jack, a good-quality webcam, and a crisp card reader. Surprisingly for an ultrabook with this size, missing a DVD burner is really something to think about.

On the ultimate analysis, the HP Envy 4 Ultrabook is a good model to bring along since its virtually thinner structure and weight of about 3.9lbs. can deliver fulfilling tasks on a run. The battery—which was promised to last for 9 hours—can only do about 5 hours and 45 minutes as tested, and the components and features are not complementary to each other at all. It’s good for office and personal usage purposes, but not for pros and geeks who want edgy ultrabook experience.

Costs $679 for the i3 configuration, I don’t think it’s fair enough based on what I saw. Do you think it’s fair? Let me know why by commenting below.

HP Envy 4 Ultrabook Price in Singapore Dollar (SGD): Approximately S$ 850.00 (Starting Price)

You may also like: HP Envy 15 (2012) Laptop Computer

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