HP Envy TouchSmart Windows 8 Ultrabook

Windows 8 is already growing fast in availability and marketing. Frankly speaking, such growth in the industry was not made due to people’s preference, i.e., they really liked it; what happened was that they are being booked to different manufacturers for one simple reason: it’s new (thinking how the preceding Windows 7 made its own success, so Microsoft assumed that this new platform will hit the market stronger than before). Among the companies were Asus, Sony, and even Lenovo and Toshiba, but how about HP? To get us started, we have today HP’s very own Windows 8 ultrabook, the Envy TouchSmart.

The HP Envy TouchSmart is not something new to the eyes nowadays thinking how ultrabooks from competing companies looked like and on how Windows 8 should be played via touch. Actually, I do not really like the thought that this Envy TouchSmart is to be an ultrabook per se because of its weight at 4.5lbs. With this said, HP must have gone a little backwards instead of the other way maybe because they failed to trim down the body size out of the inclusion of a touch panel. Lastly, the notebook is very thick actually making it pulls itself deep in the well with a size of almost an inch (0.78).

Bodied at a sheer metal or aluminum casing, the TouchSmart, however, still felt sturdy and silky. With a size of 13.4inches horizontally and 9.3inches vertically, this is but one of the typical 14-incher notebooks with the right display size and input control layout. On the lid, we see a very clean metallic finish with a silver lid along the edges, and just below the lid you’ll see the HP logo. Opening the lid, you are greeted with a very nice touch panel with relatively thin bezels. What this means to users is that they do not only have a sturdy display to tap on, but going for the Windows 8 charms is by no way difficult.

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More with the display, for sure people are actually hoping a crispier display because this one from HP only has a resolution of 1366×768. It is really an envious feeling when this Envy TouchSmart is paired with HP’s Spectre XT TouchSmart because the latter has a full HD display. We get a good viewing angle, however, though this is not something to be rivaled to those who wear an IPS (in-plane switching) technology. Above the display is HP’s TrueVision HD Webcam, which in this model’s case is jammed with Cyberlink’s YouCam software.

For the keyboard, I actually find the island-type layout to be ample with spaces but keys lacking in travel. Being shallow, typing experience is a bit too sensitive, and noise can be at least heard from a distance. However, keys are set in good size with the right amount of spaces in between, and all these stand out because of the backlighting (an advantage, I think). Below the keyboard, we have an above-average-sized touch pad with no physical buttons. Based on testing, the touchpad was too sensitive unless you put little tweaks in it through appropriate software.

Lastly, aside from running Windows 8, another feature that the HP Envy TouchSmart boasts about is its audio enhancement from Beats. While the sound delivered richly at higher levels, it’s still pretty hard to tell what pumps the audio when you don’t know it. Lacking this kind of audio ‘identity,’ then, means that this integration is but passive and not something to really look and admire about.

And for sure you’re interested with the other specs. For this Envy TouchSmart, HP puts in a set of nearly non-customizable chipset with an Intel Core i5 processor. Adding to this is a 4-GB of RAM (upgradeable to 8GB max), an integrated GPU, and hybrid storage of both HDD and SSD. For its price, I regard the HP Envy TouchSmart to be a good entry for the new Windows 8 OS, but should still improve by at least adding better specs and incorporating an optical drive.

HP Envy TouchSmart Windows 8 Ultrabook Price in Singapore Dollar (SGD): Approximately S$ 990.00

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