HP has just expanded their line of ‘premium’ laptops with two pairs of new thin and light Envy laptops. The new Envy 4 and Envy 6 models are each available in two flavors: Envy Sleekbook and Envy Ultrabook. If that sounds confusing, pay attention closely: the models are the Envy 4 with a 14 inch display and Envy 6 with a 15.6 inch display.
The HP Envy 4 and Envy 6 are more affordable models in the HP Envy range which sport ‘signature’ features of the Envy line such as a buttonless trackpad, streamlined design and Beats audio. However, these affordable models also omit the high resolution displays, premium construction and 2 year warranty (these only come with a standard 1 year) found on more upscale models such as the Envy Spectre, Envy 15 and Envy 17. Another difference: backlit keyboards also don’t come standard with the Envy 4 and Envy 6, though they will be available as options (read: costs extra) for both models.
Sleekbook and Ultrabook are just ways that each model is configured – they share almost every feature except the Sleekbook variant (HP’s speak for not-quite an Intel Ultrabook) comes with only a hard disk and may come with AMD processors while the Ultrabook variant adds 32 GB of solid state cache for storage and faster boot times/program launch times while retaining the hard disk on the side. The solid state cache and hard disk on the HP Envy Ultrabook series appear to be two separate physical drives instead of a fancy single hybrid hard disk.
The HP Envy 4 and Envy 6 (plus their respective Sleekbook and Ultrabook variants) actually share a lot in common, right down to the thinness and weight. Of course, the 14 inch Envy 4 has a smaller footprint while the 15.6 inch Envy 6 and its larger surface area allows it to pack more battery life. Otherwise, check out the features these new Envy models have in common:
- Choice of 2011 Sandy Bridge low voltage Intel Core processors or upcoming 2012 Ivy Bridge low voltage Intel Core processors (if you prefer to wait for the new stuff to roll out in a few months)
AMD Trinity low voltage APU processor choices available beginning June 20
- 2 slots for DDR3 1600 MHz RAM (currently configurable up to 8 GB on HP’s website)
- 500 GB 5400 RPM hard disk drive
- 14 inch display (1366 x 768 resolution only) for Envy 4
15.6 inch display (same 1366 x 768 resolution for Envy 6
- Choice of Intel Integrated Graphics 3000 or 2 GB AMD Radeon 7670M dedicated graphics card
- Buttonless large trackpad
- Ports include: 2 USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, HDMI, SD card slot and Ethernet
- Beats Audio with 2 speakers and dedicated subwoofer
- Battery life rating up to 8 hours (Envy 4) and 9 hours (Envy 6)
- 19.8 mm (0.78 inch) thin and 1.8 kg (4 lbs) weight for both models
- HP True Vision HD webcam
- Choose between two color schemes: silver with black accents or black with red accents
The key difference lies in the fact the HP Envy 4t and Envy 6t Ultrabook variants add a 32 GB mSATA cache into the mix along with Intel Rapid Start, Identity Protection, Smart Response and Smart Connect; this tacks on an extra $50 to the price over their respective Sleekbook variants.
Both the Envy 4t and Envy 6t are currently available for purchase now, with the exception of the Envy 6 Sleekbook variant which will be available on June 20. Here are their respective base prices:
- Envy 4 Sleekbook starts at $699
- Envy 4 Ultrabook starts at $749
- Envy 6 Sleekbook starts at $599 (only AMD processors; no Intel options available)
- Envy 6 Ultrabook starts at $799