Summary: It is no surprise, looking at the power package, that the HP ENVY 15 j-001TX has performed so well. The latest generation Intel Core i7 processor, paired with 8GB of RAM, a 1080p display and a fairly powerful graphics card is the foundation of extremely good performance. It has an excellent keyboard to type out long documents on.
Pros: Blazing fast performance, Excellent keyboard, Built very well, Excellent gaming capabilities, Looks good
Cons: Poor battery life, Should have had an IPS display, 5400 rpm drive just seems out of place in such a powerful config
Conclusion: The other major consideration is that the Envy 15 comes with those two pieces of Adobe software. You could, of course, buy just one of those programs (and it would be the newer version) and install it on the VAIO for the same total price as the Envy 15. Plus, you'd have it on a faster machine. But if you need both apps (and if the Envy's design is important to you), the HP Envy 15 just might be the better way to go.
Pros: Eye-catching design, Terrific audio, with volume dial on laptop's side, USB 3.0 ports, Excellent software bundle, including premium Adobe apps
Cons: Not the speediest machine for the price, Multitouch touch pad could be better, Hefty chassis, Runs warm
Summary: Six years after the introduction of the MacBook Pro, it appears the PC industry has finally realized that Apple was onto something. With laptops like the Dell XPS 15z and Samsung Series 7 Chronos , the incumbents are scrambling to build a cheaper MacBook Pro for the Windows set, and in more ways than one: not only do the Windows machines have similar metallic builds, they also attempt to copy Apple's design language.
Pros: Rock-solid aluminum construction, Excellent audio for a laptop, Optional 1080p Radiance display is sharp, colorful
Cons: Quirky touchpad with stiff buttons, Average battery life, No Blu-ray option, Unabashed copy of the MacBook Pro
Summary: The new HP Envy 15 is a fairly slick all-purpose laptop, if a little on the bulky side. It has lots of great wireless and wired connectivity options, fantastic audio, a very useful analogue volume dial, and a good keyboard. HP has two major issues to work out before I can recommend it, though. The first is the colour-calibration problem on the otherwise very desirable display upgrade option, and the other is the terrible palm detection and stiff clicking on the touchpad.
Conclusion: The evolution of the HP Envy line has been interesting to watch. It’s obvious that the engineers responsible for this laptop are learning as they go, improving the laptop with each version. With this new Envy 15 we see not only hardware improvements, but also a cleaner designer, a better keyboard and excellent audio. Battery life is impressive, as well. This laptop is far too large and heavy to be an ultraportable, but it has battery life on par with them.
Conclusion: Above all other things, I was looking for a laptop with a very readable high-resolution display, a good keyboard, and a good touchpad. The Envy 15 successfully delivers these (with its Radiance display upgrade), along with excellent performance all around. Photography buffs and artists might want to steer clear of the Envy 15, due to the Radiance display’s low color gamut. Gamers might want to consider the Envy 17 for its mobile gaming performance.
Pros: Excellent performance for the price (after rebates), 15.6″ Radiance Full HD Infinity display option, Switchable integrated/discrete GPU provides power savings, Loud sound system, for a notebook, Good cooling, Good ergonomics, Well built, attractive design
Cons: No Blu-ray drive option, Minor cosmetic build defects reported, Loud cooling fan when using demanding applications, Warranty specifies that the (easily-removed) internal battery is not end-user replaceable, Power manager does not offer customizable charging thresholds
Excerpt: All the headlines these days seem to be grabbed by those svelte little Ultrabooks, but there's still a considerable market for big-screen, high-power laptops out there. HP is more than happy to serve, and their latest offerings in the top of the line ENVY family makes a compelling showing, combining media features and a premium fit and finish at a lower price than its competitors.
Excerpt: A very power full computer featuring fast processor, fast graphics card and 1080p display screen all under one roof, but with great power comes great responsibility. Will the hardware give the expected end result? Solid construction, 1080p screen. No internal optical drive, expensive. Power cables and bundled software.
Excerpt: Stylish enough to take on Apple's MacBook, the Envy 15 backs up its good looks with excellent performance, superb audio, and great ergonomics. If you don't need an all-day battery, this is a dream machine.
Pros: Excellent performance, Vibrant, sharp 1080p screen, Superb music playback, Stylish, Light for its performance class
Cons: Short battery life, No built-in optical drive, Included dongle needed to connect VGA monitors and projectors