Excerpt: Ultrabooks are being sold across the board at different price ranges, and it seems like pricing of products is slowly coming down. They were first launched at price tags crossing Rs. 70,000, but with prices dropping, adoption rates are likely to rise. HP has quite a few models being launched and its Envy line-up received the Spectre XT Ultrabook a while back.
Summary: To prepare for the Windows 8 onslaught, laptop manufacturers are trying all sorts of inventive touchscreen notebook designs . Some screens flip, some spin, some twist, and some can actually be detached from their keyboards so you can have a tablet for the road. However, the craziest new laptop design may be the simplest of all: simply graft a touchscreen onto an existing clamshell .
Pros: Excellent touch experience, Few potential dealbreakers, Decent array of ports
Cons: Uninspired design, Ugly screen, Unimpressive battery life
Summary: That laptop has a far superior screen, a better keyboard and touchpad, a sturdier build quality, and the ability to fold into a tablet for times when that makes sense. And did we mention that it weighs more than a pound less? But, if you really need to count your sheckles, the Envy 4 is a serviceable touchscreen option at an affordable price.
Pros: Good touchscreen responsiveness; respectable parts; affordable price.
Cons: Weak screen; touchy touchpad; almost heavy for this class.
Conclusion: The addition of the touchscreen drives up the Envy’s price, drops the battery life, and makes the Ultrabook heavier than before. None of these trade-offs seem worth it. Touch does make the Windows 8 experience a little more enjoyable on laptops that convert to tablets (like the Dell XPS 12 , Lenovo Yoga , or even HP’s own Envy x2 , but the gains don’t balance the losses here.
Pros: Attractive design, Excellent touchpad, Good performance
Cons: Heavy for an Ultrabook, Lots of bloatware, Narrow viewing angles on display, Unimpressive battery life
Excerpt: HP's newest ultrabook offers solid performance and a touch-screen Windows 8 experience for a reasonable starting price of $799. But it's fairly heavy, and the display isn't great, though you may not notice behind the glare that comes with the glass.
Conclusion: When it comes to the features offered by the HP Envy TouchSmart 4-1102sg we're talking about a powerful mix. The touchscreen , the included external DVD drive and the speakers with a subwoofer lift the notebook distinctly above other media-laptops. Whether the touchscreen really is a selling point depends on your own requirements for a mobile device. For those who find laptops too cumbersome and tablets too inflexible, here is an interesting balance.
Pros: Aluminum casing, Good design, Touchscreen, Good speakers, Sound by Beats, the laptop speakers that clearly belong to the better class.
Conclusion: The HP Envy 4-1043cl ultrabook offers plenty of fine features, like Beats Audio, WiDi 2.0, and generous offerings in software and warranty, not to mention a strong performance boost from Intel's latest third-generation processor. Still, we expected a higher quality display and longer battery life from HP's premium laptop line.
Pros: Ivy Bridge processor. Beats Audio. Six-month trial of Norton Internet Security. Two-year warranty period. Decent all-around performance.
Cons: Ho-hum 1,366 by 768 display. Bloatware. Battery life is good, but not great.
Summary: For $799, the HP Envy 4-1030us is a highly portable and stylish Ultrabook that provides snappy performance at a reasonable price. Add to that excellent audio, a comfy backlit keyboard, a cool-running chassis and fairly long battery life, and this could easily be one of our favorite value-priced Ultrabooks. We're just concerned about quality control. If the lid didn't rub against the back of the chassis on the units we tried, we would likely make this system a top pick.
Pros: Sleek and lightweight design, Excellent Beats Audio, Runs cool, Strong overall performance with fast boot time, Smooth and reliable touchpad
Cons: Lid can catch on back of chassis when opening, Fingerprints show up quickly on lid, Relatively dim screen
Conclusion: We’re a bit confused about why HP has decided to take the Envy line down-market. Luxury pricing for luxury products was the entire point, and there’s no reason why the Envy 4 could not have been a very nice Pavilion. HP’s decision to market nearly the same PC as both an Ultrabook and a Sleekbook is also confusing.
Pros: Attractive black-and-red exterior, Good touchpad, Excellent sound and useful Beats Audio software, Above average battery life
Cons: Not competitively priced, Heavy for an Ultrabook, Lots of bloatware