HP Envy Update

by Kyle  

Well, it's a bit late at this point, but I did end up getting the HP Envy 14 at a "reasonable" price. I didn't end up getting the "Radiance" display, which wasn't a big deal until I actually saw one.

The Radiance display is quite a masterpiece, with outstanding color reproduction and viewing angles, it's $200 premium was more than justified. Comparing my current non-Radiance display side-by-side with a Radiance model, I was instantly amazed by the quality of the picture on the Radiance and equally as amazed by just how bad my display looks by comparison. This is a disappointing symptom just how undervalued the screen is on today's consumer laptop models.

Overall, the Envy is a very solid machine with a few minor quirks, mostly around their use of Apple design choices. For one, the laptop includes no microphone port, but instead utilizes a headset port (works with the iPhone headset) that combines the microphone input with a second headphone output. A $15 adapter can solve this issue, but it's still a bit annoying. Further, the laptop only includes an HDMI and a Mini DisplayPort connector, requiring a MacBook-style adapter in order to get VGA or DVI output. Luckily Monoprice sells a cheaper version of this adapter, but it's just another thing to carry around with me and inevitably misplace.

All-in-all, the HP Envy 14 does represent an important segment of the "high-end" consumer laptop market. Although they have a few oddities in the design, the build is very solid and I'm very happy with the purchase.

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