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I can remember when this system was first produced some years back, they were simply gorgeous, – they were among the only Windows-based machines capable of giving Apple a run for its money where it comes to design. Little has changed on the outside, but this latest model has brand new internal components to keep it up to date.
First up is an Intel Core i5-2410M processor running at 2.3GHz. This dual-core chip is more than capable of completing everyday tasks, and can also hold its own when it comes to more intense workloads thanks to Turbo Boost, which can push its clock speed up to 2.9GHz, paired with 4GB of RAM.
It also copes well with gaming, thanks to an AMD Radeon 6630M dedicated graphics card. With its 1GB of dedicated video memory, it’s also powerful enough for watching high definition video, although you’ll need to connect an external display to watch 1080p content at its native resolution.
Dedicated graphics don’t have to come at the expense of battery life, as the Envy 14 can dynamically switch between the AMD card and Intel’s integrated GPU. The slim secondary battery is designed to sit flush with the base of the notebook and do double the overall battery life.
The screen itself has a 1,366x768 resolution that’s just about large enough to work on two documents side by side - if you need more screen space, there’s a choice of HDMI and Mini Display-Port outputs for connecting an external display. The glossy finish picks up a fair amount of light reflections, but there’s a decent amount of screen tilt to stop it becoming a problem. Picture quality was certainly above average, with both text and images looking sharp, but colors were slightly muted at the default settings.