Product Type: Hewlett-Packard laptops
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A sleek machine with beauty that is more than skin-deep
HP Envy 4-1010ea
Member Name: DEBDEB
HP Envy 4-1010ea
Advantages: Very fast, slim and light, quiet, versatile, affordable
Disadvantages: No screen touch functionality, no optical drive (not with it being so slim!)
Buying a laptop can be hard work. You can be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options that you have. My approach to this is rather simple and it works: You need to decide on the basic specs that fall in the must-have category.
Nowadays my first starting point is screen size. I would not go for a laptop that is more than 14 inches. That narrows down the field dramatically. 15.6 inches is regarded as the standard and the majority of laptops on the market are this size. For me the compromise on portability that comes with the 15.6 inch size is unacceptable. The next criterion is weight. I would not go above 2kg. Fortunately this tends to dovetail nicely with my preferred screen size. The field is thus narrowed further.
With those basics sorted, I can then go down to the nitty-gritty of the other important specs i.e. operating system, graphics and sound, screen resolution, hard drive storage capacity, memory, optical drive, connectivity (USB ports and type; HDMI; Bluetooth; SD card) etc.
With the field narrowed down, I eventually settled on the HP Envy 4-1010ea. I must confess that, in the end, it boiled down between this and its close cousin, the HP Envy 4-1020ea. The difference is in the processor with this sporting the Intel Core i3 and the 1020ea with the Core i5. For what I needed the laptop for, the more powerful i5 processor was not necessary so the extra outlay (£70) could not be justified.
The HP Envy 4-1010ea is very light (1.8kg) and a real looker with its sleek polished slim lines. However, its worth is more than skin-deep. Mine came with Windows 8 and the boot up is absolutely astonishing. You turn it on and it is there and ready for you to log-in in less than 5 seconds! From that point on, everything is butter smooth. It is also very quiet. You can multi-task to your heart's content. There is also the surprisingly good sound from the laptop speakers when you play music. It won't bowl you over but this is the first laptop I've seen where you can listen to music and actually enjoy it.
Now to the cons: The screen resolution is quite good but not fantastic. There is no CD/DVD drive so, if this is crucial to you, you will need to buy an external drive. Its battery-life is actually quite decent (over 5 hours) but nowhere near the claimed 9 hours so beware.
All in all, this laptop deserves to be a comfortable member of the ultrabook tribe and if you are after a light, smart, fast and very capable laptop, this should certainly be on your shortlist. There is the happy bonus of affordability too (It costs less than half a similarly spec'd MacBook Air).
Summary: A classy slim and light laptop that performs brilliantly. Worth every penny
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