Ultrabooks at CES 2012: HP Envy 14 Spectre

Rounding off the look at three of the most desirable Ultrabooks at CES, where previously we looked at the Samsung series 9 and the Dell XPS 13, this post takes a look at the HP Envy 14 Spectre.

One of the first things you’ll notice about HP’s Envy 14 Spectre, is its black glass lid, a striking aesthetic feature that helps it to standout at a glance and differentiates itself from the styling of the MacBook Air, the MacBook Air being the elephant in the room at CES.  The design is in keep with the existing Envy range and the gloss finish is robust enough to resist scratching and retain an attractive finish.

HP Envy 14 Spectre Glass (Credit:CNET)

The display has a wide viewing angle, and with a 1600×900 pixel resolution, it can handle most of the prime HD content that you may decide to throw at it.  A nice little feature built-in, is the auto-zoom HD camera that will focus on you when you move away or closer to the screen during a video call, great for those important long distance business meetings but also catching up with family and friends that may be a few hundred miles away.

Impressively, HP have managed to fit a full 14 inch screen into a 13 inch machine that is only 20mm thick and weighs 1.8Kg.  This does mean that the screen over hangs ever so slightly, but we’re willing to hold off from labelling this madness and give HP the benefit of doubt.  Key specifications are 4GB or 6GB of RAM, Core i5 or i7 processors, USB 3.0, HDMI, Mini-DisplayPort and SSD 128GB storage.  All this with a battery life of 9 hours, though the battery itself is not removable, which I guess for the most part many users won’t ever consider replacing the battery.  At 1,000 charge/discharge cycles, you should find that it lasts right up until you get in the mood to get a new Ultrabook.

As with all the latest HP gear, the Spectre is fitted with Beats Audio, as such it has a separate set of audio controls, speakers which reflect sound off of a desk for improved sound quality and an option to connect to HP’s Wireless Audio speakers which will stream audio content to any device with KleerNet protocol support.

HP Envy 14 Spectre Beats audio (Credit:CNET)

With all these feature it’s no surprise that the HP Envy 14 Spectre is in the premium product range, setting the bar high for all of the laptops, notebooks and Ultrabooks that will follow it.  It’s shaping up to be a fantastic machine and is sure to make you the envy of your friends and all those guys in the trendy coffee shop you like to visit as you conspicuously work on your latest novel.

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