Notebooks Guide

HP Envy 14 Spectre review

HP Envy 14 Spectre - Unbreakable

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Overall rating 8/10
Design:
9
Features:
8
Performance:
8
Value:
6.5
Mobility:
7
THE GOOD
Durable Gorilla Glass covered design
Superb build quality
Excellent keyboard
Great audio
THE BAD
Expensive for its specs
Heavy for its size


Battery Performance and Portability Index

Battery Performance and Portability Index

The Spectre is equipped with a 6-cell, 14.8V, 58Wh battery that takes up about half of its interior space. Unlike most Ultrabooks, the Spectre’s battery can be removed through an easily accessible base plate - although the battery itself is screwed into place.

Mobility Specifications Compared
Specifications / Notebook HP Envy 14 Spectre HP Folio 13 ASUS Zenbook UX31 Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 Dell XPS 15z
Battery 6-cell, 58WHr 6-cell, 59WHr 6-cell, 47WHr 6-cell, 55WHr 6-cell, 64WHr
Dimensions 327 x 221 x 20mm 318.5 x 220 x 18mm 325 x 223 x 3-17mm 375 x 250 x 20mm 385 x 260 x 25mm
Weight 1.80kg 1.49kg 1.31kg 2.20kg 2.51kg

With its larger and higher resolution screen, the Spectre wasn’t quite as good as the Folio 13 (which still holds the record for longest battery life) although it was the second best performer, beating both the Zenbook UX31and Timeline Ultra M3 by about half an hour, lasting 4 hours and 40 minutes in total - more than enough for a good movie or maybe even two!

As expected, power consumption was slightly worse than the 13-inch display Ultrabooks, and slightly better than the 15-inch Timeline Ultra M3.

If you want to see how much difference Intel’s low voltage mobile processors make, compare the Dell XPS 15z, which uses a regular mobile processor to the low voltage Ultrabooks. While the XPS 15z has a full HD screen, it also uses a higher capacity 64 Wh battery, but still died more than an hour before any of the Ultrabooks.

 

Portability Index

Intel’s Ultrabook specifications state that 14-inch Ultrabooks are required to be thinner than 21mm. The Spectre neatly beats that by being only 20mm thick. In fact, its overall footprint is quite small, and could easily be mistaken for a 13-inch Ultrabook with its dimensions more in line with models like the Folio 13 and Zenbook UX31 (it's actually smaller in both width and length compared to the Zenbook UX31)

Intel however, has no official weight limit specifications for their Ultrabook category (something they probably should); and, while the Spectre is small, it feels incredibly dense (thanks largely in part to the amount of Gorilla Glass on it) which somewhat nullifies any portability advantages it gets from it's compact dimensions. At 1.8kg - about 500g heavier than most other Ultrabooks with similar dimensions - when you're carrying around in your bag, you certainly won’t be mistaking it for a lighter, 13-inch Ultrabook.

On our Portability Index the Spectre’s heavy weight causes its ratio to dip below 2.0, while most other 13-inch Ultrabooks sustained far higher ratios. Acer’s Aspire Timeline Ultra M3 was worse at only 0.974, but that drop came with significant performance gains and an even larger screen, something the Spectre can’t boast over other, lighter, Ultrabooks.