HP Envy 6 (1010TU)

For less than AU$1000, the Envy 6 is quite a good deal, with an excellent build quality and attractive design. To get there, though, the company had to use last-generation specs.


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CNET Rating
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User Rating

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Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


It's kinda weird to get an ultrabook using last year's hardware, and be told that it's a new product.

Connectivity

  • USB 3.0: 2
  • USB 2.0: 1
  • Optical: None
  • Video: HDMI
  • Ethernet: Gigabit
  • Wireless: Single-channel 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0

Such is the case with HP's Envy 6, which uses a Core i5 2467M. Not necessarily a bad thing, but with third generation Core around and offering marked performance increases, it's at the very least anachronistic. Things become a little clearer when you realise it's all to hit a price point, with the Envy 6 selling for AU$999, even at the likes of Harvey Norman.

It is attractive, at least. Black, brushed aluminium, a red base and a thin profile for a 15.6-inch laptop all add up to something that's quite appealing. It's not as thin as the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which comes up at the same height as the Envy 6's keyboard, but it's nice to see the mid-weight crowd get decidedly slimmer.

Sadly, the screen doesn't match the same rate of progress. At 1366x768 and TN-based, this is standard budget laptop fodder, which cheapens the Envy brand. There is a 500GB mechanical hard drive inside though, paired with a 4GB flash drive to assist boot speed.

Ports are befitting of a laptop of this size, with two USB 3.0, one USB 2.0, an SD card reader, HDMI, gigabit Ethernet, headphone and microphone jacks.

HP has employed a standard level Synaptics pad for its clickpad, and the keyboard is serviceable, but not backlit. Despite carrying the Beats logo, the speakers included are quite hissy and treble biased, also attenuating volume when it gets too much for the equipment used. You can get something vaguely acceptable by fiddling with the settings in the Beats control panel, but it can't overcome the fact that the speakers simply aren't very good.

Wireless options are towards the budget end of the spectrum, with 2.4GHz 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 included.

Application performance

Choose a benchmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia


The hardware configuration puts the Envy 6 within spitting distance of the Spectre 14, but still a large distance behind the third generation Core laptops.

Battery life


While battery life is excellent, it doesn't match HP's other efforts in the ultrabook arena.

Conclusion

For less than AU$1000, the Envy 6 is quite a good deal, with an excellent build quality and attractive design. To get there, though, the company had to use last-generation specs. For most, this won't be a bother, but if you want better performance, wait for the refresh.

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lalat77 posted a comment   
Australia

I just had to comment here after trying to find the exact model number for my (faulty) Envy notebook, and stumbling across this review. The build quality is NOT 'excellent', as quoted from above.
Here is the short story:
PURCHASED: June 30th 2012, $1000
FIRST FAULT: October 2012: Sudden break to left screen hinge on opening the laptop; resulting screen failure. HP repaired immediately (on the spot in a home visit), no questions asked.
SECOND FAULT: June 2013: Sudden screen failure; visual 'crack' in display and screen completely unreadable on starting up my computer (that had not moved from my home office desk in a week).
HP refused to repair it, and on receiving an emailed picture of the screen also refused to believe I had not dropped it, or at least slammed the lid closed, even though there was no physical damage at all and only a completely unreadable screen.
On complaint a very helpful Australian customer service rep. called me back and decided to reverse this decision.
July 2, 2013: Parts now not available until July 18th (has been with the repair technician since June 20th). Helpful HP rep advises getting unit returned and seeking a replacement notebook under out ACC rights in Australia for delayed repair. I will be doing (with a better designed unit) to protect myself from further issues with this very badly engineered screen (and yes, it WILL happen again, and my notebook only travels from my home office to the kitchen table!).
FINAL ADVICE : Do not buy this model!!! Not even on sale!

MatthewC11 Facebook
3
Rating
 

"Poor quality construction"

MatthewC11 posted a review   

The Good:good price, looks sleek, USB 3.0, fast bootup

The Bad:hinges are very poor quality, sound isn't great.

Laptop itself has basically been fine until recently.
Sound is a bit tinny and the space bar on the keyboard isn't very good but apart from that it was fine, especially for under 1000.
However recently the hinge broke through the cover and HP support are refusing to repair it.
Bringing it back to office works while the warranty is still good....
Very disappointing I thought HP was supposed to be a good brand, obviously not.

 

HildaK1 posted a comment   

Just bought mine today. Came home all excited, gathered the family around so I could show it off. Opened lid, (earlier on although I noticed the right hinge lid was slightly askew and questioned the salesman, he said not to worry - it was alright, and it was when he opened the lid!), I then logged onto Windows 7 and we oohhhed and aahhed at this nice notebook, and then I proceeded to shut it. It was then that we heard this almighty loud crack - and the right hinge had split and torn apart, instantly peeling off the screen from the plastic frame! I can't even shut the lid now, without the hinge cracking further. Very upset, how can a great product be compromised with such cheap casing and workmanship? You hardly expect this from Hewlett Packard.

yesman
6
Rating
 

"Poor build quality lets it down"

yesman posted a review   

I also had a problem with a hinge. After 3 months, it somehow became slightly askew and so every time I opened or closed the lid it peeled the actual screen away from the plastic shell. I returned it to Officeworks and they only had a display unit to replace it with so I took this only to realise once I got it home that the same problem was happening on this machine. Took it back again and they told me there was another one out the back with the same problem.

Aside from that it was a briiliant machine for a great price. Super fast, light and looked good. But build quality is 1/10.

itorreswong
6
Rating
 

itorreswong posted a review   

Bought an envy 6 in july and the hinge that holds the screen broke recently by me just opening the laptop, not very sturdy. claimed the frepair on warranty and they did a good job fixing it and were friendly and nice about it. Hope it doesnt break again!! Other than that its a good laptop for the price ;)

 

Will1505 posted a comment   

Interesting that there is such a high score with so many negatives

 

Craig Simms posted a reply   
Australia

The negatives need to be framed in the context of the price. At under $1000, regardless of the detractors it's still decent value.




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User Reviews / Comments  HP Envy 6 (1010TU)

  • lalat77

    lalat77

    "I just had to comment here after trying to find the exact model number for my (faulty) Envy notebook, and stumbling across this review. The build quality is NOT 'excellent', as quoted from above. <..."

  • MatthewC11

    MatthewC11

    Rating3

    "Laptop itself has basically been fine until recently.
    Sound is a bit tinny and the space bar on the keyboard isn't very good but apart from that it was fine, especially for under 1000.
    ..."

  • HildaK1

    HildaK1

    "Just bought mine today. Came home all excited, gathered the family around so I could show it off. Opened lid, (earlier on although I noticed the right hinge lid was slightly askew and questioned t..."

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