There’s a raft of new thin and light laptops that has just been announced by HP at the Global Infuser Summit in Shanghai. There are five new laptops in this form factor, HP call the ENVY series. Even more interesting is the fact that two of the five are AMD powered machines. These, as Engadget points out, “don't quite meet Intel's criteria for Ultrabooks”, so have been christened Sleekbooks!
The newly launched ENVY range have the following key specifications;
- HP ENVY Spectre XT $999
13.3” (1366 x 768 resolution), Intel Ivy Bridge CPU, SSD drive, 8 hours battery, 14.4mm thick, 1.4Kg
- HP ENVY Ultrabook 14” $749
14” (1366 x 768 resolution), Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge CPU, 8 hours battery, 19.8mm thick, 1.8Kg
- HP ENVY Ultrabook 15.6” $799
15.6” (1366 x 768 resolution), Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge CPU, 9 hours battery, 19.8mm thick, 1.8Kg
- HP ENVY Sleekbook 14” $699
14” (1366 x 768 resolution), second-generation AMD APU, 8 hours battery, 19.8mm thick, 1.8Kg
- HP ENVY Sleekbook 15.6” $599
15.6” (1366 x 768 resolution), second-generation AMD APU, 9 hours battery, 19.8mm thick, 1.8Kg
All the machines come with 4Gb DDR3 RAM and other usual modern niceties such as USB3, HDMI, webcam and card reader. The Spectre is the only one with an SSD as the main drive, the other two Intel based ENVY Ultrabooks use a 32Gb caching SSD alongside a conventional HDD. Interestingly in the HP press release they list the 15.6” Sleekbook as $100 less than the 14” version. The only spec difference between the two other than the screen size (using the data on Engadget), is that the 15.6” version comes with a slightly smaller HDD at 320Gb rather than 500Gb.
In hands on testing over at cnet UK, there is an initial brief review of one of these AMD based Sleekbooks detailed in HP’s press release. The reviewer thinks that while the Sleekbook meets the Ultrabook spec in many ways they “are nowhere near as skinny or classy as the wedge-shaped MacBook Air, or even HP's own Envy Spectre XT.” That also applies to the Intel versions above, of course, as they have identical chassis.
Unfortunately there are no benchmark specs by any reviewer or hands-on tester as yet for these Sleekbooks, we shall have to wait and see. Also we will have to wait to see confirmed prices, as the press release doesn’t seem to make sense listing the bigger screened Sleekbook at a lower price. It’s encouraging to see that these AMD based Sleekbooks battery life, as indicated in the specification list, is on a par with their Intel counterparts. Also cnet think the Sleekbooks from HP will start at approximately £549.