HP's Envy 14-1196EA premium laptops

By Rahul Ramesh

HP's Envy 14-1196EA  premium laptops


HP has launched the Envy 14-1196ea laptop with the design and colors inspired by Beats by Dr Dre. Mainly it is the Beats red color that runs as a pervading theme all around the laptop’s design, from the Beats logo to the red keyboard lettering. But according to certain reviews it doesn’t live up to its Beats image in styling, performance and speaker quality though it does offer beats headphones to do justice to the Dr Dre name.

HP Envy 14-1196ea is powered by the Core i7-Q720 1.6GHz processor from Intel with 4GB RAM. The quad core processor enables reasonably good performance when intense memory consuming tasks are carried out. This is ideal for multi-tabbed browsing and performing multiple tasks at the same time. However, Envy 14-1196ea only returned average figures at many performance tests which is disappointing for a laptop bearing the Beats connection and costing as much too. It is equipped with a Radeon HD 5650 ATI Mobility graphics card which should offer a great high performance HD video viewing experience. The laptop had an average rating though in 3D gaming.

HP offers pre-loaded Adobe Photoshop Elements as well as Premiere Elements software that make it ideal to carry out photo and video editing, with the graphics providing adequate support. HP has provided a 14.5-inch screen with 1366x768 pixels for the Envy 14-1196ea which isn’t spectacular by any stretch of the imagination. The contrast levels are also poor, and the overall picture quality is average. For movies it is recommended to connect the laptop to a TV through the HDMI port for an aesthetically satisfying experience. For your regular tasks though, the screen is just fine.

HP's Envy 14-1196EA  premium laptops


The laptop comes with 2xUSB 2.0 ports, a single USB 2.0/eSATA port, HDMI port, mini display port, microphone jacks, SD card reader and Beats headphone. Only with the headphone can you truly enjoy great sound quality since the laptop’s speakers aren’t particularly spectacular, especially for a Beats-themed laptop. The absence of a USB 3.0 port is disappointing, which means you cannot swiftly transfer your files you to another external hard drive.

Though it has the prominent red Beats logo on the top and red lettering on the keys, the overall appearance seems to be dull largely because of the black color all around. The keyboard isn’t backlit and though attractive with the red lettering on the black keys, it would be difficult to type in the dark without any external light source. The track-pad does not have separate buttons and is clickable as a whole.

Overall, HP Envy 14-1196ea is a great laptop but just doesn’t fully do justice to the Beats by Dr Dre name. It has a whopping price tag starting from over Rs 50, 000, but does not provide the expected experience for the price.

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