updated 12:00 am EDT, Tue September 15, 2009
New HP Envies bring Core i7, more
HP this morning revived its sleeping Envy label for two new systems targeted at the same slim but high-speed designs as the MacBook Pro. The Envy 13 and 15 are both housed in aluminum-and-black shells and drop the usual optical drive to shed weight and thickness: the 13-inch model is relatively light at just over 3.7 pounds and is 0.8 inches thick, while even the larger 15-inch system is slightly over 5.1 pounds and under an inch. Both also draw on Monster's Beats PC audio to produce better built-in audio than most notebooks, get color accurate displays, and have a MacBook-like trackpad nicknamed the "clickpad" that hides the main button underneath the surface.
The Envy 15 heads up the pair of notebooks and is unique in having extremely high performance parts in a thin chassis: it should support Intel's new mobile Core i7 quad-core processors, handle up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, and come with a 1GB Mobility Radeon HD 4830 for graphics. Certain processor combinations will also get as much as seven hours of battery life through an extended pack, and the drive bays allow for two SSD in a RAID 0 stripe for added speed. It should stat from $1,799.
HP's smaller model is aimed more at those who would consider a MacBook Air and is slightly thicker in return for more expansion as well as faster video. It runs a low-power 1.86GHz Core 2 Duo S that gives it up to 7 hours of runtime on the stock 9-cell battery but also has a dedicated Mobility Radeon HD 4330 for its graphics. Its slightly larger size also affords it a 250GB hard drive and between 3GB and 5GB of RAM. It should cost slightly less at $1,699.
Both systems are due to ship on October 18th, just a few days before Windows 7.