The new ENVY Ultrabook (and What’s a Sleekbook?)

If the Spectre and SpectreXT were some super-premium, extreme high-end Ferrari flavors of the Ultrabook, then that’d make the ENVY line the BMW…Slick in its own ways and still in a different class from what else you’ll see amongst Ultrabook devices. And then there’s the Sleekbook.  Aside from Marketingese, I was curious – what does all this even mean? Well, let’s get down to it as we take a quick look at these latest lightweight laptops: The ENVY 4 and ENVY 6.

ENVY Ultrabook_Hero_BlackRed.jpg

The svelte brushed metal chassis on the new ENVYs will do a couple things for ya. First, it looks good. Premium. But not with quite the premium price tag that you’ll find on Spectre-class machines. I’m also a little partial to the soft-touch red undercarriage for the ENVY Ultrabook. And that spin-finish ImagePad? It makes me think of when I’m looking into a classic car’s polished hubcap. It feels nice and is raised a little above the rest of the wrist-rest area so it completely stands out from its surroundings both visually and by touch.


Second bonus, no bulges in your bag. It is 19.8mm thin, weighs under four pounds…and will last up to nine hours according to tests for the 15.6-inch version (up to eight hours for the 14-inch version). That means besides being light, you probably won’t need to lug around your charger for the day. I should know how freeing that is from firsthand experience. Back during CES in January, I had a Folio13 and not once during the day would I have to plug in to recharge my batteries. That’s a lot less heft (and bag clutter) to sweat.


It’s the only Ultrabook class machine I know of that sports a 2.1 Beats audio solution. With support Wi-Di, it can transmit video to a Wi-Di receiver.  Optional 4G is embedded for additional connectivity while on-the-run.


ENVY Ultrabook_FrontOpen_BlackSilver.jpg

What’s under the hood, you ask? Fantastic question! Let’s just say that it features, “The latest 2nd or 3rd Gen Intel Core Processors.” I’ll let you do the math on that one. Another nice feature is that if you want to spring for a discrete AMD graphics upgrade, you can in the ENVY Ultrabook (HINT: You really want to go with the discrete graphics upgrade). That is potentially a big deal for power users that might want to slip in some game time between emails or work with video editing (I’ve done it on a Spectre – but doing it on an Ultrabook with a discrete GPU? Sounds good to me!).


So what is a Sleekbook and how is it different from what I just told you about? Easy, it’s a superthin laptop that features other processors or components that go beyond the Ultrabook spec. Like AMD hardware, for example. These machines also offer discrete-class graphics on the motherboard. Remember how I went on about the Pavilion dm1 a few months back and how you were getting surprising graphics performance on an 11.6-inch screen? Well, think of these Sleekbooks as a bigger-and-badder brother. Needless to say, I’m anxious to see what it can handle.


Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to get hands on these latest welter-weigh ENVY PCs yet, so I can’t really tell you much more at the moment, but stick around and I’ll be sure to update the blog when I get more quality hands-on time with these guys.


The ENVY Ultrabooks, available May 9th, will start at $749 (14-inch) and $799 for the 15.6-inch model

The ENVY Sleekbooks start at $699 for the 14-inch model and $599 for the 15.6 – these will be available in the U.S. May 9th and June 20th, respectively.


Slick marketing video: ACTIVATE!





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