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HP ENVY 6t-1000 review – the 15.6 inch ultrabook

HP ENVY 6t-1000 review – the 15.6 inch ultrabook
Posted by: Andrei Girbea | Last updated on: 23 Jul 2012 | See the comments
Summary: If you want a 15.6 inch ultrabook, the HP ENVY 6 provides solid value for the buck. It's sleek, light and nicely built and fast enough for the average daily tasks. However, HP could have worked on the details, as the screen, keyboard or trackpad are merely average.
Rating: 3.5 / 5   Price range: $799 to $1099

THE GOOD

slim and light for a 15.6 inch laptop, good looking and nicely put together, fast enough for daily use and multimedia, good speakers, decent battery life

THE BAD

The screen, keyboard and trackpad are only average, not as fast as other laptops in this class, easily catches fingerprints

WHERE TO BUY: Latest discounts

While ultrabooks have been around for a year or so, most of the available models are compact 13.3 inchers, with some 11.6 and 14 inch alternatives. However, customers love 15.6 inch laptops, as these are by far the best sold on the market. Thus, it was just a matter of time before we’d see 15.6 inch ultrabooks.

The HP Envy 6 is one of the few available already in stores and we’ve played with one in these last days. You should be aware that we are testing the HP Envy 6t-1000 here, the ultrabook built on an Intel Ivy bridge hardware platform and not the cheaper Envy 6z sleekbook that runs on an AMD APU.

Update: if you’re looking to find some discounts on any of the HP Envy 6 series laptops, this link should come in handy.

The review will tell you more about this laptop, but long story short, the Envy 6 is a 15.6 inch laptop with a sleek and light body, able to offer solid everyday performances, while starting at around $800. It’s of course not as portable as a smaller 13.3 inch ultrabook, but it is way thinner and lighter than the average laptop in this class.

HP Envy 6 video review

The video review below will take you through most of the aspects you should know about this laptop, but if you’re after extra details, you’ll find them in the written post.

Design and exterior

We’re going to start by taking a look at the exterior, as the Envy 6 is a slim notebook, only 0.8 inches thick and weighing 4.7 pounds, while the average 15.6 inch laptops are way bulkier and heavier.

Thin and light for a 5.6 incher - the HP Envy 6t-1000

Thin and light for a 5.6 incher – the HP Envy 6t-1000

When compared to other 15.6 inch ultrabooks, the Samsung Series 9 is the standard right now, measuring 0.6 inches and weighing 3.8 pounds, while the Acer Aspire V5 is pretty much on par with this HP.

HP offers the Envy 6 in two color options, I got to play with the standard one, that comes with a black aluminum hood and interior and dark-red plastic bottom and sides, blended together into a solid built device. Smudges and fingerprints are a bit annoying on the black finish, but besides that, there’s nothing wrong with this laptop, as I enjoyed the overall feel and finishing quality.

Beautiful, although smudges and fingerprints are pesky on the black finish

Beautiful, although smudges and fingerprints are pesky on the black finish

The ports are on the sides, and except for VGA, this HP Envy 6 offers everything we usually get on notebooks in this class. On the left there’s the LAN adapter, HDMI output, two USBs, a card-reader and some status LEDs. On the right, you’ll get the Kensington Lock, the headphone and mic jacks, another USB and the PSU.

Left side

Left side

Right side

Right side

As for the bottom, this one is made from this smooth rubbery plastic and only offers a bunch of cooling grills, as there’s no quick way to access the battery or the internals.

The plastic bottom

The plastic bottom

Lifting the lid cover, you’ll notice the same dark aluminum used for the palm rest and the sides, while there’s some regular plastic between the keys and a plastic grill on top, that covers the Beats Audio speakers.

A looker on the inside as well

A looker on the inside as well

The dark keys with a dark background are a bit difficult to spot in dim light, especially since our version did not sport a backlit keyboard. And smudges will be quite annoying on that dark aluminum palm rest, but I’d take this everyday over the regular glossy plastic we usually get on HP laptops.

Keyboard and touchpad

There’s a wide full-size Keyboard on this HP, without a Num-Pad area, which leaves more space for the regular keys. As a result, this keyboard is spacious. The square flat keys offer decent feedback and the overall typing experience is alright, although the flex and the stickiness of some of the keys jade it sometimes.

My test unit did not feature a backlit keyboard, but that’s actually available as an option on HP’s website and will only cost you $20 extra.

Average keyboard and trackpad

Average keyboard and trackpad

The trackpad is wide and performs OK, most of the time. The cursor can get occasionally jumpy and the entire clickable surface is a bit too stiff, which means that registering commands isn’t as smooth as it should. But you’ll probably get used to that in time.

I also had an issue with multitouch gestures, as sometimes even the basic two-finger scrolling failed to act consistently.

Screen

The 15.6 inch screen does have a small bezel, but unfortunately that’s made from glossy plastic and will easily catch fingerprints. On top of the display there’s a TrueVision HD webcam.

The screen itself is glossy as well, which means you’ll have a hard time using this computer in strong light, which is a pity, since a thin and light laptop should be versatile even when used outside, while on the road.

The screen is glossy and the TN panel offer quite poor viewing angles, unless you're looking at it straight-on

The screen is glossy and the TN panel offer quite poor viewing angles, unless you’re looking at it straight-on

The screen only comes with 1366 x 768 px resolution. I for one would have definitely appreciated something like 1600 x 900 px on a 15.6 inch display, but that’s not even available as an extra option.

The brightness and colors are fairly alright, as long as you’re looking at the screen straight-on, otherwise the viewing angles are poor and the images will quickly wash-out, especially since the screen does not lean on its back as much as I’d want.

The screen is not worst than what you get on regular 15.6 inchers, as long as you properly adjust the viewing angle

The screen is not worst than what you get on regular 15.6 inchers, as long as you properly adjust the viewing angle

Hardware and performances

As a proper ultrabook, the HP Envy 6t is built on an Intel Ivy Bridge platform. To be specific, there’s an Intel Core i5-3317U inside our test unit, 6 GB of RAM, AMD’s Radeon 7670 HD graphics and hybrid storage and this is in fact almost the top config you can get for this laptop.

As a result, this Envy 6 is fast, despite not sporting and SSD. And it will perform a lot faster after you get rid of most of the crapware HP bundles on this unit.

It will handle the daily multitasking at ease and it will even cope with more serious tasks, like editing videos or clips, running all sorts of multimedia content and even games. So I could say that this laptop is powerful enough to meet the requirements of an average user.

For enthusiasts though, don’t forget that an ULV platform and a mainstream graphics system can only offer that much. In other words, regular 15.6 inch laptops can provide better performances, as they can pack full-voltage processors and more powerful graphics.

Below you’ll find how did this HP Envy 6t score in the usual benchmarks and tests:

  • 3DMark 11: E1841, P1159;
  • PCMark 07: 4018;
  • PCmark Vantage: 7934;
  • CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 33.42 fps, CPU 2.29 pts;

Battery life

HP fitted a 4 Cell 56 Wh battery inside this unit and they claim you could squeeze close to 9 hours of life out of it. In real life, I only managed to get about 4.5 hours of daily average use and close to 5 hours of looping a HD movie, on Power Saver mode.

That’s actually not bad, although I was expecting a bit better when seeing those initial HP estimations.

About 4.5  - 5 hours of use on a single charge

About 4.5 – 5 hours of use on a single charge

Noise, heat, speakers and others

The laptop can become warm when running intense apps

The laptop can become warm when running intense apps

This laptop is going to run overall fairly cool and quiet as long as you’re not pushing it. In daily use, the bottom will only get slightly warm and the fan will only become active from time to time, but if you’re planing to run games, you should expect the underbelly to get quite hot, although the cooling system will not actually get considerably louder.

You get Beats Audio branded speakers on this laptop, placed on top of the keyboard and I must say that the sound quality on this HP is above average and definitely superior to what you get on standard 15.6 inch laptops, even with the volume turned towards maximum.

The BeatsAudio speakers are something worth paying for

The BeatsAudio speakers are something worth paying for

Pricing and availability

As we head towards the end of this review, we should also mention that the HP Envy 6t currently starts at about $700 dollars, while this particular config that we tested here will get you closer to 900 bucks.

Amazon lists some Envy 6t versions as well, slightly cheaper, but if you want to configure your own products and also get Free Shipping, you should see HP’s own store for that. Anyway, for a list of places where you can buy the HP Envy 6t, you should definitely check out this post.

That’s a bit expensive for a 15.6 incher, but still a good price for an ultrabook. For comparison, a similarly configured sized HP Pavilion DV6 (with a regular Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor though) will go for about $730, which is about $150 cheaper than this one.

While proper priced for an ultrabook, the Envy 6 is significantly more expensive than a regular 15.6 inch laptop with overall the same features

While proper priced for an ultrabook, the Envy 6 is significantly more expensive than a regular 15.6 inch laptop with overall the same features

Wrap-up

All in all, the HP Envy 6 is an interesting 15.6 inch laptop and one of the few ultrabooks available in this class.

It’s definitely thinner and lighter than most of its competitors and aesthetically appealing as well. It’s fast enough for the average daily tasks, but can also deal with games or HD movies and that BeatsAudio sound system really adds up to its multimedia abilities.

On the other hand, the keyboard, trackpad and the battery life are only alright, but some of you might find them just not good enough. And the screen is definitely not what I was expecting, although not worse than what you get on mainstream 15.6 inchers these days.

Overall, I liked the HP Envy 6 and find it a worthy option if after a thin-and-light 15.6 inch laptop

Overall, I liked the HP Envy 6 and find it a worthy option if after a thin-and-light 15.6 inch laptop

In the end, it’s up to you to decide if the HP Envy 6t is worth the cash and should or should not become your next notebook. Also, you must understand that regular sized laptops will offer better performances than this one, while going for 100-200 bucks less. So you’ll have to decide if sacrificing those for the sleek and light body and the slightly better battery life is for sure what you want right now.

When compared with the regular 13.3 inch ultrabooks, the HP Envy 6t is massive, but also more powerful (especially in terms of graphics), while a bit cheaper than the good options in that class.

While thicker than a 13.3 inch Zenbook, the HP Envy 6 is still one of the sleekest laptops in its class

While thicker than a 13.3 inch Zenbook, the HP Envy 6 is still one of the sleekest laptops in its class

Of course, if you have any other questions about this ultrabook, or others for that matter, just post them below and I’ll reply asap.

Andrei Girbea, aka Mike, Editor-in-Chief and a huge fan of mobile computers. Since 2007, I've only owned smaller than 12.5" laptops and I've been testing tens, if not hundreds of mini laptops. You'll find mostly reviews and guides written by me here on the site.

31 Comments

  1. John

    July 24, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Mike – thanks for the review – I was wondering about expandability of this device. Example – I see it can take 2 memory modules of 8GB each – how much of a pain is it to open this unit up?

    when SSD prices come down – is the HDD replaceable?

    Also – the one thing I haven’t been able to find – is the battery on this unit removable (without a screwdriver..

    Thanks.

    • Mike

      July 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      1. No, the battery is not removable

      2. The HDD can be replaced, but you’ll have to remove the back panel for that. I don’t know how difficult it is to remove it, it shouldn’t be that complicated if you know what you’re doing. I haven’t tried to do it myself

  2. John

    August 31, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I can’t find the i5 ivy bridge model with the graphics card in the HP website the only configurations are sandy bridge i5 with the graphics card or an i5 ivy bridge with intel 4000? I’m very interested in purchasing this model while the free Xbox promotion is running.

    • Mike

      August 31, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      John, i can’;t check right now, but the mode is there, just pick the 6t and than go ahead and change the configuration and you should be able to add the dedicated graphics on the Core i5 Ivy bridge version… if not, drop me a line and I’ll take a look asap, I’m currently not at my pc

  3. dave

    August 31, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Hi Mike! That was a pretty great review!

    I’m about to buy an Ultrabook and it seems like HP Envy 6-1032sg is not that bad for the price they are offering. I would like to have some external opinions from you all whether or not it would be a nice choice.
    I know it’s not a typical gaming laptop but my budget like most of us is a bit tight. It’s eventually really slim and nice to work with it guess with a nice 15’6 inches display, a 6 DDR3 Random Access Memory, Core i5, a 32Gb SSD where the OS is being installed thus a faster response to normal queries. The sound is being made by Beats audio which is actually not bad at all and 2 USB 3.0 port which is today a MUST!
    My question would be, what about the DVD reader/Writer? It’s absent right? Was it because they wanted to make it slimer? Which external DVD drive would you advise me?

    Thanks a lot.
    Dave.

    • Mike

      August 31, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Dave, it’s a decent device this HP. It’s light and thin, but maybe not as light as you might expect.

      The optical drive is definitely missing, there’s just no place for it on these slimmer devices.

      If you wnat to check out some of the devices I recommend, have a look at them over here: http://www.tlbhd.com/best-external-dvd-drvies-for-netbooks-774/

      Cheers

  4. Dosto

    September 2, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Nice Review
    can i change ram? can i expend it into 8gb with 2 4gb each??
    Backlight in keyboard?
    Graphic card DDR5??? Its a better card???
    SSD separade? or buildin in motherboard?
    can i setup OS in SSD??
    Overall how it is???

  5. Craig

    September 7, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Great review! Thank You! Very helpful in helping me decide between the HP Envy 6 and the Dell 14z (leaning towards the HP at this point)…. Now here’s my question. Buy now? Or wait until the Windows 8 Machines start dropping next month and hope these prices come down with the new machines on the market?

    • Mike

      September 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      do you really need win 8? that should be probably your first question.

      and then, prices might drop by november, but not because windows 8 will be launched, but because they usually drop during the winter sales period. so if you can wait, then it might be a good idea.

  6. Kento

    September 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Yeh Mike,how bout FIFA 12 running on the envy 6? Will it perform OK with the minimum settings???

    • Mike

      September 13, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      i haven’t tried it but it shoudl work fine

  7. Coddrut

    November 5, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Salut. Miam cumparat un HP envy6 ci intel corei5 ati radeon 7670m si 4Gb RAM acum o luna si a rulat totul perfect acum nu imi mai merg jocurile cum imi mergeau la inceput. ce ma sfatursti sa fac? am incercat deja sa fac un uptdate la driverele video dar nu s-a rezolvat nimic, am dat 1000euro si imi cam pare rau ca am dat atatia bani.

    • Mike

      November 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Cum adica nu mai merg la fel? Ce se intampla? Da-mi un mail cu detalii amanuntite, gasesti adresa la contact.

  8. Andrei

    November 9, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Salut, unde anume ai vazut pe site-ul HP ca iti poti comanda varianta cu taste iluminate? La scurt timp dupa ce mi-am cumparat envy-ul am aflat tot de pe net ca exista si modele cu backlit keyboard, doar ca nu am vazut asa ceva in RO.
    Tipii de la suport tehnic pentru HP Romania habar n-au de asa ceva.

    • Mike

      November 11, 2012 at 10:46 am

      Pe site-ul oficial HP, cauta pe google “HP Envy 6t backlit keyboard” . Insa din ce stiu eu in Romania nu se aduc si modele cu asa ceva

      • Miguel

        March 10, 2013 at 4:08 am

        hi mike, what you recommend me the hp envy 6/4 with i5 7670m or hp dm4 beats edition with i5? i can’t decide they both look good, i wonder how well gaming is on envy i know that dm4 has no GPU. I wan’t something good for college. thank you

        • Mike

          March 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm

          Depends. Gaming on the integrated Intel HD 4000 is mostly a no no. Still, if you don’t have high expectations… You can go to youtube and search for “asus ux31a gaming gadgetjm” and see a clip of mine where’ I’m playing games on this graphics chip and a core i7 processor.

          So if you really want the games, you should probably look at the Envy 6 with the AMD graphics

  9. Ahmad

    December 20, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Thanks for review of the computer, it helped alot. – When the computer gets heated up can it then ruin the computer or what does it do?

  10. richi

    January 3, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Superb review! What is the difference between 6t-1000 and the new 6t-1100???

  11. Firoj Mahmud

    January 30, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Hi Mike,

    I have been searching a whole lot of time to find the review of HP ENVY m6-1114tx. But didn’t get anywhere. Can you please tell me what is the difference between this model and the reviewed one by you. Please I have to decide whether to buy HP ENVY m6-1114tx or not.

    Advance thanks to you.

    Regards,
    Firoj

  12. Ehud

    April 23, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I wondring between
    Samsung NP530U4E-S01IL
    Or
    Envy 6-1202ea
    help me what i shouls buy…
    What is a better ultrabook?
    The money doesnt matter
    And are hp more quality then samsong?
    I mean Like dell alinware better then the other producers…

  13. Grant

    July 1, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Hey Mike,
    Thank you for the really informative review! My laptop just broke after about 2 years and Im thinking about getting this with 8 gigs of ram and intel 4000 graphics or the Zenbook UX31-RSL8 to replace it. Im hoping that it would run some games that I played on my old laptop, games such as Team Fortress 2, Portal 2, Assassin’s Creed II, and Mirror’s edge. Which would you recommend for running these games? Thank you so much!
    Grant-

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 1, 2013 at 10:31 am

      Hey Grant. These are older games but the Intel 4000 chip is not very fast. Still, as long as you’re fine with trimming the details, I believe they should run decently. If possible though, look for anything with the new Intel Haswell hardware in it, particularly a processor that embeds Intel 5000/5200 graphics, not the 4400. You should see improvements with those.

      Also, if gaming matters much, the Asu UX32VD could be an option, with a dedicated chip (not very powerful, but still better than the Intel 4000)

      • Grant Henry

        July 2, 2013 at 7:02 am

        Thank you so much for the reply! I’m pretty sure Im going to go with this Hp. I noticed that there are some models with a dedicated graphics card, I believe the AMD 2GB Radeon HD 7670M, If I got one without it could I later install it on my own?

        • Andrei Girbea

          July 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm

          no, you don’t. you either buy it from starters or you’ll have to do with the integrated Intel chip

  14. Michael

    July 2, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    Is this laptop weighted well enough where you could lift up the lid with one finger?

    • Andrei Girbea

      July 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

      I don’t really remember that, it’s been a while since i tested it…

  15. Dan

    September 5, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Salut. Mi-am cumparat si eu un Envy 6-1201sq si dupa un timp sau la utilizare putin mai intensa incepe sa scoata un sunet specific calculatoarelor vechi atunci cand procesau, acel sunet ca si un zgariat.
    Care ar putea fi problema? Sau am eu ghinion?

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      are HDD, nu SSD, asa e? acela caraie, probabil este unul destul de lent. Solutia e sa il inlocuiesti cu un SSD, si nu il vei mai auzi deloc, sau cu un HDD de mai buna calitate. eu as pune un SSD

  16. Micaela

    November 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Hey Mike! I was wondering if this laptop is ok to me. Im student of University of Journalism, so I need a thin laptop for take everywhere and a decent battery for the 6 or 7 hours that I expend on my classes. I need Photoshop so the screen doesnt convince me. Can you tell me any other Ultrabook that may be usefull to me?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Hey Micaela. What’s your budget? This is a bit old, so I’d probably go for something else. But gain, that depends on your budget

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