Screen and Speakers
The 14.5-inch display is a strange size; HP is the only notebook maker using it. The display is sadly unimpressive and the biggest disappointment of the notebook. The brightness, contrast, and color accuracy are no different than what is found on notebooks half the price. Moreover the 720p (1366×768) screen resolution is poor and results in a lot of unnecessary scrolling online and in most programs since there are not enough pixels to display content. Lastly, the edge-to-edge glassy covering is super reflective and therefore impractical; it should have a matte surface for readability.
The Beats Audio speakers are located under the palm rest. Despite the badging they are not overwhelmingly better than most notebook speakers; bass is sorely lacking and their placement under the palm rest means muffled sound while typing. The speakers get loud enough for general but aren?t impressive in terms of loudness either. Perhaps HP over-marketed the audio capabilities of this notebook.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The ENVY 14 features a white backlit keyboard. This island/Chiclet-style model is unique to the ENVY 14 and not shared with other HP notebooks. The keys have a smooth anti-glare surface and are some of the quietest I’ve heard (or almost not heard, that is). There are some minor flex issues on the right side; however the flexing does not affect the typing experience. The keyboard has an engaging feel and provides enough feedback to make quick typing possible.
The ENVY 14 has a Synaptics ‘clickpad’ – that is, the touchpad has a clickable surface. I am still not sold on clickpads and the ENVY 14’s version did not change my mind. Clicking the surface takes more effort than pressing a typical dedicated touchpad button; furthermore, resting a second finger on the touchpad can cause stuttering and unwanted movement. Aside from the functionality, the touchpad has an excellent matte surface that is easy to track on.