HP ENVY 14 Screen, Speakers and Ports

October 12, 2010 by Kevin O'Brien Reads (221,598)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Software & Support
    • 8
    • Upgrade Capabilities
    • 9
    • Usability
    • 9
    • Design
    • 10
    • Performance
    • 9
    • Features
    • 9
    • Price/Value Rating
    • 9
    • Total Score:
    • 9.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10


Screen and Speakers

The HP ENVY 14 has a 14.5-inch all-glass display that is unique to this particular notebook. The 14.5-inch screen size has a higher than average HD+ (1600×900) resolution but a smaller footprint that helps to bridge the gap between 13.3/14-inch and larger 15.6/16-inch notebooks. The screen features higher than average contrast and very high color saturation. We measured an average contrast ratio of 938:1 with our Gossen Mavo Light Meter. Black levels were excellent, measuring a low 0.25cd/m2 in the center and a peak of 275cd/m2. Colors seemed to have a slight red-cast which was only noticed when viewing an all-white screen when browsing the web or typing documents. It wasn’t tinted enough to look like a defect or really considered a problem, but it might seem off if you sit in front if a display with a standard blue or yellow tint all day and quickly look over at the ENVY. Viewing brightness was excellent in brightly lit rooms, but it was almost necessary to increase the brightness to counteract reflections from the all-glass screen cover. These panels look great from a design standpoint, but tend to exponentially increase screen glare and reflections compared to standard glossy displays.

The HP ENVY 14 features Beats Audio designed speakers located on the front edge of the palmrest. The speakers are “lap-firing” meaning they could be blocked by clothing with it sitting on your lap, but on a desk surface they wouldn’t present any problems. In our testing the speakers sounded very good for movies or music, but it’s hard to say how much better they sounded compared to other similarly-sized notebooks. They were still bass-limited without a subwoofer, although high and midrange did sound fairly decent. The headphone output sounded very good, outputting clean audio without any electronic noise infiltrating the line. Users looking to connect the system to a home theater will probably make use of the digital audio-out through the HDMI connection, for a true theater experience.

Ports and Features
Port selection on the HP ENVY 14 is excellent, even with the rear of the notebook being reserved for the screen hinge only. The system has two USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA/USB combo port, a headphone and headset jack, mini-DisplayPort-out, HDMI-out, Ethernet, and a SDHC-card slot. USB 3.0 would have been handy given the increase in compatible accessories these days, but with eSATA having higher speeds, it wasn’t missed really on this system.


Front: SDHC-card slot

Rear: Nothing

Left: Slot-loading optical drive,
two USB 2.0 ports, headphone/headset
jacks

Right: eSATA/USB combo port, HDMI
and mini-DisplayPort-out, Kensington
lock-slot, Ethernet, DC-input


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