HP ENVY 14-1195ea Beats Edition Review

Posted on Mar 25 2011 - 12:25am by Richard Sharp

If you want a laptop built for music lovers and with a fair bit of style thrown in then the HP ENVY 14-1195ea Beats Edition might be worth a look.

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What Does it Look Like?

Very cool and stylish it must be said. The red and black combination on the case is a winner and it manages to look both trendy and functional at the same time through a clean, simple approach. When you open it up the keyboard keeps the same colour scheme going and it has a fantastic red backlight which looks sensational at night. The screen is a good size at 14.5” and well designed to avoid too much annoying black border. The keyboard and tracking pad are the only areas where there is a suspicion that style has been chosen over substance, and the slightly unusual layout may take a bit of getting used to. It also attracts finger prints like the plague.

What is the Build Quality Like?

Top class. There is a lot of metal used here and it really seems like a laptop which has been built to last. The only drawback to this is that it weighs a bit more than most of its competitors and this makes it rather less portable then most people would ideally like.

What’s the Sound Like?

As this is a laptop aimed firmly at music fans it is no surprise to find that a lot of attention has been put into the audio quality.  It is recommended by HP that for the best listening experience you use the laptop together with the colour coded Beats Solo headphones which come included, and it certainly doesn’t sound like any other laptop around. The bass quality in particular is a cut above anything else you are likely to come across in similar products, although some people may even find the bass a bit too strong for their liking on some tracks.

What About the Specs?

There is an impressively big 550GB hard drive, Intel Core i7 processor, an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics chip, a really good quality integrated webcam and plenty of connectivity options. The lack of a Blu-ray is the one surprising omission but Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI and USB are all present and correct.

What Software Does it Come With?

There is more software on this than on most new computers and quite of lot of it is music oriented. For example, Omnifone’s Music Station helps you stream and download music smartly, and then there are music players and videos as well as tools from Energy Star and Intel. The included antivirus is the recommended Security Essentials from Microsoft and you get the likes of Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements 8.

What About Battery Life?

The official word on the battery life is up to 10 hours, but our early tests have gotten back a lot less time than that. This is partly down to the powerful but battery hungry processor used. You get a fast performance but except to pay for it by having to recharge more often than you might like to. The power supply comes with the thoughtful touch – a USB port for recharging your phone. The saving grace is that the Beats laptop is probably too heavy to carry around; it’s not made to be mobile so battery life probably doesn’t need to be 10 hours anyway.

What does it Cost?

A pretty steep £1,300 – £1,400 is what you can expect to spend on getting hold of an HP ENVY 14-1195ea Beats Edition laptop. This is an awful lot of money for a laptop and will no doubt limit the potential market a fair bit. Of course, this could have the effect of making it an exclusive and even trendier purchase than if it were cheaper and accessible to more people.

Final Summary

If you want a laptop primarily for listening to music and you don’t mind paying out lots of cash for a stylish machine then you will no doubt be sorely tempted by this one.  Perhaps this is one for professional music makers who want to have constant access to their tracks without losing anything from their image. The headphones are awesome too.


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