Is it the end of the era? Or just the foreshadowing of a new beginning?
It's hard to say what the death of HP's Envy 13 means for the category,
but it's not hard to realize what it means for the here and now. The
Envy 13 was one of a kind in the PC world. It was a direct reaction to
Air, but rather than just copying Apple
, HP added a discrete
and loads of power, making it perfect for gamers on the go. It was
sleek, thin and sexy, and it had more power than most ultraportables of
The problem, like many others that tried, was the price. At around $1700
(or over $2000 with an SSD), the machine was destined to be a niche
product from the start. Just like the Alienware M11x, there's simply not
a huge, huge market out there for hardcore gamers willing to pay a
premium for a tiny machine. And now, HP has confirmed that the Envy 13
is dead. What's taking its place? Sadly, not a second revision of the
Envy 13. Instead, the Envy 14 will live on, but that's an entirely
different machine. It's heavier, thicker and a number higher!
Kidding aside, the Envy 13 will definitely be missed. Who knows if this
experiment proved that there's just not a large enough market out there
to support this class of machine, but we get the feeling that AMD's new
Fusion platform would be perfect for something like this, and it could
enable these high-power, ultraportable machines to get cheaper (and
thus, more attractive).
We'll try not to shed any tears, but if you've been trying to locate an
Envy 13, now isn't the time to dawdle. We suspect the clearance units
will be out of stores in no time.