HP Envy Ultrabook 6t-1000 Review

Design & Layout

Big, but not bulky, the HP Envy Ultrabook 6t-1000 with its 15.6-inch display checks in at 4.75 pounds. It measures 14.72 inches by 9.95 inches by 0.78 inches, which is bigger and heavier than Ultrabook models with smaller screens, but by no means is this thing a tank.

HP offers the 6t-1000/1100 in "Midnight Black" or "Natural Silver," the latter of which carriers a $25 pricing premium. We opted for the Midnight Black, which looks sleek and sexy. It's also a big time fingerprint magnet. The brushed aluminum motif flanked by a simple HP logo in the lower left-hand corner is absolutely beautiful, but it will take all of two seconds to cover the chassis with finger smudges, marring an otherwise sharp looking exterior. They can be wiped away easy enough, which is a good thing, because you'll be doing it often.

If you prescribe to the philosophy that curved corners slip into laptop bags and backpacks more easily than standard notebooks, then you'll love rounded angles on all four ends. We're indifferent ourselves and much more appreciative of the solid construction. The lid feels strong and doesn't exhibit the amount of flex that some other Ultrabooks do. It's a rigid laptop similar to the MacBook Air, albeit not as light.

Of course the biggest selling point here is the 15.6-inch display, and unfortunately HP doesn't take full advantage of the added real estate. Even though the screen is bigger than most Ultrabooks, it's saddled with a rather disappointing 1366x768 resolution. It's not necessarily a deal killer, especially if you find yourself squinting on smaller laptops, but it's definitely a downer that HP didn't go with a tighter resolution like 1600x900 or even a Full HD 1080p display like Vizio's 15.6-inch Ultrabook.

Lift open the lid and you'll find that the brilliant aesthetic extends to the interior. There's no gaudy plastic mucking up the design, just more brushed aluminum that wraps around the keyboard and large trackpad. Like the exterior, it's prone to picking up fingerprints, though we found it was more of a nuisance on the lid than anywhere else.

HP didn't find room to squeeze a numpad into the keyboard, though there are media functions integrated into the Function keys. The spacing between keys feels comfortable and we like the tactile response. One way HP could improve the keyboard, however, is by having they keys sit a little higher for a bit more play. Otherwise, we like HP opted not muck with certain key sizes, like the Shift, Enter, and Backspace buttons. If you can type on a regular keyboard, you should have no trouble transitioning to the Envy Ultrabook's plank.

The touchpad below the keyboard sits dead center and gives you plenty of space to maneuver your fingers. It supports multi-touch gestures like pinch-to-zoom and two-finger scrolling. There are no dedicated left and right mouse buttons, you just press below the line on either side to activate a left- or right-click. You can also disable the touchpad by tapping in the upper left corner, which you activate by double-tapping.

Ultrabooks seem to be trending towards tapered designs popularized by the MacBook Air, but that isn't the case here. The chassis is about the same thickness on the front as it is in the back. One place this is clearly evident is the Ethernet port, which is partially covered by a plastic clip. You need to flip it down to gain full access to the port.

Other ports on the left side include HDMI output, two SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports that aren't color coded, and a multi-format memory card reader. The hard drive activity and power lights are also located on the left side.

Over on the right is a Kensington Lock, audio-in (microphone) jack, audio-out (headphone) jack, powered USB 2.0 port, AC adapter light, and the power connector for the 65W external power supply.

Like the majority of Ultrabooks, the 6t-1000 doesn't sport a built-in optical drive. You can purchase an external model from HP for $50, which utilizes a single USB connection (many external burners require two USB connections).

The bottom of HP's Ultrabook is covered in a red rubberized coating without four small feet. It's also where you'll find air cooling vents and the speakers, which are enhanced nicely with Beats Audio.

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