Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: HP managed to surprise us on more than one occasion with its Envy Ultrabook 6t-1000. Of the systems we compared it to, the 6t-1000 posted the best OpenGL score in Cinebench, and then followed it up with another strong showing in PCMark 7, which measures overall system performance. It also ran longer than we thought it would in our battery benchmarks, considering the relatively large 15.6-inch display the system is wielding. Overall it was a solid showing, save for gaming performance (always a weak spot for integrated graphics) and the slow spinning hard drive, even though it's flanked by an mSATA SSD.
Ultrabooks in the 15.6-inch category are few and far between, so we're glad to see HP go down that road, even if most others are reluctant to do so. Unfortunately, HP didn't go the distance, stopping well short of taking advantage of that extra screen real estate. Users would be better served with a Full HD 1080p resolution (1920x1080) or even 1600x900, but 1366x768? That's a missed opportunity.
Our disdain for the screen resolution aside, HP has an otherwise solid offering on its hands. The Envy Ultrabook 6t-1000 with its brushed aluminum chassis looks fantastic (just be sure to wipe away those fingerprints) and feels solid to boot. The touchpad is spacious, USB 3.0 is present and accounted for, and the keyboard is sufficient for daily use, though not best in class.
Perhaps most impressive is the system's battery life, especially after you factor in the enlarged display. Under normal circumstance, you can expect several hours of runtime, over seven hours in some cases (if you're primarily a web surfer). It almost defies the relatively small 4-cell battery that's tucked inside.
As we mentioned at the beginning, there's a newer model available with Windows 8 (6t-1100) that's otherwise the same machine. Overall we fell it's a good value at the starting price of $800. One thing we've learned when shopping HP systems, and this is true of other bulk OEMs as well, is that you can often reduce the price through a constant stream of coupon codes. At the time of this writing, there's a coupon code floating around for $150 off, bringing the starting price down to $650, which is a tremendous value for this Ultrabook.