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Lapotp review HP Envy Sleekbook 6

Lapotp review HP Envy Sleekbook 6

One thin 15-inch HP Envy Sleekbook 6 Laptop  has an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU and is called an ultrabook, while this specific model, the 15-inch HP Envy 6 Sleekbook (the 6-1010us, specifically) is instead called a sleekbook, because it has an AMD CPU and a handful of other component differences.

The look and feel are very similar, and this is one of the thinnest 15-inch laptops you can find, in either the sleekbook or ultrabook versions. In fact, the AMD model reviewed here might even have an edge over the Intel one, because it costs just $599, versus a minimum of $799 for the HP Envy 15-inch with the official ultrabook tag.

You’ll trade some performance for the cost savings, and AMD’s latest chip family (the company calls it an APU rather than a CPU, which is an Accelerated Processing Unit, combining a CPU and GPU in one package) still don’t measure up to Intel’s third-generation Core i-series processors in power or efficiency. But, battery life was better than expected and the AMD A6 inside is more than capable of handling everyday online tasks.

Price as reviewed $599
Processor 2.1GHz AMD A6-4455M APU
Memory 4GB, 667MHz DDR3
Hard drive 500GB 5,400rpm
Chipset AMD 1410h
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 7500G
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Dimensions (WD) 14.7 x 10 inches
Height 0.78 inches
Screen size (diagonal) 15.6 inches
System weight / Weight with AC adapter 4.6/5.4 pounds
Category Midsize

HP includes a one-year parts-and-labor warranty (although I’ve seen other, more expensive, HP Envy laptops start with a two-year plan). Warranty upgrades are confusing, with discounts that don’t show up until you’ve added a specific plan and laptop to your shopping cart. I was able to add a three-year extended warranty, including on-site service and accidental damage protection, for $230, after an arbitrary $99 “discount.”

HP’s service and support tools are perfectly navigable, and product manuals and software and driver downloads were easy to find. The 24-7 toll-free number can be tricky to spot, however. It’s 800-474-6836.

The HP Envy 6-1010us is best described as a pleasant surprise. Would it be a great $899 laptop? Not really, but for $599, it’s a great midsize laptop for those willing to trade a little performance for some sharp looks.

The good: The HP Envy Sleekbook 6 has a great design for a great price, and includes Beats Audio and decent graphics.

The bad: You’re trading down to AMD’s A-series processors, which are not as fast or power efficient as comparable Intel parts. Unlike actual ultrabooks, this doesn’t have a solid-state hard drive. Some of the construction still feels a bit budget.

The bottom line: The ultrabook-like HP Envy Sleekbook 6 is the sharpest-looking $599 laptop you’re likely to find, although you’ll pay a performance premium.

Buy HP ENVY 6 here

HP ENVY 6-1010us Sleekbook 15.6-Inch Laptop (Black)