HP Envy TouchSmart 15 Laptop Computer

It is very rare these days since the release of the Haswell series of Intel processors to see a fully capable gaming laptop or ultrabook with the power of the touch. Luckily, for HP, they are trying to bridge it out with the new line of TouchSmart models. Our tour for today locks on the Envy TouchSmart 15, which shares an almost similar counterpart—a 14-inch version—upon release.

Starting with the design, the TouchSmart 15 has almost a lot of similarities with the previous-generation Apple MacBook Pro. That said, we are but to expect a metallic body with a greyish white finish, and the subtle difference is but the company logo itself, which is found on the lid. At 1.17-inch thick, the 15-inch steel moniker looks pretty big and not really portable, but is nevertheless strong and very rigid on the other end. Around the device are a lot of ports including three USB ports, an audio port, Ethernet port, HDMI, card reader, a side-oriented grille, the power port and Kensington lock, but no ODD.

Having no ODD is not really a problem these days since most would prefer using flash disks instead. However, just in case you need one like a Blu-ray player or simply a DVD reader, you would wish it would be available in this generously spaced body. Moving forward, opening the lid give you the big screen surrounded by black bezels, and on the keyboard plane, a very wide speaker grille sits above the keyboard itself, then the full-sized backlit keys with Numpad, and a slightly left-oriented clickpad. Before I miss it, there’s also a fingerprint reader right below the arrow keys, but this seemed like it’s not the main show here.

The display of the TouchSmart 15 of HP is said to be very good with a 1080p resolution. However, beware that this is not really a good display. Starting with, texts at smaller points do not seem really clear and crisp, as you’d expect. Brightness also is decent enough, but not playable when put under strong hard light. Reflections are also a killer enemy here, not to mention how it would really cloud your view if you were sitting against the light. Lastly, I am not sure if there’s an in-plane switching here, but the colors tend to wash off when viewed off-angle.

But the display should only be a part of a bigger product here. This 2.5-kg laptop is also powered with good specs. For the processor, the TouchSmart 15 uses an Intel Core i7 Quad-core processor at 2.6GHz and 16GB of RAM. Sounded too much? This may also mean that this should be a viable replacement to your old desktop piece.

And for gaming, there’s also NVIDIA’s GeForce GT740M that according to my impressions, is really capable of producing quality results better than some of the leading competition. However, the 1TB of 5400rpm HDD is not really good enough and I’d wish for an SSD here in exchange for a lower RAM, for example.

Performance is good enough for everyday computing, and if not because of the display, you can really enjoy doing a lot of multimedia tasks here. Booting up takes a little more than 20 seconds, which can be fair to many, but I’m sure it will be boosted when with an SSD. Hiccups and lags can be typical for Windows 8 especially when launching apps, but at least it is very usable. Keyboard can take a little experience to fully maximize its tactility, and the clickpad offers the same requirement as well. Sound with the power of Beats by Dr. Dre produces quality audio output with rich lows, but nothing still beats another good set of external speakers.

The HP TouchSmart 15 is really a welcome entry to the world of Haswell laptops offering gaming capability and full Windows 8 experience. The price can be a bit intimidating, and some insufficiencies are really worth noting. But if you are to ask for a good replacement against your old desktop computer at a great cost, this should be the best choice for you at least for now.

HP Envy TouchSmart 15 Laptop Computer Price in the Philippines: Approximately Php 42,000.00

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