HP Envy Sleekbook: It's got the power

A slim and light laptop with desktop-grade power and features

These days the heavy and bulky computers are being replaced by the smart, sleek and light-weighted laptops. Whether you call it an ultraportable, an ultrabook, a thin and light notebook or an ultraportable laptop, your priorities are likely to be the same. You'll want maximum computing power in the smallest possible package that still lets you work without feeling cramped, right? The most striking feature about these ultra-thin machines—is that, unlike traditional laptops, these offer great flexibility, portability and reliability.

Let's face it: explosive sales of Apple iPads and other sleek tablets have given a wake up call to the PC industry. Computer makers are fighting back, both with their own tablets and a new range of ultra-thin laptops that takes full computing power and puts it in a package that's light enough to take everywhere. Curiously, they are giving tough competition to each other too.

Another week goes by, another major PC brand joins the ultrabook brigade. And this time it's the biggest name in the game, with Hewlett-Packard debuting the Envy 6 Sleekbook, starting at R41,990. Do not be startled by the price point; HP is addressing the lower end of the market with its Sleekbook line. For the middle and higher end, it has its Folio ultrabook range.

The HP Envy Sleekbook—Envy 4 available in 14-inch and Envy 6 available in 15.6-inch diagonal display, powered by the latest Intel Core processors, boasts up to eight or nine hours of battery life, respectively. With optional discrete graphics, users can create and edit videos quickly and experience incredible gaming and multimedia.

The HP Envy 6 review unit came to us neatly packed in a decent sized cardboard box with specifications detailed on its outside along with a bright Beats Audio logo prominently displayed. Once out of the box, it is evident that this HP innovation comes with a little more meat with a larger selection of ports. There's an Ethernet port, one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 connections, HDMI, and an SD card slot. I am a movie buff, therefore, a laptop with a DVD drive is a must-have. Thankfully, one can configure the HP Envy 6 with an external DVD tray for an added fee.

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