HP Envy Sleekbook 6 Budget Laptop   HP Envy Sleekbook 6

Consumers generally know the HP Envy family as the company’s high-end line of laptops. Along comes the Sleekbook 6 at the budget price of $599 which tends to dilute this perception because of its low price and low- to mid-end features.

The bottom line may still be that the Envy Sleekbook 6 may well be the smartest-looking laptop you will find at a price of $599. At this price though, you have to compromise performance in favour of a huge price advantage as this laptop, in comparison to other Ultrabooks, has a slower processor and a lower-resolution screen.

This raises the interesting question as to what is the real difference between an “Ultrabook” and a “Sleekbook”. HP has two models which are nearly identical: an HP Envy with an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU which is called an Ultrabook; the other the HP Envy 6 which is called a Sleekbook because it uses an AMD CPU and has a solid-state hard drive. Beside these differences, the look and feel of the two models is very similar.

The Sleekbook 6 comes in an attractive metal case with a brushed metal lid and a red/burgundy bottom panel measuring 14.75” x 10” x 0.8”, measuring in at 4.6 lbs on its own and 5.4 lbs with the AC adaptor included.

This Sleekbook is positioned as a low-price alternative to HP’s Intel based Ultrabooks.  Instead of the Intel iCore processor it uses an AMD A-series processor (AMD dual-core A6-4455M APU) which causes some performance degradation. The AMD CPU does not measure up to Intel’s iCore series of CPUs in terms of power and efficiency. The AMD CPU used in the Sleedbook 6 is officially called an APU in that it combines a CPU and GPU (graphics processing unit) in one package.

However, some people may well argue that the Sleekbook 6 is a better buy because of its $599 price vs. the $799 minimum of the HP Envy Ultrabook. The fact remains that most laptops are overpowered for the computing tasks the average user asks them to perform and this model, despite the slower processor, may well be the perfect computing partner for you.

The screen resolution is 1366 x 768 pixels but, at a price of $599, you probably cannot expect anything better.

The laptop is fitted with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. There are two USB 3.0 ports, one USB w2.0 port, a full-size Ethernet port and an HDMI port. This array of ports will make it easy for you to connect the laptop to an external monitor. You will also find a 2.4GHZ 802.11b Wi-Fi connection.

The keyboard is similar to that fitted on other HP laptops and is comfortable to work. It features black keys set on a black interior. The keyboard on this model is not backlit but HP offers a Sleekbook 6z-1000 model which has a silver interior rather than black and it has a $25 backlit keyboard option.

amazon off1 150x150 Budget Laptop   HP Envy Sleekbook 6

On bench tests performed, video playback worked fine with almost imperceptible stuttering.


HP Envy Sleekbook 6

Product Specifications

Processor 2.1GHz AMD A6-4455M APU
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
Chipset AMD 1410h
Memory 4GB, 667MHz DDR3
Hard drive 500GB 5,400rpm
Optical drive None
Display size 15.6 inches
Graphics processor AMD Radeon HD 7500G Shared video memory (UMA)
Display resolution 1366 x 768 pixels
Audio Beats Audio subsystem
Battery Life 60 watt hours

Feature Comparison Chart

HP Envy Sleekbook 6 HP Envy Asus Zenbook UX31-RSL8 Apple Macbook Air 13-inch
Processor Dual-Core A6-4455M Intel Core i5-3317U Intel Core i5-2557M Intel Core i5-3427U
Processor speed 2.1 GHz A-Series 1.7 GHz 1.7 GHz 1.8 GHz
Op system Windows 7 Windows 7 Windows 7 Mac OS X, Mac OS X 10.7
Weight 4.5 lb 3.9 lb 2.86 lb 2.85 lb
Screen size 15.6” 14” 13.3” 13/3”
Screen resolution 1366 X 768 pixels 1366 x 768 1600 x 900 1440 x 900
Graphics Card AMD Radeon HD 7500 Intel HD 4000 Intel HD 3000 Intel HD 4000