HP redesigns its Envy laptops, announces the Envy 15, 17 and 17 3D (video)

Just last month, we off-handedly said that HP's Envy laptops were among the most shameless MacBook impersonations we've seen. Looks like we spoke too soon: the company just introduced a redesigned Envy 15, Envy 17 and Envy 17 3D, and we have to say: the resemblance in the interior is just uncanny. If you ask company reps, they'll tell you the old taupe design was too masculine (despite the divets arranged in a floral pattern!), and that the new aesthetic is more gender-neutral. Fair enough, we suppose, though we defy you to tell us that touchpad, silvery aluminum chassis and black, chiclet-style keyboard aren't familiar. To be fair, it's not a complete facsimile: HP also throw in a few design flourishes of its own, most of them Beats-inspired. Chief among them is a red-accented, analog volume dial on the right side of the keyboard deck, though the black lid and thin red strip around the keyboard also add some kick.

All three laptops will be available December 7th, with the Envy 15, Envy 17 and Envy 17 3D starting at $1,100, $1,250 and $1,600, respectively. For now, though, we've got hands-on shots below, along with a rundown of the starting specs just past the break.

Starting with those bright displays, the Envy 15 will be offered with a 15.6-inch, 1080p Radiance panel, which should hearten anyone who was dismayed when HP discontinued that kind of screen for the Envy 14. The 17.3-inch Envy 17 will come standard with a 1080p Radiance screen, but it's a TN panel, whereas the Envy 15 gets the full IPS treatment. Those backlit keyboards are also powered by Radiance technology, which relies on individual LEDs for each key, along with a proximity sensor that kicks up the backlighting when it senses someone nearby.

Across the board, these bad boys can be configured with quad-core CPUs, and come standard with six speakers, a subwoofer, HP's CoolSense technology and support for HP Wireless Audio. The Envy 17, in particular, can be configured with either a 128GB mSATA SSD or dual 1TB drives. Naturally, like every other in HP's lineup, they all have Beats Audio on-board. No surprise there.

And now, the nitty-gritty details you've been awaiting: starting specs. The base-level Envy 15 sports a Core i5-2430M CPU, 6GB of RAM, a 500GB 7,200RPM hard drive, 1366 x 768 display, Bluetooth, Intel Wireless Display, a slot-loading DVD burner and AMD Radeon HD graphics (HP didn't tell us the specific GPU in advance, though we'll update this post once we have confirmation what it is). In addition to HDMI, it has one DisplayPort, two USB 3.0 sockets and one of the 2.0 persuasion. As for the eight-cell, 76Wh battery, it promises up to nine hours of runtime.

Moving along, the Envy 17 also starts with a Core i5-2430 CPU, 6GB of RAM, Bluetooth, WiDi, DVD burner and AMD graphics, though it steps up to a 750GB 7,200RPM drive and standard 1080p Radiance display. And here, you'll get a six-cell, 91Wh battery that's rated for nine and a half hours of juice. With the 17-inch model, you'll also get an extra DisplayPort, as well as a bonus USB 3.0 socket. Finally, the Envy 17 3D starts with the same Core i5 CPU, along with 8GB of RAM, a 750GB 7,200RPM drive, AMD Radeon HD graphics, a six-cell battery, Bluetooth, WiDi, a Blu-ray player and one pair of active shutter glasses.

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HP Debuts New ENVY Notebook PCs
PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 16, 2011 – HP today introduced redesigned HP ENVY notebooks PCs that exude power, performance, advanced technologies and precision craftsmanship.

- The new HP ENVY 15 and HP ENVY 17 deliver blistering performance and optimal sound experience in a timeless design that includes an all-metal chassis with rounded edges in a classic black and silver finish, accented by subtle red details.
- The HP ENVY 17 3D offers the best 3-D visual experience in a notebook PC.

The company also introduced two wireless accessories – HP Wireless Audio and the HP Wi-Fi Touch Mouse X7000.

Timeless design, powerful performance
Featuring a new HP Radiance Backlit keyboard, the HP ENVY notebooks provide outstanding illumination using individual LEDs dedicated to each keycap. The keyboard also works with an advanced proximity sensor to illuminate when it detects a user approaching the notebook and deactivate after the user leaves.

With six powerful speakers and a subwoofer, the HP ENVY notebooks deliver an optimal sound experience, featuring Beats Audio, an exclusive, high-performance technology developed by HP and Beats by Dr. Dre. A new aluminum analog volume dial acts as a visual design cue, working seamlessly with the Beats Audio Manager so users can easily and precisely adjust audio levels.

The HP ENVY 15 and ENVY 17 provide the powerful performance needed for even the most demanding tasks, with optional Intel® Quad Core and AMD Mobility Radeon HD graphic processors. With optional 3x3 wireless technology, the HP ENVY notebooks offer up to three times the speed and twice the range of typical network connections.

The ENVY 15 and ENVY 17 are available with optional Radiance Full HD Infinity displays – either 15.6-inch diagonal or 17.3-inch diagonal, respectively. Radiance displays offer higher resolution, richer color, better brightness and wider viewing angles than traditional notebook displays. The ENVY 17 display boasts 50 percent greater brightness than standard.

With support for HDMI and full-size DisplayPorts, users can connect up to three external displays. The ENVY 17 also offers an advanced option with support for a 128-gigabyte mSATA SSD and up to two 1-terabyte hard drives. The ENVY 15 boasts up to 9 hours of battery life, while the ENVY 17 can achieve up to 9.5 hours in ideal conditions.

Other innovations featured in both ENVY notebooks include HP CoolSense technology, which automatically adjusts performance and internal fan settings for a noticeably cooler PC, and HP ImagePad, for precise multifinger touch navigation.

Fast boot and resume times, a performance-tuned software image that includes two full years of preinstalled Norton Internet Security, and a dedicated concierge phone line for technical support deliver a premium experience to ENVY users.

Superb 3-D viewing experience
For those seeking the ultimate multimedia experience, the HP ENVY 17 3D offers the best 3-D visual experience in a notebook PC. In addition to all the features of the ENVY 17, the ENVY 17 3D provides 1080p full high-definition (HD) viewing along with improved viewing angles and color gamut for all 2-D and 3-D content.

HP 3D Active Shutter Glasses provide a seamless viewing experience by wirelessly synchronizing each frame of the 3-D content between the display and glasses, resulting in crisp 3-D Blu-ray viewing as all 3-D content appears in full HD resolution.

Superior wireless technology
The new HP Wireless Audio and HP Wi-Fi Touch Mouse X7000 deliver the best in convenience and design.

Using the same technology integrated into the new HP ENVY notebooks, HP Wireless Audio transforms a notebook or desktop PC into a full home audio system. Users can stream uncompressed audio to up to four external devices or directly to any KleerNet device. Advanced tri-band connectivity reduces interference, lag time and latency for the highest sound quality. The thumb-sized dongle attaches to any PC and the tiny receiver attaches to legacy speakers through its two analog or two digital ports.

An ideal companion to the new HP ENVY notebooks, the HP Wi-Fi Touch Mouse X7000 features a sculpted shape and glossy black finish. The standard-sized wireless mouse comes equipped with an innovative capacitive-touch scroll and six customizable buttons, including a button for one-touch uploads to Facebook. It stays connected up to 30 feet away with no wires or USB dongle required and has a battery life of up to nine months – twice as long as that of comparable Bluetooth® models.

Pricing and availability
The new HP ENVY notebook PCs are planned to be available in the United States on Dec. 7.
The HP ENVY 15 has a starting price of $1,099.99.
The HP ENVY 17 has a starting price of $1,249.99.
The HP ENVY 17 3D has a starting price of $1,599.99.

HP Wireless Audio is expected to be available mid-December for $99.99, and the HP Wi-Fi Touch Mouse X7000 is available now at the HP Home & Home Office store for $59.99.

Additional information is available at or by calling the HP ―Reserve Now‖ line at +1 888 291 7996.