Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced this week that they would be launching three new ENVY laptops later this Summer for the back-to-school shopping season. For a change this year HP is going to offer ENVY branded laptops at a base price of $529.99 making the line more accessible to a wider range of consumers.
The three new models announced this week include a refreshed HP Envy TouchSmart 14 Ultrabook, brand new HP Envy TouchSmart 15, and a refreshed HP ENVY 17. As you would guess the display sizes are as each models name hints; 14-inches, 15.6-inches and 17.3-inches. The 14- and 15.6-inch models offer multi-touch panels, a feature sure to be fun to use in Windows 8 if you like touch interaction.
In the past the base price for an ENVY brand laptop was much higher (around $1,000 starting) and the specifications were also better on the base level. HP is shifting way from what the ENVY brand was originally supposed to be about with these new models because they are at trying to replace older Pavilion lines with them. The ENVY TouchSmart 15 will replace the Pavilion dv6 and the new ENVY 17 is replacing the Pavilion dv7.
With this strategy HP could score points with some for simplifying their product line-up, but they may confuse and frustrate previous ENVY laptop buyers looking for a new model. Previous ENVY buyers might get enticed by the lower base prices of these new models, but they could quickly become disenchanted when they have to add hundreds of dollars worth of upgrades on the HP.com website to bring their desired model to a premium standard.
The base $699 ENVY TouchSmart 14 Ultrabook for instance includes only a 1,366-by-768 resolution display, but you can upgrade to either a 1,600-by-900 res. screen or to a top-end 14-inch display that has a native resolution of 3,200-by-1,800 pixels. And yes, the 14-inch 3,200-by-1,800 display that HP is promising for the new ENVY TouchSmart 14 Ultrabook is the highest resolution ever offered in a consumer laptop.
The HP Envy TouchSmart 15 and new ENVY 17 will come standard with 1080p Full HD displays, but if you want powerful new CPU’s from AMD (Richland for the 15) or Intel (Haswell for the ENVY 17) you’ll need to spend more than the base prices. HP plans to start pricing at $529 for the ENVY TouchSmart 15 and $699 for the new ENVY 17.
Full specifications haven’t been revealed yet but we do know a few other things about two of these new laptops. The new ENVY TouchSmart 15 will have a good sound system that will include four stereo speakers and a dedicated subwoofer. The new ENVY 17 will have the new Haswell processors from Intel, new discrete graphics from NVIDIA, Beats audio with four speakers and a dual-drive subwoofer, and up to 2TB of built-in hard drive storage.
Availability wise at this time HP is planning to launch the new ENVY TouchSmart 14 later this Summer and the ENVY TouchSmart 15 and new ENVY 17 on June 5th.