HP has been very eager to take the Envy line in an Ultrabook direction, leaving performance hounds a bit wanting. Much to their (and our) relief, the full-fat Envy 15, Envy 17, and Envy 17 3D have all made the leap to Intel’s latest round of Ivy Bridge processors. Along with the 2.3GHz to 2.7GHz quad Core i7 chips we all know and love, the Envy 15 and regular 17 can get a dual 2.5GHz Core i5 to keep the price slightly closer to Earth. All of them ship with an equally upgraded AMD Radeon HD 7850M to give games that extra jolt of energy, and you won’t find one with less than 6GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive. Should you like the Envy’s current formula and just wish it had that much more oomph, you can pay a post-discount $1,100, $1,250 or $1,530 to bring one to your door.
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 interior here 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.