Customer Review

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zippy performance with great features, runs a tad hot, January 9, 2014
This review is from: HP ENVY M6 TouchSmart Sleekbook Touch Screen Laptop - 15.6" Display / AMD Elite Quad-Core A10-5745M / 8GB Memory / 1TB HD / Windows 8 (Personal Computers)
Length:: 1:40 Mins

After buying a lot of laptops on behalf of friends and associates (because they trust me to do it ... a nice perk) I finally bought one for myself: HP ENVY M6. For the most part, I really like it. A huge hard drive (1TB), better than average installed memory (8GB) which is upgradeable - although not as easily as some laptops - to 16GB. Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 3.0 and a media reader all standard, as is a back lit keyboard (with a button to turn that feature on and off) and touch screen.

I purchased this laptop during a New Years Day sale for only four hundred. I was thrilled to find it at that price! If I'd paid more the two issues I have with this one might have made me take it back, but I'm not sure.

First issue - it gets hot (even on a hard surface like a desk), which means a lot of fan noise. I solved the heat issue by using a Cooler Master NotePal X-Slim Ultra-Slim Laptop Cooling Pad with 160mm Fan (R9-NBC-XSLI-GP) underneath it, but that added even more fan noise. The heat dissipated though, and that means a longer PC life, or so I'm hoping.

Second issue - this PC comes with Beats Audio. That sounds like something that should be a WOW factor, but at least for me, it was lack luster with this laptop using the built-in speakers, but great with external Bluetooth speakers or quality headsets.

There's a subwoofer built into the bottom of the case, with two speakers on the top (at the base of the display just above the keyboard). Sound quality from the speakers can be adjusted with Beats Audio software, but not enough to make a huge difference. I'm no audiophile, but I do know my way around electronics including PCs, AV receivers and other audio devices, and expect to have to adjust them to my liking. Beats Audio is certainly a step up, but not an incredible one when using the installed speakers. NOTE: This is just my 2-cents; as is the entire review, and your opinion may differ.

On a side note, I tried pairing this product: Sound Blaster EVO ZxR Entertainment Headset With Bluetooth Mobile Wireless. Even with updated Creative drivers, this item paired, but never sounded right. I think it's a Windows 8 driver issue, but I can't be sure. **The Sound Blaster EVO ZxR's sound incredible when I use the corded connection though.

The keyboard is responsive and the back lighting is great! The touchpad works well, and once calibrated the touch screen is awesome. The only thing I'm not crazy about with the touch screen is how any oils that are on your hands will smudge up the screen in no time, so keep a microfiber cloth handy. Touch screen functionality is great with Windows 8, so it's a nice feature to have on this laptop, but truly I don't know how often I will use it. Right now, I still forget it's there.

Out of the box I did Windows Updates - 92 of them. After a restart I was able to then upgrade to Windows 8.1 for free at Microsoft, which I like a lot better than 8 because it restores the Start menu that most of us got used to using in 7. I also completed 32 installed app updates. That process took about an hour and a half.

I also installed the free program CCleaner for keeping the PC running smoothly. This laptop ships with 60 days of free Norton anti-virus, which is pre-installed and all you have to do is activate it when you establish an internet connection, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home - ( v. 12 ) - complete package (K409A-G00-12.0) - which was a great perk!

Unfortunately there's only a trial of Microsoft Office, so I recommend OpenOffice or Google Docs for your office needs.

TIP: If your browser is sluggish, try disabling the pre-installed Norton scanner for the browser. You still have antivirus protection, but eliminate a stopgap that can slow down your user experience.

The Windows User Index for this PC is 5.9, with that being because of the graphics (the lowest score). The highest score is a 7.1 (RAM) with a 6.8 (Processor) being next.

I love how thin this laptop is, and the brushed aluminum housing is beautiful. No fingerprints like with a black glossy case as found on the HP 2000 series laptops.

It's well made and performs well while watching videos, surfing the Internet and playing online games. I enjoyed photo and video editing on it as well. The battery life of 4 hours or so is great too.

This laptop is a nice offering between budget and high-end, that most users will find a nice fit as long as they are mindful of keeping it cool.

NOTE: I bought (2), one with a touch screen and larger hard drive (this one...), and another that had a smaller hard drive and no touch screen; HP ENVY Sleekbook 15.6" AMD A10 2.1GHz 6GB 750GB HD Laptop. Both had similar heat issues.

SPECS per HP Site:

Product Name m6-k012dx
Microprocessor 2.1GHz AMD Elite Quad-Core A10-5745M Accelerated Processor
Microprocessor Cache 4MB L2, 1333MH DDR3
Memory 8GB DDR3 SDRAM (2 DIMM)
Memory Max Maximum supported = 16GB

Video Graphics AMD Radeon HD 8610G graphics with up to 4077MB total graphics memory
Display 15.6-inch diagonal HD BrightView LED-backlit touchscreen display (1366x768)- **NOT HD, but has HDMI port to hook-up to external monitor for HD viewing.**
Hard Drive 1TB 5400RPM hard drive with HP ProtectSmart Hard Drive Protection
Wireless Connectivity 1x1 802.11b/g/n WLAN
Bluetooth

Sound Beats Audio dual speakers and a subwoofer
Keyboard Full-size backlit keyboard
Pointing Device HP Clickpad supporting multi-touch gestures without on/off button
External Ports Multi-format digital media card reader for Secure Digital cards

2 SuperSpeed USB 3.0, 1 supporting USB Boost
1 Universal Serial Bus (USB) 2.0
1 HDMI
1 RJ-45 (LAN)
1 Headphone-out/microphone-in combo jack

Dimensions 0.854 in (max H) x 14.999 in (W) x 10.078 in (D)
Weight 5.61 lb
Power 65W AC adapter
3-cell 50WHr 4.56Ah lithium-ion battery

Front facing HP TrueVision HD Webcam with integrated dual array digital microphone

UPDATE: 1/23/14

After noting a reviewer mentioned the fussy touchpad, I thought I'd focus on it a bit more in my own useage. I find it 'responsive', not problematic. It takes very little to get things to happen while using it, and it has multi-touch gesturing enabled for things like zooming in. That feature can be disabled in the Control Panel settings, but you're not going to inadvertently turn it on and off on the trackpad with an errant gesture (as with some Toshiba models).

The 'clickpad' feature actually allows you to feel it click (very slightly) on the trackpad versus just tapping and expecting a response. I like this feature as it feels a lot more 'mouse-like', but not in a clunky way.

I can see where some users would find this hard to use, but in all honesty, Windows 8 begs for it and I'm glad this laptop's keyboard and trackpad are up to the task.

UPDATE: 1/25/14

The more I use this laptop the more I like it! Fast, full-featured and fun, I'm convinced I got a stellar deal and it's a good buy up to around five-hundred in my opinion.

It's not running as hot as it did initially when doing basic tasks like web surfing and email. However, whether used on a hard surface or with the fan underneath, intensive use that includes video rendering causes the temp to rise. I'm not burning my lap when using it without the fan underneath, but it's a noticeable jump in temperature.

Despite the heat, I am increasing my original 4-star review to 5-star. It's a nice one!

I'm very pleased with the battery life that averages 4-4.5 hours per full charge. Beats Audio software tweaks do help the sound reproduction as expected, but not in substantial enough of a way to make it a huge selling point.

UPDATE: 1/30/14 - Regarding Beats Audio software 'listening experience' adjustments.

I took a look at Nick W's recommended settings and gave them a try with some different genre's of music: pop, alternative, country and rock. I appreciated his review and his addition of the specific settings he used, but not being sure what he listens to, it's tough to know if I'm just not dialed in or what? My ears must like less bass and more mid-range, as his settings were just not the ones for me except when listening to 80's rock. Go figure.

(3) things have to be taken into consideration when adjusting Beats Audio on this laptop.

1. What you are listening to on your laptop? (Music genre, movies, gaming) All may affect the sound and need new adjustments which can be preset in the software.

2. What are your expectations? If you want a deeper, more immersive sound, consider adding Bluetooth speakers or wearing headphones to more fully enjoy this feature.

3. Settings will need to be changed with each new listening situation! You can set the Graphic Equalizer to 'Beats On-Ear', 'Beats In-Ear', Default or Custom, as well as setting it to Music, Voice or 3D movie. Within those settings you have numerous customization possibilities.

NOTE: The more you max out the Graphic Equalizer, the more volume, but you'll also experience more distortion at the higher volumes. I really enjoy the 'Beats In-Ear' settings for most music. I listen to iTunes radio a lot, an eclectic mix of genres and eras and this one covers the majority of them very well for me.

UPDATE: 2/8/14 - Regarding changing video properties such as brightness and saturation.

If you want to refine the display even further, do a search for AMD CATALYST software. Once on the AMD site, download the appropriate 'free' software for this system (Windows 8, 64-bit). Once downloaded, open and it will automatically install AMD Catalyst on your PC. You can then tweak to your hearts content! Great for enhancing gaming.

I added a BUFFALO 8x USB 2.0 Portable DVD Writer - DVSM-PC58U2VB and use free VCL software to view DVDs on my PC. By adding the AMD Catalyst software I'm able to enhance movie viewing in 'theater' or 'vivid' mode, then turn it back to the default for text based viewing.

UPDATE: 3/11/14

Recently started using a Sony Vaio with FULL HD 1080P screen that looks great, but has an integrated video card so running some kinds of software didn't work. Why do I tell you this? Because this laptop has an upgraded video card and is capable of HD, but HP didn't put one on this model. Odd isn't it? I thought so too, but if you hook up this laptop to a HDTV or monitor with a HDMI port that's made for HD - you'll see it.

UPDATE: 4/23/14

In addition to writing reviews on this laptop, I am also using this PC to stream media to a Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player as part of my supplementation of over-the-air free TV programming. I'm a 'cord cutter' who pays nothing for TV and very little for streaming services, so a zippy PC is a nice tool to have - either connected via HDMI cable or wirelessly.

If you want to learn more about over-the-air free TV, check out my book: Simple Guide to Over-the-Air Free TV.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 

Comments

Tracked by 1 customer

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 15, 2014 2:42:15 PM PST
prisrob says:
Love this review. Am looking for a new laptop, but taking my time. This review gave me excellent info.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2014 6:05:04 PM PST
Andrea Polk says:
Thank you prisrob! Taking your time is smart. Hope you locate the perfect one for you at the right price.

Posted on Jan 31, 2014 5:09:40 PM PST
Bonnie says:
Andria! My goodness. This is a wonderful review! Thank you so much for all your time and updates. This laptop has everything I want and you've described everything to be perfectly understandable and Amazon can credit my buying this laptop directly with your review. Thank you!
Bonnie

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 31, 2014 5:25:24 PM PST
Andrea Polk says:
Thank you Bonnie! I always strive to be helpful with these reviews so it's great to hear that this one hit the mark for you. I hope you enjoy your new laptop as much as I am enjoying it.

Best to you,
Andrea

Posted on Feb 2, 2014 1:03:54 PM PST
GC says:
seller manulpating prices.

It was $512ish last week. and now Its asking price is at >>>>>>>>>>>>>$600

Not so great deal anymore, at that price its going against intel i5 base system.
since A10 = i3. . . i5 gets more bang for your dollar.

Posted on Feb 25, 2014 10:55:34 PM PST
Chayadap says:
did any of you have issues with the mouse pad?
i tend to have problems when its come to the right and left click of this mouse pad
which gets very annoying for me

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2014 6:36:15 AM PST
Andrea Polk says:
Hi Chayadap,

The 'mouse pad' which traditionally would be a trackpad; smooth without the ability to click, is called by HP a 'clickpad'; integrating the mouse 'click' functions with a traditional trackpad. I can totally see where that could get annoying to you as it is admittedly, a very different feel and not for everyone. As to the problems you are experiencing, I'm not sure what you mean? Can you elaborate?

Best to you,
Andrea

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2014 5:06:30 PM PST
Austin Liang says:
Thank you Andrea
was actually using my gf Chayada's account to write the post
so this HP click pad, i have been having issues in terms of sometimes when i click a the pad, it tends to function as the right finger click function (Eg. properties, copy, paste) which gets very annoying for me
not only that i have had problems with the click pad where when i use microsoft this problem arises alot?
is it just because i am not use to it?or have you had problems like this with the clickpad?

Appreciate the reply Andrea!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2014 5:06:52 PM PST
Austin Liang says:
Austin Liang says:
Thank you Andrea
was actually using my gf Chayada's account to write the post
so this HP click pad, i have been having issues in terms of sometimes when i click a the pad, it tends to function as the right finger click function (Eg. properties, copy, paste) which gets very annoying for me
not only that i have had problems with the click pad where when i use microsoft this problem arises alot?
is it just because i am not use to it?or have you had problems like this with the clickpad?

Appreciate the reply Andrea!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2014 5:57:00 PM PST
Andrea Polk says:
Hi Austin,

I would agree the clickpad is something that you have to get used to using. I make error-clicks with it quite a bit, but I assume it's me, not the PC as I do it with all of them that have the clickpad functionality.

I also agree it's annoying! Unfortunately, I do think it's just something to get used to though. Try and spend some time with it just getting a feel for clicking on different areas of the pad to see what happens. That might help you visualize how it works and then you may be able to prevent yourself from inadvertent clicks.

Wish I could wave a magic wand and make it better, but I guess this is the best I can offer right now. I hope it helps.

Take care,
Andrea
‹ Previous 1 2 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Andrea Polk
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Location: Pacific Northwest - USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 30