HP ENVY 15t (15t-ae100) Laptop Review

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Page 2 : HP ENVY 15t Laptop - Features, SSD Upgrade, Verdict

Contents

WLAN & Bluetooth

The HP ENVY 15t comes with three WLAN options –  a 802.11b/g/n module, or an Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC with either 1×1 or 2×2 stream capability. This particular laptop was equipped with a Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 module with 1×1 stream.

 

Battery & Power Supply

The HP ENVY 15t comes with a built-in 3-cell lithium-ion battery with a battery capacity of 55.5 WHr. HP rates the ENVY 15t laptop as capable of running for up to 9.5 hours on this small battery. This is probably based on the dual-core configuration. I managed to squeeze out 4.5 hours of battery life playing YouTube videos.

The HP website states that the ENVY 15t configurations with integrated graphics comes with a 45 W power brick. However, it is only true for the dual-core configurations, which are not currently being offered. The sole configuration with integrated graphics was the Intel quad-core configuration – it comes with a larger 90 W power brick.

 

Storage

All HP ENVY 15t configurations allow you to opt for a 5400 RPM hard disk drive with a storage capacity of either 1 TB or 2 TB. If you opt for the 4 GB discrete GPU configuration, you can opt for a dual-storage combination of a 256 GB solid state drive, with a secondary 1 TB 5400 RPM hard disk drive.

HP ENVY 15t (15t-ae100) Laptop
M.2 solder points without a socket on the i7-6700HQ quad-core configuration

In case you are wondering, the 256 GB SSD is an M.2 module. However, the lack of an M.2 socket on the motherboard of this quad-core configuration prevents you from adding your own M.2 SSD upgrade.

 

Solid State Drive (SSD) Upgrade

Since HP did not offer the SSD option for their Intel Core i7-6700HQ configuration, I decided to swap in one of my 2.5″ SSDs.

Accessing the internal of the HP ENVY 15t requires the removal of the optical drive (1 screw), and the base enclosure (14 screws). The base enclosure is made of plastic, and is fragile near the optical drive section.

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The battery cable has to be removed before you can service any components.

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To remove the hard drive drive from its bracket, the battery must first be disconnected and removed (5 screws). A sloppy LED board ribbon cable can be seen after the removal of the hard drive. I had to correct that…

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After swapping the SSD into the bracket, I encountered a problem – the speaker cable was caught under the SSD. Attempts to reroute it around the SSD caused it to be too snug. In the end, I had to loosen the cable to reroute it. During reassembly, I manage to bend one of the battery connector pins. That shows how fragile these components can be, so be careful!

 

My Verdict

The HP ENVY 15t laptop laptop offers one of the cheapest quad-core Intel processor configurations in the market, if you do not need discrete graphics.

However, its internal design leaves much to be desired. Upgrading its RAM or swapping its HDD for an SSD will not be an easy task for mainstream users due to the many crucial steps they will need to take.  They also have to be very careful about what they are doing.

Aside from its interior sloppiness, the laptop feels solid.

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What I liked

  • 1920 x 1080 IPS display
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Large touchpad

What I disliked

  • M.2 socket only available with the 4 GB discrete graphic card configuration (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M)
  • Non-easily accessible panel
  • Touchpad requires too much force to click (ended up using tap function, instead of click)
  • Lack of SSD option (not a big deal since it’s cheaper to buy one on your own to replace the HDD)
  • Some sloppiness in assembly

 

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