The HP ENVY 15t comes in 3 different processor and graphic card configurations :
- Intel i7-6700HQ quad-core processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics, or
- Intel i7-6500U dual-core processor with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M 4GB GPU, or
- Intel i7-6500U dual-core processor with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 940M 2 GB GPU.
This review will cover the top HP ENVY 15t configuration with the quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor with Intel HD Graphics. Let’s take a look!
HP ENVY 15t Specifications
|Processor||6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor|
|Graphics Processor||Intel HD Graphics 530|
|Display||15.6″ Full HD WLED-backlit IPS Display (1920×1080)|
|Memory||8 GB DDR3L – 1 DIMM|
|Storage||1 TB 5400 RPM Hard Disk Drive|
|Primary Battery||3-cell 55.5 WHr Lithium-ion Battery|
|Optical drive||SuperMulti DVD burner|
|Personalization||HP TrueVision HD Webcam with Dual Digital Microphone
|Networking||Intel 802.11ac WLAN and Bluetooth(R) [1×1]|
|Audio||Bang & Olufsen with 4 speakers and 1 subwoofer|
HP ENVY 15t Design & Build
The top cover and rear display cover of the HP ENVY 15t laptop is made of aluminium. The display bezel and bottom cover, on the other hand, is made of plastic. The display bezel has some play when I press it on the top left corner. The display doesn’t sit flush against the main chassis either. I’m not sure if this is part of the design, but the gap in the middle actually helps me lift up the display.
To keep the quad-core Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor cool, the HP ENVY 15t laptop has large cooling vents at the bottom, as well as out the back. There are perforations on the underside on both sides near the front – they are the vents for two of the four Bang & Olufsen speakers.
The designers of the HP ENVY 15t designed the display so that it actually elevates the rear end of the laptop away from the table surface. This improves ventilation under the laptop, which is usually a dead space.
On the left side, you will find the power connector, an AC/battery light, the RJ-45 network lights and jack, a HDMI port, two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.0 charging port, a headphone/microphone port, and an SD Card reader.
On the right side of the HP ENVY 15t, you will find the Power and hard disk drive activity lights, a security cable slot, the optical drive and a USB 3.0 port.[adrotate banner=”5″]
HP ENVY 15t Display
HP offers two WLED-backlit display options with the HP ENVY 15t laptop – a standard display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 display, or an IPS display with a higher resolution of 1920 x 1080. I would recommend the 1920 x 1080 IPS display. This particular laptop used an IPS display made by LG.
Touchpad & Keyboard
The HP ENVY 15t‘s touchpad is fairly big which is nice, but it requires too much force to click. I end up using one or two finger taps instead of the hidden TouchPad button. The back-lit keyboard came standard. No real complaints about the keyboard’s performance. The keyboard’s a little chatty, but at least it doesn’t flex.
That can’t be said for their attention to detail. The keys were not centered properly – there is a noticeably larger gap on the left side of the keys. The silver-on-silver colour scheme actually accentuated the misalignment of the keys.
Page 2 > Features, SSD Upgrade & Our Verdict!
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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.
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.
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.
The battery cable has to be removed before you can service any components.
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…
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!
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.[adrotate banner=”4″]
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