HP Now Offering AMD-powered Sleekbook Ultrathin With Optical Drive for $699

Posted on 19 June 2012 By


Back toward the beginning of May, HP revealed a deluge of new Ultrabook products. Despite a rather confusing array of press releases and announcements, we waded through it all and found what many others missed — HP would be offering the Envy 4 and Envy 6 as not just Intel-powered Ultrabooks, but also as AMD-powered ultrathins. After quite a while, HP now has available the AMD Envy 6 Sleekbook for $699; can it compete with low priced Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks, and what about it’s twin, the Envy 6 Ultrabook?

The Envy 6 Sleekbook and Envy 6 Ultrabook have essentially the same external design. The weight is quite heavy at 2kg, but this is a 15.6″ unit; the thickness is just shy of 20mm. Both feature Beats audio.

The Envy 6 Sleekbook uses AMD’s A6-4455m ‘APU’ which is their ULV option with 17W TDP for ultrathin computers. The A6 is dual-core and clocked at 2.1GHz; it seems to be able to overclock to 2.6GHz as well. The APU has its own integrated graphics which are clocked to either 423Mhz or 327MHz (this doesn’t mean much to the end-user, but for developers, the integrated graphics are to take advantage of AMD’s Accelerated Parallel Processing technique). In addition to the APU’s integrated graphics, the Envy 6 Sleekbook has discrete graphics on board, also from AMD; the Radeon HD 7500G GPU.

4GB of RAM is standard on the Envy 6 (this is either 1066Mhz or 1333Mhz RAM, a bit slower than the 1600MHz RAM you’ll find on most Ivy Bridge Ultrabooks). RAM is user-upgradeable to 16GB. You’ll find a 500GB (5400RPM) HDD on board as well.

The 15.6″ screen is 1366×768, and affords the Envy 6 Sleekbook a large enough footprint to fit an optical drive (which you won’t find on the Envy 6 Ultrabook).

The port set includes: ethernet/LAN (RJ45), 2xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2.0, full HDMI, full VGA, 3.5mm headphone, 3.5mm microphone, and a multi-card reader for SD and MMC.

The key selling point for the AMD Envy 6 Sleekbook over the Intel Envy 6 Ultrabook  is battery life and cost. There are no configuration options from HP on the Envy 6 Sleekbook, so what you see is what you get for $699; that’s $100 off of the Ultrabook version, but is it worth it? HP says that the Envy 6 Sleekbook will last for 9 hours which, using our 2/3 rule, will probably realistically leave you with around 6 hours — not bad at all.

We’ll need to wait for real-world testing to make the final call on which holds more value, but if you’re not willing to wait, the AMD Envy 6 Sleekbook is available now from HP. We should eventually see the Envy 4 (14″ screen) launched as an AMD-powered Sleekbook as well. Stay tuned for that if you’re looking for something a bit smaller.

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  1. #1 by Adam on June 19, 2012 - 20:07

    Where’s the article on the MS Surface convertible tablet ultrabook?!!?

    Surprised not to see an article here although a lack of an article says as much as an article, sometimes…

    Adam

    • #2 by Ben Lang on June 19, 2012 - 20:25

    • #3 by Chippy on June 20, 2012 - 00:59

      Ultraslates! We’ve got three or four of these to cover now. We’ll get the Surface Pro in the database so we can track it and we’ll pull together an article soon covering the pros and cons of the various ultrabook form factors.

  2. #4 by michael on June 19, 2012 - 22:22

    does the configuration include backlit keyboard? Would it b good for gamin?….

  3. #5 by Robert Hanks on June 20, 2012 - 00:52

    Please note HP hyped this Sleekbook for $599 and now has bumped up the price to $699. So much for AMD APUs saving consumers money.

    • #6 by Chippy on June 20, 2012 - 00:59

      Definitely noted!

    • #7 by James on June 20, 2012 - 19:09

      It’s $699 but they offer it with discount offers that can bring it down to $599.

      Seems they’re basically either assuming not everyone will go for the discounted configuration and/or hedging against the possibility of demand being more than supply.

  4. #8 by Adam on June 20, 2012 - 13:14

    SO…

    2012 HP Sleekbook 6:
    2.0 kg
    20 mm thick
    17w TDP AMD CPU
    500GB spinning hard disk drive
    1366×768 15″ display
    Real Life Battery light use: 6 hours
    $699

    2009 Acer Aspire 3810t
    1.59 kg
    27 mm thick
    5.5w TDP Intel ULV Core Solo CPU
    500GB spinning hard disk drive
    1366×768 13.3″ display
    Real Life Battery light use: 8-9 hours
    $650

    The mobility value segment is dead. The whole category seems to be one giant money grab at the moment. Profit margins are WAY bigger than they used to be.

    A heavy AMD laptop that still has a CD drive, a regular spinning HDD, and a display resolution out of the 1990s for $700 USD?!? They must be crazy.

    That Acer from 2009 was lighter, slightly thicker, got better battery life (higher efficiency processor), and had essentially the exact same connectivity, AND cost $50 less 3 years ago; there’s nothing that justifies this price. NOTHING. The AMD CPU has less markup than the Intel Core ULV cpus, too.

    Waiting for the mobility value option to show up; the Samsung that Chippy picked up was the really only exciting option for the mobility value enthusiast in a while.

    Adam

    • #9 by Ben Lang on June 20, 2012 - 16:15

      The AMD A6 would likely kill the Core Solo in performance though.

      • #10 by Adam on June 21, 2012 - 12:45

        I didn’t say MFGRs weren’t improving performance.

        I said they weren’t improving MOBILITY FOR THE MONEY.

        The ARM camp are the only ones making progress on this front and they’re making HUGE progress on it.

        These MFGRs should still be making IMPROVEMENT in mobility for the money. Keeping the equation the same or worse is an embarrassment.

        IMHO, THIS is the biggest risk to the x86 camp, not power efficiency; I think they’ll be able to provide incredible performance with super impressive efficiency come Haswell but I also think that they’ll continue to be obliterated by ARM in the mobile computing VALUE equation. I actually expect it to get even worse before it gets better. Intel would rather go down with the ship than drop that profit margin.

        Adam

      • #11 by Adam on June 21, 2012 - 12:51

        I’m not even convinced that there’s no an Intel Ultrabook strategy-driven industry collaboration (Conspiracy) to implement price fixing to artificially hold these ultra thin PC prices higher.

        Acer was undercutting everyone for a while with fantastically cheap prices driving down everyone else’s possible selling prices before Ultrabooks. Samsung released the NP350 and it sold like hotcakes, then it was systematically pulled from sites and trickled back with a dramatically more expensive price tag.

        Only the test of time will tell but the prices we’ve seen for the past 18 months just don’t make sense.

        More profit on the initial sale and I truly believe dramatically higher profit on getting things like sealed internal batteries replaced going forward.

        Adam

  5. #12 by Adam on June 20, 2012 - 13:16

    The toshiba R835s have been a great mobility value machine, too. I forgot about them!

    Adam

  6. #13 by James on June 21, 2012 - 21:01

    Adam :
    I didn’t say MFGRs weren’t improving performance.
    I said they weren’t improving MOBILITY FOR THE MONEY.
    The ARM camp are the only ones making progress on this front and they’re making HUGE progress on it.
    These MFGRs should still be making IMPROVEMENT in mobility for the money. Keeping the equation the same or worse is an embarrassment.
    IMHO, THIS is the biggest risk to the x86 camp, not power efficiency; I think they’ll be able to provide incredible performance with super impressive efficiency come Haswell but I also think that they’ll continue to be obliterated by ARM in the mobile computing VALUE equation. I actually expect it to get even worse before it gets better. Intel would rather go down with the ship than drop that profit margin.
    Adam

    I disagree, ARM is starting to push the limits of what is possible without making the jump to 64bit but despite some progress in that area they’re still years away from mainstreaming it, at least outside of the server market, and so have nothing that can come even close to what Haswell will offer for general consumers.

    Going multiple core does help raise the bar for ARM but increasing performance that way still increases power consumption, along with cost, and starts to reduce its advantage.

    Especially when they start to have to use more expensive components as higher performance tends to increase demand for more RAM, larger batteries, and also faster SSDs.

    While Intel at least is planning major advances in the ATOM series starting next year with the 22nm update that will include the first major architectural change since the ATOM was first introduces.

    Along with the fact that from that point on Intel will advance the ATOM at faster than Moore’s Law rate. So it’s not like Intel isn’t going to be countering ARM.

    While AMD may get into at least the tablet space with next year’s Tamesh and later updates they have planned for edging into the mobile market.

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