HP ENVY Design

A friend shared this video of the HP ENVY with me last night and this sums up what I think of this product, as well as designers behind it.

These people have no shame.

Just like platforms should own a shape, this series from HP should own a material. Any material. Just not aluminum. Going with aluminum must be the worst decision they could have made in the production of this laptop.

The product would have been much better received even if they chose a cheaper material like plastic. Had they only replaced the aluminum with a black, matte plastic to separate itself from the MBP, then things like the speakers, per-key LEDs, the audio dial or “gravity well” and the “high resolution touch sensor” could have become highlights to the discussion.

If that were the case, then instead of having a MacBook Pro knock off what you’re left with is just another PC with frivolous features. Cascading key lighting, a “gravity well” and a high resolution touch sensor are the sorts of things you expect from a premium PC design. And “premium PC” just means expensive. These features weren’t added because they are characteristic of a great laptop, they were added because companies like HP have a strategy of making different products for different market segments. So at some point HP’s designers asked themselves “How can we make this expensive?”

Why they even included a high resolution touch sensor on a Windows laptop is beyond me. There are no gestures in Windows 7 and there’s no need for a multi-touch sensor.

Another really shameful aspect to the design of this laptop besides the resemblance to a MacBook Pro is how much HP made Beats Audio a part of the design. Beats is found in so much of the laptop design that just like the Beats headphones, the product being a marketing vehicle for Beats matters a lot more than an actual audio experience.

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