HP’s completely overhauled the Voodoo notebook line, dumping its brawny gaming notebooks in favor of the Envy 133, an uber-stylish 13.3-inch notebook with an all-carbon fiber chassis. The Envy 133 is just .70-inch thick, taking the “world”s thinnest notebook” crown away from Apple’s MacBook Air, which measures .76-inch at its thickest point.
I sat down with Rahul Sood, the CTO of HP”s Voodoo Business Unit to talk about the Envy 133 and Voodoo”s new approach a couple of weeks ago. I”m in Berlin this week, where Rahul is officially introducing the Envy 133. We”re both excited about the Envy 133 to say the least – it”s 4am in Berlin and he just emailed over some more details on this new notebook.
Check out the below video to hear about Voodoo”s strategy (12 minutes), or skip to the second video if you just want a briefer version (5 minutes) of the Envy 133 video
^^^short Envy 133 video^^^
^^^long Envy 133 video^^^
The Envy 133 has several features and unique styling that”ll please globe trotters that don”t mind paying a premium for luxury goods. It mixes style with solid engineering and time-saving features like being able to go from shutdown to browsing the web nearly instantly.
The carbon fiber finish on Envy 133 is incredibly attractive and screams luxury. If you want a notebook that”ll turn heads the Envy 133 will definitely do the trick.
Carbon fiber is increadibly strong and rigid, making the Voodoo Envy 133 sturdier than it appears at first glance. If you”ve ever owned anything that”s made of carbon fiber you probably know what I mean.
The Envy 133 will start at $2,099 in its base configuration and black carbon fiber finish. A white version will also be available at launch. I expect that users will have to pay a hefty premium for custom paint jobs, laser etching and graphics. Rahul didn”t go into specifics about this with me, but he mentioned custom paint booths that were recently purchased and three painters he”s hired.
I haven”t spent nearly enough time with the Envy 133, but plan on using one as much as possible today and updating this post with more info.
Voodoo”s “Instant On Solution” allows users to quickly boot into a lightweight Linux operating system in a few seconds so they can access Skype, Pidgin (an IM client that handles virtually every IM platform), an optimized version of Firefox for web browser, a music player and photo gallery application.
Windows Vista is still at the heart of the Envy 133, but this Linux OS quick boot feature is something I”d like to see on every notebook.
Rahul told me that Intel’s providing an “off road-map” Centrino processor for the Envy 2133, but didn’t offer further details. We can only assume the Envy 133 will sjip with Intel’s upcoming Montevina technology as Rahul said the over-sized vents were there to deal with graphics that would blur the line between integrated and dedicated. I”m going to bug my contacts at HP for more details today.
Multiple Gesture Trackpad
The Voodoo Envy 133’s trackpad is textured, similar to the HP HDX and HP tx2000z, but it”s the first HP notebook to offer multi-touch functionality.
A removable battery should be a no-brainer for any notebook and thankfully the engineers at HP managed to pull off what Apple couldn’t. Like the rest of the notebook, the Envy 2133”s casing is made of carbon fiber.
Ports and Plugs
Since the Envy 133 is only half an inch there’s no room an ethernet port, but Voodoo solved this problem in a very innovative way- by putting the Ethernet port on the notebooks power adapter. The Aura PowerConnect adapter has a one-to-one wireless connection to the Voodoo 133 that”s good up to 50 feet away.
The Envy 133 has a combination USB/eSATA port, one normal USB port, headphone jack, microphone in and an HDMI port.
The 13.3-inch LED backlit display is a little too glossy for my taste and I”m worried it won’t be usable outdoors or in other harsh lighting conditions. I strongly prefer matte displays in general though, so those that prefer glossy displays might not be as annoyed by this.
The keyboard is more durable than those found on most consumers notebooks according to Rahul. The keyboard illuminates automatically as you type.
External Optical Drive
Unfortunately there wasn”t any room for an integrated optical drive, but Voodoo will include a matching external drive with every Envy 133.