Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - The HP Envy 14 Spectre may be a crash diet or two away from rivalling the likes of the new Samsung Series 9, or the Acer Aspire S5, but what it lacks in svelteness it more than makes up for in substance.

The Beats audio packing machine has now been given official status by HP after it was teased ahead of the show and Pocket-lint was lucky enough to get some hands-on time with it.

The Envy 14 Spectre, as you've probably guessed from its name, is a 14-inch model (although HP is keen to stress that the dimensions are more apt to a 13-inch machine) that weighs in at 1.8kg and is 19.9mm thick.

The glossy glass screen is a thing of beauty and the viewing angles are superb. It boasts a 1600x900 resolution with the HP Radiance tech meaning richer colours and better brightness. The backlit keyboard is also gorgeous with each key afforded its own LED light. The proximity sensor on board detects whether you're near and lights them up if needed.

Best VPN 2021: The 10 best VPN deals in the US and UK

Pocket-linthp envy 14 spectre ultrabook pictures and hands on image 27

On the side you'll find dedicated audio controls that all tie-in with the Beats setup. The main button fires up a detailed EQ and sound control panel on-screen where you'll be able to fiddle around with the audio settings and also specify which output your tunes are banging from.

You can also wirelessly beam your music to your audio setup via an adapter, so it should be easy enough to get it up and running with your Hi-Fi system. You can keep the lid closed too and still make use of the physical audio controls.

The on board sound is more than adequate as well with the front-positioned speaker system providing an unrestrained sound, enhanced by the surface that it sits on. Talking of sound, there's not much of it when the system is firing - it's an almost silent experience which is fantastic.

Pocket-linthp envy 14 spectre ultrabook pictures and hands on image 21

In the engine room you're looking at an Intel i5 or i7 processor, Intel HD graphics, an SSD of 128 or 256GB, 4 or 6GB of RAM and a couple of USB 3.0 ports. There is HDMI as well, Intel Rapid Start Technology and a 9 hour battery life.

Other nifty features that we like include the expanding Ethernet port and the fact that there's a USB port on the power adaptor.

Out in the Europe (including the UK) at the end of March, the price will start from €1,200. 

Writing by Paul Lamkin. Originally published on 16 April 2013.