Just call us licky. We mean, lucky. You've seen the official super-hot photos of the Voodoo PC's Envy laptop, but we got our hands on one and were able to take tons of close-up photos of the as well as try out the highly touted instant-on feature. Our initial impressions: the laptop is really light. HP claims the laptop (it was the SSD version) weighs three and a half pounds, and even though we didn’t have a scale in our messenger bags, it sure felt about the same weight as the Macbook air, power supply notwithstanding. Stacking the Envy against a Macbook Pro and Thinkpad X300, Voodoo’s pricey portable was both smaller and slimmer, though it sports a 13” screen.
With the instant-on function, Voodoo claims the Envy boots from the BIOS to a simplistic GUI menu in three seconds, though our test clocked the boot-up at four seconds. Launching the pre-installed Linux kernel took another six seconds (you have the option to just launch Windows), which is pretty handy if you just want to surf the web or run an instant messenger client. The custom Linux build lets you surf the web with Firefox, browse photos (which have to be stored in specific folders), listen to music, instant message with Pidgin, or even chat with Skype. Voodoo chose all of these apps because they were open source. The UI menu looks simple and can be configured to dock to any side of the screen. The look of the Linux UI still isn't final, so what customers will see might look a little different from our photo.
We like the Envy’s slim design and light weight, though the lack of an onboard Ethernet port and optical drive are unfortunate sacrifices. The square-ish (yet still thin) power brick didn’t look too cumbersome to inhibit portability, and includes an Ethernet port to broadcast wi-fi to the laptop. The shiny carbon fiber weave surface looked really stylish and sleek, though this was a pre-production model, which explained why it had a few scratches and signs of wear. Our fingerprints were also immediately noticeable after handling the laptop for a few minutes, so wiping the surfaces down with the included soft microfiber sleeve is probably recommended.
Once our hands-on time was up (our review unit is coming later), we (meaning Norm) decided to make his mark on the Envy with a slobbery lick. So what did Voodoo’s Macbook Air killer taste like? Says Norm: “ a single plum floating in perfume served in a man's hat.”
(edits made to clarify the pre-production nature of the unit and Linux UI)
Continue to the next page for more photos and a truly terrifying image.